Do As the Napoletanos Do

Just last month, UNESCO gave traditional Napoletana Pizza-making cultural heritage status. The traditional Neapolitan pizzas are strictly Marinara and, of course, the Margherita. I visited Naples for the first time for the New Year, and oooo baby, I had a blast eating some pizza.

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Gotta have a small art piece of a pizzaiulo (pizza-maker). Found in Sorbillo.

I tried out two well-known pizzerias: Sorbillo and Starita – both family owned, and both delicious.

Literally down the street from my Airbnb was Sorbillo, which sits on the corner of Via Atri and the very busy, Via dei Tribunali. The closest metro stops are Dante and Museo. Our Airbnb host suggested going early. Anything beyond 2pm and you’ll be waiting a lengthy time. (Side note: Most restaurants do close in the middle of the day and re-open during the evening. You may want to try to wait in line before Sorbillo re-opens in the evening to get a spot without waiting)

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Me and my travelling partner went just after opening (12pm) and got seated without a wait time. Woo-hoo! Seriously, during the evening wait time is probably 1-2 hours. There is also a separate line if you’re ordering for take-away, however, that too can be quite long.

I ordered the Margherita Bufala D.O.P. and it was absolute heaven. The pizza was quite large and although I told myself I’d only eat half, I ended up eating all of it. No Regrets! Honestly, I don’t why I told myself that haha. The crust was absolutely delicious and it had a great sauce-to-cheese ratio.

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Margherita Bufala D.O.P.

My friend and I also ate at Starita, near the Materdei metro stop. Lines are a lot shorter than Sorbillo, but waiting is still required. We waited for about 40 minutes. Pizzas were smaller but equally delicious. I have to say…… I think I liked Starita a tiny bit more than Sorbillo. While Sorbillo’s pizzas were larger, the marinara would soak through the crust (a common situation, I know), but there wasn’t so much of that for the Starita pizzas.

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I had fantastic Margherita pizzas in both locations and both were filling. If you happen to travel to Naples, do make the time and effort to visit these places. Beware of the wait times though! Both places get crazy busy and you may have to shove your way past a crowd to put your name down. Worth it!

 

 

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The picture file of my Margherita was corrupted, unfortunately. So here’s a picture of my beer instead! 😅😅

Also if you happen to live in the NYC area, or if you are planning a trip there, a Starita off-shoot (Don Antonio), and Sorbillo have locations there. Buon Appetito!

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Actual footage of me running to the nearest pizzeria

Madrid, Te Amo!

Siestas are much needed. I know this now. Large lunches in the afternoon and tapas at night are a way of life in Madrid, or at least it was my way of life when I visited over the holidays. I ate so much during lunch that I needed a nap (didn’t take one though), and by night I wasn’t that hungry so, I ate small plates, or tapas. Totally get it now. Here are the food highlights during my stay:

Cañas y Tapas

I visited this tapas hotspot in the Sol district of Madrid where you can order a beer and get a free pre-set tapa. That’s right, free with each purchase of a drink. Talk about your 2 for 1 special! Unfortunately, I am a vegetarian but my carnivorous friends got to benefit from my meat-happy tapas. They do have vegetarian tapas, which I ordered: Verduras Fritas (fried vegetables) and Tortilla Española. Yum!

Chocolatería San Ginés

Within walking distance of Cañas y Tapas is this wonderful churro mecca. There is the sit-in café as well as a take-away shop directly across the street if you don’t want to wait for a table. The procedure: order at the register, get your receipt, find a table, provide waitress/waiter with said receipt, and patiently wait for churros with cups of chocolate. These are traditional churros, so you won’t find them sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon, instead, you get plain churros with mugs of chocolate. You then dip your churro in the mug and bathe it in chocolate deliciousness.

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Café Irlandés

I also ordered an Irish coffee, because why not? (Café Irlandés on the menu). And woah. It was like whiskey with a hint of coffee. It was so strong that my waitress saw that I drank it all and patted me on the back for my accomplishment. Needless to say, after the beer at the tapas place and the Irish coffee here, I was a little drunk. #WorthIt

El Caldero

Along the Barrio de las Letras is this A-MAZING paella restaurant. Cards on the table: I got drunk here as well, but to be fair there was only two of us and we shared a bottle of wine, and to top it off, our waitress surprised us with aperitifs at the end of the meal. For appetizers, I ordered artichokes that were breaded, fried, and bathed in garlic. It. Was. Delectable. My friend ordered jamón ibérico, which you can compare to prosciutto. Most of the main courses are for two as the paellas are large and a waitress will serve you at the table. We ordered the vegetable paella and it was glorious! I couldn’t even finish my half. It’s also served with three different types of aioli. If you are planning a trip to Madrid, this paella place is a must.

La Casa del Abuelo

Located just outside Plaza Mayor is this tapas place established in 1906. We ordered una jarra de sangría (jug of Sangría) and patatas bravas, which is potatoes covered in a hot sauce. It was delicious and I was keeping my buzz going from visiting El Caldero earlier. Don’t judge.