Our Feast at Trattoria da Carmine Napoli Naples Italy Night Via dei Tribunali

Naples Italy – A Night on Via dei Tribunali

In Italy, Restaurants by Daryl & Mindi Hirsch25 Comments

Via dei Tribunali is a great street in Naples Italy for strolling, people watching and eating.

The food in Naples is among the best in Italy. As much as we love the pizza, sometimes it's perfect to have a meal at a trattoria.
Via dei Tribunali at Night Napoli Naples Italy Via dei Tribunali

Via dei Tibunali at Night

There’s only so much of the best pizza in the world that we can eat, and it was time to delve a little further under the skin of Naples. This is how we ended up spending a night eating our way down Via dei Tribunali.

This revelation hit us as we were standing outside the famous Da Michele pizzeria. The line was long with what looked to be a two-hour wait. We had taken a number for this pizza experience, and we were lucky number 94. They had just called 52. We were standing among what seemed to be the largest group of tourists in the city, and we were starting to get cranky. So… we left.

Listen, we were on vacation. We don’t get paid to eat. And we knew that it was time. What time you may ask?

Time for pasta and a whole lot of fried stuff!

During our amazing pizza-focused meal at Pizzaria La Notizia, we had the good fortune of chatting with a friendly couple, a Michelin chef and his girlfriend, at the next table. They recommended a trattoria across from the entrance to Napoli Sotterranea on Via dei Tribunali. Since they couldn’t remember the name of the trattoria or the address, they drew a map and insisted that we would easily find their favorite trattoria.

After the Da Michele pizza fail, we briefly thought about trying another of the city’s famed pizzeria. That’s when we instead decided to take a chance and try to find the recommended trattoria without knowing the name or address. And so began our night on Via dei Tribunali.

Night on Via dei Tribunali

Via dei Tribunali is a historic street in the ancient part of Naples. In other words the street is old.

By day, the street is filled with shops and markets, with many pizza restaurants blending into the graffiti filled streetscape. At night, the street comes to life. There are people strolling. There are people eating. There are even people moving furniture.

Via dei Tribunali - More than Just Pizza and Fried Things

Via dei Tribunali – More than Just Pizza and Fried Things

As for us, our night on Via dei Tribunali can best be split into three parts. All three parts involved food, no surprise there.

Part 1 – Fried Food

As we strolled down Via dei Tribunali looking for the mystery trattoria, we couldn’t help but notice people queued at the various pizzerias. Interestingly, the people weren’t buying pizza. Instead, they were eating decadently crispy fried food in various shapes and sizes.

Interesting Fried Things on Via dei Tribunali Napoli Naples Italy Night Via dei Tribunali

Interesting Fried Things on Via dei Tribunali

It turns out that many of the pizzerias on Via dei Tribunali are also friggitorias. A friggitoria is a place that sell fried things, also known as heaven. As culinary explorers we had to check this out. We couldn’t eat too much since we were on our way to dinner, so we tried an arancini at Di Matteo.

Arancini - Fried Rice Ball Napoli Naples Italy Night Via dei Tribunali Via dei Tribunali

Arancini – Fried Rice Ball

The arancini was fried to a beautiful golden shade, and it seemed almost a shame to bite into such perfection. But once inside the crispy ball, we got the tasty payoff – a melting, oozy risotto, tomato sauce and sausage center.

Crispy on the Outside and Gooey on the Inside Napoli Naples Italy Night Via dei Tribunali

Crispy on the Outside and Gooey on the Inside

Part 2 – Trattoria Dinner

Before long, we found Trattoria da Carmine, a restaurant that describes itself as an “old typical Neapolitan home cooking dal 1967”. It was in the exact spot described to us by the Michelin chef and his partner, so we knew that we were in the right place. We peaked at the menu, looked inside and knew that we had found our home for the evening.

Entrance to Trattoria da Carmine on Via dei Tribunali Napoli Naples Italy Night

Entrance to Trattoria da Carmine on Via dei Tribunali

Trattoria da Carmine is a comfortable restaurant serving a wide variety of simple, authentic food. It’s the kind of place you can go with your sweetheart for a date or with a big group of friends. The advantage of going with a big group is that you can order a lot of different dishes.

Tasting Tip:  When you eat out in Italy, it is expected that you order bottled water as opposed to drinking tap water. This is no problem for us, as we adore fizzy water. It’s also common for house wine to be both a good value and very drinkable, far better than house wine in the United States.

