33 Best Foods in Italy

The fabulous Italian foods cannot be missed on any trip to Italy – one of the most visited destinations in the world. Eating great dishes at restaurants and on the streets in Italy is not only simply filling your stomach but also learning more about the creative, innovative culture and traditions of this rich cultural country. There are hundreds of delightful Italian dishes to try. Following are Best Foods in Italy and I hope this guide will help you to have a wonderful food experience in Italy.


Best Foods in Italy

Best Foods in Italy

There is no need to talk more about Italian pizza which ranges from simple to complex. Pizza Napoletana or Naples is a flat, round wheat-based dough, topped with a variety of ingredients including cheese, olive oil, tomato, meat, and other vegetables, then baked at a high temperature. Traditionally, pizza is baked in a wood-fired oven. Pizza is served hot, cut into pieces and eaten with fingers or with knife and fork. Although Pizza has become very popular in the world for its amazing taste and portability and it is easy to order a pizza in most countries, do not miss a big chance to try a pizza made by an Italian chef, prepared and baked in the traditional way. In the recent, there are essentially 2 types of pizza for your choice in Italy: Neopolitan-style pizza with thick, fluffy crust and Roman-style pizza with thin crust.


Best Foods in ItalyBest Foods in Italy

Focaccia is a flat oven-baked Italian bread product, seasoned just with olive oil and salt, or also be flavored with herbs, vegetables, or cheese. Focaccia is usually served as a side dish to many meals, table bread, snack, appetizer, or antipasto.

Focaccia di recco

Best Foods in ItalyBest Foods in Italy

Focaccia di recco is simply a thin sheet of baked focaccia, filled with a thin creamy layer of crescenza cheese.

Melanzane alla Parmigiana

Melanzane alla Parmigiana is generally an oven-baked dish consisting of aubergine, Parmesan cheese, mozzarella and tomato sauce.

Pasta Carbonara

Best Foods in ItalyBest Foods in Italy

Spaghetti (or rigatoni, fettuccine, linguine, bucatini) are topped with a combination of bacon, hard cheese (usually Pecorino Romano), egg, and cured guanciale (or pancetta) – Italian cured meat product which are tossed together.

Cacio e Pepe

Cacio e Pepe, literally meaning cheese and pepper, is a pasta dish containing Pecorino Romano cheese, pasta (typically long, thin spaghetti such as vermicelli or tonnarelli), and black pepper. Simple but great.


Best Foods in ItalyBest Foods in Italy

Lasagne or Bologna is an Italian food consisting of many layers of cooked wide, flat pasta, alternated with sauces, meats, cheese, and vegetables, baked in the oven, cut into square portions to serve.


Bigoli are noodles thick, coarse, tubular (there is a hole in the middle of the noodle), made from buckwheat flour and duck eggs. The noodles are generally served with roasted wild duck, vegetables, and a sauce made from dry red wine. It is then garnished with Parmesan sprinkle and parsley.


Best Foods in Italy

Best Foods in Italy

Tortellini are ring-shaped pasta, typically stuffed with a mix of meat (pork loin, prosciutto), cheese, or a combination of both, usually served in broth and garnished with cheese sprinkle.


Best Foods in Italy

Ossobuco is a dish of cross-cut veal shanks braised with vegetables, white wine, and broth. The marrow in the hole in the bone is a prized delicacy. Ossobuco is garnished with gremolata, traditionally served with either risotto alla milanese or polenta. There are 2 types of Ossobuco: the modern and the traditional. The modern version contains tomatoes, carrots, celery, onions, gremolata (optional). The traditional version does not contain tomatoes, it is flavored with cinnamon, bay leaf, and gremolata.


Best Foods in ItalyBest Foods in Italy

Cacciucco is a seafood dish of fish cooked in a rich tomato and chile broth, flavored with sage and garlic. The dish is often served with crusty bread.


Saltimbocca consists of slices of veal (or chicken, mutton), topped with salty prosciutto, and herbs, joined together with a toothpick, sautéed in a pan until well-done.


Best Foods in Italy

Canederli is made from leftover bread, mixed with milk, eggs, sometimes speck – a smoked, raw ham, cheese, and spices to form golf ball-sized dumplings. The dumplings are usually served in a broth or with melted butter.


Best Foods in Italy

Cotoletta, literally meaning little rib is a veal breaded cutlet, fried until crispy. Cotoletta is usually served with potatoes, tomatoes, and coriander.


Best Foods in Italy

Supplì is an Italian rice ball with tomato sauce, filled with chicken giblets, mincemeat, or provatura – a kind of cheese from Lazio, sometimes mozzarella, soaked in egg, coated in breadcrumbs, then deep-fried until crispy and browned.


