I’m not a food fundamentalist but to really understand pizza you need to try it in its birthplace and spiritual home – Naples. Naples boasts by far the richest and most exciting pizza culture anywhere. Neapolitan pizza isn’t just authentic, in my opinion, it’s the tastiest in the world. So if you’re wondering where to get the best pizza in Naples, make sure to scroll down and check out our recommendations! We have also included a map of our favorite pizza places in Naples, as well as a couple of practical tips.
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Table of Contents
- 1 Who Invented Pizza, Anyway?
- 2 What is so Special about Neapolitan Pizza?
- 3 What Ingredients are Used in a Neapolitan Pizza?
- 4 How is a Neapolitan Pizza Made?
- 5 Why is Neapolitan Pizza Sometimes Referred to as ‘Soupy’ or ‘Sloppy’?
- 6 Where to Get the Best Pizza in Naples, Italy
- 7 Final Thoughts on the Best Pizza in Naples, Italy
- 8 Naples Pizza Workshops
- 9 Map of the Best Pizzerias in Naples, Italy
- 10 Further Reading For Your Naples Visit
- 11 More Information About Italy
Who Invented Pizza, Anyway?
If you think about it, pizza is nothing more than a kind of flatbread with tomato sauce. Flatbread has been around for thousands of years as an integral part of our diet.
Most food historians concur that pizza-like dishes (flatbread with oils, spices, and other toppings were consumed by the ancient Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians.
However, before the 1700s, flatbreads were never topped with tomatoes, which is now a defining characteristic of pizza. Tomatoes were brought to Europe in the 16th century by explorers returning from South America.
By the late-18th century, flatbreads made very simply from dough spread with cheese, olive oil, herbs, and tomatoes became a common street food in Naples. It was primarily a dish eaten by the lower classes of Naples.
The origins of the archetypal pizza—Pizza Margherita are disputed. Popular legend has it that during the patriotic fervor following Italian unification in the late 19th century, a Neapolitan pizza maker by the name of Raffaele Esposito was tasked with making pizzas for Margherita of Savoy, the new Italian Queen on her visit to Naples in 1889.
Out of the three pizzas he prepared for her, one was topped with red tomato sauce, white mozzarella cheese, and green basil leaves, representing the colors of the national flag of Italy.
The queen, who had never eaten pizza before, enjoyed this pizza the most, and Esposito named this pizza “Pizza Margherita” in honor of the queen.
However, later research has cast doubt on this legend. Regardless of the veracity of this legend, pizza is an intrinsic part of Naples’ culinary history.
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What is so Special about Neapolitan Pizza?
As the home of pizza, Naples has its very own style of pizza, called Neapolitan Pizza. There are three official variants of Neapolitan pizza:
- Pizza Marinara: Topped with tomato, garlic, oregano, and extra-virgin olive oil
- Pizza Margherita: Topped with tomato, freshly sliced cow mozzarella, fresh basil, and extra-virgin olive oil
- Pizza Margherita Extra (or “DOC”): Topped with tomato, freshly sliced buffalo mozzarella, fresh basil, and extra-virgin olive oil
Although it sounds so simple, there is nothing ordinary when you dig into your first Neapolitan pizza. Each bite has the tang of intense tomato sauce, the scent of oregano and basil the comfort of the cheese, and the balance of the charred dough.
Choosing between the Margherita and the Marinara is quite the conundrum. As always, we recommend you try both.
What Ingredients are Used in a Neapolitan Pizza?
Traditionally, the tomatoes used for Neapolitan pizza are San Marzano tomatoes which are grown on the fertile soils of Mount Vesuvius. San Marzano tomatoes are particularly fragrant and less acidic than other tomato varieties.
Authentic Neapolitan pizza can use only two types of mozzarella cheese. One is fior di latte made from cow’s milk and the other is mozzarella di bufala, made from water buffalo milk.
These buffaloes are typically raised in the Campania and Lazio marshlands of Italy. The silky texture of buffalo mozzarella bears no resemblance to the rubbery cow mozzarella that is more commonly found.
