What to eat in Naples: 12 must-try local delights

Flavorful tomatoes, delicious granitas, and the world's most authentic pizza: Neapolitan cuisine doesn’t disappoint. Here’s what to eat and how to eat it

Naples is known all over the world for its history, but just as many visitors come here for one reason alone: the food. While all of Italy has good cuisine, the food in Naples is in a league of its own. Top of the list of things you must eat here is pizza, which was invented right here and continues to be made in delightful pizzerias across the city.

Apart from pizza, what food is Naples known for? The truth is, there are so many great foods to try. Sweet pastries like sfogliatella, refreshing frozen desserts like granita, and flavor-packed tomato sauces are among the best food. Get ready to make some notes about what to eat in Naples. Your gourmet getaway is just around the corner.

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1. Discover the birthplace of pizza

The most famous food in Naples? It has to be pizza, which started as a treat for local peasants. In the 18th century, Neapolitans would add tomato to their flatbreads, creating the classic pizza marinara. Later, the Margherita was invented to welcome the queen of Italy, with its red tomato, white mozzarella, and green basil said to symbolize the country's flag.

How to eat the best pizza in Naples?

You'll find pizzerias on every street in Naples, but for the best results, take things into your own hands. Go to a Authentic Italian Pizza-Making Workshop with Drinks and learn the traditional way to make pizza from scratch, as generations of Neapolitans have done.

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2. Satisfy your sweet tooth with sfogliatella

Another popular food in Naples is sfogliatella, which consists of dozens of layers of wafer-thin pastry wrapped around a sweet filling. The traditional fillings include ricotta flavored with orange, almond paste, and candied citrus peel. Locals love these as a sweet treat or even as a special breakfast.

How to eat the best sfogliatella in Naples?

Join this Food Tour with Davide to see more of gourmet Naples. As well as sfogliatella, you'll try several delicious local dishes.

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3. Drink a volcanic wine in the style of the ancient Romans

The fertile volcanic slopes of Vesuvius have been used to grow grapes since the days of ancient Rome. Lachryma Christi (also "Lacrima Christi"), the unique wine brewed here, is said to be the most similar drink in the world to ancient Roman vintages. No trip to Naples would be complete without enjoying a glass or two.

How to drink the best Lachryma Christi in Naples?

Lachryma Christi comes from the slopes of Vesuvius, so join this Vesuvius Wine Tasting Tour with Lunch for the most authentic experience. You'll drink it paired with some flavor-packed local dishes.

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4. Snack on a folded pizza sandwich

Neapolitans love their pizza in all kinds of formats. On the go, they tend to reach for a pizza portafoglio, a slice folded up to make a neat sandwich. This is the ultimate in local street food, best eaten as you wander the streets of the historic center.

How to eat the best pizza portafoglio in Naples?

Join a local foodie for a Street Food Tour with Local Guide. You'll sample all kinds of delicacies along the way, as this is a full tour of Neapolitan gastronomy.

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5. Embrace the tomato with Neapolitan sauce

All Italians love tomatoes, but nobody reveres them like the Neapolitans. It's the backbone of so many classic dishes here, and the cream of the crop is Neapolitan sauce. This tomato sauce may be simple, but the top-quality ingredients mean it is absolutely bursting with flavor.

How to eat the best pasta with Neapolitan sauce in Naples?

Get to grips with your own culinary skills at a Pasta Making Class with Dish and Drink Included. You'll learn how to make fettuccine and ravioli, as well as tagliatelle with Neapolitan sauce.

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6. Eat the freshest fried calamari from a paper cone

More than any other Italian city, Naples is a haven for street food. You'll often eat better from a paper cone than at a five-star restaurant. Fried calamari is a great example of this: tiny, sweet delicacies best served fresh and crunchy.

How to eat the best calamari in Naples?

You'll find the best fried calamari, along with other street food, at the Pignasecca Market. This is Naples' biggest and best food market and is also great if you want to pick up some fresh produce and cook for yourself.

