Naples is reputedly the home of the pizza, and it is believed that Italy’s biggest culinary export was conceived and popularized here. But there is far more to Naples than pizzerias, and though you might find them ubiquitously dotted about the city there are some fine international restaurants and many trattoria serving sumptuous southern Italian food. In fact, the food is one of the highlights of visiting Italy, loved by all with its liberal use of pasta and rich sauces. Seafood is another popular item on the menu here.
Fresh ingredients are the key selling points of the food here, and most traditional restaurants stake their reputation on it. Olive oil, fresh tomatoes and rich, creamy Italian cheeses are the basis of pizzas and pasta sauces in Italy, but Southern food is generally spicier. While pizza is the signature dish that put Naples on the culinary map, you’ll find quite a few differences and specialties which aren’t on the menus in pizza parlors the world over, with thinner bases, unusual combinations and abundant calzone.
Then there are the seafood favorites such as spaghetti ale dongle (a clam dish), and imprecate di cozen (a mussel based dish). Local oyster varieties known as cannolicchi and taratufi are also particularly sought after. Wine is always on the menu and two local recommendations are Lacryma Christi del Vesuvio that can be white, red or rosé and Aglianico del Taburno. Desserts are also important in Napoli, and the rum flavored cake known as baba should be sampled.
There are literally thousands of restaurants in Naples, ranging from glamorous venues for the rich and famous with views to die for, to tiny local bistros catering to locals. Neopolitans like to enjoy food, preferably over a long lunch with a bottle of local Chianti, and you’ll be spoilt for choice when wandering around sightseeing.