Most Popular and Famous Italian Food

Italian cuisine; delightfully simple, flavorful, and fresh, is heaven on the plate. If you are thinking of eating this kind of food for the first time or you just traveled to Italy, making a choice can be a challenge. The best solution is to stick to specialties that are time-honored and local. 

One of the biggest advantages of visiting Italy is the food you get to experience. All their food is made with unpretentious and seasonal ingredients. Below are popular Italian foods.

Most Popular and Famous Italian Food

Pizza Napoletana

The number of amazing traditional dishes in Italy is high. Pizza Napoletana is perhaps one of the foods that is the heart of food from Italy. 

High quality, fresh ingredients, and simplicity and history will always be combined in an effort to be the most authentic and perfect pizza.

This particular pizza was created in Naples before the end of the 19th century. It is a flatbread, which is topped with extra virgin oil, mozzarella cheese, and tomatoes. 

Making this kind of pizza requires talent and more than several normal ingredients. For instance, the tomatoes need to come from San Marzano, a town close to Naples with volcanic soil.

The dough has to be made with particular ingredients. It should be crowned using Mozzarella di Bufala Campana and the process done by hand.  

The baking needs to be done in an oven (wood-fired for the best results). This oven uses two different wood types, which are one for 1 – 1 and ½ minutes, at 900 degrees. 

This is something you can’t order in the middle of the night when you feel like sampling Italian food. 

Three main varieties of Pizza Napoletana exist, of which Margherita is considered to be the most popular. It is a classic dish made with the colors coming from the Italian flag.

It was created in 1889 by Raffaele Esposito, a Neapolitan pizza maker. 


Lasagna, is a mainly Italian food (more of a comfort food) and is also the world’s oldest pasta recipe. It is made by interchanging layers of cheese, sauce, meat, and pasta sheets. 

Even though there are a plethora of methods to prepare Lasagna, the most famous method is the all-time favorite Lasagne Alla Bolognese.

It is made with Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, Bechamel sauce, and Ragu (Bolognese sauce made from meat). 

Lasagna Napoletana, contains mozzarella cheese, ricotta, sausage, and meatballs, instead of Bechamel sauce.

There are disputes on whether or not it was created in the middle Ages. Some say its creation can be traced back to old Greece. 

Trying to find the best Italian food is like trying to determine whether pasta or pizza is the best food. It mainly boils down to personal preferences. 

This means everyone will have their own opinion. However, everyone agrees that lasagna has the highest ranking when it comes to baked Italian food in Italy. 

Ossobuco Alla Milanese or Gelato

Ossobuco Alla Milanese is a hearty and flavorful specialty Italian food from Milan. It is made of slowly cooked veal shanks in vegetables and meat broth (with the option of adding white wine). 

Thought to have been discovered in the 19th century, the traditional recipe does not include tomatoes, but is normally finished with seasoning made using parsley, garlic, and lemon zest, as well as Gremolata. 

If you want to have a memorable meal in Italy, you should combine this with traditional saffron-laced Risotto ala Milanese.

Ice cream (Gelato) was not discovered in Italy, and is definitely not Italian food. However, this did not stop them from perfecting the process. Italian Gelato history is part of the Renaissance period. 

Most stories related to Gelato agree that it was invented at Medici’s court in Florence. Experts in the matter are not sure whether it was the alchemist Cosimo Ruggieri, or the designer Bernardo Buontalenti who came up with Gelato.   

Currently, there are approximately 40,000 Gelaterie all over Italy. The best are found in Rome, Florence, and Bologna.  


Panzanella, a tradition of Tuscan cuisine, is a delicious, healthy bread plus tomato salad normally prepared and served in central Italy when it is hot in summer. 

Tuscany’s green fields is the origin of this meal, and it is more of a peasant dish and very popular Italian food. 

The region is deeply in love with bread-related salads that were used as far back as the 14th century.

The current recipe involves the use of tomatoes and other ingredients brought by the civilized world. Originally, the meal was prepared using onions and stale bread. 

The present-day version is a healthier and more appealing version. Ingredients used comprise, but are not confined to, vinegar, seasoned with olive oil, leftover bread, fresh basil, cucumbers, and tomatoes (sun-ripened). 

If you prefer making this food from the comfort of your home, you should try to find a simple recipe and experiment with it before you go for more complex ones. 


It is usually related to Ligurian cuisine, and is among the most delicious and popular bread in Italy. Its name is derived from Latin and means flaked bread on earth.

Although this type of Italian food has countless varieties all through Italy, the versions found in Genoa is considered to be the best. It is also found in the village along the Italian Riviera. 

It is usually made using a mixture of hard and soft wheat flour, the best extra virgin olive oil, salt, water, and yeast. 

Outside of Liguria, Focaccia can be made by flavoring it with basil, tomatoes, garlic, and herbs.

A popular option of the food is Focaccia with rosemary, often served as table bread or antipasto. 

You can also make it by experimenting with different vegetables. Cooking from home may require you to substitute some ingredients with those that are similar to the original one. 

A Tip to Remember

Before you start preparing an Italian meal at home, make sure you can get the requirements in the recipe. Most of the best Italian food is usually prepared using an oven. 

For example, lasagna needs to be baked. More simple options, such as those involving pasta, can be prepared using a stove.

Make sure you understand what you require before preparation. Alternatively, order from a local restaurant, or hire a chef to prepare the meal. 

Whatever option you choose, you should ensure you get the best option if you and/or your friends are to enjoy the meal.  

Recommended Italian Food You Should Try

Bottom Line

These are examples of some of the best Italian foods that you can come across in Italy or a renowned Italian restaurant. 

Each of the foods mentioned come from a particular region where they were discovered, or they originated.

Sampling most, if not all, of these foods, can help you get an idea of what you will like and what you will not like.


Prosecco is an Italian white wine, served chilled and best known as a sparkling (spumante) perlage, which can be (frizzante) semi-sparkling or (tranquillo) a still wine. Spumante is brut, extradry, dry or demi-sec based on sugar content. The name is derived from an Italian village of Prosecco near Trieste, a city-seaport and capital of Friuli Venezia Giulia region, where the grapes likely originate. The grapes that produce Prosecco is officially termed “Glera” since 2009 by the European Union.

This light-green skinned grape is the main content of Prosecco which originates from the northeastern region of Italy, historically noted during Roman times. Other grape varieties reported (15% maximum) are the following: Verdiso, Biachetta Trevigiana, Perera, Glera lunga, Chardonnay, Pinot Bianco, Pinot Grigio and Pinot Nero.

Prosecco DOCG has attained the highest level of Italian wine quality and is unique to Veneto and Fruili regions of Italy. There are strict regulations governing the production of each bottle. The controlled label itself tells the story of the vintage, appellation, region, content and volume.

Prosecco was recognized as a grape variety producing wine that has been around for hundreds of years and has evolved to become an exceptional sparkling wine. We are inspired and proud to present our passion for food, provide the destination to enjoy Italyʼs favorite flavors and share our culinary experience with you.