Here is our list of places in Naples and in the U.S. that serve memorable Neapolitan-style pies worth tracking down. Don't see your favorite? Post a comment to tell us about it.
While Naples is home to an overwhelming number of pizzerie, these local favorites are pictured in “In Pizza Veritas,” from La Cucina Italiana’s March/April 2009 issue.
L’Antica Pizzeria Da Michele
Via Cesare Sersale, 1/3, Naples
Margherita and Marinara are the only two pizzas served at this popular joint that’s been around since 1870. Located at the threshold of the Forcella neighborhood, Michele Condurro, son of Salvatore and grandson of Michele, the founder of the pizzeria, are faithful to the area’s long pizza-making tradition.
18 Via Port’Alba, Naples
Possibly the oldest pizzeria in Naples, Port’Alba has been open since 1738, serving pizza in a neighborhood dominated by booksellers. At 8 o’clock in the morning, the Luciano brothers set up shop with their pizzas to go, which make a filling breakfast. When lunch hour rolls around, they make larger pizzas with more toppings for the customers who fill the pizzeria’s tables.
Via Santa Maria di Costantinopoli 79/80, Naples
Pizzeria Bellini was started after World War II by Mr. and Mrs. Tommasino, who operated their shop on the wreckage the war left behind, serving pizze a otto, or “pizzas in eight,” which the poor could buy and pay for up to eight days later. Today, their pizzas are served on iron plates.
Via Benedetto Croce, 59, Naples
Referred to as a Neapolitan monument, this pizzeria was opened by Enrico Lombardi in the late 1800s. Originally located next to the bell tower of Santa Chiara to feed churchgoers, it’s now on the Via Benedetto Croce, where visitors enjoy pizza “alla Lombardi,” prepared with fresh tomatoes and flavorful provola cheese from Vico Equense.
Salita S. Anna di Palazzo 1-2, Naples
Raffaele Esposito, the founder of this pizzeria, created the famous pizza for Queen Margherita, and the Esposito family proudly maintains their pizza heritage in this spot near the Via Chiaja, in between the Spanish Quarter’s dichotomous high-end stores and poverty.
Il Pizzaiolo del Presidente
Via Tribunali, 120 – 121, Naples
This pizzeria stretches beyond traditional pies to offer several variations, which include toppings such as a margherita topped with prosciutto or an egg, or a marinara topped with tuna.
Pizzeria Starita a Materdei
Via Materdei 27, 28, Naples
Open since 1901, this trattoria and pizzeria gained fame when it was featured in Sofia Loren’s 1954 film, L’Oro di Napoli. Locals love it both for its pizza and for other treasures, including its Corna di Maradona, dough stuffed with ricotta and pork fat.
Via Pietro Colletta, 42/46, Naples
Near the Piazza Garibaldi, the pizza here is known for its abundance of oil and fresh ingredients.
In the United States
If you’re searching stateside for perfect Neapolitan-style pizza, here’s our working list of pizzerie that create pizza in the tradition of the Neapolitan pizzaiolo, though often with a modern twist. We didn’t limit our selections to restaurants certified by the US branch of Verace Pizza Napoletana (VPN), but, while there are countless pizzerie worth mentioning, we have restricted our list to those that use a traditional wood-fired oven.
623 E. Adams St.
Our friend Chris Bianco’s eponymous pizzeria has garnered a national following. It’s not hard to see why when you step into the historic brick building and get hit by the savory smell of wood smoke and hot Neapolitan pizza.
2355 Chestnut St.
San Francisco, 94123
With cuisine focused on Campania and true Neapolitan pizza, plus a stellar wine list heavy in southern Italian labels, A16 quickly has become a neighborhood favorite.
Opened by Peppe Miele, the founding president of VPN in the U.S., its no surprise that his pizza is unwaveringly authentic. And this has been a favorite spot for L.A. pizza cognoscenti since it opened in 1997.
In a small town high in the California Sierra Mountains, this is an unlikely locale to find VPN-certified pizza. During the Gold Rush, the oven used at this establishment was shipped from Naples around Cape Horn and lugged into gold country by a prospecting Italian.
1769 W. Sunnyside Ave.
Pies here are created from a traditional Neapolitan oven adorned with a Bisazza tile mosaic, and the chef experiments with combinations of Italian cheese from a local importer.
See website for locations
With six locations in St. Paul and Minneapolis, these establishments turn out consistently good pizza. All locations have a traditional wood-fired oven, each one built and tiled with intricate mosaics by one of the owners and his team of pizzaioli.
1776 W Horizon Ridge Pkwy
On the outskirts of Las Vegas, far from the glitter of the strip, Brad Otton, who trained under renowned pizzaiolo Enzo Coccia, has been plying his trade to hungry Las Vegas locals since 2005. A second location in Salt Lake City, Utah, is also popular.
Chestnut at Franklin
Considered by many to be New Jersey’s best pizza, this newcomer pulls no punches. Its gorgeous twin pizza ovens, constructed by Neapolitan craftsman with bricks and volcanic soil imported from Napoli, reach 1000 degrees, ensuring perfectly crispy and blistered pizza.
La Pizza Fresca Ristorante
31 E. 20th St.
New York, 10003
The combination of authentic Neapolitan pizza, a menu overseen by their Ligurian chef, and an award-winning Italian wine list might not be the first thing that pops to mind when one thinks of pizza, but they come together perfectly at this veteran establishment.
319 Graham Ave.
The new kid on the block is turning out immaculate Neapolitan pizza to the young, hip crowd of Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood. Don’t be fooled by the location, though, this is grown-up pizza with sophisticated leanings.
200 Park Ave. at E. 45th St.
New York, 10166
Located in the MetLife building, this isn’t your neighborhood pizza joint. It has three gargantuan ovens—including a Stromboli and a Vesuvius—and an upscale dinner menu meant for lingering over meals, though a take-out window serves those in a rush.
Una Pizza Napoletana
349 E. 12th St.
New York, 10003
When he’s in New York City, this is the pick for renowned pizzaiolo Chris Bianco. A simple, stripped-down menu of four classic pizza offerings emphasizes the authenticity of these pies.
703 Washington Rd.
Mt. Lebanon, 15228
In a storefront in one of Pittsburgh’s upscale suburbs, this pizzeria’s unobtrusive location belies the authentic pizza within.
See website for locations
With three locations and one more on the way in the area, this is the first certified Neapolitan pizzeria in Seattle.
2 Amy’s Pizza
315 Macomb St., NW
Washington, DC, 20016
The most kid-friendly place to get DOC Neapolitan pizza, and heralded as the best pizza in D.C., 2 Amy’s has been receiving rave reviews since 2006.
Café Porta Alba
15 North Butler St.
Named after the first pizzeria in Naples, this diminutive café lives up to its name. Vincenzo Pugliese, who hails from Naples and whose family makes their own olive oil, oversees the quality of Porta Alba’s pies.
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