Gelato is an absolute must whenever visiting Italy, and in the southern city of Naples, famed for being the birthplace of pizza and notorious for its connections to the Camorra, gelato brings out a softer and sweeter side to the stunning, yet gritty city.
Unfortunately, gelatarias in Naples are as common as pizzerias in the city and it’s quite easy to taste a disappointingly meh gelato than one of the truly spectacular offerings.
Finding the best gelato in Naples
Luckily for you, dear reader and fellow gelato lover, I underwent a rigorous endeavor to find the best gelato in Naples this summer. And of course, in the name of science, I took my research very seriously: two double scoop servings each day for ten days from different gelatarias around town, with only one repeat visit to the spot I favored the most.
My choices for the best gelato in Naples
Il Gelato Mennella. This gelataria is, hands-down, my favorite and I give it my vote for best gelato in Naples. The gelato flavors are all made with natural ingredients of the highest quality, leaving each scoop sinfully rich, creamy, and absolutely delicious. Mellena also adds little touches to enhance the overall gelato experience: your choice of hot melted dark, milk, or white chocolate coating on the inside of your cone and the freshest panna (whipped cream) added on top . Two locations: Via Carducci, 45 and Via Scarlatti, 97
Casa Infante. Coming in a close second is Casa Infante, the gelato chain with a slight vintage aesthetic that offers a wide variety of new and classic flavors. Much like Mellena, the gelato is creamy and decadent, the waffle cones are made fresh in-house, and the inside can be coated with your choice of melted varieties of chocolate, even hazelnut! The panna was whipped fresh, but wasn’t as light and creamy as that at Mellena’s. In any case, a serving from Casa Infante will not disappoint in the least. Multiple locations throughout the city: Piazza Vanvitelli
Fantasia Gelati. An award-winning gelateria, Fantasia Gelati serves an extremely satisfying scoop (or two). The gelato flavors here are the richest and most indulgent, but is made with less sugar, creating a perfect balance. It’s an incredibly filling and satisfying experience. The cream-based gelato flavors outshine the fruit ones by a long shot. Multiple locations throughout the city: Via Toledo, 381
Gay-Odin. A famous long-standing chain (established in 1894) with delicious, classic flavors that’s sure to please everyone in your group. The gelato here is solid and you can’t go wrong with the traditional recipes. However, if you’re looking for gelato that’s innovative, unique, or with more interesting flavors, skip Gay-Odin and head for one of the other spots listed here. Multiple locations throughout the city: Via Benedetto Croce, 61
Personally, there’s nothing better than walking the streets of Naples with a gelato in hand, admiring the beauty of the architecture. Just make sure you’ve got a scoop (or two) from one of the best spots for gelato in Naples and you’ll be set!
Make your gelato even better
Oh. And if you’re not adding fresh panna to your gelato, you’re doing it wrong.