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Photograph: Osteria Tulia
Photograph: Osteria Tulia

The best restaurants in Naples

Whether you’re looking for fancy date night digs or a solid burger, the best restaurants in Naples have your back

Written by Jackie Gutierrez-Jones in association with TD Bank
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Sure, Naples has breathtaking beaches. Gorgeous natural reserves. A FOMO-inducing sunset. But this cozy west coast Florida town is so much more than its sun-soaked shores — turns out, you can grab an amazing meal in just about every corner of the city.

What that means for you: a veritable sea of serious dining options. Samosas and saffron chicken by a James Beard featured chef, fresh beachfront ceviche and crudos, thick-cut burgers with glazed donut buns — it’s all on the menu in Naples. Which means you’ve got some decisions to make. But how to wade through the spoils of dining establishments? These 10 Naples restaurants are a great place to start.

What is it? One of Naples' top seafood dining spots with killer views to boot. You’re coming for the glittering seafood towers and staying for the unbeatable waterfront scene.

Why we love it: So, there’s a bit of Old Florida history here. The Turtle Club is located on the grounds of the Vanderbilt Beach Resort — the first hotel built on Vanderbilt Beach back in 1951. (The restaurant itself was established in 1998, though.) And when they say beachfront dining, they mean it. Tables are set up on the sand, so you and your ceviche have front row seats for the jaw-dropping Naples sunset.

What is it? Oh, it’s only some of the best Indian food on Florida’s west coast. Chef Asif R. Sayed honed his culinary skills in India before bringing his talents to Naples via crispy samosas, tandoori-grilled lobster, and lamb kabobs prepared with — wait for it — 21 different spices.

Why we love it: A James Beard featured chef in Naples? You bet. Chef Sayed was invited to cook dinner at the James Beard House in 2019 and brings that same level of attention to diners’ dishes every single night from the flames of his open kitchen.

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What is it? The bounty of the ocean is at your service here — just don’t forget to pass the salt. And with over 100 different varieties (including a few infused versions), that shouldn’t be a problem here. In fact, dinner starts with a flight of three different salts for seasoning the plates to come.

Why we love it: The ingredients here come from local producers and day boat fishermen, which means the menu changes pretty frequently. But you can always count on a spectacularly fresh meal that utilizes Chef Fabrizio Aielli’s Venetian-style home cooking.

What is it? An Italian powerhouse in the middle of Naples hottest strip: Fifth Ave. Manning the kitchen here is Chef Vincenzo Brulia, a Sicilian who was raised in… Milwaukee. Expect meatballs, Calabresa pies and a formidable bucatini cacio e pepe.  

Why we love it: You’re going to have a tough time deciding on a main course — along with your seats. While people watching on the edge of Fifth Ave has its appeal, the warm and rustic farmhouse aesthetic inside feels like a comforting hug.

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What is it? Imagine an old-timey sailboat with portholes below the deck and a galley capable of whipping up seafood dishes that would make Poseidon blush. That’s this place.

Why we love it: Yes, there really are portholes lining the walls here. And some of them offer a small glimpse of the patio space beyond. But don’t let that detract you from the tuna foie gras, grilled branzino and miso broiled sea bass. After all, that’s what you really came for.

What is it? Wicker chairs, powder blue walls, bottles of wine and charming outdoor seating. Oh, hey — it’s your friendly neighborhood French bistro.  

Why we love it: The chef/owners here live in Provence — and the menu backs it up. House made pate, warm slices of quiche and a tender duck leg confit are just the thing you want on a rainy afternoon that’s best measured by glasses of wine. Come back for the moules frites (mussels with French fries) when your hangover demands it.

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What is it? Coastal European cuisine… but make it Naples. That’s Sails in a nutshell. A Greek marble bar and lush outdoor patio serve as the backdrop for icy seafood towers, peppered tuna rossini with seared foie gras, and a tightly curated wine list.

Why we love it: Remember those “Choose Your Own Adventure” books? That’s the gist here. You can select your own fresh seafood, its poundage and preparation, including wood-grilled, salt-baked or seared a la plancha.  

What is it? This bright, airy bistro on Naples’ busy Fifth Ave serves up Middle Eastern dishes that aren’t shy about bathing in some spices. And that’s a very good thing.

Why we love it: “Bha! Bha!” means “Yum! Yum!” in Iran. Yeah, it’s a bold choice for a name, but the dishes coming out of this Naples bistro back it up. Eggplant, lamb, grape leaves and lavash dot the menu along with cool yogurts, sweet tamarind sauces and interesting blends of spices that keep the palate guessing.

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What is it? Everyone needs a solid burger joint in their back pocket for moments when only a big ol’ juicy slab of meat with an indecent number of toppings will do. In Naples, this is the place.  

Why we love it: You’ll find several locations of the local chain around town, each one slinging up a mighty fine version of the classic burger. But don’t take our word for it — Brooks Burgers ranked second place in TripAdvisor’s “America’s 10 Best Restaurants for Burgers” list.  Whether you’re coloring outside the lines with a glazed donut bun and a bison patty or keeping it classic with an angus beef cheeseburger and fries, Brooks won’t let you down.

What is it? Caffe dell’Amore is Naples’ answer to the Italian trattoria. Think: red velvet drapes, candlelit tables and white truffle sacchettini with homemade tiramisu.

Why we love it: The classic, old-world vibe feels like a different place in time. And sometimes, that’s exactly what you need — along with some lasagne alla bolgnese using organic beef, veal, pork and prosciutto with two different sauces. (It’s a house specialty.)

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