In order to get the right crust, the dough must be made with highly refined Italian type 0 or 00 wheat flour, Neapolitan or fresh brewer’s yeast, water, and salt. and be left to rise for at least six hours. Finally, Neapolitan pizza is topped off with fresh basil and extra-virgin olive oil.
How is a Neapolitan Pizza Made?
In recent years, there has been an effort to standardize the look and taste of a Neapolitan pizza. An association of Neapolitan pizza chefs has recently outlined the ingredients and methods that have to be used to make pizza.
According to the ‘Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana’, the pizza must be baked for 60–90 seconds in a wood-fired oven at 485 °C (905 °F).
The base must be hand-kneaded and not rolled out with a rolling pin, and must not exceed 35 cm in diameter and 3 mm thickness in the center. The extra virgin olive oil has to be poured on the dough in a spiral motion.
The buffalo mozzarella (chopped in slices) or the cow mozzarella (chopped into strips) have to be spread uniformly on the pizza. Ideally, the best pizza should come out of the oven with the cheese bubbling and be slightly charred around its edges, lending the whole pizza an explosion of taste sensations.
If you’re visiting Naples, you should sign up for a Naples Pizza workshop. You will learn how to make authentic Neapolitan pizza under the guidance of a professional pizzaiolo and probe into the mysteries of the most loved Italian dish in the world.
Why is Neapolitan Pizza Sometimes Referred to as ‘Soupy’ or ‘Sloppy’?
At times, you will hear somebody refer to their pizza as ‘soupy’. This is because the pizza base is often very thin and generously topped with tomato sauce and olive oil.
As the sauce and oil soak the thin crust, the middle of the pizza becomes ‘soupy’. In order to eat it with your hands, you’ll need to fold the tip of the pizza back and eat it quickly 😉
Where to Get the Best Pizza in Naples, Italy
With literally hundreds of top-notch pizzerias gracing every street of Naples, it raises a logical question: Who makes the best pizza in Naples? The debates are endless and if you ask 10 different people in Naples which pizzeria is the best, you might very well get 10 conflicting and equally passionate answers.
Keeping that in mind, we’ve taken on the daunting task of rounding up the best pizza spots in Naples.
In this guide, we’re going to mostly focus on three different kinds of pizza: Pizza Marinara, Pizza Margherita, and Pizza Fritta. However, you can also try the other excellent varieties of pizza on offer in Naples.
As the restaurant scene is ever-changing, some of the oldest pizzerias in Naples have suffered in quality of food and service. Two prime examples of this are Pizzeria Brandi and L’Antica Pizzeria Port’Alba—the world’s oldest pizzeria, which we had to exclude from our quest for the best pizza.
So, without further preamble, let’s dive in to take a look at the best pizza in Naples (from our least favorite to the best).
12. Pizzeria I Decumani
Pizzeria I Decumani is a family-run pizzeria located in the old part of Naples. We ordered our typical pizza Margherita and pizza Marinara, although the restaurant is probably best known for its specialty pizza, known as X.
The pizza is served in the shape of a ring and generously topped with fresh ingredients which makes it a nice alternative to other pizzas in town.
I Decumani is known to get crowded on the weekends, particularly when they are showing a soccer match on their flatscreen TV. If the wait for a seat in the restaurant is too long, they also offer a takeaway option.
Dinner service in Naples is traditionally very busy, and you may very well wait up to an hour for a table. You have a better chance at getting a table if you a) arrive early (around 19:00), or b) are more than 2 people (e.g. party of 4). Some restaurants to take reservations, but most operate on a first come – first serve basis.
Marinara: 4.50 EUR
Margherita: 5.50 EUR
Opening Hours: Pizzeria I Decumani is open daily from 12:00-16:00 and 19:00-24:00.
11. L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele
Pizzeria da Michele is probably the most iconic pizzeria in Naples. Established in 1870 and although a firm favorite among Neapolitans, the restaurant only catapulted to international fame in 2010. In case you didn’t know, L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele is the pizzeria at which Julia Roberts ate in the movie Eat Pray Love.
