Pizza in Naples

21 minute read

Being a fan of pizza I had to visit Naples, which hosts the majority of the best pizzerias in the world.

So much pizza but so little time! We consulted some of the most authoritative sources to identify the best pizzerias:

Did you know? No Michelin stars have been awarded to pizzerias in 2018. Quite surprising to me.

We had a hard time trying to filter out pizzerias in those lists: how can you exclude one of those from your trip? They all look wonderful.

But eventually we agreed on a small list and these are the ones we managed to try:

In a hurry? Skip to the post’s summary.

50 Kalò

:globe_with_meridians: Website | :book: TripAdvisor | :pizza: Price range: 5-10€

In the neapolitan Smorfia the number 50 represents bread. In the pizza makers’ jargon the word kalò means good (comes from the greek term kalos). So 50 Kalò means good dough.

But good does not describe the dough well enough: it’s the best I’ve ever eaten, including the other options in Naples.

The classic margherita pizza with buffalo mozzarella. Burrata and spicy sausage pizza. Broccoli, sausage and buffalo mozzarella pizza.
50 Kalò’s pizza. What a dough.

The research and passion of Ciro Salvo leads to a really soft, light and highly digestible dough. Add top quality ingredients and you get one of the best pizzas in the world.

We also tried a classic fried pizza here, the montanara: it’s surprisingly light and tasteful.

Montanara fried pizza.
50 Kalò’s fried pizza. What a fried dough.

The restaurant has comfortable rooms with the kitchen placed at the entrance and outdoor seats too. I especially liked the fact that here you don’t share tables with people you don’t know, as it allows for a quiet and more private experience while your senses marvel over the delicious pizza.

If you try to get in as soon as it opens, you probably won’t need to wait in a queue, even though you will see few people waiting outside. In popular dining hours on weekend evenings you’ll need to wait about 30 minutes.

Also, at 1 minute walking distance from 50 Kalò you can find the port of the famous seafront road Via Caracciolo.

Pizza at 50 Kalò is a true masterpiece, definitely something you won’t forget. In fact, it’s the only pizzeria in Naples where we dined a second time.

L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele

:globe_with_meridians: Website | :book: TripAdvisor | :pizza: Price range: 5-7€

Since the 1870, the Condurro family has been perfecting the art of making pizza. This journey began with Michele Condurro, the forefather of a family of pizza chefs that has been making the best margherita pizza in the world for a long time.

The menu is rather simple and traditional: you can only order a margherita or marinara pizza.

The best margherita pizza in the world. Another best margherita in the world.
That table is quite crude. But that margherita…

The dough is both soft and dense. The toppings are excellent, you can taste the superb mixed flavors of sauce, oil, mozzarella and basil. The pizza here is so simple and so good, I’ve never had a margherita like this one before.

The restaurant is quite crude and traditional, also it’s somewhat chaotic. Here you will probably be sharing your table with strangers and that’s a different experience from the usual, strangers may be nice people or a bit annoying but it’s a risk you have to take for the good of your own taste buds.

We were lucky enough to sit in front of the wood oven so we were able to see how the pizza chefs cooked the best margheritas in the world. A wonderful experience.

There’s always a queue in front of the pizzeria, we were able to get in after waiting about 30 minutes.

If you ever wondered how the best margherita pizza in the world tastes, just visit the Antica Pizzeria da Michele to get your answer.

Gino Sorbillo Antica Pizzeria

:globe_with_meridians: Website | :book: TripAdvisor | :pizza: Price range: 5-10€

One of the most popular pizza restaurants in the world. It all started in the 90s when Gino Sorbillo took the reins of the ancient pizzeria right in the middle of Naples’ historical center.

The menu ranges from the traditional margherita pizza to more creative ones, also featuring the most expensive pizza in the world (guess its price).

Incredibly tasteful white pizza with ham and buffalo mozzarella. The most expensive pizza in the world. And one of the most delicious.
Traditional neapolitan dough and top quality local ingredients are what these pizzas are made of.

The unquestionable quality of the toppings and the excellent dough make for one of the best pizzas we’ve had in Naples.

The restaurant’s interior decoration is good-looking and suits well the quality of the food. There are rooms with small tables separated from each other and also a room with a big horseshoe table shared between lots of people. We sat at the horseshoe table but this time we weren’t lucky as before: our neighbors constantly stared at us eating while they were waiting for their pizzas and it was a bit disturbing. This was the only negative aspect of our experience at Gino Sorbillo Antica Pizzeria.

There’s always a queue waiting outside this pizzeria. We talked with the waiter outside to enlist our names and we were called in after 40-45 minutes. This was probably the longest wait we had to face in the trip.

But here you can definitely find one of the best pizzas in the world. Which by itself, in my opinion, outweighs every other aspect.

Concettina ai Tre Santi

:globe_with_meridians: Website | :book: TripAdvisor | :pizza: Price range: 5-10€

In the 1951 Concettina Flessigno Oliva started to cook fried pizza for the people in Rione Sanità, one of the oldest neapolitan districts. Now his great-grandchild Ciro Oliva is making one of the best pizzas that you can find in Naples.

The continuous research that Ciro has been carrying out is based on the valorization of traditions in innovative recipes. Knowing this fact, we ordered a frezella and a stuffed crust pizza and I think we made the right call.

The frezzella pizza. The Fondazione San Gennaro stuffed crust pizza.
The frezella and Fondazione San Gennaro pizzas stand out in the menu of Concettina ai Tre Santi.

I especially liked the Fondazione San Gennaro pizza for 2 reasons:

  • The superb composition of ingredients and their quality, it comes with a stuffed crust too. Not the usual neapolitan pizza.
  • It sustains the Fondazione San Gennaro, a NPO operating in the Rione Sanità district.

