I am shamelessly obsessed with Naples and I want to eat and drink everything in the city always, forever. Since moving to Rome in 2003, I have spent a great deal of time exploring nearby Naples, writing guide books, filming several episodes of “Cities of the Underworld”, and generally researching food and drinks. I am completely in love with the place and it saddens me that lots of visitors to Italy skip Naples on their way to the Amalfi Coast (guide here) or Pompeii, squandering precious culinary and cultural opportunities in the process. Naples has one of the best food cultures in the country and its specialties scratch nearly every imaginable gastronomic itch. Here are some places I love:
For pizza: Attilio is the best. Don’t believe the Da Michele and Sorbillo hype. The volume they do has led to a major decline in the consistency of their product. Attilio, on the other hand, is perfect. Also check out Ciro Salvo’s 50 Kalo in Mergellina–it’s nice to walk there along the sea from Chiaia. Of course Sorbillo (Via dei Tribunali 32) is super famous and if you’re on a massive pizza tour, do pop in, crowds permitting, of course. Up on Vomero, check out La Notizia, and anything else Enzo Coccia is affiliated with.
For fritti: Start every pizza meal in Napoli with fried things like frittatine (basically béchamel-bound pasta croquettes) and crocche’ di patate. I love these things at Attilio and 50 Kalò and I Decumani (Via dei Tribunali 58-61) does good fritti, as well. But basically every place along Via dei Tribunali does fritti and pizza a portafoglio from roadside stalls for a quick bite on your feet.
For cheeses and cured meats: Caseari Cautero (Piazzetta Pontecorvo) sells and serves cheeses and cured meats mainly from Campania, Abruzzo, Calabria, and beyond. Proprietor Salvatore Cautero is a fourth generation food purveyor–the family was in the stockfish business–and just last month transformed part of his retail space into a small dining room with a large communal table surrounded by wine bottles, as well as some outdoor seating overlooking the Neapolitan theatrical performance that is Via Rosa.
For simple Neapolitan fare with a big does of folklore: Donna Teresa (Via Kerbaker 58), Nennella, Cantina di Via Sapienza (Via Sapienza 40-41), Cibi Cotti (Via Ferdinando Galiani 30/14 – Mercatino Rionale Torretta).
For equally Neapolitan but less informal dishes and service, check out Mimì alla Ferrovia (as the name implies, near the main train station), Da Donato (Porto Nolana), and Umberto (Chiaia), and ‘E Curti (east of Naples in Sant’Anastasia).
For fish: Peschiera Mattiucci (Vico Belledonne A Chiaia 27) serves simple raw and marinated catch at a fish shop in Chiaia.
For pastries: Aruta (Via Porta San Gennaro 34), Mignone (Piazza Cavour 146), Angelo Carbone (Largo Regina Coeli 4) all do Neapolitan classics.
For coffee: Mexico (multiple locations) serves reliable intense Neapolitan espresso from the Passalacqua company. For more thoughtfully brewed coffee, visit Ventimetriquadri in Vomero.
Be sure to check out my Naples guide for Australia Gourmet Traveller’s March 2015 Italy issue.
If you’re in Naples, especially in the summer, check out Procida (an hour-long hydrofoil from Napoli), my favorite island for a cheeky weekend. You can read up on it here. If you’re planning a stay on the Amalfi Coast, I have a whole entire guide here!