Due to its enduring popularity, there’s always a long queue at da Michele so you’ll have to take a number to be seated. There might be more tourists than yesteryear, but nothing has really changed in the place.
Da Michele’s emphasis is on pizza purity and they only serve two varieties of pizzas, the Margherita and the Marinara. I particularly enjoyed the ‘soupy’ quality of both pizzas, although the Marinara clearly outshone the Margherita.
In spite of their claim to making the most authentic Neapolitan pizza in Naples, Da Michele’s pizzas aren’t made with extra virgin olive oil, they use cheaper vegetable oil for their pizzas. There is also no option of getting your pizza with buffalo mozzarella as only cheese made with cow’s milk (fior di latte) is used.
The restaurant is extremely spartan occupying two brightly lit rooms on an unassuming side street. The service at da Michele leaves something to be desired and although there is no coperto, the servers may push you for a tip.
Coperto is a kind of service charge that is added to your bill at most restaurants in Italy. It is usually charged per person. Occasionally, there may be not set coperto but a service fee of x% or no service fee at all, but your waiter will demand a tip. When tipping it is customary to round up to the next full 5 EUR, but 10-15% of your total bill is fair.
Marinara: 5 EUR
Margherita: 5 EUR
Opening Hours: L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele is open daily from 11:00-23:00.
10. Antica Pizzeria & Trattoria AL 22
We stumbled upon AL 22 rather by accident because we had already eaten at our top-choice restaurants. Although it hadn’t initially made our list of must-eat pizza places in Naples, AL 22 was a pleasant surprise.
This unassuming place is a classic eatery in the old center of Naples. It’s convivial, warm, and simple. We arrived a little later than usual and needed to wait about 5 minutes for a table.
AL 22 is a bit off the tourist trail and we seemed to be the only foreigners at the restaurant. Unlike other pizzerias in Naples, AL 22 also serves pasta dishes in case you’re in the mood for something different! The Marinara was slightly better than the Margherita at AL 22.
Marinara: 5 EUR
Margherita: 6 EUR
Opening Hours: Antica Pizzeria & Trattoria AL 22 is open Monday-Thursday: 12:00-16:00 and 19:00-23:00; Friday-Saturday: 12:00-16:00 and 19:00-24:00.
9. Pizzeria Acunzo
If you feel like you want a change from the traditional Neapolitan pizza varieties but are still craving more pizza, then Pizzeria Acunzo should be on your radar. Acunzo is one of the most innovative pizzerias in Naples and is a local favorite in the upscale district of Vomero and close to the Castel Sant’Elmo.
The pizza menu at this family-run business is intriguing and represents a combination of tradition and inexhaustible creativity. Acunzo gained fame among Neapolitans for their Pulcinella—a sumptuous oven-baked pizza filled with Mezzanelli pasta, Bolognese sauce, sautéed mushrooms, boiled eggs, ham, ricotta, and mozzarella.
Thinking about it is not inviting, but the taste of the Pulcinella is guaranteed to blow your mind (and your figure 😛). You can also try Acunzo’s pizza con la genovese.
Traditionalists needn’t fret though: you can still enjoy the classic Margherita and Marinara here.
Acunzo is a casual restaurant with plenty of seating. There are plenty of good wines and beer on offer.
Opening Hours: Pizzeria Acunzo is open daily from 13:00-15:30 and 19:00-23:30.
8. Pizzeria Di Matteo
Pizzeria Di Matteo was the first pizzeria we ate at during our quest to find out where to get pizza in Naples. This low-key pizzeria has remained one of my favorites well after our experiment.
While the Margherita and Marinara are top-notch, Di Matteo deserves a special mention for its ‘frittatina’ (2 EUR). This classic Neapolitan appetizer is essentially a ball of deep-fried pasta stuffed with creamy béchamel sauce, provolone cheese, meat, and peas.
A local recommended that we try this and we can’t thank him enough for his recommendation. Eating frittatina is like eating an exceedingly flavorful pillow. Gobsmackingly delicious!
