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7 Must Try Foods In Naples

7 Must Try Foods In Naples

Naples is a dream for foodies. It’s the home of some of Italy’s most famous dishes: pizza, spaghetti alla puttanesca, minestrone napoletano, and the list continues.

I often go to Naples whenever I need a weekend break from Rome. Even though it’s less than a two-and-a-half-hour drive away, the cuisine is vastly different. From the difference in the pizza dough to the cheeses used for each dish.

Naples has some must-try foods that deserve a spot on everyone’s tasting list. I have compiled a list of them so you don’t miss out on your culinary adventure through Napoli.


Did you know Naples is where pizza was born? The first-ever pizza was made in the city as a quick fix for the working class. The phenomenon didn’t really take off until the mass migration of Italians to the USA in the 19th and 20th. 

The classic and most-eaten pizza from Naples is the Margherita. It must be made with sweet-flavored San Marzano tomatoes, grown in the region where Mount Vesuvius is located, and lightly soured mozzarella di bufala campana. 

The outside of the crust has to be thick, while the center is slightly thinner, which is exactly how I enjoy it, or it’s not a traditional Margherita. I find the flavor to be somewhat acidy with a creamy side made from mozzarella. 

Usually, it’s topped with some basil and extra virgin olive oil, which adds a peppery kick to it. Personally, I like to order some extra marinara sauce on the side to dip my crusts into at the end for an extra kick.

Neapolitans eat pizza differently than we do in America. I was shocked that the pizza wasn’t served in slices. Instead, you have to cut it yourself with scissors. That way, you can determine the quality of the pizza dough by looking at the cross-section of the crust.

To try the best pizza in Naples, check out Sorbillo. The huge line may turn you off at first; it’s so worth waiting for. Chef Gino Sorbillo has perfected the Margherita pizza. He locally sources ingredients from the Campania region and is always on the hunt for new ways to perfect his recipe.

Sorbillo (€€€) – Via dei Tribunali, 32, 80138 Napoli NA, Italy – Monday to Saturday, 12:00 pm to 11:30 pm, Sunday, 11:30 am to 4:00 pm

Pastiera Napoletana


The next traditional food from Naples is a Pastiera Napoletana, which I often enjoy with an espresso after a heavy meal (of course, if I have any space left). 

Pastieras are associated with the Easter celebration; they’re usually cooked a couple of days before Holy Thursday so the flavors can evolve.

Many Neapolitans will have their own recipe for Pastiera Napoletana, and they all think theirs is better than anyone else’s. 

They’re tarts made with ricotta cheese, orange flower water, grano cotto, eggs, and candied peels. After it’s baked, the top is sprinkled with sugar, as if the recipe wasn’t sweet enough already.

I love how creamy and velvety pastiera napoletanas are, which come from the ricotta cheese and tend to balance out the butteriness of the crust. Often, you’ll find that there’s a citrusy edge to the overall taste of the pie, made from the candied peels and orange flower water.

There’s a bakery called Antica Pasticceria Vincenzo Bellavia in Naples that does some really good pastiera napoletana. 

I had heard a lot about this place from friends living in the city, so I stopped by and was told they served in kilograms. The 1 kg looked huge, so I went for that. I was amazed at the quality; it was light, with a luscious side and a sugary flavor. All the elements of a perfect pie!

Antica Pasticceria Vincenzo Bellavia (€€€) – uscita metropolitana linea, Rione Alto, Via Onofrio Fragnito, 82, 80131 Napoli NA, Italy – Monday to Friday, 7:00 am to 9:00 pm, Saturday and Sunday, 7:30 am to 9:00 pm

Minestrone Napoletano


Everyone has heard of minestrone, but Neapolitans being Neapolitans, they came up with their own version called minestrone napoletano, and from my view, it’s even better than the original.

Whenever It’s cold outside, I crave minestrone napoletano. It’s pretty hearty because of the amount of natural ingredients used to make the mix, like cannellini beans, fresh veggies such as tomatoes, ditalini pasta, parmesan cheese, and vegetable broth.

The base of minestrone napoletano is on the richer side because of the garlic and onions. After your first mouthful, you’ll notice the tomatoes taste stronger than the rest of the flavors, but it’s not so strong that you can’t taste anything else. 

My favorite part is the pasta; sometimes, I get mistaken for enjoying a serving of bolognese.

Finding this dish in Naples won’t be hard. I’ve tried it a couple of times in various restaurants, but one that sticks out for me is Il Miracolo. 

When I got here, all I was craving was the soup, but it wasn’t on the menu. Out of curiosity, I asked the server if they could whip one up, and they agreed. It was genuinely amazing; I can still taste the tomatoey broth on my tongue.

Il Miracolo (€€) – Via Vicaria Vecchia, 33/34, 80138 Napoli NA, Italy – Wednesday to Saturday, 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm and 6:00 pm to 11:00 pm, Sunday to Tuesday, 12:00 pm to 3:30 pm and 6:30 pm to 11:00 pm

Frittata di pasta

I think every pasta lover can get on board with the concept of frittata di pasta. If I were to describe it in simple terms, it’s basically a pasta omelet that came from necessity back in the day, so no piece of pasta was ever wasted. 

I’ll always remember the first time I had one of them; I said to myself, “I can easily eat a couple of these things,” little did I know, they’re extremely filling.

Frittata di pasta are pasta pies that are usually baked in the oven. The scrumptious mix is made up of eggs, pasta, cheese, and a sauce, depending on the chef’s preference. After the pie is removed from the oven, the chef will melt fresh parmesan around the edges as an added layer of cheese.

It’s tradition for Neapolitans to cook up a batch of frittata di pasta every Sunday with the leftovers of the dinner. Some people will even keep the mix for the rest of the week and have it for their lunch at work. However, eating it every day may not be the healthiest choice.

