In Naples there’s a certain saying: A Napoli, si mangia bene, which simply means: in Naples, you eat well. While Naples is world famous for its pizza (after all, it’s the birthplace), the culinary culture of the city offers much, much more. You can find restaurants in Naples that are great for every budget that won’t disappoint your stomach or wallet.
This guide takes you from fine dining to budget eats in the city, so you can experience the most mouthwatering restaurants the Mediterranean city has to offer.
Bistros and fine dining in Naples
George Restaurant is a Michelin starred restaurant located in a five-star hotel dating back to 1870. It has a terrace with a breathtaking view that overlooks the sea and Vesuvius. Neapolitan chef Domenico Candela merges quality ingredients from the region with creativity learned abroad. His seasonings and sauces are particularly tantalizing: fermented raspberry jus, black truffle scented mascarpone cream, lime flavored rum sauce.
Crudorè (Via Carlo Poerio, 45/46) offers an intimate and sophisticated dining experience in the neighborhood of Chiaia. If you are a fan of raw fish, the restaurant has some of the best options in the city—from oysters to shrimp to fish carpaccio. Their wine list leans heavily on sparkling wine, both from the local Campania wine region but also with lots of northern Italian options.
Wapo Natural Food
Wapo Natural Food (Via Piazza Ferdinando Fuga, 9) welcomes diners in a minimalist space decorated with 13 different types of natural wood to emphasize the values of the restaurant. The chefs use local ingredients to serve elevated Mediterranean cuisine, like a sumptuous plate of pumpkin gnocchi with porcini mushrooms and chestnut oil. It’s an optimal choice for people with gluten restrictions because all the food is gluten free.
Opera Restaurant is like an upscale and refined trattoria. The design-oriented space gives a refined impression, and the talented chefs bring Neapolitan classics to the next level. For example, they add friarielli (broccoli rabe) and coconut to one of the most classic dishes in the city—spaghetti with clams. The creative twists on the classics will delight your palate.
Best trattorias honoring authentic traditions
A Taverna d’ ‘e Zoccole
The hand-written menu of small restaurant A Taverna d’ ‘e Zoccole (Vico Lungo del Gelso, 96) changes often, but always features in-season produce, seafood, and sometimes meat. Their antipasti (starters) are always especially creative and delectable. For an entree, get the catch of the day all’acqua pazza, a method of preparing tender fish in a saute pan with olive oil, fresh tomatoes, parsley, and garlic.
Le Zendraglie (Via Pignasecca, 14) is an open-air restaurant on the streets of one of the oldest markets in the city. It’s a great place to really take in the bustling and sometimes chaotic atmosphere of historical Naples.
It’s originally a tripperia, a place that serves trippa, or tripe (internal organs of meat). Le Zendraglie serves trippa fresh with lemon, with tomato sauce, or in a salad. Many consider it a delicacy, but if it’s not your thing, no worries. Choose from nice big plates of spaghetti, fried food, grilled calamari…the list goes on.
Osteria da Carmela
Osteria da Carmela was founded in 1967 and still stands as an unassuming but delicious trattoria near the Archeological Museum (Piazza Museo, 19). You’ll get a full rundown of all of the most traditional Neapolitan classics—eggplant parmesan, fried everything, a catch of the day fish option. Go here for an authentic home-style dining experience.
RestaQmme Club & Restaurant
RestaQmme Club & Restaurant (Via Lucilio, 11) defies categorization. Just like a trattoria, this spot serves up nice big plates of pasta, risotto, and entrees, but it has a more upscale feel. It’s not quite a trattoria, but it’s not fine dining either. The menu includes Neapolitan classics like pasta alla genovese (a slow-cooked beef and onion sauce) and less classic but delicious takes on regional products, like veal cheek braised in local Taurasi wine.
Antica Trattoria Da Carmine
Antica Trattoria Da Carmine (Via dei Tribunali, 330) is centrally located on one of the main streets of the historical center, but have no fear—it’s not just a tourist trap! They are a classic trattoria with honest prices and generous portions. It’s a fantastic lunch option while you’re walking around Naples sightseeing the historical center.
Best Naples budget restaurants for perfect plates of pasta (& more)
PastéNa (Vico S. Giuseppe Cristofaro, 4) is a hole in the wall just at the border of the historical center and the port area. They call themselves spacciatori di carboidrati, aka carbohydrate dealers. They serve up dishes of freshly made Neapolitan pasta. There are only a few seats in this spot, but it’s next to a lovely piazza if you opt for takeout and a piazza picnic.
Their specialty is fresh spaghetti served with the sauce of your choice. They also do homemade meatballs as a second course, or creative “Neapolitan dumplings” filled with traditional condiments. As an appetizer try one of their freshly fried frittata di pasta, a fried ball of pasta that’s crunchy on the outside and creamy on the inside.
Cala la Pasta
This Naples restaurant is great for every budget and is another tiny carbohydrate-specialized spot in the neighborhood of Forcella. Cala la Pasta has an awesome vegetarian pasta, as well as meat or seafood pasta. Additionally they offer a limited menu of bruschetta, second courses, and vegetable sides for those that don’t go crazy for carbs. They serve nice big portions and the prices are low. This is a place where, as they say in Italian: si mangia bene, si spende poco (you eat well for cheap).
Cuccuma Caffè is well-known for its strong, smooth espresso brewed with a traditional Neapolitan coffee pot called a cuccuma. It’s worth a visit just for the coffee experience even if you don’t get food. The coffee house, though, is also an amazing spot for lunch. Each table chooses their preferred pasta sauce and the number of grams of spaghetti each person wants to eat. The waiter then brings out a massive plate of steaming spaghetti to divide among the group.
No matter what your budget, you can find something absolutely mouth-watering to eat in Naples.
Want to discover Italy’s unofficial culinary capital? Join us as we eat and drink our way through Neapolitan classics on our Ultimate Naples Food Tour. Get ready for a culinary experience you won’t forget!
Chelsea has lived in Naples for five years and is deeply embedded in the community, volunteering frequently with local groups to improve the city they call home. Chelsea speaks some Neapolitan as well as fluent Italian. (Yes, Naples has its own language!) They have a deep appreciation for the simple pleasures of the city – a strong espresso in the morning, chaotic open air markets, the smell of the seaside, and, of course, a fantastic pizza.