Naples boasts one of the most delicious regional cuisines of all Italy, but the city’s food culture is finally widening its horizons to embrace international alternatives as well. In our updated guide to Naples’s best restaurants, we feature a few veritable institutions in the city’s dining and cultural scene along with relatively recent, exciting additions that demonstrate Naples’s developing international outlook.
Clu Coffee and Food
Clu is among the most cutting-edge restaurants in Naples, one that could compete with similar establishments of greater international capitals. Open all day long, come here for an English breakfast (but an Italian espresso!) or a delectable meal of local fare with a Mediterranean flair. The restaurant also features a bar that has made happy hour one of the best moments of the day to pay a visit here. With an open-view kitchen, eccentric lamps, a bistro-like layout and sophisticated finishings, Clu boasts a venue like no other in Naples, rising a cut above the homey look and feel of most of the city’s restaurants. The Chiaia neighbourhood, Naples’ fashionista heart where Clu is located, now has a restaurant to match.
Clu Coffee and Food, Via Carlo Poerio 47, Naples, Italy, +39 081 764 1576
Street food in Naples is heavy with deep-fried bites, and therefore not exactly healthy, but the city’s distinctive pastries are oh-so tremendously tasty that it is an arduous challenge to hold off and walk away. As if resisting weren’t hard enough, there are minuscule friggitorie (eateries specialising in fried food) tempting you at every turn with their packed displays of delicious croquettes, panzarotti, arancini, calzoni and frites. The Vomero neighbourhood, known for being the most refined and trendy area in Naples, is home to what is widely regarded to the best friggitoria in town, which responds to the simple name of Friggitoria Vomero.
Friggitoria Vomero, Via Domenico Cimarosa 44, Naples, Italy, +39 081 578 3130
First established in 1860 right at the entrance of bustling street Via Chiaia, Gran Caffè Gambrinus maintains the imperial aura that many European cafés built in those years have in common. Boasting an opulent venue decorated in Liberty-style, Gambrinus, as it is simply referred to by locals, has seen prominent personalities of Italy’s culture, like poets Gabriele D’Annunzio and Benedetto Croce, take a seat here and debate the historical facts that were shaping the future of the Belpaese. Gambrinus offers excellent coffee as well as a range of other drinks, cakes and pastries. For other tried and tested cafés in Naples with superb coffee, watch out for the branches of the Caffè del Professore chain.
Japanese restaurant Jorudan Sushi welcomes guests in a quite small but charming dining room enveloped in a warm, intimate atmosphere. Naples certainly doesn’t lack fresh, quality fish, and Jorudan Sushi’s Japanese chef transforms the produce in excellent sushi, some of the best in town. In addition to the restaurant, Jorudan Sushi also has a branch in the scenic area of Posillipo, which only offers takeaway and home delivery services. Here, you are invited to craft your order from scratch, making your choice of sushi from the extensive menu, which is then handed or delivered to you in the restaurant’s signature black sushi box.
Jorudan Sushi, Salita Tasso 288, Naples, Italy, +39 081 640 564
Jorudan Sushi, Via Posillipo, 322, Naples, Italy, +39 081 0480 536
Nowadays, pizza can be found nearly in every corner of the world, but the original, authentic pizza was born here in Naples, and this is still the city to come to for the best pizza in the entire world. Famed pizzeria Sorbillo offers some of the tastiest pizzas in town, traditionally baked in wood-fired ovens, larger than the plate it is served on and so thin that it melts irresistibly into your mouth. The variety of pizzas on offer is such that it will satisfy any palate, however every option features only ingredients typical of Italy’s gastronomy. There are many pizzerias in Naples vying for best pizza in town (like Di Matteo and Da Michele), but Sorbillo gets extra points for its location in the thick of the stunning historic centre. Factor in long queues and waiting time!
Sorbillo, Via dei Tribunali 32, Naples, Italy, +39 081 44 66 43
The City Pub
The latest descendant of a family of butchers, a few years ago Mario Tortora decided to make the most out of the family’s business core – the premium raw meats – adding a panini joint with a takeaway only service on the side of the butchery shop. It’s been a huge success ever since. At The City Pub, the succulent meats are grilled and served between fresh buns for a sumptuous panino. Patrons can choose between burger, sausage, chicken, lamb or chianina meats, accompanied by a variety of ingredients such as salad, tomatoes, mayo, mushrooms and provola cheese. This popular eatery also sells delicious snack bites like French fries, chicken wings, and several types of heavenly meatballs.
The City Pub, Viale Michelangelo 42, Naples, Italy, +39 081 556 0866
By Graziano Scaldaferri
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