Bring your appetite A-game. In Naples, food is a dish best served with at least one pastry, gelato or tiramisu. We’d say forget the wine pairing, but they are rather keen on that too. Calories go unchecked, waistbands seem to ever tighten and bellies are rarely anything but comfortingly full. Neapolitan classics are easy to find, but there’s a burgeoning trend for somewhat healthier eats among the carb-filled creations. Of course, there’s no need to ease up on indulgent meals, but the organic salad bowls and smoothies are never too far away if you need them. And, if you’re looking for the best pizza in Naples, we’ve covered that too.
Gran Caffe Gambrinus
A Grand Dame that stands out in the slew of Naples cafes, Gran Caffe Gambrinus is must at any time of day. At breakfast, it’s a rare chance to treat yourself to an elite and upscale experience mornings rarely bring – alongside a decent measure of Naples history. Sip on Neapolitan espresso coffee in the elegant halls of the cafe, and you’ll see why every Italian President that’s ever visited Naples comes here for a coffee. A bold claim, but one that’s even easier to verify once you’ve tasted the pastries. It’s hard to pick a shining star on this menu. The coffees are unlike any you’ll see elsewhere. The dark and brooding, gourmet, pistachio coffee sits piled hit with pistachio cream, elevating it far above even the hallowed work of the Starbucks secret menu. Order a coffee, we dare you to resist their Kinder creation, and pair it with a Neapolitan pastry.
The only problem with this cafe? It’s open from 7am until 1am every day. Good luck wrestling with that will power. You’ll need it.
Orbzii tip: For foodies – and art lovers – this Gambrinus is equal parts museum and cafe. Don’t miss the art, tapesties and marble they’ve lined the walls with.
Caldarelli Dolce E Salato
If the imposing, and somewhat fancy, frills on offer at Gambrinus are a little much at breakfast, consider stepping through the sweet-scented doors of Caldarelli Dolce E Salato instead. An unrelenting supply of croissants – in every flavour and colour imaginable, awaits you. Apricot, black cherry, pistachio, chocolate, red velvet and almond are among your many options. Though, perhaps the ultimate prize for some, the vegan croissant takes this sweet and salty bakery to the next level. Catering for everyone is always going to make you the popular choice. Muffins, conchiglia, tarts, biscuits and ischia pasties round out the sweet breakfast options nicely. The people of Naples have a sweet tooth – and it shows.
Cavoli Nostri - veggie and vegan
If the indulgences at breakfast leave you needing something to balance out your blood sugar levels, pop in to Cavoli Nostri for a bite to eat. Just set back from the sea front, this green and pleasant lunch spot ticks all the health and wellness labels. A fully vegetarian and vegan menu, (made using entirely organic and seasonal produce) is nicely paired with bio wines – and, naturally for Naples, a few sweet treats on the dessert menu. Wholesome soups, nutritional salad bowls and hearty pasta dishes sit alongside lighter options – such as veggie tapas and smoothies. What you’ll no doubt like most about this restaurant is the ‘something for everyone’ vibe. No matter the hunger levels, dietary requirements or plant-curious status of your travel troupe, the menu delivers. Their vegan tiramisu, however, is a must for everyone.
Umberto - gluten free
For over 100 years, Umberto has been steadily putting Naples food classics on the tables in their simple but lovely trattoria. Colourful plates are piled high with pizzas, pastas and seafood – and all are cooked to perfection. Yes, you could come here for dinner, and you may well pop back, but the bright and breezy decor lends itself more to a midday meal. Whenever you dine, you can pick a local wine from their substantial list, share a pizza or choose from their thoughtful list of gluten-free options. But you’re mostly here for a slice of the real Naples – cooked by people with roots in the city that date back decades. You’ll not find a better spot than this.
So far, our Naples restaurant rundown has been a little light on pizza coverage. And, well, that’s because we’ve been saving the mouth-watering creations you’ll find at 50 Kalò for this very moment. As well as probably serving the best pizza in Naples, the restaurant has been singled out as serving the best pizza in Italy. Piling up awards for your dough is one thing, constantly cranking out creamy mozzarella topped delights is another. But, happily, the accolades have only pushed chef Ciro Salvo to strive for world domination. They’ve added a London location, but something tells us, no matter how identical those recipes are, you won’t be able to beat tucking into a 50 Kalò Margherita con Bufala anywhere else other than Naples.
Orbzii tip: Plant-based and lactose intolerant diners don’t have to miss out on the city’s best pizza. With two vegan pizzas on the menu, everyone can grab a piece of pie.
Il Comandante Restaurant
If Naples is renowned for leaning a little towards the rustic end of the scale, this Michelin-starred restaurant breaks the mold. Sleek, swish and sat atop one of the city’s fabulous five-star hotels, there are few better spots than the Il Comandante Restaurant for a celebratory or special meal. Execute chef, Salvatore Blanco, has compiled a creative menu, showcasing the very best Mediterranean flavours. To really experience this restaurant, plump for the tasting menus. 3, 6 or 8 course options come with suitably aligned prices. And, though €95 for three courses is far more than you might pay elsewhere, the details, flavours and decor are worth it. If that’s a little too steep, the a la carte menu offers a chance to pop in for a course or two at a lower price point.
Special mention: Gay Odin
We challenge anyone to stroll past the vintage-styled and wonderfully chocolatey doors of Gay Odin without popping in. Once inside, you’ll find your every ganache-based wish has come true. Chocolates, pralines, cakes and ice creams – try them all, if you can. Their take on a Cadbury’s flake will leave you wanting to buy shares in the shop. And, best of all, their ‘Foreste’ aka Flakes, come in a deliciously dark version that’s been left off the Cadbury’s recipe list for too long.