The beverage list is no exception at Trattoria da Carmine, where full carafes of house wines can be ordered for just six euros. We quickly ordered our water and two half carafes – one white and one red.

The menu at Trattoria da Carmine is extensive, featuring the standard Italian breakdown of primi piatti (starters), secondi piatti (main dishes) and contorni (side dishes). We started with antipasto di mare, a colorful plate of fresh, sweet local seafood. Oh yeah, did we mention that they also have a great seafood culture in Naples?

Antipasto di Mare or Seafood - Primi Piatti at Trattoria da Carmine Napoli Naples Italy Night Via dei Tribunali

Antipasto di Mare or Seafood – Primi Piatti at Trattoria da Carmine

Most of the dishes were delivered together which allowed us to have a sort of smorgasbord of fresh tomatoes, roasted peperoncini, pasta and meatballs. Though we can order similar dishes at a myriad of Italian restaurants in Philadelphia, these dishes, so casually placed on the checkered tablecloth covered table, were elevated to a fine dining experience due to the quality of the locally grown ingredients. There’s just something special about eating tomatoes grown near Mount Vesuvius when you’re actually mere miles from the famous volcano.

Our Feast at Trattoria da Carmine Napoli Naples Italy Night Via dei Tribunali

Our Feast at Trattoria da Carmine

Our favorite dishes were the Fusilli all Sorrentina featuring fresh, non corkscrew shaped pasta and the Polpette al Sugo, perfectly textured meatballs in tomato sauce. As we chowed down on the little plates of freshly prepared local food, we listened to local musicians who strolled in and out of the trattoria and watched the mostly local crowd enjoy the simple food and relaxed atmosphere.

Inside Trattoria da Carmine Napoli Naples Italy Night Via dei Tribunali

Inside Trattoria da Carmine

A trattoria meal is the kind of meal that satisfies all of the senses without breaking the bank. We enjoyed the meal to the last bite and saved just enough room for dessert.

Daryl Enjoying Dinner at Trattoria da Carmine Napoli Naples Italy Night Via dei Tribunali

Daryl Enjoying Dinner at Trattoria da Carmine

Trattoria da Carmine is located at Via dei Tribunali, 330, 80138 Napoli, Italy.

Part 3 – Dessert

Via dei Tribunali is a good street for strolling after a big meal. We were tempted by the fried foods at the various stalls, but we had just saved enough room for dessert. Lucky for us, there are lots of cafes and bakeries intermingled with the pizzerias along the busy thoroughfare.

Naples is known for baked goods including the flaky, cheese-filled sfogliatelles. But it was late and Daryl was having a chocolate fix, so we opted to share a classic looking sacher torte, an espresso… and a limoncello. Southern Italy met Austria, and they got along just fine.

Sacher Torte on Via dei Tribunali Napoli Naples Italy Night

Sacher Torte on Via dei Tribunali

Two Cultures Unite! Napoli Naples Italy Night Via dei Tribunali sacher torte limoncello

Two Cultures Unite!

We floated back to our hotels, seemingly propelled by the wafting aromas of fried food that permeated the air. It was a perfect final night in a city that will never leave our thoughts.


Comments

  1. First of all I read this post with an Italian accent to pretend I’m in Napoli. Second of all, I’m keeping all your tips as reference. The fried bits look interesting to change a bit from pasta and pizza, but I wasn’t expecting a risotto filling. We have similar foods in Portugal (as you probably remember) but the filling is usually just beef, chicken or prawns. Some vegetarian options too. Love your reference to house wine. Yes, as far as I have experienced, if you order house wine in Italy and in Portugal 90% of the times you are not disappointed. People usually think of house wine as the lowest quality beverage possible and that doesn’t happen always.
    Sandra recently posted…9 Suggestions To Eat Out In LisbonMy Profile

  2. Oh no, now I’m hungry! Those photos are killing me 😀 It all looks so yummy :)) I would love to eat arancini or some sea food right now!

  3. If you liked the food, and especially the arancini, then you should consider visiting Sicily for your next trip to Italy…their arancini are the best! Tom them up with a few cannoli and you’re all set!

  4. I remember staying by Mt. Vesuvius a few years ago and I will always remember the food. The friggitoria is my favorite place on Earth. Why don’t they have those in the U.S.! I remember going with my host family and visiting all of these off the beaten path places with amazing seafood and pasta.
    Limoncello is my favorite!
    Muriel recently posted…Travel: Pre-Travel ChecklistMy Profile

    1. Author

      It sounds like you have a good excuse to plan a return visit to Italy.

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