Naples is synonymous with pizza, an art passed down from generation to generation. Here are five veritable Neapolitan pizza shrines!
Naples is the birthplace of pizza, and here, this Italian classic is more than a local institution…it’s a religion! Neapolitan pizza has also been recognized as Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO. One might believe in Naples all pizza is exceptional. However, pizza cognoscenti know that if you want to taste true Neapolitan pizza, you really have to know where to go.
Keep in mind that even if the queue is long, the service is usually fast. A pizza can be either rossa or bianca (red and white respectively), the latter being without tomatoes. Even sans tomato sauce, white pizzas are not dry thanks to the melted cheese. A true red Neapolitan pizza is either Marinara or Margherita, and the simpler the better,.However, the dough must be perfect and the ingredients top-notch.
Here are five outstanding pizzerias definitely worth hitting up when you’re in town.
Sorbillo’s pizza is well worth the wait! The line might be a little longer than the other pizzerias, but there’s a good reason for that: Gino Sorbillo is a true worldwide ambassador of Neapolitan pizza. While you wait, you’ll be surrounded by a charming ambiance of Neapolitan folklore so soak it all up. Sorbillo has more than one pizzeria, but his flagship is on Via dei Tribunali 32. Founded by Gino’s grandfather in 1935, the prices seem to be locked in the past. Sorbillo’s pies are known for their exceptional ingredients and a perfect balance of innovation a respect for family tradition. Thanks to Sorbillo’s pizza-making expertise and superb quality of the ingredients, even the most classic preparations, like Margherita or marinara, taste extraordinary. (Via dei Tribunali 31, website)
2. La Notizia
La Notizia exudes quintessential Neapolitan hospitality, proving that southern Italian warmth is not just a myth. To symbolize this, pizzaiolo Enzo Coccia hung half a chair on the wall to show that the restaurant would be nothing without customers. Coccia’s pizza boasts a creativity that reflects his constant search for innovation balanced by the weight of tradition. Today, La Notizia is recognized as one of the world’s best pizzerias. The classic pies burst with exceptional and authentic flavor. The DOP Margherita replaces traditional mozzarella with a D.O.P. buffalo mozzarella from Campania. The San Gennaro pizza explodes with contrasting yet harmonious colors and flavors. The pomodorini gialli del piennolo–yellow cherry tomatoes harvested on the slopes of the Vesuvius characterized by sweet, acidity-free taste–harmonize perfectly with oregano, anchovies and olives. (Via Michelangelo da Caravaggio, 53; website)
3. La figlia del presidente
In what is basically a man’s world, Maria Cacialli has built a name for herself by creating her own pizzeria, which translates to the president’s daughter. This is a tribute to her father who is nicknamed the president because he served pizza to Bill Clinton during his 1994 visit to Naples. Don’t miss the fried pizza (yes, in Naples they fry pizzas!) as that would be almost sacrilegious. Our pick: the Classica Napoletana, a fried calzone stuffed with grilled pork rind, provola, ricotta and pepper. We also recommend the Bufalina and the Ripieno Ernesto Al Forno, a slightly lighter version of Classica Napoletana. (Via del Grande Archivio 23/24; website)
4. 50 KALÒ
Did you know that pizzaiolos have their own jargon? In pizzaiolo slang, kalò which comes from the Greek word kalos meaning beautiful or good, designates something good. As for 50, it means bread or dough. 50 KALÒ, therefore, means good dough, the basis of a successful pizza. But it’s not just light and soft dough that makes Ciro Salvo’s pizza so exceptional. The pizzaiolo’s careful selection of exclusively regional ingredients also helps render his pizzas exceptionally tasty. We suggest the Marinara, made with San Marzano tomatoes; garlic from Ufita Valley; fragrant oregano; and Le Peracciole, a famous extra-virgin organic olive oil. Combining tradition and innovation, the Alleanza is a true flavor bomb that explodes in the mouth. The pie is topped with the ancient conciato romano–believed to Italy’s oldest cheese–; Montoro onions and lardo di Colonnata, three ingredients protected by the Slow Food Presidium. (Piazza Sannazzaro 201/B; website)
Before visiting Naples, we recommend that you watch or re-watch The Gold of Naples. In this 1954 film, Vittorio De Sica depicts day-to-day life in the Parthenopean city through six short vignettes. Pay special attention to the pizza a credito segment, in which the beautiful Sophia Lauren owns a takeaway pizza stall with her husband. When in Naples, go to Starita and you just might recognize this pizzeria from the film. But Starita isn’t just famous for being on the big screen. Located in the off-the-beaten-track Materdei district, Starita is famous is beloved for its Fritta Montanara and the marvelous Angioletti. Covered with cherry tomatoes and rocket, these fried appetizers are perfection…and may even be offered to you while you’re waiting. (Via Materdei, 27/28; website)