In July 1994, the then-American president Bill Clinton famously dined at Di Matteo when he was in Naples for the G7 Summit.
Marinara: 3.50 EUR
Margherita: 5 EUR
Opening Hours: Pizzeria Di Matteo is open from 10:00-23:30 (Monday-Saturday).
7. Pizzeria Concettina ai Tre Santi
Concettina ai Tre Santi is undoubtedly one of the best and hippest pizzerias in Naples right now. Located further from the historic center of Naples, only a few tourists find their way here, and the restaurant is mostly crowded with locals grabbing a quick lunch or dinner.
While the popular Margherita at Concettina ai Tre Santi is fabulous in its own right, this place deserves plaudits for serving by far the most aromatic Marinara we’ve ever had the pleasure of eating.
The base of the pizza is a little thicker than in some of the other places which makes it easier to eat. Besides, traditional Neapolitan pizza, you’ll also find a string of innovative seasonal options.
Marinara: 10 EUR
Margherita: 10 EUR
Opening Hours: Pizzeria Concettina ai Tre Santi is open daily from 12:00-24:00 (Monday-Saturday) and 12:00-16:00 (Sunday).
6. Pizzeria De Figliole
Buried deep in a kind of dodgy area of old Naples, De Figliole is an obligatory stop for those who want to try Pizza Fritta, a common Neapolitan street food. De Figliole was the first place where Jacky and I ate fried pizza and we’ve been in love with these golden discs of pleasure ever since.
Pizza Fritta is a deep-fried pizza reminiscent of a calzone (but better 😉). This cult favorite is made by sealing toppings between two layers of pizza dough and frying it in hot oil until it becomes golden.
Pizza Fritta originated during the Second World War when locals could neither access nor afford traditional pizza. Thin-crusted and crispy on the outside, pizza fritta’s inside is perfect for stuffing with an endless list of ingredients.
After all, what could be better than a crispy yet doughy deep-fried pizza, stuffed with deliciously creamy ricotta, pepper, tomato, provolone, pressed fatty pork cakes (ciccioli), and aromatic salami?
Eaten piping hot, pizza fritta is street food at its finest and this dish will content even the most ravenous diner. One of the things I like about it is that it’s not super greasy despite being deep-fried.
De Figliole exclusively sells Pizza Fritta and though there are a couple of different options on the menu, we recommend getting their “Completa,” which will set you back 6 EUR. It is very filling and simply mouth-watering!
Opening Hours: Pizzeria De Figliole is open from 10:30-22:00 (Monday-Saturday).
5. Pizzeria Da Attilio
Located in the heart of the vibrant Pignasecca Market, Pizzeria Da Attilio is one of Naples’ most enduring pizza institutions, first opening its doors way back in 1938.
With its classic interior and walls covered in covered with celebrity photos, press clippings, and letters from loyal customers, Da Attilio exuberates a soft Italian casual atmosphere that you want when searching for the best pizza in Naples.
Da Attilio is run by acclaimed pizzaiola Attilio Bachetti, who can often be seen in action by the large, wood-burning oven. His hand movements when preparing pizza are a sight to behold!
Bachetti’s lovable obsession with pies has won him numerous awards for his innovative pizzas.
Though there are more than 35 pizzas on the menu, Da Attilio’s signature dish is the Carnevale, a star-shaped pizza whose eight points are stuffed with fresh ricotta, topped with fior di latte, sausage, tomato, and Parmesan cheese. This showstopper is perfect down to the very last bite!
The pizzas at Da Attilio have a good chewy texture and the balance of ingredients is perfect. Quite frankly, they were some of the most delicious pizzas we have ever had the pleasure of wolfing down in our entire lives, and you absolutely have to visit this parlor.
Marinara: 4.50 EUR
Margherita: 5 EUR
Opening Hours: Pizzeria Da Attilio is open Monday-Saturday from 12:00-15:30 and 19:00-11:30.