We had to wait only 15 minutes before getting in at lunchtime, which is a really good time given that the restaurant does not have lots of seats.

At Concettina ai Tre Santi you can find tradition meeting innovation. Definitely visit this restaurant if you are in Naples for the pizza.

La Masardona

:globe_with_meridians: Facebook | :book: TripAdvisor | :pizza: Price range: 5-10€

Anna Manfredi was the grandmother of Vincenzo Piccirillo, current owner of this fried-food shop. She was nicknamed la Masardona by a mysterious man upon the successful delivery of a secret message on his behalf. In fact, in the postwar period, that term was used to describe women who reliably delivered messages to members of brigand organizations. Anna’s daily job consisted of selling fried pizza to the neighborhood.

The tradition is being carried on by her family, which now manages the shop. Today La Masardona is one of the most popular fried-food shops in Naples. Their specialty is fried pizza.

Oops, no photos here. We were too hungry. Couldn’t wait to eat. I’m sorry.

I ordered a fried pizza with ragù and basil. Really soft and tasty dough, top quality ingredients. My mouth becomes watery every time I think of it.

We went in at 11.00 AM so we can’t exactly tell how much you need to wait at lunchtime.

Make sure to visit this neapolitan fry temple. It’s a 10-minute walk from the Garibaldi train station in Naples.

Di Matteo

:globe_with_meridians: Website | :book: TripAdvisor | :pizza: Price range: 5-10€

Salvatore Di Matteo currently manages this ancient pizzeria in Naples’ historical center, launched 75 years ago by his grandfather. Just like the majority of other pizzerias in Naples, this one has been owned by a single family, passed down from generation to generation.

But unlike many of the most famous pizzerias in Naples, Di Matteo offers lots of fried foods and several fried pizzas. It was hard to resist all of that but we had to, since it was the dinner of a day full of neapolitan food. So we ordered a pair of margheritas.

A margherita with lots of mozzarella. A margherita with lots of mozzarella.
A margherita at Di Matteo. As you can see, there is a lot of mozzarella on the pizzas here.

The margheritas were quite heavy to our surprise: they were coated with lots of mozzarella. Still, they were very good because of high-quality toppings and the traditional neapolitan dough. But I think the other margeritas we’ve tried in Naples are better than the one I had here.

The restaurant has several rooms on the second floor with lots of tables, nothing too fancy and it’s somewhat crowded inside. Instead, on the first floor you’ll find the wood ovens and the fry stations. We went in at 8.30 PM without having to wait in a queue.

This pizzeria was not on top of our list. We went there because we happened to walk across it in the historical center of Naples. In my opinion, you should try the previously listed restaurants before Di Matteo. But don’t mistake my words, here the pizza is still better than the average italian pizza (which is better than the average non-italian pizza).

La Figlia del Presidente

:globe_with_meridians: Website | :book: TripAdvisor | :pizza: Price range: 5-10€

In 1994 Ernesto Cacialli prepared pizza for the US president Bill Clinton and all of his staff. Afther that he became Pizzaiolo of the President. Now Maria Cacialli, his daughter, manages the restaurant in the historical center of Naples while her husband, Felice Messina, is the pizza chef.

This restaurant was not on top of our list but that evening we were craving fried food. In fact, we chose La Figlia del Presidente because it had received good reviews on its fry department and it was a 5-minute walk from us. So we ordered a pair of croquettes, a fried and closed pizza and a sweet fried stracelli plate for dessert.

A fried pizza stuffed with mozzarella, sausage and vegetables. Fried straccettis with white chocolate and Nutella.
Fried food at La Figlia del Presidente ranges from appetizers to pizza and desserts.

We really liked the croquettes. But the pizza and the straccetti were just okay. I did not enjoy them as I hoped from the reviews. They were not nearly as good as the food we had in other restaurants.

The atmosphere is both rustic and elegant. This restaurant can accomodate over 150 people so we did not have to wait a single minute to get in.

I can’t speak for the classic pizza, but you can definitely find a better place to have dinner in Naples if you’re looking for fried food.

Missing entries

Sadly, we didn’t manage to try few pizza restaurants ranking high in our list.

Pepe in grani

:globe_with_meridians: Website | :book: TripAdvisor

One of the most known and prizewinning pizzerias in the world, located in Caiazzo (50 km from Naples). But this curious little town is not well-connected to Naples by public transport. Also, the restaurant was open only for dinner during the period we were in Naples, so we would’ve had to give up more than 1 day of our holidays just to dine there.

Actually, we thought, in a single day we can try other best pizzas in the wolrd in Naples while also visiting the gems of the city. This option sounded definitely better than the other one.

I masanielli

:globe_with_meridians: Facebook | :book: TripAdvisor

A very famous and renowned pizzeria located in Caserta (35 km from Naples). While very appealing, it wasn’t a good enough reason for us to move out of Naples for a day. Naples has very appealing pizzerias too!

To sum up

There are 3 reasons to go on a pizza tour in Naples:

  1. You can taste the best pizza in the world!
  2. Naples is a beautiful and entartaining city, it’d be really hard to run out of things to do. Also, note that Naples it’s not a crime-owned city as you may have heard from the news. Read this article for a detailed report that matched our experience.
  3. Everything, from food to accomodation, is definitely afforadble there. I still can’t believe that pizza restaurants in my hometown (near Bari) are pricier than some of the best pizzerias in the world.

There are 3 pizzerias in Naples that you must absolutely try:

  1. 50 Kalò
  2. L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele
  3. Gino Sorbillo Antica Pizzeria

Now that I’m back home, I realized that my view of pizza has radically changed. The pilgrimage to Naples is mandatory if you are a true pizza adept.