If you don’t like eggs, you might want to sit this one out; there’s an overwhelming egginess to frittata di pasta. It’s what I like about it. The chef will add extra black pepper and basil to try to balance it. 

Rosticceria Imperatore is a restaurant I can’t praise enough for its Frittata di pasta. It’s a convenient spot if you’re on the go with lots of tasty snacks, but they’re famous for their Frittata di pasta, which is fried to a crisp with a fluffy inside that has a salty and buttery aftertaste.

Rosticceria Imperatore (€€) – Viale Colli Aminei, 66, 80131 Napoli NA, Italy – Tuesday to Sunday, 8:00 am to 1:00 am, closed on Mondays

Sartù Di Riso

Seeing a serving of sartù di riso for the first time really confused me; I initially thought it was a dessert, but soon realized it was far from it. This pie-shaped dish is another go-to recipe for Neapolitans on Sundays, but there’s one rule: all of the family must participate in the preparation process.

A friend of mine invited me over to their house one Sunday to experience the making of sartù di riso first-hand. We mixed in all kinds of ingredients like chicken liver, meatballs, mushrooms, pancetta, hard-boiled eggs, peas, and fior di latte cheese.

We then added the mix to a jello ring mold, which was topped with rice before baking it in the oven. Once the crust was crispy enough, we took it out and cut it into slices. The first bite for me was staggering; there were so many flavors, from the herbs of the sausage to the tang of the cheese.

Sartu’ di riso is sometimes cooked for big occasions like weddings and communions. They take a lot of time to make, but it pays off if they’re made right.

If you try sartù di riso at one restaurant, make sure it’s at Sartù. The name of this place already gives away its specialty; they seriously know how to make a good version of this dish. 

It was presented to me in a molded shape because of how it’s cooked; once I stuck my fork into it, the fillings burst out onto the plate. The consistency was gooey because of the cheese. The rich tomato sauce wasn’t overly sweet; it was more earthy, almost like an umami flavor.

Sartù (€€€) – Via San Gennaro Al Vomero 13, 80129, Naples, Italy – Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, 7:30 pm to 11:00 pm, and Saturday and Sunday, 12:30 pm to 3:30 pm and 7:30 pm to 11:00 pm, closed on Tuesdays



If you were to ask me what type of bread I recommend you try when you come to Naples, it would be casatiello. I could eat this any time of the day, whether it’s for my breakfast or a midnight snack. Although too much of it before bed isn’t a good idea because of how much cheese is inside it.

Casatiello has some religious significance among Neapolitans; it’s usually eaten at the end of Lent, a 40-day period in Christianity where believers will remember the death of Jesus. You can buy it in some bakeries throughout the year, but during the Easter period, you’ll notice it’s sold that bit more.

The recipe for casatiello is simple, but it tastes delightful. It’s baked with milk, eggs, and sheep cheese and stuffed with pancetta to give it a smoky and salty, umami flavor. Most of the casatiellos I’ve tried have been heavy, with cheese that has a delicate texture on the inside.

You’ll notice that casatiello has more of a unique look than your average batch of bread. The exterior is topped with boiled eggs, and breaded crosses cover them; this is for the religious side of things.

Don’t be worried if you’re not in Naples for Easter; some will always have a batch of casatiello regardless of the time of year, including Bar Augustus, near to Piazza Carità. What sets this spot apart from others is the fact they serve casatiello in single servings, which is hard to come by.

I popped by one day and saw the small portions of casatiello sitting in the glass case, so I had to order one of them. They were exceptionally tasty, from the egginess of the golden crust to the smokiness of the pancetta.

Bar Augustus (€€) – Via Toledo, 147, 80134 Napoli NA, Italy – Every day, 7:00 am to 8:30 pm

Spaghetti Alla Puttanesca


Strangely, the dish spaghetti alla puttanesca came to my attention for the first because of the mysterious tales that surround its origins. This easy-to-make culinary delight has been a staple recipe in the Neapolitan culture since the mid-20th century.

The story behind spaghetti alla puttanesca comes from a shady past. If you were to research what the term “puttanesca” translates to, a nice way to put it would be “working-lady-like.” But how did a spaghetti-based dish become associated with such a dark theme?

Well, some people will say it has that name because it was the meal prostitutes used to eat between clients on shift, while others have suggested it’s what they used to feed the clients as they waited for their service to begin. We’ll never know, but it sure does have an interesting background.

The simplicity of spaghetti alla puttanesca’s recipe is what I think makes it so special. All it takes is some fresh spaghetti, chopped black olives, anchovies, canned tomatoes, a handful of capers, sliced onions, garlic, and fresh basil and oregano. 

It’s important to use the freshest ingredients when cooking spaghetti alla puttanesca to add some real quality to the recipe. I always know it’s a good batch when the anchovies give it a savory and salty kick, the extra sweet tomatoes balance the sauce, and the herbs add a refreshing aftertaste.

One restaurant in Naples that always has me returning for their spaghetti is Ristorante da Ettore. The portion was huge when I visited; there was so much spaghetti. The slightly sweetened tomato sauce made it perfect for dipping the bread afterwards.

Ristorante da Ettore (€€) – Via Santa Lucia, 56, 80132 Napoli NA, Italy – Monday to Saturday, 12:00 pm to 3:30 pm and 7:00 pm to 12:00 am, closed on Sundays


Sampling Naples’ must-try foods is the best way to really immerse yourself in the city’s culture. 

Finding places to try some of these dishes can be difficult, especially if it’s your first time in the city. Have the chance to try the options I’ve mentioned on our Naples food tour with a local guide.

The post 7 Must Try Foods In Naples appeared first on Eating Europe.

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