If you love pizza, there's one place on earth you must visit. Naples (or Napoli in Italian) is where Italians first added tomato sauce to focaccia in the late 18th century - and mamma mia - the mouth watering delicacy that is now known as pizza was born.
The average person will eat roughy 6,000 slices of pizza in their lifetime - wow - but unfortunately most people will never know what the best pizza in the world tastes like. We weren't going to be one of them, so ate our way through the best pizzerias in Naples, to award a select few our "best pizza prize." So, here's where you need to go, in no particular order:
PIZZERIA 50 KALÒ
50 Kalò translates roughly to "good dough" and this place treats its dough very seriously. The head chef, Ciro Salvo, is quite the pizza celebrity in Naples and has been perfecting his receipe for more than 30 years, and it shows.
One of their signature dishes, 'Fritte Pizza', is a must try. As its name suggests, the base is deep fried to perfection and topped with delicious pomodoro, fresh mozzarella, basil and olive oil. The secret to this pizza is that despite being fried, the dough is still light and airy. After tasting this, you'll be ordering another - guaranteed!
We also tried their margherita pizza - the true test of a pizzeria's perfection. And it's incredible! The organic tomato sauce and fresh local cheese shines on top of a base which it delicately thin, but retains the signature fluffy and chewy crust that Napoli's pizza is famous for. You really get the sense the pizza at this restaurant has been refined to perfection.
The restaurant recently attracted international attention after it was featured in the New York Times. Add that to its great food and contemporary setting - and the place is often booked-out. And for good reason, don't miss it!
Tip: The best place for fried pizza, and pizza refined to perfection.
Show me Pizzeria 50 Kalò on google maps
A visit to Pizzeria Salvo will leave you booking your next visit before you leave the door. The place is consistently flooded with locals and for good reason.
The pizzas are mouthwateringly cooked with a unique smokey flavour. But don't just stick with the margherita. The restaurant has a dazzling array of what it lovingly calls "sophisticated pizzas", named in memory of the family's father. A pizza chef himself, he spent most of his time preparing traditional pizzas like margheritas - but as customers asked for more and more toppings - the father labelled them "sophicated pizzas. " The restaurant's modern take on sophisticated pizzas include buffalo mozzarella with oak and chestnut tree smoked pork sausage and rocket.
No visit to Pizzeria Salvo is complete without trying their calzone. This fired dough with buffalo ricotta cheese and salami is a must-try. But be warned, it's huge, so come prepared with a few hungry bellies!
The pizzeria takes great care with their fried pizzas - because it means so much to them. After WWII, with a shortage of food, traditional pizza with its expensive toppings became out of reach for ordinary people. So fried pizza became the food for the poor. It's from there that the family's grandmother started selling fried pizza outside a church in the 1950's. Such a great inspiration, you can really taste a sense of history here.
Tip: The best place for a sense of family, something a little different, and amazing value for money.
Show me Pizzeria Salvo on google maps
PIZZERIA ANTONIO & ANTONIO
Buffalo Mozzarella Pizza
Giant, fluffy, chewy, digestible, flavoursome - no visit to Naples is complete without eating at Antonio & Antonio.
We first tried their pizza back in 2012, and we've both said if we had only one meal left on earth, we'd be heading to Antonio & Antonio for a buffalo mozzarella pizza. Four years later nothing has changed. The chefs say there's one thing that makes their pizzas great: their passion. But in reality, it is much more. Their pizza is generous in size, toppings and flavour - all with fresh local ingredients. The dough is a masterpiece - we normally leave the crusts, but devoured every last bit. And the buffalo mozzarella which sits proudly in the middle is divine.
Zucchini Flower Pizza
When you want the best traditional Neapolitan pizza, people rarely stray away from the classics. But we strongly suggest you also taste Antonio's modern twist, zucchini flowers stuffed with ricotta and pesto. It was sensational.
Giant buffalo mozzarella
You must also try the giant balls of buffalo mozzarella, served with tomatoes and basil. This is one of the best things we've eaten in Italy. Their mozzarella is from local artisans, and is incredibly fresh.
Tip: The best place for a classic buffalo mozzarella pizza done perfectly in every way.
Show me Antonio & Antonio on google maps
PIZZERIA AL 22
Located in the historic centre of Naples, you'll be lured off the street by wafts of warm pizza filling the narrow alley outside. Inside Al 22, you'll find a long line of locals ready to eat what many consider is the best pizza they've tried.
Pizzas at Al 22 start at just €4, and for that price turnover is fast and furious - but still with finesse. Pizzas rush out of the oven every minute, meaning you won't have to queue for long.
The pizza dough is made with attention to detail you would normally find in a fine dining restaurant. So much so, the kitchen is called a "laboratory." The pizzas are generously layered with pomodoro (just tomatoes, nothing else) fresh fior di latte (mozerella), basil and a dash of olive oil.
Pizza folded in the traditional style
Al 22 is the ultimate takeout joint to enjoy pizza the traditional way (folded into four) and you’ll be the envy of all as you walk down the street licking the cheese dripping down the side of your 'pizza package.'
Tip: The best place for the cheapest 'best pizza' in Naples.
Show me Pizzeria Al 22 on google maps