Our top tip when visiting Naples? Arrive hungry. In a nation of epicurean excellence, this coastal city holds its own as a favourite destination among foodies. More than just the home of pizza (although don’t leave without tasting a true Neapolitan slice), the best restaurants in Naples offer everything we love about Italian cuisine. The freshest produce, home-cooked fare and recipes handed down through the generations combine to create an exceptional culinary experience. Read on for eight recommendations for your next reservation…pizza included.
- Pizzeria Gino Sorbillo
- Pescheria Mattiucci
- Cibi Cotti "Nonna Anna"
- Muu Muuzzarella
- Mimì alla Ferrovia
- Friggitoria Vomero
- 50 Kalò
When it comes to reasons to visit Naples, pizza will always be high on our list. The city is the birthplace of those doughy circles of deliciousness, so where better to savour a slice or two? Neapolitan pizza is on the UNESCO list of intangible cultural heritage and should be made with a specific type of tomato and the finest buffalo mozzarella. And authentic Neapolitan pizza is only cooked for a brief 60 to 90 seconds – that’s a minute and a half to achieve pizza perfection. If, like us, your hunger has you heading straight from plane to pizzeria, we recommend Pizzeria Gino Sorbillo for a delicious (and Michelin-starred) introduction to the city’s staple dish. Diners are in capable hands with Gino, who hails from one of the oldest pizza families in Naples. His grandparents founded the city’s first pizzeria in 1935, going on to raise 21 children who all became pizza chefs. So, you know that Gino’s huge, wood-fired creations are the real deal. His pizzeria in the historic centre of the city has cult status, and rightly so. Get in early to secure your spot and join the debate over whether this really is the best pizza in Naples.
As a proud port city, it’s no surprise that some of the best restaurants in Naples specialise in seafood. Fishmonger by day, restaurant by night, Pescheria Mattiucci serves up a very particular speciality. Pesce crudo (raw fish) is the mainstay of the menu. But if you’re thinking sushi, think again. Chef Gianni Mattiucci pairs freshly-caught fish with local produce; swordfish, salmon, tuna and prawns plated alongside avocado, pineapple, fennel and more. The simplicity of the dishes and freshness of the fish ensures every bite is a delight. Eating pesce crudo is a Campanian tradition and this restaurant is the best place to sample the regional fare in Naples. Head to the fashionable waterfront district of Chiaia and grab a seat in the white-tiled, fishing-net-bedecked shop for an extra-special, extra-fresh fish supper.
Forget sad sandwiches. Lunch in Naples is just as tasty as dinner. A tiny spot hidden among the fruit and veg at Mercato della Torretta, the legendary Cibi Cotti "Nonna Anna" is a local lunchtime favourite. Office workers, stallholders and tradespeople alike queue for Neapolitan staples like ceci e scarole (chickpeas and greens) and tracchia al ragù (pork ribs in a rich ragu). The fare is simple and home-cooked, the prices are a steal and the tables are perpetually packed between 1pm and 2pm. Plan for a later lunch if you want to snag a seat.
With more than 60 Michelin-starred eateries to choose from, a trip to Naples is a treat for discerning diners. The spectacular views of the Gulf of Naples from the rooftop terrace helped secure George a spot on our list of best restaurants in Naples. But the fabulous food alone offers more than enough incentive to book a table. The menu here is modern Neapolitan meets French finesse (think mouth-watering sauces and ingredients sourced from France). Try chef Domenico Candela’s nine-course tasting menu for a real holiday highlight.
From pizza topping to caprese salad, mozzarella is one of the iconic ingredients that makes Italian cuisine so special. And in Naples, there’s a restaurant dedicated to those soft spheres of cheesy goodness. With seats for just 12 diners, Muu Muuzzarella is a cosy spot that pays homage to the magic of mozzarella. Starters, mains and desserts all feature this iconic cheese – including a mozzarella cheesecake that you should absolutely save room for.
Old-world charm is very much the vibe at Mimì alla Ferrovia. This restaurant near the main railway station opened its doors in 1944 and the décor (and menu) haven’t changed a lot since. Beneath a frescoed ceiling, diners sit at crisp white tablecloths to feast on traditional Neapolitan dishes, like the divine spaghetti con vongole veraci (spaghetti with baby clams). Elegant yet unpretentious, it’s a much-loved spot frequented by a who’s who of Italian society and widely regarded as one of the best restaurants in Naples. We have to agree.
Street food? Step right this way. Friggitoria Vomero has been tempting foodies with its takeaway fare since 1938. The theme here is deep fried: spaghetti, pizza, aubergine, arancini (rice balls) and more, all cooked in a sizzling vat of oil. Get the cuoppo misto (mixed cone) to sample the highlights of the menu, savouring vintage views of the city from this lofty spot in the hilly neighbourhood of Vomero.
It only seems right that our round-up of the best restaurants in Naples should conclude with another pizza joint. Close to the seafront in upmarket Mergellina, 50 Kalò boasts a menu of 25 wood-fired pizzas, including several vegetarian options. Ingredients are sourced locally from independent producers, with each pizza paired with an individual olive oil to perfectly complement the tasty toppings. There are no reservations here, so visit early or on a weeknight to avoid missing out.