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7. Forget the calories and indulge yourself with pizza fritta

Pizza fritta (fried pizza) is exactly what it sounds like. It's definitely not the healthiest option, but it's a delicious snack, and locals go mad for this calorific take on a classic. It's best enjoyed in moderation if you can manage that.

How to eat the best pizza fritta in Naples?

Pizza fritta is just one of the many delicacies you'll try on this Food and Wine Walking Tour with Local Guide. This is an evening tour that will leave you totally satisfied after a gourmet walk around the city.

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8. Enjoy the crunch of crocche

For an indulgent snack, it's hard to beat crocche. These are deep-fried potato croquettes that ooze with mozzarella or provolone cheese when you bite into them. Have a salad on the side if it makes you feel better.

How to eat the best crocche in Naples?

Join in the deep-fried fun with a Naples Street Food Tour. There are five stops along the way, so you'll be able to sample the very best of Neapolitan snack food.

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9. Wash down your feast with a limoncello

Limoncello, the local liqueur, is a product of the Neapolitan climate. The south of Italy is perfect for citrus, and lemons grow in abundance in the countryside. Locals have been turning them into this zesty liqueur for generations.

How to drink the best limoncello in Naples?

Limoncello is usually served after a meal. You'll try it on this Private Food Tour: 10 Tastings with Locals, led by a passionate Neapolitan foodie.

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10. Savor the flavor of buffalo mozzarella

The Southern Italians have been making buffalo mozzarella since the first century AD, so they've had plenty of time to perfect it. You can enjoy it on top of a slice of Margherita pizza, but the freshest mozzarella is delicious by itself. Rich and creamy, this cheese is a thousand miles from the shredded supermarket stuff you get back home.

How to eat the best buffalo mozzarella in Naples?

Have a full foodie experience with this Amalfi Coast and Food Tour: from Farm to Table. The mozzarella is just the start of your meal, a veritable Southern Italian feast.

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11. Enjoy the bouquet of Taurasi wine

Taurasi wine has been given the prestigious DOCG label, awarded to just a few Italian products as a guarantee of quality. This is a remarkably complex red wine with a rich flavor, thanks to the unique volcanic soil of the region. It's perfect with full, hearty meat dishes.

How to drink the best Taurasi wine in Naples?

Let your inner sommelier come out to play on this Irpinia Wine Tour with 6 Tastings. You'll see exactly how Taurasi is prepared and what makes it so unique.

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12. Cool off with a lemon granita

Some say granita was the earliest form of ice cream. In its purest form, it has just three ingredients: lemon, sugar, and water. Zesty and refreshing, it's the perfect antidote to the sizzling Neapolitan summer.

How to eat the best lemon granita in Naples?

You can get a lemon granita at just about every gelateria in town, but locals will direct you to the Lello Kiosk. This humble-looking kiosk prepares a granita that will make you weep with pleasure.

FAQs

What are the must-try traditional dishes in Naples?

Italy is known for pizza, a famous food from this region. If you get tired of pizza, Naples has a range of great seafood dishes and pasta sauces. The tomato reigns supreme here, so expect to find it in most traditional dishes.

What are the best food tours in Naples?

There are a number of great food tours focused on street food and popular food. You'll often go through areas around the Pignasecca Market or the Spanish Quarter, where the best street food can be found.

What are the top local food markets in Naples to visit?

Without a doubt, the best food market is the Pignasecca. This is the biggest market in town, where you'll find fresh produce to take home and prepare, as well as ready-made snacks and street food to eat.

What is the best time of year to visit Naples for food lovers?

The food in Naples is great at all times of the year, but it might be best in summer. That's when the tomatoes, eggplant, and zucchini are in season, and their delicious flavors can be enjoyed in a huge number of local dishes. Plus, lemon granita just tastes better in summer.

How much should I budget for food in Naples?

You can eat out in Naples without breaking the bank, as it's much cheaper than in Northern Italian cities. Expect to pay around €20 for a fixed-price three-course menu and about €12 if you just want a single dish.