Food Lover's Guide to Naples
Close your eyes and picture Italian food. What probably comes to mind are classic dishes from Naples: steaming pizza baked in a wood-burning oven; towering heaps of pasta tossed with bold sauces; and ricotta-rich pastries. These pillars of Naples’ informal fare are not to be missed, so here’s how to sample the city’s most beloved foods.
Neapolitans are unapologetic about their carb consumption, and the city is not a destination for those worried about their waistline. The most iconic dish from Naples is, of course, pizza. Whether eaten folded into quarters as a street food ( pizza al portafoglio ) or with a fork and knife from a plate while seated elbow-to-elbow with fellow diners at one of the pocket-sized local pizzerias ( pizza al piatto ), true UNESCO-listed Neapolitan pizza is pizza margherita, with tomato sauce, fresh buffalo mozzarella, and basil.
Pasta is also a favorite in Naples and can be found tossed with clams and mussels ( spaghetti alle vongole ), baked with tomato sauce and ground meat and sliced like a pie ( timballo ), or served with a last-minute sauce of tomatoes, garlic, hot pepper, capers, and olives as pasta alla puttanesca.
- Experience Naples’ historic coffee culture at one of the many historic coffeehouses, with a bracing espresso and crisp sfogliatella pastry, filled with sweetened ricotta and candied orange peel.
- Sample the wares at the city’s most storied pizzerias, where pies are turned out by the hundreds and served in tiny dining rooms or to go as street food.
- Learn how to reproduce Naples’ most beloved dishes by joining a pizza or pasta cooking class with a local chef.
- Sample wines from the region at a winery on the slopes of Mt. Vesuvius overlooking the Bay of Naples.