When it comes to food, Italy is a country that knows how to do it right. From pizza and pasta to gelato and Tiramisu, there’s an endless array of delicious dishes to try. And while you could simply stick to the classics, why not branch out and explore some of the other culinary delights on offer? To help you on your way, we’ve put together a list of 12 foods to try in Italy, as well as where to find the best versions of each dish. So what are you waiting for? Bon appetite!
1. Pizza: Naples
Pizza is a dish that originated in Italy, specifically the city of Naples. It is typically made with a round, flatbread crust and topped with tomato sauce, cheese, and various toppings. Naples is widely considered to be the birthplace of pizza, and it has become one of the most popular dishes in the world.
Visitors to Naples often flock to pizzerias in search of the perfect slice. While there are many excellent pizzerias in the city, one of the best is Pizzeria da Michele. This restaurant has been serving up mouth-watering pizza for over 150 years, and it continues to be one of the most popular tourist destinations in Naples.
Address: Via Cesare Sersale, 1, 80139 Napoli NA, Italy
2. Gelato: Florence
Anyone who has ever been to Italy knows that gelato is a must-try. This creamy treat is made with milk, cream, and sugar, and often contains fruit or nut flavoring. And there is no better place to enjoy this delicious treat than in Florence, the birthplace of gelato.
One shop that always stands out is Il Cioccolato E Il Gelato. This is a small shop near the Duomo, and it’s well worth seeking out. The gelato here is made with fresh ingredients and superb chocolate, and the flavor combinations are inventive and delicious.
The Chocolate & Vanilla is a must-try, but if you’re feeling adventurous, go for the Chili Chocolate or the Rosemary & Orange. And if you really can’t choose, try one of the gelato flights, which let you sample a selection of flavors. Il Cioccolato E Il Gelato is sure to have something to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Address: Mercato Centrale, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
3. Pasta: Rome
There’s no doubt that Italy is one of the best places in the world for pasta. The warm climate and rich soil produce delicious wheat that’s perfect for making all kinds of pasta. And in Rome, you’ll find some of the best pasta dishes in the country.
If you’re looking for the best pasta in Rome, head to Trattoria Regina. This cozy little trattoria serves up some of the most delicious pasta dishes you’ll ever taste.
The menu changes daily, but you can always expect to find mouth-watering dishes like carbonara, amatriciana, and Cacio e Pepe. And if you’re lucky enough to snag a reservation, be sure to try the house specialty: Spaghetti alla Gricia. It’s simply divine!
Address: Via dei Mille, 46, 00185 Roma RM, Italy
4. Panini: Milan
While panini may be a common sight on menus across the world, there’s nothing quite like enjoying one in its place of origin. And when it comes to panini, there’s no better city than Milan, Italy.
The bread is always fresh and crusty, and the fillings range from simple selections of cheese and ham to more elaborate combinations of meats, vegetables, and sauces. If you’re looking for an authentic panini in Milan, Italy, there’s only one place to go: Panino Giusto.
This popular sandwich shop has been serving up mouth-watering paninis for over 25 years, and it’s easy to see why they’re considered the best in the business. From the perfectly toasted bread to the high-quality ingredients, everything about a Panino Giusto panini is top-notch. And with over 20 different kinds of paninis on the menu, there’s sure to be something for everyone.
Address: Via Borgogna, 5, 20122 Milano MI, Italy
5. Focaccia: Genoa
Genoa, Italy is the birthplace of focaccia, a delicious flatbread that is often seasoned with herbs and olive oil. Focaccia can be found in bakeries and restaurants all over Italy, but it is especially popular in Genoa.
There are many different ways to eat focaccia, but one of the best is to order it at a restaurant called Pizzeria il Forno. This restaurant is located in the heart of Genoa and specializes in wood-fired pizzas and focaccia.
The focaccia at Pizzeria il Forno is made with fresh dough and topped with a variety of delicious toppings, such as olives, tomatoes, and onions. If you’re looking for a truly authentic Italian dining experience, be sure to try focaccia at Pizzeria il Forno.
Address: Via Galata, 39 rosso, 16121 Genova GE, Italy
6. Arancini: Sicily
Deep-fried balls of risotto might not sound like the most appetizing dish, but in Sicily, arancini are beloved street food. These fried rice balls are usually filled with mozzarella or ragù, and they make for a delicious snack or light meal.
Arancini can be found all over Sicily, but some of the best can be found at Antica Focacceria San Francesco in Palermo. This historic restaurant has been serving up arancini since 1824, and it is well-known for its traditional recipes and quaint atmosphere.
