10 of the best pizzerias in Naples

As Naples prepares to host the world pizza-making championships, here are 10 places to go for a pizza the action Plus the village pizzeria voted Italys best

While the world pizza-making championships being held at the Napoli Pizza Village festival this week (1-10 June) will see the finest pizzaioli from across the city compete for the 2018 title, Neapolitans will attest there are pizzerias in every neighbourhood worthy of an accolade. There are more than 800 pizzerias in the birthplace of pizza, but only 100 can boast certification by the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana (AVPN), the regulatory body that protects and ensures that the art of pizza-making and the ingredients used are in accordance with Neapolitan tradition.

While the most logical way to spot a good pizzeria in Naples is to look out for Pizza Vera signs issued by the AVPN above restaurant doors, the real indication of good pizza is the queue on the street outside. If there aren’t ravenous-looking Neapolitans waiting outside the neighbourhood pizzeria, then there is reason to suggest the pizza hasn’t garnered the collective approval of the locals.

Sorbillo, Centro Storico

Pizzeria
Photograph: Alamy

The queue to get into Sorbillo can take up to an 1½ hours because it makes easily the best pizzeria in the city. Sorbillo is renowned for making vast pizzas from organic Campanian produce. To ease the wait, those in the know pick up a cold beer and a bag of Taralli crackers from the inconspicuous marble Aquafrescaio kiosk next door, which has been manned by the same signora for the last 50 years.
Via dei Tribunali, 38, 80138,
pizzeria-sorbillo.it. Open Mon-Sat midday-3.30pm and 7pm-12pm

Gorizia 1916, Vomero

Pizza

Gorizia 1916 is in the wealthy Vomero neighbourhood and is something of an institution. Family run for over a century, it famously remained open throughout both world wars and has been a pillar of the community ever since. Naples’ most distinguished characters have patronised the restaurant over the years, attracted by its art-deco interior, white tablecloths and quintessential career waiters in their elegant waistcoats, white shirts and black bow ties.
Via Gian Lorenzo Bernini, 29-31, 80127,
gorizia1916.com. Open daily 11am-4.15pm and 6.30pm-1am

Carminiello, Secondigliano

Pizza

Well and truly off the beaten track, in the northern outskirts of the city, Carminiello is as famous for its selection of freshly fried treats as its pizza: battered sliced aubergine, croquettes and rice arancini piled up behind the glass counter at the entrance. Just beyond the airport but without a tourist in sight, it makes for the perfect last pizza in Naples before getting on the plane home.
Corso Secondigliano, 350, 80144,
carminiello.it. Open Mon-Sat 11am-4pm and 6pm-12pm

Starita, Materdei

Naples’
Naples’ pizza heroes … Antonio Starita (left) with fellow chefs Gino Sorbillo (second left), Ciro Oliva (right) and Enzo Coccia (second). Photograph: Tiziana Fabi/AFP/Getty Images

Starita is the only decent pizzeria in the centre of town open on Sundays, because that’s the day most Neapolitans are gathered around their nonna’s kitchen table eating rigatoni al ragù and watching Napoli play football on TV. Whereas the pizza from Sorbillo is huge and errs on the sloppy side, the pizza at Starita is firmer and has a delicious doughy but airy crust. For dessert, its speciality of fried dough balls dripping in warm Nutella is a must – work it off with a stomp around the nearby underground cemetery.
Via Materdei, 27/28, 80136, pizzeriestarita.it. Open Tues-Sun midday-3.30pm and 7pm-12pm

L’antica Pizzeria da Michele Forcella

Chefs
Photograph: Alamy

Neapolitans will rarely order anything other than a margherita or marinara pizza so there is no better place to try them than at Da Michele, which makes nothing but. The wood-fired oven occupies the centre of the restaurant, churning out pizzas at a breathless pace. You get the feeling you have under three minutes to sit, eat and pay but it is well worth the experience and works as a good simple lunch option.
Via Cesare Sersale, 1, 80139,
micheleintheworld.com. Open Mon-Sat 11am-10.30pm

Pizzeria da Attillo, Montesanto

Olive

Each neighbourhood in Naples is like a village: with its own parish church, piazza, market and usually trattorie and pizzerias to choose from. Locals might have varied preferences on which grocer stocks the best mozzarella or which fishmonger sells the freshest clams but there will usually be a consensus as to the best pizzeria. In the Montesanto neighbourhood, home to the oldest market in the city, it is the modest-but-well-respected pizzeria da Attilio that gets the most love – but get there early as it tends to run out of dough before closing time.
Via Pignasecca, 17, 80134,
pizzeriadaattilio.com. Open Mon-Sat midday-4pm and 7pm-midnight

