Calabria’s Best Food

Calabria, also known as the “toe in Italy’s boot”, is a beautiful region in southern Italy that boasts mountains and beaches. But the best thing about Calabria is the delicious food!

Calabria’s seafood and produce are great with the hearty, local red wines. Many dishes combine fresh and preserved ingredients with meats, fish, and other foods with oil and spices.

You want to know where to eat in Calabria. These are our top picks for the region’s best dishes!

‘Nduja and cipolla rossa di Tropea. Photo by Girl Interrupted Eat (Flickr).

NdujaOne of Calabria’s most beloved and loved foods! This unique, soft and spreadable spicy sausage is a result of the use of local chili peppers. It is delicious on fresh pasta and crispy bread.

Cipolla Rosa di Tropea:Calabria’s bright dishes are influenced by this onion, which is grown in Tropea. Its distinctive purple-red exterior and sweet taste make it a standout! This onion can be found in salads and meats… even pizza!

Lagane and Cicciari:Calabria’s tradition in cucina povera (peasant cooking) is home to some of the best comfort food recipes. We love the wide pasta with chickpeas and garlic, as well as oil.

Pasta Ccu Ri Sarde:Fresh Sardinines are an essential ingredient in Calabrian cuisine. They are delicious in this sweet, salty, Arab-inspired dish made with breadcrumbs and raisins, and pine nuts.


Caciocavallo cheese hanging to dry

Caciocavallo Literally, this delicious cheese is known for its sharp and smooth taste. Caciocavallo can be easily identified by its teardrop-shaped appearance when dried. This versatile cheese is delicious in baked lasagna and on its own with cured meats.

CiambottaEggplant can be found all over Calabria as a condiment or side dish. This spicy eggplant stew is packed with chili, tomatoes and onions. It’s a great way to kick it up! This dish is often vegetarian, and the exact recipe will vary from one city to another.

Olive oil Did you know that nearly a quarter of Italy’s olive oil comes from Calabria? Calabria is not as well-known as Tuscany as a producer. Often, Calabrian oil can be used as a base oil and mixed with oil from other regions to label it as a product of that area. Calabria’s oil has a medium strength and fruity undertones.


Candy and the licorice plant

LicoriceCalabria’s high-quality licorice is known locally as rigulizza. It is loved for its digestive properties and the unique taste of the gourmet candy. ).


Pignolata, a delicious Calabrian sweet

Pignolata These delicious fried honey balls, also known as struffoli are a Sicilian-inspired recipe. They are extremely popular in the Reggio Calabria region. These can be found in pastry shops on major holidays such as Christmas and Carnevale.


Bergamot oranges Photo by John Loo

Liquore Al Bergamotto: After eating a big meal, sip the digestive liqueur from the region made with bergamot oranges. This concoction is similar to limoncello and is made from the juices of a very tart orange that can be found in the beautiful groves all over the region. As a souvenir, we recommend bringing back bergamot-scented teas and perfumes!


What’s your favorite Calabrian dish? Let us know in the comments what you think!