Why We Love Neapolitan Pizza (and 5 Great Places to Try It)

Let’s be honest, when we talk about the best pizza, the first place that comes to mind is its birthplace, Naples. The city has been making its signature dish, Neapolitan pizza, since the 1700s. Today, it has over 8,000 pizzerias.

Minimalistic, fresh-baked pizza from Naples with tomato sauce, cheese, and basil
When it comes to pizza, Naples is king. Photo credit: Alexandra Gorn

Naples is home to some of the best pizzerias in the world. But what makes one Neapolitan pizza different from another? Here are some tips for spotting authentic Neapolitan pizza and a list of can’t-miss pizzerias.

Tips for spotting delicious neapolitan pizza

What is Neapolitan pizza?

First of all, to identify Naples-style pizza, you have to look at its shape. Neapolitan pizza is quite different from Roman pizza and other Italian pizzas since it is round with a thin center and thick edges.

Likewise, it is important to know the right ingredients that make it a true Neapolitan pizza, such as San Marzano tomatoes (a variety of Italian tomatoes) and mozzarella di Bufala (fresh buffalo milk mozzarella).

Six balls of fresh creamy mozzarella di buffala, or Italian Buffalo Mozzarella
Mozzarella di Bufala is delicious alone, with summer tomatoes, or on freshly baked, Naples-style pizza. Photo credit: The Pizza Bike

In addition to the importance of the ingredients of Neapolitan pizza, the magic lies in its preparation and cooking. In order to develop a chewy, crisp outer crust, the dough should be stretched very thin and baked quickly. Traditionally, it’s cooked in a wood oven at 900 degrees Fahrenheit for about 60 to 90 seconds.

Opt for pizzas with local ingredients

High-quality Italian dishes are prepared with local products, known as km 0 under the Slow Food concept. A fresher product guarantees higher quality food since it provides greater nutritional value, better flavor, and smell. At the same time, it reduces C02 emissions, which makes it environmentally friendly.

Ask around

To find the best food in a destination, one of the best sources is the locals since they know every corner of the city and don’t necessarily visit the more obvious options. For this reason, we also recommend mixing with the locals to get their secrets about the best places for pizza in Naples.

Pizza baking in a wood-fired pizza oven
Naples-style pizza is traditionally baked in a wood-fired oven at 900 degrees Fahrenheit for less than 2 minutes! Photo credit: Arthur Brognoli

Our picks for the top pizzerias in Naples

La Notizia 94

La Notizia 94 is famous for its long menu with a list of unusual toppings combinations, such as broad beans and asparagus, pizza with eggplants and mint, and one with truffle. What’s more, it’s the first gourmet pizzeria recommended by Michelin Guide.

Gino Sorbillo

One of the characteristics that make Sorbillo one of the best is the quality of its ingredients, where they only use the best in the region. More than the taste of their Neapolitan pizzas, people love going there for the wide selection of choices on the menu, which combines a traditional proposal with innovations.

Neapolitan pizza from Sorbillo
One of our Devour crew makes a pilgrimage to Sorbillo every summer!

50 Kaló

With several awards, 50 Kaló has positioned itself among the best pizza purveyors in Naples. The characteristics that make it one of the best pizzerias are its light dough and that they use only the best organic ingredients for the topping. Another important aspect is that they change their menu each season to use the freshest local ingredients.

L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele

Da Michele is one of the most famous pizzerias in Naples, and it has been since 1870. Its location is in the center of town near Porta Nolana.

One peculiarity of L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele is that they only have two types of pizza on their menu, margherita, and marinara. For them, the secret of their success is simplicity and love of tradition, so betting on these two classic Neapolitan pizzas guarantees quality.

Neapolitan pizza from Pizzeria da Michele
Classic, delicious pizza from Pizzeria da Michele. Photo credit: Leandro Neumann Ciuffo

Bonus: Pepe in Grani

Although Pepe in Grani is not in Naples but close by in Caiazzo, it is impossible to talk about the best Neapolitan pizza without mentioning them.

The characteristic that makes Pepe in Grani one of the best pizzerias is their pizza philosophy. For them, less is more when you use the right ingredients. Creativity is another important aspect; they don’t always play by the established pizza rules!

What’s more, their restaurant – which is housed in a 17th century building – makes this pizza experience even more memorable.