Chef Mirko D’Agata’s Favourite Restaurants in Naples
For this list, we wanted to avoid asking a Neapolitan so as not to have to suggest hundreds of addresses. After all, Neapolitans are well known for their generosity and fondness for food. And so, we asked Mirko D’Agata — a native of Turin — about Neapolitan restaurants, since his hometown is as far north in Italy as Naples is south.
After a stint in the kitchens of several excellent restaurants in Italy, Mirko settled down here a decade ago and has been running all of Pizzeria NO.900 and Morso in the country since 2016. The request to Chef D’Agata was, “Could you suggest a half dozen of your favourite addresses for our readers?”
So here are the chef’s recommendations, there are a little over six, but still less than a few hundred. Thank you chef!
Thank you also for this essential economic information for coffee lovers: in Italy, if you take your coffee standing at the counter, the price is €1.10, a price capped by law. However, if you sit down, the same coffee can cost you between €7 and €10.
Mirko D’Agata’s favourite addresses in Naples:
Casa KBirr – Corso Vittorio Emanuele, 53 80059 Torre del Greco
This is a must in the capital of Campania, conveniently located in the suburbs near the Gulf of Naples and the Vesuvius National Park. Initially, KBirr is a beer “200% Neapolitan”, says the chef, and the brewery has been enhanced with a restaurant and a hostel, both very popular. On the beautiful and comfortable terrace, the young gourmets crowd the tables and few tourists know the place. Tasty Neapolitan menus and impeccable service. Mirko’s favourite dish: “Octopus and Genovese tuno pasta.”
Al Convento – Piazza S. Francesco, 16 84010 Cetara
This “convent” isn’t actually in Naples, but a few miles outside the city in the village of Cetara. To get to this seafood restaurant, you could choose to treat yourself to an apéritif along the Amalfi coast. Cetara is a small town famous for being THE village of anchovy and sardine fishermen. In fact, the local specialty, anchovies and coulis, is featured prominently on the menu, which is rich in fish and seafood of impressive freshness. And then, tasting all these culinary specialties bordering on haute cuisine in the cloister of a Franciscan convent under 17th century frescoes is an unforgettable experience.
Masardona – Via Giulio Cesare Capaccio, 27, 80142 Napoli
This is the temple of the traditional street food of Naples. The big hit of the house is of course the fried pizza (pizza fritta, for the purists) whose version dates back to the dawn of time is the battilocchio, but you can also enjoy calzone fritto, frittatine di pasta (pasta croquettes) and many other popular little treats. On one of the white walls of the modest dining room, someone scrawled the following message, “La pizza frita e sola a Masardona, tutti il resto e abusivo!” No comments, but a knowing smile.
50 Kalò – Piazza Sannazzaro 201/b, Naples
In the ancient Greek language of Neapolitan pizzaioli, 50 Kaló could be translated as “good mix”. In the Neapolitan cabala or smorfia, the book that explains the meaning of dreams, they are associated with different numbers, from 1 to 90. These numbers are then played in the Lotto by people. The 50 refers to bread dough or pizza dough. So that explains it. “And of course, in my opinion, you can find the best pizzas in Naples here,” says the chef.
Attanasio – Piazza Giuseppe Garibaldi, 107, Naples
Another address where you can find – and devour – the best in local cuisine. Attanasio prepares the best sfogliatelle in Naples. The house cooks them every 30 minutes. So you can enjoy these delicious, crispy, hot little doughnuts that you will have spotted thanks to the scent that rises in the whole area around the central station of Naples.
Scaturchio – Piazza San Domenico Maggiore, 19, 80134 Napoli
If you have a sweet tooth, this beautiful pastry shop should be on your list of places to visit. You’ll find unforgettable rum babas here, and you’ll definitely want to try the ministeriale, a dark chocolate medallion filled with a lightly boozy cream.
Gran Café Gambrinus – Via Chiaia, 1, 80132 Napoli
Literary café opened in 1860 in the historic center of Naples, the Gambrinus is located next to Piazza del Plebiscito and the Royal Palace. Since that time, the Caffé Gambrinus has held the distinction of “Supplier to the Royal Household”. Today, the house is known as the place where the presidents of the Italian Republic go for coffee when they are visiting the city. So, you may come across a lot of people who have come to have a coffee and a sfogliatella, the typical pastry of Campania, in this beautiful house.
Bar Mexico – Piazza Giuseppe Garibaldi 72, 80142 Napoli
This is without a doubt one of the best places to have a coffee in Naples. Next to the central station, the coffee is served here in a super hot cup and the coffee is already sweetened.
Written by Jean-Philippe Tastet
Photography by Mirko D'Agata