Address: Via Alessandro Paternostro, 58, 90133 Palermo PA, Italy
7. Ossobuco: Milan
Ossobuco is a traditional Milanese dish made with veal shanks, marrow, and a variety of vegetables. The name of the dish comes from the Italian word for “bone with a hole,” referring to the large marrow bone in the center of each shank.
Ossobuco is usually served with Risotto alla Milanese, a creamy rice dish flavored with saffron. While there are many great restaurants that serve Ossobuco in Milan, one of the best is Trattoria al Ghetto.
This cozy trattoria is located in the heart of the historic Jewish ghetto, and it specializes in authentic Milanese cuisine. The Ossobuco here is exceptional, and it’s cooked slowly to perfection.
Address: Via Sardegna, 45, 20146 Milano MI, Italy
8. Panzanella: Tuscany
Panzanella is a Tuscan bread salad that is traditionally made with stale bread, tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, and basil. The bread is soaked in water and then squeezed dry before being mixed with the other ingredients.
This simple dish is flavorful and refreshing, making it the perfect summertime meal. While you can find Panzanella at many restaurants in Tuscany, the best place to try it is at Ristorante da Burde in Florence. The restaurant is located in an old palazzo near the Ponte Vecchio, and the outdoor seating area overlooks the Arno River.
The Panzanella here is made with fresh ingredients and just the right amount of seasoning. It’s one of my favorite dishes to order when I’m in Florence, and I always make sure to stop by Ristorante da Burde for a taste of Tuscan tradition.
Address: Via Pistoiese, 154, 50145 Firenze FI, Italy
9. Caprese salad: Naples
Caprese salad is a simple dish made with fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil. It is believed to have originated in the city of Naples, Italy, and it is often said that the best Caprese salad can only be found there.
There are countless restaurants in Naples that claim to serve the best Caprese salad, but one of the most popular is Da Maria. This small restaurant is located in the heart of the city, and it serves traditional Italian food.
The Caprese salad at Da Maria is made with locally sourced ingredients, and it has a perfect balance of sweet and savory flavors. If you find yourself in Naples, be sure to stop by Da Maria and try the famous Caprese salad for yourself.
Address: Vico S. Anna di Palazzo, 31, 80132 Napoli NA, Italy
10. Spaghetti alla Carbonara: Rome
Spaghetti alla carbonara is one of Italy’s most beloved dishes. The simple combination of spaghetti, eggs, bacon, and cheese has captivated the hearts of pasta lovers around the world. And while there are many excellent carbonara recipes out there, there’s only one place to get the best spaghetti alla carbonara: Rome, Italy.
The dish was invented in the early 1900s by Roman chefs who were looking for a quick and easy meal for coal miners. The hearty dish quickly became a hit with both miners and non-miners alike.
Today, there are many restaurants in Rome that serve carbonara, but one stands out above the rest: Da Gino. This Restaurant has been serving up some of the city’s best carbonara for over 60 years, and no visit to Rome is complete without a stop at this legendary eatery.
Address: Vicolo Rosini, 4, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
11. Tiramisu: Florence
Tiramisu is a delicious Italian dessert made of layers of coffee-soaked ladyfingers, mascarpone cream, and cocoa powder. It originated in the city of Florence, and there are many different stories about its creation.
Tiramisu is now enjoyed all over the world, but there’s nothing quite like trying it in its hometown. For the best tiramisu in Florence, head to Antica Trattoria da Tito.
The restaurant has been making this dish for over a hundred years, and it shows the perfection of every layer. The mascarpone cheese is light and fluffy, the coffee-soaked biscuits are delicate and crumbling, and the chocolate shavings add a touch of decadence.
The dish is not too sweet, letting the complex flavors of the coffee and cocoa shine through. If you find yourself in Florence, be sure to stop by Antica Trattoria da Tito dal 1913 for a taste of this classic tiramisu.
Address: Via S. Gallo, 112/r, 50129 Firenze FI, Italy
12. Cannoli: Sicily
Cannoli is a delicious Sicilian dessert that consists of a fried pastry shell filled with sweet ricotta cheese. Originating in Palermo, cannoli has become one of Sicily’s most iconic foods.
And the best place to try cannoli is at Pasticceria Chiara in Trapani. Chiara’s cannoli are made with freshly-made ricotta cheese and a light, flaky pastry shell. The result is a dessert that is both sweet and rich, with a texture that is truly unique.
Address: Via Serisso 2-8, 91100, Trapani, Sicily Italy
If you find yourself in Italy, be sure to try some of these iconic dishes. Each dish is representative of a different region of the country, and each one is delicious in its own way. From the simple Caprese salad of Naples to the rich and decadent tiramisu of Florence, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.