Pizzeria Napoli Tutino, Porta Nolana

Pizza portafoglio is the Neapolitan solution to pizza without queuing: it translates as wallet-shaped pizza, and is relatively small, folded into quarters and served from the restaurant window wrapped in brown paper for hungry passersby. The Tutino family have been making pizza for five generations and keep no less than three wood-fired ovens blazing to keep up with demand. Pick up a delectable pizza portafoglio from Tutino’s as sustenance before a wander through the unruly Porta Nolana street market.
Via Cesare Carmignano, 79, 80142, pizzerianapoli.napoli.it. Open Mon-Sat 8am-10pm

La Masardona, Case Nuove

Calzoni

La Masardona has been specialising in deep-fried calzoni since the 1930s, when head chef Enzo Piccirillo’s family began selling them to hungry market labourers heading home from work. Intriguingly, the pizzeria is named after a formidable female forebear of Piccirillo’s, whose job as “La Masardona” was to deliver secret messages verbally between revolutionaries. It appears everybody has finally got the memo though, as the scruffy Case Nuove district’s best-kept secret is now widely acknowledged as the temple of fried pizza in Italy.
Via Giulio Cesare Capaccio, 27, 80142,
on Facebook. Open Mon-Sat 7am-4pm

Fratelli Cafasso, Fuorigrotta

Two

If you are heading to a football match at the Stadio San Paolo in Fuorigrotta (Napoli’s home ground), it would be inexcusable to miss out on a pre-game visit to Fratelli Cafasso. Run by one of the great pizza-making families in the city, the Cafasso brothers make traditional mouth-watering pizza served a little smaller than usual, meaning you won’t be too lethargic to sing through the litany of chants expected of you at the match.
Via Giulio Cesare, 156, 80125, ristorantepizzeriacafasso.it. Open Mon-Sat 12.30pm-3.30pm and 7.30pm-11pm

Pizzeria Oliva da Salvatore e Carla, La Sanità

Exterior

Salvatore and Carla are La Sanità’s golden couple. He was the son of the prized pizza chef Ciro Oliva and she was the pretty, well to-do daughter of the famous neighbourhood tailor Angelo O’ Sarto. They met between shifts learning the ropes of their family businesses that were on opposite sides of the road to each other, soon married and opened Pizzera Oliva … in 2014. Their warm welcome, imaginative pizzas and ideal location in front of the barqoue Santa Maria Della Sanita church make this a perfect lunch stop after wandering the back streets of this chaotic but quintessential neighbourhood.
Via Sanità, 11/12, 80136,
napolipizzeria.it. Open Mon-Sat 11am-11.30pm

Pizzeria Sorbillo and Pizzeria Oliva will be showcasing their food at the week-long Napoli Pizza Village, which takes place on the seafront on 1-10 June. As well as the world pizza-making championship, there will be pizza demonstrations, talks and a showcase of 50 historical Neapolitan pizzerias. The event is free

In a spin: Pepe In Grani, Italy’s best pizzeria

Minimalist-design
Photograph: Francesco Palladino

Anyone who takes pizza seriously should make a detour from Naples to the village of Caiazzo, 30 miles north of the city. In 2017 a new guide, 50 Top Pizza, named Pepe In Grani the best pizzeria in Italy. Modelled on the successful World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, 50 Top Pizza is helmed by one of Italy’s most influential wine and food journalists, Luciano Pignataro, and the creators of the DOP Mozzarella Guild: Le Strade della Mozzarella.

A three-storey minimalist modern space down an alley in Caiazzo, the pizzeria lures pilgrims from around the world; they queue for hours for a slice of owner Franco Pepe’s version of the margherita, plus assorted gourmet creations. His signature pizza, the margherita sbagliata (translates as margherita “wrong”, €8) is baked white, just with mozzarella, then brushed with pure tomato puree and a basil concentrate after it’s cooked to prevent the pizza from getting soggy. For some Italians this deviation from the pizza norm makes Franco a maverick.

But Pepe is happy to rebel – in pursuit of perfection. Passionate about provenance, he favours locally grown tomatoes over the traditional San Marzano and uses his own blend of flour, with its superior nutritional value and digestibility. He also obsesses over technical details, such as avoiding subjecting delicate herbs like basil and oregano to heat, which he says destroys their flavour.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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