I hope you have enjoyed reading about my adventures in Italy learning all about San Marzano tomatoes (read all about it here and here). On this trip, our homebase was Naples, Italy and from there we made day trips to the region to learn about the coveted tomatoes as well as visit the Amalfi Coast and island of Capri.
Naples doesn’t always get rave reviews, but I’m here to tell you I had a great time and really appreciated the city after spending 10 days there. Many people call it the “smaller and grittier version of Rome” and while somewhat true, I’d say that is exactly what I appreciated about it too. I found Naples beautiful, and loved that it is situated on the water with views of Mt. Vesuvius.
And, as a vegetarian, you know Italy is like heaven with endless veggie food options. I joke that if you are vegetarian and hungry while in Italy, that’s your own fault. There is no shortage of pizza, pasta, gelato and pastries and it’s available on every corner. Seeing that I was traveling with a group of chefs and foodies, you know we ate at some spectacular places. Here are a few favorites:
Pizzium– What’s actually a chain throughout Italy, I loved not only the food at Pizzium, but the decor and fun ambiance. I sincerely enjoyed all the things we ate including the bruschetta, Caprese salad, margherita pizza and my favorite was the pizza made with San Marzano tomato sauce topped with little mozzarella balls and spheres of pesto. So good and something really unique!
Mimi alla Ferrovia– An established restaurant of Naples with a loyal crowd in a beautiful restaurant setting. You can tell the old world charm brings patrons who are regulars. My two favorite dishes were the ricotta topped with a tomato jam (seriously, the lightest and best ricotta I’ve ever had in my life!) and the pasta made with squash blossoms (a specialty of Italy). I actually ate here twice on my trip!
Gaetano Adamo– This casual spot near the train station is a great option if you are looking for something quick and chill. Fresh made pizzas straight from the oven are definitely their specialty as are the calzones. They were able to make a vegetarian calzone for me and it was delicious. I was so hungry that evening, I ate almost the entire thing! That’s when you know it is good.
Diego Vitagliano Pizzeria– Not only does this restaurant offer atleast five varieties of different pizza crust, there is a pizza lab underneath where they are always innovating new recipes and options. I loved the food here and some favorites included the appetizer of pizza crust tossed with sun-dried tomatoes,arugula, pesto and fresh shaved parmesan as well as the cacio e pepe pizza topped with a pistachio pesto. Don’t skip dessert either, we devoured that chocolate cherry mini cake. A must visit!
Miranapoli– We stopped here midday during a tour of Naples and only had the chance to get a drink, so I can’t say anything about the food. BUT, Miranapoli is a must visit for the views alone. Situated overlooking the water with Mt. Vesuvius in the background, make sure to get an outdoor patio seat if the weather permits. I relished every sip of my Aperol Spritz and could not take my eyes off that spectacular view.
Chalet Ciro 1952– It was my very last night in Italy and I was tired after a full day on the island of Capri and I needed to get back to the hotel to pack before my 3:30am wakeup call to head to the airport. But, our gracious host insisted that I MUST visit the local hot spot Chalet Ciro for one last hurrah and to try some desserts. Mind you, we had just finsihed a multi-course dinner and I was not even hungry. But, of course I’m glad we went. We each got a delicious, fresh-squeezed tropical juice and then a local famous donut (not sure of the name, sorry!). That donut was hot and fresh and amazing! Ok, it was totally worth it for the lack of sleep before I came back home.
Tarralleria Napoletana– While shopping one day, we saw this adorable store serving these traditional snacks of Naples called tarralli. They are basically breadsticks served in a circular form, but almost look like little donuts. This particular shop had both savory and sweet flavors and were offering samples, so I was definitely intrigued to try a local staple. To note; I learned most tarralli are made with lard, but Tarralleria Napoletana has both vegetarian and vegan options. I loved the basil flavored one the most, but really all of the vegetarian savory options I tried were phenomenal. Highly recommend buying some tarralli from here!
I hope this is a helpful list for when you find yourself in Naples, Italy. Obviously there are so many great spots, but these were just a few of my favorites. Enjoy!
Please Note: While this post is in collaboration with Associazione Nazionale Industriali Conserve Alimentari Vegetali (Anicav), all opinions are my own.