Places to Enjoy Great Food in Southern Italy
The south of Italy: Naples and the Campania region; Abruzzo and Molise; Puglia, and of course, Sicily. These are only a few areas in the famous region where some of the best food in the Europe, and perhaps the world, was invented and continues to be created today for the delight of tourists and foodies alike. Italy is home to much of the world’s great works of history and art, and there is no doubt that food is among them.
The habit seems to be reverence toward northern Italian foods, with a default addition of the central region, while the southern region gets shunted aside as a result. While that disconnect is sad for those looking for great food, the reasons for it are complex. The food isn’t different in ways the average eater would really appreciate. The northern cook uses more butter, while the southern more olive oil. Those in the north use more cream and meat.
Food of the south provides a joyous riot of flavors, colors, and smells to the diner that shouldn’t be missed. It’s not the heavy lasagnas or meatballs that dominate the American style of southern Italian cooking, but rather a smorgasbord of veggies, pastries, pastas, lighter use of garlic, and more. When travelling in southern Italy, it’s important to find the best places to try authentic presentation’s of the region cuisine, a few of which we list here.
Keep in mind, most areas in the south offer dozens of dining possibilities for every taste. Depending on the adventurousness of your stomach, you could do a little research before you go out, drive to nearby towns to explore, or just hit the streets around your hotel to see what you discover.
- Campiello ,1177 South Third Street , South Naples: Charming stone fountains and open courtyard dining, “rustic” Italian food
- Mimi AllaFerrovia, Via A d’Aragona 21, Naples: Traditionally elegant Neapolitan atmosphere with a menu that includes very popular pasta and seafood dishes.
- Trattoria e Pizzeria Antica Capri, Via Speranzella 110, 80132 Naples: beautiful, popular small family restaurant widely known for its broad menu of lovingly prepared traditional food.
- RistoranteGliArchetti, Via Silla 8, Abruzzo: A charming restaurant in the cellar of a Renaissance palace offering a delicious seasonal menu.
- Ristorante La Stozza, Via del Ceraso 3, 67046 Ovindoli: A balanced menu, very popular among locals, 96% recommended on TripAdvisor
- RistoranteSvevia, VicoloGiudicatoVecchio 24, 86039Termoli: A Romantic spot given rave reviews by travelers and locals alike. Built in an ancient historical district, serving local seafood.
- ilBorgo, Borgo, 8 | a metà del corsoNazionale, 86039 Termoli: Casual dining, friendly owner and staff, delicious food. A popular choice.
- GelateriaNatale, Via Trinchese 7a: Southern Italy is well known for its delicious gelato, and GelateriaNatale is a wildly popular place for the best ice cream in the area – and an amazing selection of pastry and chocolate confections besides.
- Osteria del Tempo Perso, 47 Via Vitale Tanzarella, Ostuni: Its name means “The Inn of Lost Time,” and its design and ambience reflect that moniker. It’s tucked away in the ancient, narrow alleyways of the section of Ostuni known as “The White City.”
- Taverna Li Jalantuumene, Piazza de Galganis 5, Monte Sant’angelo: A “modern mom and pop” restaurant. According to Food & Wine, it is one of the rare non-smoking restaurants in the area. “Simple dishes with local ingredients…”
- Trattoria la Foglia, Via Capodica 29, Syracuse, Sicily: A unique, quirky restaurant with a devoted cult following for its authentic Mediterranean and vegetarian fare.
- Spizzulio, PanoramicadeiTempli, 23, 92100 Agrigento, Sicily: Romantic ambience and a great bar scene make this a popular spot for locals and tourists to mingle. Reviewers rave not only about the food and service, but about the owner/chef, who is as involved with customers as with food.
- Le Vin de L’assassinBistrot, Roma 115, 96100 Syracuse, Sicily: Called “A piece of Paris in the middle of Sicily,” Le Vin’s menu spans a broad spectrum that includes the best of local and French cuisine. The atmosphere is popular for anything from romance to business, and offers outdoor seating.
The best food in Southern Italy guide was written by Katelyn Roberts, who writes for NetQin, a company dedicated to helping bloggers stay protected while they build their value.