Eating Out Neapolitan Style: the Best Pasta in Naples

Local ingredients, cooked authentically - Naples really knows how to prepare its pasta dishes
Local ingredients, cooked authentically - Naples really knows how to prepare its pasta dishes | © Gerardo Jaconelli / Courtesy of Eusebi’s
Sophie Muscat

Naples is the regional capital of Campania and famous around the world for being the birthplace of pizza. However, pizza is not the only dish the Neapolitans can make; when it comes to pasta, Naples is considered the expert, making the freshest and lightest of doughs to produce the smoothest of pastas. From the kneading of the dough to the placement of the parsley garnish on top, the Neapolitans have got it covered.

1. Trattoria Da Nennella

Restaurant, Italian

Trenette pasta with pesto sauce and potato
© StockphotoVideo / Alamy Stock Photo

This local little gem is hidden away in a quiet corner of Naples. If you are looking for the authentic Neapolitan experience and excellent pasta then you have come to right place. What the restaurant lacks in extensive menu options it more than makes up for with it’s lively atmosphere: singing chefs and dancing waiters add a little something different to this reasonably priced eatery. It’s advised to book ahead, since this trattoria is popular with locals and becomes packed quite early in the night.

2. Mimì alla Ferrovia

Restaurant, Italian

Handmade agnolotti, type of ravioli, typical Italian egg pasta from the Piedmont region
© Zoonar GmbH / Alamy Stock Photo

Mimì alla ferrovia has a strong Neapolitan culinary tradition but is keeping up with modern times, and it’s more than up to the challenge. Thanks to Chef Nino Di Costanzo, Mimì’s has created la tradizione gastronomica di Mimì alla Ferrovia (the culinary gastronomic tradition of Mimì alla Ferrovia). Stuffed peppers, parmigiana, and sartù rice are among the dishes of the Neapolitan gastronomic culture of Mimí.

3. Antica Pizzeria e Ristorante Port'Alba

Restaurant, Italian

Chef placing sausage onto a Pinsa Romana base pizza
© Monty Rakusen / Getty Images

This authentic Italian restaurant is famous in Campania for its pizza. Yes, pizza, not pasta, but their frutti di mare – literally translated as ‘fruit of the sea’ – is some of the best pasta around. A dish with its roots in Naples, frutti di mare features a seafood sauce mixed with, you guessed it, freshly made pasta. Antica is an old-style country restaurant with a modern twist, and its meals are not to be missed.

4. Ristorante Da Ettore

Restaurant, Italian

Tonnarelli pasta with carbonara sauce
© REDA &CO srl / Alamy Stock Photo

Da Ettore was established in 1914, making it one of the older restaurants in the city. It is located in the historical centre of Santa Lucia, just a stone’s throw away from the coastline and from Castel dell’Ovo and Piazza del Plebiscito. Offerings like pasta patate make this trattoria one of the leading restaurants of traditional home cooking in Naples – the old-looking pots and pans that aborn the walls are evidence of that. Da Ettore choose not to offer a menu, opting instead to read you the specials at your table – opt for a pasta dish to sample some of the best in the business.

5. Tandem

Restaurant, Italian

Fort Ticonderoga, with stone walls, cannons and two men in period dress
© Enrico Della Pietra / Alamy Stock Photo

Tandem is renowned for its excellent pasta ragú, and with good reason. Choose whether you’d like it served with spaghetti or gnocchi, both pair excellently with the dish’s rich red wine sauce. Tandem’s ragú may taste elite, but it’s available to all: vegan, vegetarian and gluten free guests are all catered for.

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