4. Isabella De Cham Pizza Fritta
Our quest for finding the best fried pizza (Pizza Fritta) in Naples took us to Isabella De Cham Pizza Fritta. Jacky and I both agree that you can enjoy the heart-stoppingly calorific treat at its best here.
Run by Isabella de Cham, probably Naples’ most famous female pizzaiolo, Cham is a newcomer to the city’s pizza scene, opening only in 2018. Nevertheless, de Cham’s creativity, culinary skills, and hardworking all-female crew have quickly made it the go-to place for fried pizza.
There is no pizza fritta in Naples like the one at Cham. The gently fried thin-crisp dough here is oozing with a selection of traditional and innovative fillings
You can either eat feast on the standard fried pizza (Completa) filled with ricotta, pepper, provolone, and pressed fatty pork cakes or be a little more adventurous and go fried pizzas with unconventional ingredients such as shrimp, octopus, pine nuts, raisins, caciocavallo cheese, broad beans, lemon zest, and Genovese sauce.
With an ambiance that is best described as rustic and friendly, Isabella De Cham Pizza Fritta is the embodiment of Naples’s love for good pizza and genuine courtesy. Choose a personalized craft beer to go with your meal.
Save space for dessert and pop into Pasticceria Poppella next door for some heavenly Neapolitan pastries.
Opening Hours: Isabella De Cham Pizza Fritta is open daily from 12:00-16:00 and 19:00-23:30.
3. 50 Kalò
If pizza is what you truly knead immediately, check out 50 Kalò, undoubtedly one of the best pizzerias in Naples. This pizzeria is located in Piazza Sannazaro—one of the most beautiful squares in Naples, just a stone’s throw away from Mergellina Pier.
Massively popular in Naples, 50 Kalò is run by acclaimed doughmeister Ciro Salvo whose talents have caused another location to open in London.
The restaurant’s extensive pizza menu means you will lose your head over the incredible variety of tastes, colors, and flavors. If in doubt, head straight for the true test of a pizzaiolo’s talents – the classic Margherita. The Margherita at 50 Kalò is one of the best we’ve ever eaten and is not to be missed.
Make a point of ordering as many frittatina as possible because the best frittatina in Naples can be found at 50 Kalò.
The vibe at 50 Kalò is relaxed and casual, perfect for a quick lunch or an impromptu dinner date. You can pair your pizzas with one of the restaurant’s wide offerings of craft beer or wine.
Marinara: 5 EUR
Margherita: 6.50 EUR
Opening Hours: 50 Kalò is open daily from 12:00-16:30 and 18:30-00:30.
1. Pizzeria Gino Sorbillo (Tie)
Jacky and I were at loggerheads when it came to picking the best pizzeria in Naples, so we decided it would be best to give the top spot to two stellar pizza places. Starting off, we have Pizzeria Gino Sorbillo, which Jacky reckons, serves the best pizza in Naples.
Why does Pizzeria Gino Sorbillo serve the best pizza in Naples? The reason is simple: the crusts of each pizza are chewy and light, the well-matched toppings are liberally applied, and the sauces are perfect. Sorbillo’s pizzas are also relatively ‘soupy’ compared to other restaurants.
Jacky reckons that the Margherita at Sorbillo is the best she’s ever eaten in her life. It delights with its perfect proportion of sauce and mozzarella and intoxicating aroma accentuated by the fragrant green basil.
Extremely popular with locals and tourists alike, you’ll almost inevitably encounter a line at Sorbillo. Don’t fret, the line moves fast, and it’s easy to forgive the harried servers when your pizza appears in front of you.
There is nothing to fault at Sorbillo as the atmosphere is cozy and the prices are reasonable. If classic pizzas are your beat, and waiting in line doesn’t bother you, Sorbillo will definitely not disappoint.
Marinara: 4.50 EUR
Margherita: 5.50 EUR
Opening Hours: Pizzeria Gino Sorbillo is open Monday-Saturday from 12:00-11:30.
1. Pizzeria Starita a Materdei (Tie)
My favorite pizzeria in Naples is Pizzeria Starita, a healthy 25-minute walk from the downtown cluster of pizzerias. I’ve dined at Starita thrice and stand by my conviction that it serves the best pizza in Naples.
