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The Best Pizzerias in Naples

The earliest available document bearing mention of the word “pizza” dates from the year 997 and was unearthed in the town of Gaeta. Originally derived from the breads made by the ancient Greeks and Egyptians, it was the Spanish settlers of Naples who added its typical tomato base in the 16th century. However, it was in 1889 that the master pizza maker, Raffaele Esposito, created the pizza Magherita in honour of the thus-named Queen of Italy and the formula stuck. There is no corner of the world where pizza is not eaten, but the Naples variety – the vera pizza, baked in a wood-fired oven– is still the best. If you visit the Partenopea city, these are the pizzerias we recommend you head for when feeling peckish.

Legend has it that Raffaele Esposito, the chef at the Pizzeria di Pietro e Basta Cosi, created the pizza margheritain 1889. Made as a tribute to the Queen of Italy, it was topped with tomato, mozzarella and basil to produce the colours of the Italian flag and soon became the pizza par excellence of Naples. The restaurant in question is now called Brandi and it still serves one of the tastiest pizzas in town, in addition to the star dishes of Neapolitan cuisine in which fish and seafood figure prominently.

Da Attilio
Opened in 1938, this venue is where Attilio Bachetti (grandson) continues to make one of the best pizzas in Naples. In an out-of-the-way spot in one of the most traditional quarters, Da Attilio serve up some of the most innovative creations in town, notably the pizza carnevale, a scrumptious base covered with tomato, mozzarella and sausages, and the edges filled in with ricotta cheese.

Da Gennaro
In 1959, Gennaro Cristiano closed down his fried fish street stall and opened his own restaurant, thus starting one of the most celebrated pizza-making lineages in Naples. One of the must-try eats on the menu at Da Gennaro is their endless half-a-metre-long pizza, and, even more so, their farfalla, a butterfly-shaped pizza with a filled centre and a guest’s choice two-flavour addition on the wings. Via Plinio 21

Da Michele
Master pizza makers since 1870, their history and the quality of their offerings is inversely proportional to the length of their menu. Da Michele serve only two kinds of pizza – the traditional classic, margherita,and the marinara, based on tomato, garlic, oregano and oil. While the choice is extremely narrow, the quality is excellent. If theirs is not the best pizza in Naples, it certainly comes close to it.

Di Matteo
In July 1994, Naples hosted the G7 Summit, during which the US President at the time, Bill Clinton, felt like a pizza. He duly fulfilled his desire by visiting Di Matteo, and his was a good choice. It is so popular among Neapolitans that rarely is there a day without guests having to queue up. When your turn comes, be sure to order their magnificent fried pizza, or else a margherita,which really explodes on the palate.

Il Pizzaiolo Del Presidente
The Via dei Tribunali, in the heart of Naples’ historic centre, must be the street with the highest density of essential pizzerias in the world. In the consequent list of restaurants, Il Pizzaiolo Del Presidente should be set in capitals and highlighted in fluorescent marker. In the colours and aromas of their pizzas you will discover the finest essences of the traditional Neapolitan pizza.

La Notizia
Don’t be deceived by its apparent simplicity – at La Notizia the margherita is a pleasure on the taste buds. Perched on the hill overlooking Spaccanapoli, the ride to the pizzeria by funicular railway is a veritable happening. A sublimated experience once you have sat down and started biting into their exquisite creation baked in a wood-fired oven, their tomato, mozzarella and fresh basil combined in perfect harmony.

Tradition has it that pellone is the joy experienced when your pizza has a diameter that overspills the circumference of the plate it is served on. This venue is a winning bet for both epicures and insatiable diners. Heirs to the family tradition, the De Luca brothers – Mimmo, Franco and Antimo – have drawn praise and even reverence from leading connoisseurs for their pizza margherita,the marinara and the house speciality, fried calzone with ricotta and an escarole filling.

For many, the charismatic celebrity, Gino Sorbillo, grandson of the pizzaiolo, Luigi Sorbillo, the first in the line of the family pizza-makers, is the current king of Neapolitan pizzas, Baked in a wood-fire oven and massive in size, it would be a sin to pass up their marinara. It you’re still hungry after that, for dessert let yourself be tempted by their semifreddo, which is simply superb.

Cinema lovers may well be familiar with this eatery, as it served as the backdrop to The Gold of Naples, a classic by Vittorio De Sica in which the main stars are the stunning pair, Silvana Mangano and Sophia Loren. Opened in 1901 as a wine cellar by Antonio Starita, his grandson, also named Antonio Starita, has gradually consolidated it as one of the most lauded pizzerias in the city of Vesuvius.

Text by Oriol Rodríguez for Los Viajes de ISABELYLUIS

Images by yashima, Bex Walton

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