Serious pizza fans know that the mother of all pizzas is served in Naples. It may not have been invented here, but it certainly was perfected here. And there’s little argument that the best pizza in Naples comes from Da Michele. The real contest is for second place.
Since Da Michele only makes two kinds of pizzas — marinara and margherita — ordering is a snap. The family has been making pizza since 1870, and some of the tables seem to date from then. There’s almost always a line, which has only gotten worse since the publication of Eat, Pray, Love. But most of those who are queued up know their pizza will be worth the wait. Da Michele also serves a baked calzone called a ripiena. They’re closed on Sundays, so plan accordingly.
With a more ambitious menu than most of the pizza restaurants in Naples, Ciro a Mergellina is a great choice when someone wants pizza and someone else doesn’t. It’s located right on the waterfront, and it has the freshest fish in Naples. Have it grilled or deep fried, or served with pasta. Their spaghetti alla vongole is excellent. And their pizzas are really good too. Top off your dinner with their delicious home-made gelato.
Also near the waterfront, Da Ettore is on Santa Lucia Boulevard facing Castel dell’Ovo. The service here is better than at most Naples pizzerias. In fact, the waiters are part of the entertainment. In addition to fantastic pizzas, Da Ettore also serves wonderful calzones, a frito misto with veggies, potato croquettes, and rice balls, fried zucchini blossoms, and fresh seafood.
Not far from the Archaeological Museum, Lombardi a Santa Chiara opened around the turn of the century and today, it’s still owned by the same family. You can dine upstairs or downstairs at the bar. There are plenty of pasta selections to choose from and the vegetable antipasto is very good. But pizza is the real reason to come. You’ll find some interesting pizza toppings here including Lardo (cured pig fat) and smoked provola cheese.
One of the oldest pizza restaurants in Naples, Pizzaria Brandi opened in 1780, and it was here that the Pizza Margherita was born. Italy’s first queen, Margherita di Savoia, tried the pie in 1889 and it was named in her honor. It’s one of the most conveniently located pizzerias, so you can have lunch here and then continue your sightseeing. The décor is charming with wood beams and framed photographs on the walls. And there’s some seating outside. For those craving more than tomatoes and cheese, there’s seafood pizza or rocket and bresaola. If your arteries can handle it, try all Toto, a deep-fried pizza.
Right across the street from Da Michele, Trianon has been serving terrific pizza for years. Recently, reviews have been mixed, so check it our before committing. If there’s no line and no locals, head for Da Michele. If Trianon is packed too, it’s probably back up to par. With 29 different pies on the menu, Trianon offers more variety than other Naples pizza restaurants. And they offer unusual pizza toppings like friarielli — a cousin of broccoli.
In business since 1936, Di Matteo is best known for it’s pizza fritta — deep-fried dough filled with ham, ricotta, mozzarella, provola, and a little pork fat. When President Clinton came to Naples for the G7 summit in 1994, this is where he ate. It’s located on a lovely street in the old part of town. Order some arancini (fried rice balls) or potato croquettes to munch on while you wait for your pizza.
See our list of the best pizza restaurants in Rome here.
1) Da Michele
2) Pizzeria Trianon
3) Ciro a Mergellina
4) Da Ettore
5) Lombardi a Santa Chiara
6) Pizzaria Brandi
7) Di Matteo
View Pizza restaurants in Naples, Italy in a larger map
Di Matteo Pizza Margherita Image Flickr: dawvon