My Naples Food Guide


Although we landed in Naples for reasons other than tourism, we still managed to fill our spare time with many leisurely stroll, and as much food as we could possibly manage.
What we quickly realised is that Naples isn’t the sort of city that leaves you indifferent: nothing is neutral, everything is bold, challenging, dense with meaning. The same, in a way, can be said about its food.
I only had two days to spend in the city, barely sufficient to truly get to know the breadth of its cuisine, but still enough to get the gist of it. I collected some of my favourite places to eat from the trip, and distilled them into this small food guide, which I hope I’ll get to expand upon another trip sometime soon.


Pizza

Gino Sorbillo, via dei Tribunali 32 (closed on Sundays).
THE Neapolitan pizza. The menu is the right size: it’s not as small as marinara VS margherita like you find at Da Michele (yes, the one of Eat, Pray, Love), but it’s not infinite either. The whole atmosphere matches the location of this pizzeria in the heart of popular Napoli: plastic cups and un-arranged flatware rolled into paper napkins, paper menu and fast service. Prices are also very popular: two pizzas, water and a can of beer are going to cost you about 15 euro. This might explain the long queue at the entrance, which is well worth tackling nonetheless, as it moves pretty fast.

Pizzaria La Notizia, via Caravaggio 53/55
With his pizzaria located in the residential area of Mergellina, Enzo Coccia created an environment that is  far from the popular atmosphere of an everyday pizzeria, and a solar-system-far from the original, street food version of pizza a portafoglio. At La Notizia, fancy water bottles, a wine and craft beer list, and a long list of “creative” pizzas, embraced by antipasti and desserts, are part of the deal. Ingredients are top-quality, all from local sources. The pizza? Outstanding. Coccia squeezes his mozzarella balls hours before using them for pizza. The crust is yet still soft and the combination of flavors is extremely well-balanced. The check: three pizzas, water, craft beer (75cl bottle), coffee and limoncello came to 48 euro.

La Focaccia, Vico Belledonne a Chiaia 31
In the heart of the happy hour/aperitivo area of Naples, this place is a true gem to mop up some alcohol with something very tasty. Particularly on Sunday night, when every restaurant seems to be closed, this is your safety boat after a couple of drinks in a nearby enoteca (listed below). This family owned place serves a huge variety of focacce (note the difference: they are not pizze, as they are thicker and they come by the slice!) at very affordable prices. The quality of the dough and the toppings is good, and you can ask for an extra warm-up if you want yours very hot. Best of all is the beer selection, quite impressive for such a low-key place.

Wine

Enoteca Belledonne, Vico Belledonne a Chiaia 18
A cozy spot in the most lively and lovely area of Naples, Chiaia. Take a seat, and someone will bring you plump green olives, tarallini (round-shaped cracker snacks), and a wine list. The by-the-glass choice is quite interesting, with some good local wines. Wide choice by the bottle, with the option of broadening your horizon outside of Campania with some excellent labels.

Coffee

Naples is the city of coffee. Espresso, ristretto –forget about these: once inside a bar, you’ll simply call it caffé. Pay and get your receipt first (each coffee is 90-95 cents), then get your order at the counter. Experienced baristas will quickly serve you an inch of super-concentrated caffeine potion from the best mix of dark-roasted, high-acidity beans. One shot, done. Love it or leave it. Please be careful, some places serve it in a very hot cop. Also, if you take your coffee without sugar, make sure you ask for it beforehand, as the standard serving here is sweetened.

1) Mexico, Piazza Dante 86
2) Gran Caffé Gambrinus, Via Chiaia 1/2, Angolo Piazza Trieste e Trento
Also home of traditional pastries like babà, mini-pastiere, sfogliatelle ricce or frolle, zeppole etc.
3) Caffé del Professore, Piazza Trieste e Trento 46


Ice Cream (and Chocolate)

Gay Odin, via Toledo, Via Colonna et al.
We are not the biggest chocolate consumers but we heard of this historical place and local chocolate institution and we couldn’t miss it. We stepped inside the one in Via Colonna and enjoyed the view of this pretty, old-school looking shop with all kinds of chocolate crafts. What we couldn’t resist was the ice-cream, just plain outstanding.

Pastries

In Naples, it’s all about sfogliatelle, little pasties filled with ricotta cream and candied citrus. You’ll find them in two versions: riccia (wrinkly and very crunchy) and frolla (softer, almost like a sugar pastry dough). Other classics include babà with rum, pastiera (a traditional Easter cake now available all year), caprese (almond-chocolate cake, nothing to do with the salad), tart with wild strawberries, and zeppole (fried pate à choux covered with custard and topped with maraschino cherries, typical for Father’s Day, around March 19th).

Moccia, Via San Pasquale a Chiaia 21
It’s the only one we made it to among the recommended ones. The selection is impressive and the sfogliatelle are delicious, though I don’t claim any kind of expertise on the subject.

Other recommended ones:
Vittorio Carraturo
Attanasio

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10 Comments

  1. Alex March 2, 2013

    Che meraviglia! Ma sai che non sono mai stata a Napoli se non al porto? È una vergogna. Ho salvato immediatamente questo post per gli indirizzi!

    Reply
  2. Paola March 2, 2013

    Io in questa città ci vivo e ci lavoro e vederla dalle tue foto mi incanta ancora di più. Ha tanto di sé da mostrare e tu ne hai colto alcuni degli aspetti più belli. Bravissima 🙂

    Reply
  3. Mela e Cannella March 2, 2013

    vale che foto meravigliose sono incantato…l'essenza di napoli nei tuoi scatti!!

    Reply
  4. SreeBindu March 3, 2013

    beautiful 🙂
    xx

    Reply
  5. elisabetta pendola March 3, 2013

    le mitiche aragostelle!!

    Reply
  6. Babs March 8, 2013

    ma quanto amo i tuoi scatti Valeria…. era troppo che non passavo qui da te…. nostalgia 🙂
    baci baci
    b

    Reply
  7. Valeria March 18, 2013

    grazie a tutti <3

    Reply
  8. Daniela @ FoodrecipesHQ March 18, 2013

    Peccato non ci sia modo di confividere i tuoi post velovemente su pinterest. Posso choederti perche' non trovo l'icona apposita? Bellissime immagini, complimenti…

    Reply
    • Valeria March 18, 2013

      grazie! mmm…io pensavo che per pinnare le immagini bastasse avere il bottoncino sulla propria barra degli strumenti del browser…no? mi sbaglio?

      Reply
  9. Easy kitchen May 1, 2013

    i love this city and the amalfitan coast. I love so much all the food there

    Reply

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