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A Food Tour In Naples Italy–Everything You Need To Know

The Best Food Tour In Naples.

I was so excited to be traveling to the Amalfi Coast. For seven days I’d be exploring this incredibly scenic region of Italy on foot, hiking each day through lemon groves and tiny villages. When I learned that my flight would land in Naples, I became curious about the city and started to do some research. 

Eventually I decided to spend two nights in Naples and explore it a bit. And after much consideration, I decided to book a food tour. No great surprise since I’ve booked food tours in many other cities including Rome, San Juan, and Madrid. But imagine my surprise when it turned out to be one of the most affordable–and fun–food tours I’ve ever experienced.

So if you’re ever in Naples, even for a short stop on the way to somewhere else, I hope to convince you to book this tour.

About Naples, Italy

Let me start with my first impressions of Naples. It’s not nearly as beautiful as other popular Italian destinations like Rome, Florence, and Venice. It’s also rather dirty. Broken glass and dog poop were a regular site. As I walked around my first morning, I wondered if I had made a mistake. My hotel had upgraded me to a suite and I was pretty tired thanks to jet lag, so I really did consider skipping the tour and simply staying in my room. But the promise of tasty Italian food won out, so off I went to meet my guide.

Naples is a city with a rich history influenced by many different cultures. At one time it was a naval power on par with Venice and a wealthy nation state thanks to all the trade coming through the port. But in the past century or so, it fell on hard times, and never fully recovered. I think our guide, Alessandro, said it best, “Naples is the most misunderstood city in Italy.” And I think he is right. Its reputation isn’t great, but it turns out that it has much to offer to visitors if they are willing to look past the grit and grime.

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Food tour in Naples--Our guide, Alessandro
Our food tour guide, Alessandro in Piazza Bellini

How To Reserve A Food Tour In Naples

I’ve often shared my favorite tour booking website,, and this is where I booked my food tour of Naples. At the time of writing this article, the price was just $42 per person, about half of what I’ve paid for other food tours. All I had to do was select the date, the number of guests, and the time, and then proceed to payment. You have the ability to cancel up to 24 hours before the tour. My tour began at 10:45 a.m. All the food served was more than enough for a hearty lunch.

Come Hungry For Your Food Tour In Naples

We gathered at Piazza Bellini in the historic center of Naples. Alessandro introduced himself, gave some history of Naples, and then walked us through the cobblestone streets to our first food stop. In between each stop he shared many stories of Naples. 

Food tour in Naples--Mozzarella shop
Mozzarella shop

Buffalo mozzarella

Our first stop was to sample buffalo mozzarella, which was delicious. But more importantly it gave our guide the chance to teach us all about this much loved cheese that was actually invented in Naples. Made with either the milk from cows or buffaloes, mozzarella is intended to be eaten raw, not cooked. Traditionally, only the unused portion is added to pizza at the end of the day so it isn’t wasted. 

I would enjoy mozzarella many times over the next few days and even had the opportunity to watch it being made. It’s an essential ingredient in Southern Italian cuisine.

Fried macaroni and cheese

I assumed that the popular appetizer, fried macaroni and cheese balls, were an American creation. But I was wrong. It turns out that long ago Neopolitans created a fritter made of mac ‘n cheese that often includes other ingredients like beef and pork. It’s a popular–and cheap–street food that’s commonly sold beside pizza and arancini (fried rice balls often filled with cheese and marinara).

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Fried Pizza

One of the top reasons for my time in Naples was to eat pizza, after all this is the city that invented it. We did sample a Margherita pizza (topped with marinara, mozzarella, and basil), but what I was especially excited to try was pizza frita, or fried pizza. 

According to my research, fried pizza was invented in Naples after World War II. Many traditional ovens had been destroyed, so the typical pizza was folded in half and fried in oil instead. It became a cheap, fast, and filling food to feed hungry families. What I learned from our guide is that instead of using mozzarella, ricotta is the cheese of choice. I found it to be very tasty, and would probably eat it too often if I lived here.

Food tour in Naples--inside the limoncello shop
Shop owner, Mario, and our guide discussing limoncello


The limoncello shop turned out to be my favorite stop on the entire tour thanks to the lovely owner, Mario, who was both kind and funny. His English was limited, so between him and our guide, we learned that limoncello is an infused spirit. Traditionally it starts with grappa and then is infused with the peels of lemons. To balance its tartness, sugar is added at the end. This shop, called Limone, also makes a cream of limoncello, along with several other infused spirits. They don’t ship internationally, so if you visit, be sure to buy a few bottles. I only bought one, and I’m drinking slowly.


You know it’s a good tour when there are two opportunities to eat dessert. Our first dessert was two small pastries commonly sold in this region; baba and sfogliatella. The first is sponge cake soaked in rum syrup. The second is a flaky pastry filled with sweet ricotta. I highly recommend both.

During my week in Southern Italy I learned that there are some seriously great pastries and cakes served in the region–much better than I remember in Rome, Venice, or Florence. In fact, I had dessert every single night. So when you come, forget the diet and prepare to splurge.

Food tour in Naples--Gelato selection
Gelato selection


Can you go on an Italian food tour and not eat gelato? I don’t think so. Our final stop was the famous Pastries Leopoldo, a pastry and gelato shop that’s been in operation since 1940. It was heaven to walk through the shop and smell all the baked goods. While we could order any gelato we wished, Alessandro encouraged us to try the local flavors. At his suggestion I ordered spagnola, vanilla with amarena cherries. It was fantastic and I would happily order it again. 

A Fantastic Food Tour In Naples

I’ve been recommending food tours to anyone and everyone for years. It’s a wonderful way to be introduced to a new culture. I suspect that many people don’t book them because they are pricey. So I was so excited to experience a great food tour that is also really affordable. I left this tour with a full belly and a different outlook on Naples. It’s rough around the edges, no doubt, but it is most definitely worth exploring.

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This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. Linda (LD Holland)

    We are headed to Naples later in the year so this was a timely one for us to look at as we started planning. We love the idea of finding fresh buffalo mozzarella. Especially on top of a Margherita pizza. And who is passing on real Italian gelato. Getting excited to be back eating in Italy this year.

    1. Wendy

      Eating in Italy is the best! Have a wonderful time.

  2. Marika

    Yum! So many delicious things to eat, especially that Gelato! I think I need to book a trip to Naples for this food tour.

  3. Nancy

    I loved Naples, and I agree it is misunderstood. I’m definitely planning to go back there and this post makes me wish I could go right now. And yes, to the cherry gelato!

  4. Kim

    I love the colours of the Gelato. They look so fresh and delicious, and even though the temperature where I am isn’t warm, I could eat one now. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Wendy

      I think I could eat gelato every day of the year, regardless of the weather.

  5. Sara Essop

    Italian food is amazing and this post is making my mouth water. I would definitely want to try the fried pizza, the limoncello and the gelato too!

    1. Wendy

      All of it was delicious!

  6. Michelle

    I love a good food tour! We did a similar tour in Rome and loved it so much. However, I didn’t get to try fried mac and cheese, sign me up! This looks amazing!

    1. Wendy

      I highly recommend fried mac and cheese!

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