Pizza Margherita from the famous Da Michele, most recently highlighted in the  movie Eat Pray Love.

Pizza Margherita from the famous Da Michele, most recently highlighted in the movie Eat Pray Love.

Many foodies would concur that Naples Italy has the best pizza in the world thanks to a pride-filled methodology that includes wood burning brick ovens, great dough and Marzano tomatoes…all this makes for heavenly pies. Here is one critic’s Top 10 pizzerias in Napoli.

1. Da Michele
Via Sersale, 13; Tel#: +390815539204; www.damichele.net. Let’s start with what some people may consider the inconveniences- the restaurant is rustic to say the least (almost spartan and very much “no frills”), no reservations are accepted, you always have to wait in line (we had 40 people before us!!) and they serve only 2 kinds of pizza. Nothing but the pizza margherita and pizza marinara here, using only fiordilatte cow´s milk and sweet , tantalizing San Marzano tomatoes. So why do we recommend this place? Because this is the best pizza in Naples in our opinion!!! Since 1870 the Condurros have been making pizzas for their hungry patrons, from tourists, to local Napoletani to VIPs (they are particularly proud they had the famous soccer player Maradona as an approving diner!)

2. Il Pizzaiolo del Presidente
Via Tribunali, 120/121Tel. +39081210903; www.ilpizzaiolodelpresidente.it.
Right in the heart of Spaccanapoli, the historic center of Naples, Signore Ernesto Cacialli welcomed us here with a huge smile. Pizzaiolo since the time he was 7 (!!!), Ernesto invited former US president Bill Clinton – who was in Naples for G8 – to taste his creations (back in 1994) and since then his pizzeria (the “president´s” pizzeria) was re-named in his honor. Buono!

3. Brandi
Salita S.Anna di Palazzo, 1- 2 (angolo via Chiaia); Tel#: +39081416928; www.brandi.it.
Close to the elegant Chiaia neighbourhood and to Piazza Plebiscito, this is where the mythical “pizza margherita” was invented. Although pizzas have apparently been around in one form or another since Ancient Roman times, Raffaele Esposito is credited with creating the Margherita. He worked at this very pizzeria (established in 1780) and in 1889 he was asked to bake 3 different kinds of pizza for the royal visit of King Umberto I and Queen Margherita of Savoy. The Queen’s favorite was a pizza that had the colors of the Italian flag: basil leaves for green, mozzarella for white, and tomatoes for red. Named Pizza Margherita in her honor, this is how this pizza is still universally known . Brandi is one of the more elegant and atmopsheric pizzerias and offer many traditional Napoletano side dishes as well. While Italians tend to drink beer with pizza, they offer some nice Falanghina white wines and Aglianico based reds here as well.

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4. Di Matteo
Via dei Tribunali, 94; Tel#: +39081455262.
Founded in 1936 by Salvatore Di Matteo, the pizzeria was then managed by the “scugnizzi pizzaioli” (street urchin pizzaioli kids, usually poor, going to school only when they had to and spending a lot of time hanging out in the narrow streets of Naples) that used to work for him. Today, it is run by Raffaele Marigliano, who 50 years ago created an amazing pizza con alici e cicinielli (anchovies and newborn very very little fish, not produced any more). Here you cannot miss the pizza fritta, a deep fried pizza with ricotta cheese, provola cheese, tomato sauce and sugna (lard). Heaven on earth!

5. Pizzeria Trianon da Ciro
Via P. Colletta, 46; Tel#: +39.081.5539426; www.pizzeriatrianon.com
Established in 1923, this is a BIG pizzeria, with 3 floors. Here you can find exquisite (made fresh daily) buffalo milk mozzarella as a topping as well as the full range of pizza toppings you normally expect. They have 29 in their list and their specialty is salsiccia (Italian sausage) and friarielli (a kind of sprouting broccoli that grows only in the countryside around Naples, see photo below). Recommended.

6. Sorbillo
Via Tribunali, 32; Tel#: +39081.446643; www.sorbillo.it/en.
This is another pizza “temple” in the “centro storico” of Naples; run today by daughter Anna Sorbillo, a member of the 21st generation pizza making family. Sorbillo can also deliver to your home or hotel (in historic center of Naples) and you can order on line.

Trattoria da Ettore - Napoli

Trattoria da Ettore - Napoli

7. Da Ettore
Via S. Lucia, 56; Tel#: +39081 7640498.
Right on the seafront, facing the pretty Castel dell’Ovo marina/fortress on the elegant Santa Lucia boulevard (where politicians, actors and tourists frequent) the pizza here is truly excellent. But apart from pizza, they also excel in the “frittura all’italiana”, a sinfully delicious mix of deep fried aubergines (eggplant), zucchini, mozzarella, arancini (rice croquettes), cauliflower, potato croquettes, zeppulelle con alghe (salty doughnut-like fried thingie with seaweed).

8. Lombardi
Via Foria, 12; Tel#: +39081456220
Close to the FABULOUS archeological museum of Naples (with its fascinating Erotic room of Pompeii mosaics, and the Farnese collection), Pizzeria Lombardi was founded in the turn of the century by Enrico Lombardi who sold pizza in Brazil before setting up his pizzeria in Naples. Nowadays it is run by his grandsons Nando and Gigi. They offer also a variety of simple, perfectly executed dishes, but pizza is what you come for. Their specialty is pizza with smoked provolone cheese.

9. Antica Pizzeria Port’Alba
Via Port’Alba, 18; Tel#: +390814421061. This is the oldest pizzeria in Naples and Italy. Founded in 1738 as seller of street food, it became a real pizzeria in 1830. Vincenzo Luciano is the 5th generation to run the business.

10. La Notizia
Via Caravaggio, 53-55; Tel#: +390817142155. Named after the movie (the owner Enzo Coccia loves “Citizen Kane”), this pizzeria opens for dinners only, allowing time for the yeast to create the perfect dough. A real treat is the pizza bianca – without tomatoes – with scarola salad, aubergines (eggplant) and provola cheese. It is not located in a touristy neighborhood, but it is absolutely worth going to the upper part of the town to reach it. Authentic Napoli.
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Source: “The Ten Best Pizzerias in Naples”, by Simona Piccinelli / www.cellartours.com.