Saturday, January 21, 2023

Weekend Cooking: Street Food Tour of Naples

If you've read my last two Weekend Cooking posts, you could have been misled into thinking that we have been dining five star all the way. While we have had several of those experiences, we haven't eaten like that the whole time.

Today, I am going to talk about a walking tour we did in Naples at the other end of the spectrum - street food! I am pretty sure if I was to ask you to name one food that Naples is famous for, it wouldn't take long to come up with one, but before we get to pizza lets start before the beginning of the tour.

One of the things I didn't know much about before we arrived in Naples was what their typical breakfast is. Behold, the cornetto! Whilst it looks similar to a croissant it is made using different ingredients and techniques. The cornetto can also be filled with different flavours. We had a few of these during our time in our time in Southern Italy. Some, like this one, are filled with pastry cream, but I also had some filled with other flavours such as pistachio cream. We ate this sitting in a piazza just watching the world go by!

We met up with our guide, Mario, at some Greek ruins near the centre of the old town. As an Australian, I am fascinated with the fact that we think that something that happened 200 years ago is history, but a city like Naples can trace it's history back more than 2000 years. There was a small group of us. One couple was Italian (which came in very handy when we were approached by beggars, vagrants and scammers). The other couple was a man from Poland and a woman from Kyrgyzstan (I had never met anyone from there before) and the other lady was from Scotland.

Our first stop was for a selection of morsels including bread with an Italian broccoli. I believe it is called rabe and that you might be able to get it in the US but we can't. We  also had bread with sun dried tomatoes and olive, savoury cookies called tarallo which were tasty but dry. We learnt that normally you would have this with a beer which made so much more sense. And, finally, fresh buffalo mozzarella. Mario was keen to stress two things about buffalo mozzarella. Firstly, it should never be put in the fridge and secondly, it should always be eaten within two days of being made. You can get away with cooking with it on the third day, but never eaten like below. The mozzarella was so good!

Naples is world famous for it's pizza, especially when it comes to Margarita Pizza, created in honourr of Queen Margarita who was queen when the republic of Italy was created out of the prevously separate collection of city states. There are only three toppings on a Margarita Pizza - tomato, mozzarella and basil, which represent the red, green and white of the Italian flag

We tried two types. The first was pizza a portofoglio - folded pizza. It is folded up and served in paper so that you can easily walk along and eat the same time - food for when you are on the go. The other type of pizza was pizza fritto - deep fried pizza. Sounds strange but it was very tasty. By this point w already felt like we had eaten a lot!

Our next stop was for the Naples version of arancini balls. They weren't called arancini though. They were, however, very tasty. They include a tomato sauce and the occasional pea!

Next we moved onto sweet treats - rum baba and sfogliatelle - Confession time. I love sfogliatelle and I have it every time I can. I was expecting the more familiar crispy type so I was a little disappointed when we got the soft pastry version. The filling, which is usually a mixture of ricotta and lemon, was the same, so it was nice to eat, but I missed the crunch. Don't feel too bad for me though. I did find plenty of other opportunities to eat the crispy ones whilst I was in Italy.

Next up limoncello!

The final stop was for either coffee or ice cream. I like an occasional coffee and even found myself drinking coffee macchiatos at one point, but on this occasion I chose the ice cream. The flavours were chocolate and cherry! Yum!


Along the way we learnt more about Naples history and some of the places you could visit. For ezample, there is a subterranean area of Naples where you can walk amongst Greek ruins. He also took us down a street called Via San Gregorio Armeno where it is Christmas all year round! They make miniature characters and animals so that you can build up a whole scene around your nativity. Want a baker in your nativity scene, or a ferris wheel or a famous footballer - this is the place to go!

We went straight from Paris to Naples and it was a bit of a culture shock when we arrived. Yes, Paris is noisy and the drivers are a bit crazy, but Naples was a whole other level of chaos. What Mario did was showed us the old town of Naples and it really helped us to understand the city as well. After the tour ended we  decided to follow his advice to catch the funicular up the hill and look out over the city. And then we went to the waterfront. I don't think that we went to the part of the waterfront that he suggested to us, but it was still nice to sit at the water and contemplate life for a while

We also did another foodie walking tour in Paris, but I am planning on talking about that experience at a later time!

Have you ever done a foodie walking tour?

Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book reviews (novel, nonfiction), cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs, restaurant reviews, travel information, or fun food facts. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page


  1. Wonderful post. We are going to be in Naples for a day in May from a cruise ship- love this idea!

    1. If you only have one day it would be difficult not to choose Pompeii, but this was a lot of fun.

  2. Your trip has been FANTASTIC! My husband has mentioned an Italy trip ... I think I'm going to have to start planning.

  3. I am loving your posts about travel and food! THIS is the kind of thing I miss from Instagram. lol!!
    When I bummed around Europe for 18 months in the 1970s I had many varied foodie experiences in Portugal and Spain. Foodie walks are the best.

    1. Portugal is on my list of places to go one day

  4. There's still more to come later in the year Melynda!

  5. Your trip has indeed looked wonderful the whole way! I just watched a video on how to pronounce "sfogliatelle" and after watching it about 6 times, I still can't do it, LOL