Don’t-Miss Dishes in Naples
There may be no city in Italy more proud of its cuisine than Naples. Birthplace of pizza, hallowed ground of pasta, and paradise of rich ricotta-filled pastries, this city is not easy on the waistline. Here’s how to sample everything from humble, satisfying street food to elegant rum-soaked cake and bracing espresso in Naples.
Authentic Neapolitan pizza margherita (made with heirloom tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella, and basil) is so revered that it has gained World Heritage recognition by UNESCO. No visit to the pizza capital of the world is complete without stopping at a pizza al portafoglio stand for the street food version (folded into quarters for easy transport) or sitting elbow to elbow with other patrons at a traditional pizzeria for a pizza al piatto (served whole on a plate).
Neapolitans don’t shy away from carbs, and neither should you when visiting this proudly pasta-loving city. Dig into spaghetti tossed with clams and mussels ( spaghetti alle vongole ), a baked pasta with a meaty tomato sauce sliced like a pie ( timballo ), or a sauteed noodles flavored with tomatoes, garlic, hot pepper, capers, and olives ( pasta alla puttanesca ).
Satisfy your sweet tooth with a traditional Neapolitan pastry any time of day...you’ll find yourself in good company, as the city’s pasticcerie (pastry shops) bustle with customers from morning until night. Local favorites include rum-soaked babà al rhum ; cake-like pastiera alla Napolitana filled with sweet ricotta, candied fruit, and wheat berries; crisp sfogliatelle stuffed with sweet ricotta and candied orange peel; and custard-filled zeppole donuts.
Neapolitans love a passeggiata, a leisurely stroll through the lively city center, and when they are feeling a bit peckish, there a plenty of street food options to keep them going. In addition to the classic pizza al portafoglio, be sure to sample other local favorites like cuoppo (paper cones of fried fish and seafood), pizza fritta (small rounds of fried dough, stuffed with tomato sauce and mozzarella or ricotta), montanara (an open-faced version of pizza fritta), and zeppulelle (fritters flavored with fish, zucchini flowers, or other seasonal ingredients).
Espresso is elevated to artform in Naples, where tiny corner coffee bars and elegant historic cafés all turn out bold coffee in thimble-sized cups. Order yours with cremina (sugar whipped with coffee to form a foam) for a true Neapolitan cup.
Lacryma Christi Wine
The fertile volcanic soil that blankets the slopes of Mount Vesuvius produces one of the most beloved wines in the region of Campania. Taste both the red and while varieties of Lacryma Christi at the source on a tour of the small wineries that sit at the foot of the mountain.