In Naples you eat very well. An average quality pizza in Naples is surely better than the overwhelming majority of pizzas I've ever tasted in Portugal. And then there are the Italian pasta, fresh and al dente, better than any spaghetti I usually cook at home. And look, I'm a mass fanatic!
There are hundreds of small restaurants in Naples. Family-friendly spaces with wood-fired pizza ovens with simple and tasty Neapolitan cuisine. It is impossible to know all the restaurants and trattorias but of all the ones I've tried, I recommend three places I loved. These are my suggestions for eating in Naples well and cheaply.
Before that, however, let me briefly explain the different steps of a typical Italian meal.
Steps of an Italian Meal
1. Starters (appetizer or appetizers)
The first step of an Italian meal is called antipasti. This is usually a set of appetizers including, for example, sliced cold smoked croquettes, pieces of cheese and olives.
2. First plate (first dish)
It follows the first course, usually rich in carbohydrates. This is where the Italian pasta or risotto comes in, but not the meat. Note that the first course It can also be a soup.
3. Second dish (second plate)
As to second dish, is usually composed of a meat protein - white or red - or fish. It is served without the traditional Portuguese “conduit” of rice or potatoes; but you can also follow up with a boundary.
3a. Boundary (side dish)
The accompaniment served with the second dish is called boundary. It can be a multitude of ingredients but the most common are salads or some cooked vegetables; or fries.
4. Dessert (dessert)
You don't need much explanation, but you should know that Italians love a good sweet. But there is always the fruit, of course! Then just have a good espresso to finish the meal. If they don't serve you a digestive…
Restaurants where I liked to eat in Naples
#1 Trattoria by Nennella
Mamma Mia! There is no way to avoid the recommendation. Lunch or dinner at Trattoria da Nennella is more than a meal; It is an experience. It's not only good and cheap, it's fun too. In fact, you can't explain it; You really have to eat there! But I will try.
Nennella's Trattoria restaurant is in the charismatic Spanish Quarter, near the busy Via Toledo. It does not accept reservations and has a very convenient fixed price menu of 15 € and 12 € (with and without starter), which includes first and second course, accompaniment, a bottle of sparkling water and even fruit for dessert.
Do not expect tranquility or luxury. The restaurant is very busy (sometimes with long queues) and the employees literally party. They sing, dance and are incredibly theatrical - and the curious thing is that they really enjoy themselves (it didn't seem like a scam just for tourists to see). Added to the unquestionable quality of the cuisine, Trattoria da Nennella is an institution within spagnoli quarter.
It is therefore a must-visit restaurant on your trip to Naples! In fact, if you only have time for a meal in the city, you already know where to eat in Naples.
#2 Tandem Ragù
Eating ragout is another of fundamental things to do in naples. Whether at Tandem Ragù or another local restaurant. For my part, that's where I tasted; without even knowing if it is there, in the heart of the historic center, that one eats the best ragout in Naples.
In fact, I suspect the best ragout will be eaten somewhere in the house of a Neapolitan old enough to be my mother; but unable to try it, let's stay for the dinner I had at the Tandem Ragù restaurant. It is reportedly the first restaurant in Naples dedicated solely to serving ragout. And it was worth it.
What is ragu anyway? In practice, it is a sauce based on cooked meat and tomatoes, traditionally used in Italian cuisine as an accompaniment to pasta. Unlike bolognese, the meat is not served minced, but in small pieces.
For me, and even happier comparison, it was like eating a good veal stew with Italian pasta. I liked. And I highly recommend it.
Tandem Ragù is closed on Wednesday. It is advisable to book a table.
#3 Terra Mia
One night I was looking for where to eat near my accommodation in the historic center of Naples. I wanted something simple and quiet, with little tourist movement. That's when I discovered Terra Mia in an alley without people located very close to the Duomo's tourist confusion.
It is a family restaurant where diners - all Italians - treated the employees by name. Good sign, I thought. I saw the menu and decided to stay at a table on the terrace. And so I ate an absolutely delicious pasta at one of the best and cheapest meals I've had in Naples. No luxuries or tourists. Like a family dinner.
I have no idea if Terra Mia comes in the guides or the tops from the restaurants in Naples, but I can say that I loved it. I highly recommend it.
Note that this is not a list of the best restaurants in Naples; just a selection from those where among all that I have experienced during my stay, I have eaten and recommend the best.
From Portugal, TAP has direct flights from Lisbon to Naples - that's what I used on this trip. Ryanair, one of the low cost airlines with most routes in Portugalflies from Porto to Naples; It can be an interesting alternative for those who live in northern Portugal.
To get from the airport to the center of Naples, the best way is to use the shuttle bus from Alibus, which drop you off at Garibaldi Square (next to the central train station) - from where you have metro and buses if needed. The space shuttle about 100 meters ahead of the airport terminal exit; The trip costs 5 € and tickets can be purchased from the driver (or at vending machines outside the terminal).
Where to stay
For more detailed information on the different regions of the city, see the post specific where to stay in naples, in which I explain the advantages and disadvantages of each location.
Finally, if you prefer the heart of the city, around the Via Toledo / Plebiscito Squarechoose guesthouse ToledoStation B&B (with a lot of color and style); or the elegant That's Napoli, Rest to Napoli e Montecalvario 41, among others.
For other accommodation options, for all tastes and prices, please see link below.
A World Nomads offers one of the best and most complete travel insurance recommended by National Geographic and Lonely Planet. Other excellent and cheaper option is IATI Seguros, which has no age limit and allows multivariate insurance (including long-term travel) to any destination in the world. It's the insurance I use in my travels.