Arancini, literally meaning little orange, is a stuffed rice balls, coated in breadcrumbs before being deep-fried until crisp and golden brown. Shapes and fillings vary by region. The most common is in round shape and filled with tomato sauce, mozzarella, peas, tomato sauce, and ragu.

Fried zucchini flowers

Best Foods in Italy

Zucchini flowers are oated with a light batter, fried until crispy. This is a traditional appetizer in Italy.

Carciofi alla giudìa

Best Foods in Italy

Carciofi alla giudìa, which literally means Jewish style artichokes, is a fried artichoke dish. The artichokes are beaten, soaked in water with lemon juice for a few minutes, then seasoned with pepper and salt, fried in olive oil. The dish is usually served warm.

Fiorentina Steak

Best Foods in Italy

Fiorentina Steak consists of a T-bone steak cut thick, until the outside is cooked and the inside remains very rare, cooked for about 6 minutes on each side. The steak is cut from the loin of a Chianina cow raised in Tuscany.


Porchetta is a savory, fatty, and moist boneless pork roast. To make this food, debone, keep fat and skin, arrange carefully and stuff carcass with liver, wild fennel, garlic, rosemary, then roast, traditionally over wood for at least 8 hours. Porchetta sandwich is worth trying in Italy.


Best Foods in Italy

Best Foods in Italy

Considered as the caviar of the south, Bottarga is a delicacy of salted, cured fish roe, typically of the grey mullet or the bluefin tuna. The curing time vary depending on the producer, desired texture, preference of the consumers


Best Foods in Italy

Prosciutto is an Italian dry-cured ham which is savory, light, and airy. This food is usually served uncooked, in thin slices with pasta or wrapped around sliced cheese or sweet melons.


Best Foods in Italy

Polenta is a dish of boiled cornmeal made from other grains, served as a hot porridge or cooled and solidified into a loaf that can be baked, fried, or grilled.


Best Foods in Italy

Ribollita, which literally means reboiled, is a hearty and rich potage (thick soup, stew, or porridge) made with leftover bread and vegetables including cannellini beans, Lacinato, kale, cabbage, carrot, chard, beans, celery, onions, potatoes, etc.


Best Foods in Italy

Risotto is an Italian rice dish cooked in a broth to a creamy consistency. The broth can be derived from meat, fish, or vegetables. Some variations of Risotto contains wine, butter, onion, and parmesan cheese.


Ravioli are a type of dumpling consisting of two layers of thin pasta dough sealing filling, often served in a broth or with a pasta sauce. Ravioli are typically square sometimes circular or semi-circular.


Gnocchi are various thick, small, and soft dough dumplings cooked in various styles and flavors. Ingredients for the dumpling can be semolina, wheat flour, egg, potato, breadcrumbs, cheese, cornmeal, herbs, vegetables, cocoa, or prunes. Gnocchi can be served in a broth or a sauce.

Roman meal

Best Foods in Italy

Roman meal or Turista Menu consists of 4-5 courses: antipasto (heavier appetizer), primo (pasta of your choice), secondo (meat with side dish), dolce (dessert) and/or a beverage.


Best Foods in Italy

Truffle is a pungent, elusive wild fungus, it is one of the most expensive and coveted foods in the world. Truffles are abundant in Italy and used to cooked various great dishes, for example, sprinkled over pasta, omelets, risotto, or used to make sauces for beef steak. A fresh pasta covered in thin truffle shavings is my recommendation.


Torrone is a creamy and sticky nougat confection, typically made of honey, sugar, and egg white, toasted almonds or other nuts. The confection is shaped into either a rectangular tablet or a round cake.


Best Foods in Italy

Tiramisu is a coffee-flavored Italian dessert made of ladyfingers dipped in coffee, layered with a whipped mixture of eggs, sugar, and mascarpone cheese, flavored with cocoa. Besides the traditional recipe, they have created other varieties such as chocolate tiramisu, fruit tiramisu.


Best Foods in Italy

Gelato is simply the Italian word for ice cream. In English, it has come to mean Italian-style ice cream. Gelato is made with milk, sugar, and other ingredients. It is lower in fat, less airy, and flavoring than other kinds of ice cream. Flavors of gelato consist of vanilla, pistachio, chocolate, custard, hazelnut , raspberry, mango, and pineapple. Gelato is served in cone, cup, cake, sandwich, stick, or pie.


Coming to Italy, you should not miss enjoying coffee at a café or bar – one of the greatest joys on your trip. You can choose the traditional Espresso or Cappuccino of you love milk, or Americana if you like black and bold coffee.

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