Naples Street food, what to try absolutely

Naples street food is one of the most famous in Italy, but what do you really need to taste at all costs when you visit this city? Are you hungry enough to go on a little food tour with me? I guess so! So get ready to loosen the belt of your pants and follow me. I’ll reveal my favourite foods that I just can’t seem to pass up every time I come back to my beloved Naples!

All over the world, Naples is well known for 3 things: good food, the sea and the wonderful weather! So let’s start right now with my favourite salty foods and then move on to the sweet ones.

“Pizza a Portafoglio”(wallet pizza)

The Pizza a Portafoglio is really designed to be easily eaten while walking through the streets of Naples. It is a lighter and smaller version of the normal Neapolitan Margherita Pizza, with less Tomato Sauce and Mozzarella Cheese served well wrapped and folded up. There is less Sauce to avoid that it drips everywhere, therefore it is also lighter and more convenient in terms of price. The cost is around 1.50/2 euros. Obviously, there are many versions but the classic one is the Margherita with Tomato, Mozzarella and fresh Basil. You really can’t visit Naples without eating the Neapolitan Pizza and why not also have a snack or quick lunch with its wallet version! Excellent!

Pall’e Riso (Neapolitan Arancino) and the Frittatina di Pasta

Let’s move on to frying! Yes, I have to tell you that Neapolitan cuisine and street food in Naples prefer frying in seed oil as a method of cooking. I told you to loosen your belt XD!

The Pall’ e Riso (Rice Ball) is very similar to the Sicilian Arancino (or Arancina) but should not be confused with it. In fact, it differs from its Sicilian brother both in shape and in size. Compared to Sicilian Arancino, it is rounder, smaller in size, filled with rice with Neapolitan Ragú (Ragout), Meat and Mozzarella.

The Frittatina di Pasta is a disc of Bucatini Pasta seasoned with Bechamel sauce, Green Peas, Prosciutto and Provola cheese. Everything is then covered with batter and fried. You can also find variations that contain meat sauce if you don’t like a white sauce.

Montanara Pizza

pizza montanara street food Naples

And how come we call it Montanara? I’ll explain it to you right now. Its name would come from the peasants who came from the mountains. The “montanari” used to eat during their lunch break, sandwiches stuffed with Tomato, Basil and Cheese. Just these are the essential ingredients for this so-called Fried Pizza. Over the years the cheese has been replaced by Mozzarella, but the classic version includes just a grating of Parmesan Cheese.


Neapolitan fried pizze great Naples street food

The Calzone is a variation of the classic Neapolitan Pizza and takes all the ingredients. It can be either baked or fried, of course, I chose for you the most caloric variant! XD.

The classic Calzone is made with Pizza dough, stuffed with Mozzarella, Tomato sauce, Evo oil and Basil. Another famous Neapolitan variation is to stuff the calzone with Salami, Ricotta, Mozzarella, Cicoli (pressed cakes of fatty pork), and Pecorino Cheese. But don’t worry, you can choose your own filling with your favourite ingredients!

Neapolitan Cuoppo

Neapolitan cuoppo of fresh fried fish for Naples street food

I couldn’t help but mention Cuoppo as one of the best street foods in Naples, perfect for eating on the go. The term Cuoppo refers to the traditional paper or cup that is commonly used by local street vendors to hold your delicious fried foods. The paper is rolled into a cone shape or a pre-formed cone is used. Inside this, you will find good Fresh fried Fish, especially Anchovies, Squids and Shrimps. You can also choose the non-fish version which consists of Panzarotti (Neapolitan potato croquette), Zeppoline (deep-fried dough ball), Frittatina di Pasta and Pall’e Riso.

Neapolitan Potato Panzarotti (or Crocchè)

Neapolitan potato croquettes for Naples street food

The Neapolitan Potato Panzarotto (or Crocchè) is a must of Neapolitan street food. It is often found paired with Zeppole, served either as an appetizer in Neapolitan pizzerias or as street food Cuoppi.