Starita is one of the most beloved pizzerias in Naples and their enduring popularity has meant that they now have outlets in Milan, Turin, and New York City.
You can’t go wrong with the classics, especially the highly tomatoey Marinara, which borders on a religious experience. I also highly recommend getting Starita’s house specialty Pizza Montanara—a heavenly pizza that is first fried, then slathered in a rich marinara sauce before it is quickly baked to melt the cheese.
I dare say that the pizzas at Starita are probably the best pizzas in the world and that I can’t even imagine better ones. Soft, elastic, tender, and fragrant, the mouth-wateringly decadent pizzas will have you licking your fingertips!
The atmosphere at Starita is wonderful and their staff is very friendly. It is a little more glamorous than the other places on this list and unlike most other pizzerias, it has a full bar so you can easily have an Aperol Spritz (or two) instead of a glass of wine.
They also have a small selection of craft beers, which is a big plus! Dining at Starita is a truly Neapolitan experience that shouldn’t be missed.
Even if the top button of your pants is about to pop, make sure to try the angioletti. This devilishly decadent dessert is made of deep-fried pizza dough and Nutella!
Starita also has a strong cinematic connection. The giant fork and spoon hanging on the wall were used by screen legend Sophia Loren in Vittorio di Sica’s classic 1950s film L’oro di Napoli. Also, the pizza fritte sold by Loren in the film were made here in the kitchen.
Marinara: 4.50 EUR
Margherita: 5 EUR
Opening Hours: Pizzeria Starita is open daily from 12:00-15:30 and 19:00-24:00.
Final Thoughts on the Best Pizza in Naples, Italy
People may forever argue as to which Naples pizzeria is the best, but it all comes down to a matter of personal preference. If you’re ever visiting Naples, you should try the pizzerias on our short list of the best Naples pizzas.
Just be aware that you may need to wear pants with an expandable waistline after doing a tour of the best Naples pizza restaurants!
Naples Pizza Workshops
A Naples pizza-making workshop is a must-do because it’s not just a cooking class; it’s a cultural immersion. You’ll learn the craft from master pizzaioli who live and breathe Neapolitan pizza, soak up their anecdotes, and gain insights you simply won’t find in a guidebook.
And the best part? Savoring your handmade, authentic Neapolitan pizza. Jacky and I had a lot of fun during our pizza-making workshop. Trust me, it’s a slice of Naples you won’t want to miss!
Map of the Best Pizzerias in Naples, Italy
Further Reading For Your Naples Visit
That summarizes our comprehensive guide to where to find the best pizza in Naples. However, we reckon you’ll find the following resources useful for planning your trip to Naples & the Campania region!
Further Reading For Your Naples Visit
→ Uncover the 27 best things to do in Naples!
→ Find out how to spend one perfect day in Naples!
→ Find out the 10 Best Neapolitan Pastries You Must Try in Naples!
→ Discover the 7 Best Gelato Shops in Naples!
→ Check out our comprehensive guide to visiting Procida!
→ Read our comprehensive guide to visiting Caserta Royal Palace!
→ Check out our ultimate guide to hiking Mount Vesuvius!
→ Find out everything you need to know about how to visit Pompeii!
→ Check out our in-depth guide about how to visit Herculaneum!
More Information About Italy
Now, what do you think? Where did you find the best pizza in Naples, Italy? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!
Hello there, fellow globetrotters! I’m Mihir, a passionate travel blogger with an insatiable wanderlust. My journey across the world is fueled by curiosity and a hunger for unique experiences. As a travel writer, photographer, and adventurer, I’ve explored more than 35 countries, aiming to provide readers with a distinctive glimpse of our diverse world. Join me as I blend captivating storytelling with stunning visuals, guiding you through hidden gems and cultural treasures. Besides traveling, my other loves are my beloved cats, architecture, art, craft beer, classic movies, history, and Australian Rules Football (Go Dons!).