Say “Pizza” in Italy and the name of the city to follow will automatically be “Naples.” After all, Naples is the birthplace of this one-dish feast, and the city in Italy, and perhaps the world, where it is made the best. The difference between a pizza in Naples and pizza in Rome starts with the crust: in Rome it’s paper thin and crispy while in Naples it’s soft, with just the slightest give to the teeth, and a little thicker. Moving up from the crust, a pizza in Naples will be topped with a simple swathe of canned, sweet tomatoes and creamy buffalo mozzarella (both from the region of Campania). Of course, you can order pizza in Naples with or without tomato, with or without buffalo mozzarella and with other kinds of toppings, like eggplant, but really—why would you when it is this pizza (the margherita) that the city does so well.
If you’re heading to Naples, you’ll want to try the following pizzerias where you can taste the best pizza in the city.
Top Pizzerias in Naples
This simple pizzeria is often said to make the best pizza not only in Naples but also in the world. It was opened in 1870 and since then has been making pizza during lunch and dinner to ever increasing crowds. Take a number from the man out front and be prepared to wait upwards to a couple hours. But once you’re squeezed inside at one of the tables and watch the pizzas get carried in stacks from the single wood-burning pizza oven, you won’t regret the wait at all.
There are only two types of pizzas here: one with just tomato, called marinara, and the other with tomato and mozzarella, the margherita. The two types of pizzas come in two sizes, to give eaters a little more choice. For drinks, the choice is also limited, but this helps to keep the pizza eaters moving in and out. Da Michele was the pizzeria in Eat, Pray, Love where Julia Roberts eats her favorite pizza.
Via Cesare Sersale 1‚Äì3
Tel: 081 553 9204
Il Pizzaiolo di Presidente
Before President Clinton visited this pizzeria to try one of its famous pies in 1994, it had a different name. But though the name changed, the pizza remained the same: delicious! Located in the heart of Naples’s centro storico, or historic center, Il Pizzaiolo di Presidente draws crowds of both locals and tourists. Here you can try any kind of pizza you like, which they can even fry. If you can’t find a space inside then stand out on the street, especially during lunchtime, where you can order from the window and eat to your heart’s content.
Via dei Tribunali, 120‚ ì121
Tel: 081 210 903
This Naples pizzeria is best known for being the place where the pizza margherita was invented in 1889, and for that reason is well worth the stop on any pizza tour of Naples. Its location near the shopping street of Via Toledo and the Piazza di Plebiscito also make it a good place to eat lunch while you’re out and about. Note that this restaurant tends to be more touristic and the prices reflect that, but the menu is large and serves more than just pizza.
Salita Sant’Anna di Palazzo, 1‚ ì2
Tel: 081 416 928
Any good tour of pizza in Naples should try Pizzeria Port’Alba, as it’s believed to be the first pizzeria in the world. In 1738 this pizzeria served pizzas to people on the street, but in 1830 it decided to move the pizza eating inside, establishing a pizza tradition we still follow and love today. This pizzeria is located near Piazza Dante and is sandwiched between bookshops catering to the neighborhood students.
Via Port’Alba, 18
Tel: 081 442 1061