It consists of a simple potato croquette with a soft and stringy heart of Provola or Mozzarella Cheese, a pinch of Black Pepper and the inevitable fresh Parsley. Yes, if you’re wondering, this is also fried and crispy!

Taralli sugna e pepe (Taralli with lard and black pepper)

taralli Neapolitan with black pepper and salted almonds for street food Naples

The Taralli are the most loved snack of all Neapolitans. Eaten while looking at the sea on Via Chiaia and accompanied by a cold beer is delicious and traditional! Especially if you buy them freshly baked still warm, try it to believe! But how are they born? It seems that the bakers at the turn of the 700 and 800, in order not to throw away the leftover bread, created this variant for the poor, satiating and very cheap. They added Lard, Black Pepper and salted Almonds to the “scrap” (the leftover bread dough) which was still raw. And so they gave life to this delicious Neapolitan salty snack, great to eat while walking can be comfortably contained in a bag.

Cornetto Crema Pasticcera e Amarene

cream and black cherry croissant for Naples street food

Here you are going to tell me, Eh Tonia but Croissants are made everywhere, it is not typical of street food in Naples. I’m sorry but you’ll have to think again, these Puff Pastry Croissants filled with Custard and Black Cherries are completely different from what you can eat in the rest of Italy or in other countries. Try it to believe, then you’ll tell me!

Cappuccino and Cornetto (Croissant) are the basics of the Neapolitan breakfast and you can’t help but taste them. Pleasure guaranteed! Take it from me, as a good Neapolitan I didn’t give it up even at the beach this summer! XD

Rum Babà

One of the most typical and good sweets of Neapolitan cooking is Babá (or Babbá). It is a small yeast cake made of Eggs, Butter, and Milk dipped in Rum and Sugar syrup. Eaten simply in its classic elongated shape or filled with Custard and Black Cherries or Cream and Chocolate. In short, there is something for everyone!

Sfogliatella Riccia

And if by chance while you’re walking through the streets of Naples and you get a sudden drop in blood sugar? Don’t worry, I have the right solution for you! It is called Sfogliatella and it is a delicious sweet made of crispy puff Pastry, Ricotta cheese, Semolina and Candied Orange peel. AMAZING!

As you can see I took this one to the beach too! Hypoglycemia is a serious thing XD


Frolla is another sweet treat eaten by Neapolitans on Sundays after lunch or at breakfast. It is a variant of Sfogliatella, but as the name itself says the outside is made of soft Short Pastry instead of layers of Crispy Pastry. Moreover, whereas Sfogliatella has a triangular shape, short pastry has a round shape. The classic filling is the same as Sfogliatella, even though nowadays it is possible to find many variations in order to satisfy all palates.


Neapolitan Roccocò

The Roccocò together with the Mustacciuoli and the Struffoli are the inevitable sweets on the Neapolitan tables during the Christmas period.

I wanted to include them among the Naples street food because whatever the period of your visit to Naples you should absolutely taste them! Practical to eat on the go, they are sweets made with Flour, Sugar, Almonds, Hazelnuts and a mix of various Spices (Cloves, Star Anise, Nutmeg and Cinnamon), fragrant and delicious.

Neapolitan Pastiera

Neapolitan Pastiera for Naples street food

The Neapolitan Pastiera is a typical sweet of the Easter period, but that you can taste in all periods of the year single portions in any bar in Naples. It is excellent accompanied by a nice, tight and intense coffee. It is a cake made of Short Pastry, Wheat, Ricotta cheese, Eggs and has an intense aroma of Orange blossom and Cinnamon. If you are passing through Naples you can’t miss it!

Lemon Sherbet

lemon sherbet naples

There is nothing better than a good refreshing Lemon Sherbet after a day spent in the alleys of Naples with the high temperatures. And it also helps to digest everything you’ve eaten! Light and refreshing, I suggest you try the one at Caffè Gambrinus near Piazza Plebiscito. Don’t you think it’s great served in an empty lemon shell?

If you liked my article share it with your friends, I hope it was helpful. If Naples is on your travel list, now you know all the Neapolitan delights not to be missed!

A big hug, Tonia.

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