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Ever since I moved to Naples, I’ve learned this is a city of surprises. Especially when it comes to its food. When you think of Naples, pizza may come to mind. But as I’ve learned in the last year living here, the city’s seafood is also not be missed -- that includes its sushi (who would have guessed?). As for fast food, the closest you get here is the pizza. Lots of it. In the equivalent of a drive-thru, you pull up on your scooter, pick up a pizza and eat it in the street.
It's hard to narrow it down, but here are my top 5 places that offer a true slice of the city:
One word: simple. This famous pizzeria does one thing and does it well: pizza. Like the décor ( clean, white and green-tiled dining room with marble top tables) the recipes have been the same for ages. The most popular dish here is the Margherita pizza (tomato, basil and mozzarella); it also happens to be one of the only 2 types of pizza you can get here (the other is the marinara). Whichever your choice, it’s good simple pizza. Mangia.
Think you can’t get much for 1 euro these days? Not in Naples. When I arrived in the city, locals told me about Pizzeria Di Matteo and its “1 euro pizza.” A small hand-held pizza, it’s their version of the American slice. The pizzeria is also serves fried goodness: among the standouts are the fried zucchini flowers and the frittatini, a fried Italian-style mini-omelet.
This is my favorite pizza in Naples so far, and not just because it reminds me of home. After former US President Bill Clinton ate pizza here in 1994, the owner renamed the restaurant and covered it with American flags. Don’t be overwhelmed by the 25-plus pizza choices; start with the Margherita pizza for 3 euros. Kick up the adventure with the lasagna pizza, topped with heaping portions of prosciutto and ricotta cheese.
You expect good pizza in Naples, but good sushi? Naples is indeed a city of surprises. Tender Sushi, located in the Chiaia neighborhood amid high-end stores like Ferragamo and Armani, offers fresh sushi fare. Ask the chef to prepare what he wants and just pay a single price, per-person; you won't go wrong. My own “single-price-per-person” option included “desert sushi” no raw fish, just a lot of chocolate and pastry shaped like sushi.
If you can’t decide between seafood or pizza, head to Antonio e Antonio for both options. This waterfront restaurant provides a magnificent view of Naples oldest castle, Castel dell’Ovo (or Egg Castle) and the surrounding Gulf of Naples. Choose from more than 40 varieties of pizza, including many seafood-topped pizzas and even a chocolate one. Enjoy the view of the castle and surrounding restaurants, with a Falanghina wine, a local white wine from the Campania region.