Naples restaurants

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La Terrazza

Price guide: Expensive
expert-rated restaurants in Naples
Expert overall rating:4.5 (out of 5)

Enjoy Vesuvius views and high-end dining at Naples' Excelsior.

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La Bersagliera

Price guide: Expensive
expert-rated restaurants in Naples
Expert overall rating:4.2 (out of 5)

Expect seafood, sail boats and sepia photos here at Naples' harbour.

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Eating and drinking in Naples is one the greatest pleasures that the city has to offer. The freshness and quality of the ingredients ensures that even the simplest meal, such as a plate of pasta with a tomato sauce, can be unforgettable. The combination of the good climate and fertile soil means that conditions are perfect for growing olives, tomatoes and lemons.. and, of course, grapes. Add the treasures of the sea and you've got the makings of a perfect meal. That's not to say you'll always get one; along with fabulous trattorie and high-dining establishments there are plenty of tourist traps selling poor quality food at inflated prices.

A few tips, some obvious, others not so:

  • Lunch is usually between 1.30-3.30pm and dinner is usually 7.30-11pm (though Italians tend to eat later so some restaurants may seem ghostly quiet if you arrive at 7.30pm but become much buzzier by around 9pm).
  • You don't have to order a whole bottle of wine with your meal. If you just want a glass of (usually perfectly palatable) house wine ask for 'un bicchiere di rosso/bianco' (a glass of red/white) or 'un quarto' (a quarter-litre carafe).
  • If you stop for a coffee, take it standing at the bar unless you want to pay a premium to sit at a table. The mark-up for a sit-down cappuccino at one of Naples' grand cafes can be as much as double.
  • Another obvious one this, but watch where the Italians go: if the place you're looking at is full of tourists clutching plastic-covered menus showing dozens of pictures of meals that the kitchen can serve, you mustn't be surprised if the food isn't fabulous. If, on the other hand, you're handed a hand-written menu (menu del giorno) with a few dishes that will be prepared from scratch, your chances of having a good meal are much improved.
  • Fast-food does exist, of course, and if you're in a hurry you could always nip into a rosticerria (recognisable by the dozens of chickens roasting on a spit by the window) where you can get a pre-prepared chicken dish. Pizza stalls sell by the piece (taglio) and the frigattorie will sell you deep-fried snacks incredibly cheaply too.
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Over the years I've eaten at a lot of restaurants (far more 'good' than 'not so good') and remain convinced that, thanks to the wonderful ingredients, you can have the best meals of your life in Naples and along the Amalfi Coast.

I've tried to include a mix of places that are cheap and convenient, along with real destination places. And new places are opening all the time; along with old-school chefs cooking traditional fare are the new bloods who are experimenting with their ingredients to create something entirely new; some very successfully.

I'll be trying out new places all the time and would welcome any suggestions (and, of course, any feedback on those I've listed is always welcome). My recommendations are not set in stone; if standards drop, so will my review.

Buon appetito.