The Perfect Slice: Your Guide to Pizza in Naples
A guide to all things pizza.
· 5 min read
Naples, the birthplace of pizza, is a city that takes its pizza seriously. For centuries, the Neapolitan people have been perfecting the art of pizza making, and today, Naples remains the best place in the world to experience authentic Neapolitan pizza. Even if you don’t want to go on a ‘touristy’ trip, you can’t visit Naples without having some element of pizza. Read on to find out more about how to get the most out of your pizza experience in your trip to Naples.
The Neapolitan pizza is characterized by a few distinct elements that set it apart from other styles. First, it has a very, very thin crust at the base. But the dough puffs up around the side, resulting in a light and airy crust. In addition to it being thin and light, another descriptive word that is generally associated with Neapolitan pizza is that it is ‘moist’ — Neapolitan Pizzas tend to have a soft and somewhat soupy center. Their toppings are also kept fairly simple and traditional, with only a few high-quality ingredients being used.
There are two main types of Neapolitan pizzas — the Pizza Marinara and Pizza Margherita. The Pizza Marinara has toppings like tomato, oregano, olive oil, and garlic; while the Pizza Margherita uses tomatoes, olive oil, fresh buffalo milk mozzarella cheese, and basil leaves.
Eating Pizza in Naples
When eating pizza in Naples, there are some etiquette that you might want to take note of. Whatever you do, do not ask for additional things like chili flakes or dipping sauces to be added to your pizza!
In a sit-down pizzeria
If you are in a sit-down pizzeria, the pizzas will be served to you straight from the oven as a whole and not pre-cut into slices. You could try slicing it yourself, but given the super thin crust and soupy centre, you will probably not get much luck getting it nicely sliced into equal slices. Given the super thin crust and soupy centre, it is also not quite possible to pick up the pizza with your hands. So, when you are in these places, use a fork and knife. Though if you really want to use your hands, you can do so too.
The pizzas are usually in portions suitable for one person, and it is customary that you order one pizza per person. But if you can't finish the pizza, just leave it as it's considered disrespectful to ask for the remainders to be packed.
As a street food
You don’t have to visit a sit-down pizzeria to have pizza in Naples. In fact, pizza is a very common street food in Naples and you will see many stalls selling pizza along the streets. Now, if it is a street food, using a fork and knife probably isn’t going to be feasible. So how do you eat it? Simply fold the pizza into half twice, until it is packaged somewhat like a crepe. This way, you will be able to conveniently eat as you explore the city.
Top Pizzerias in Naples
There are many pizzerias in Naples, but some stand out above the rest. Here is a list of some of the most popular pizzerias in the city.
Gino e Toto Sorbillo
Any list of ‘most famous pizzerias in Naples’ is bound to include Gino Sorbillo. It has been highly recommended by many food critics and guides, including the Michelin Guide. But this also means that you can expect extremely long queues for this restaurant. Though most people who have waited through the queue have claimed that it is well worth the wait.
🕤 Opening Hours: 12pm - 11.30pm from Monday to Saturday; 12pm - 3.30pm on Sunday
L'Antica Pizzeria da Michele
Another pizzeria that frequents most lists of top pizzerias, Da Michele is one of the oldest and most famous pizzerias in Naples. The pizzeria is fuss-free and simple, and even its menu only includes two options - Margherita and Marinara. But while simple, the pizzas are considered by many to be the best in the city.
🗺️ Address: Via Cesare Sersale, 1, 80139 Napoli NA, Italy
🕤 Opening Hours: 11am - 11pm daily
**Antica Pizzeria Di Matteo **
Di Matteo is located in the heart of the historical center of Naples. It is a classic Neapolitan pizzeria that is very popular with locals. It is a small pizzeria that looks unassuming from the outside, and might look like a takeaway stand, but there is actually a sit-in area on the upstairs.
🗺️ Address: Via dei Tribunali, 94, 80138 Napoli NA, Italy
🕤 Opening Hours: 10am - 11pm from Monday to Saturday, closed on Sunday
Pizzeria Starita a Materdei
Pizzeria Starita a Materdei, located in the Materdei neighborhood, is known for its classic Neapolitan pizza with a twist. They have a large menu with many options, but one of the most popular options is the "Montanara" pizza, which is deep-fried before being baked in the wood-fired oven, giving it a crispy texture. Although Starita is also a popular restaurant and queues are expected, they are highly efficient and the waiting time tends to be shorter than the rest of the places.
🗺️ Address: Via Materdei, 27/28, 80136 Napoli NA, Italy
🕤 Opening Hours: 12pm - 3.30pm, 7pm - 11.30pm from Tuesday to Sunday, closed on Monday
Opened in 2014 by a third-generation pizzaiolo, 50 Kalo has quickly become one of the most popular pizzerias in Naples. It is also one of the pizzerias that was recommended by the Michelin guide. Although their pizzas are slightly more expensive, Salvo is known for using high-quality ingredients and innovative techniques to create pizzas that are both delicious and visually stunning.
🗺️ Address: Piazza Sannazaro, 201/c, 80121 Napoli NA, Italy
🕤 Opening Hours: 12pm - 4.30pm, 6.30pm - 12.30am from Sunday to Thursday; 12pm - 4.30pm, 6.30pm - 1am from Friday to Saturday
Other Pizza Things
Aside from eating pizza, there are plenty of other pizza-related activities in Naples.
What better way to take home some pizza culture than to learn how to make them yourself! There are many pizza-making classes out there that in Naples that you can sign up for to learn how to make your own Neapolitan pizza. Some of the most established classes include those offered by the Eat and Walk Italy and Toffini Academy.
Napoli Pizza Village Festival
The Napoli Pizza Village Festival, or the Naples Pizza Festival, is an annual food festival that celebrates all things pizza. It is the world’s largest pizza festival, and is usually held at Lungomare Caracciolo Napoli, one of the most beautiful places in Naples. At the festival, not only would you get to see pizzerias and pizza makers from all over the world — there will usually also be workshops, demonstrations, and live entertainment available! The festival usually takes place in June.