Best Fried Pizza In Naples Of 2023 As Chosen By A Local
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Naples, Italy, is not just a city rich in history and culture; it’s a culinary paradise that I have the pleasure to call my neighbor. Among its many gastronomic delights, pizza at first, one dish stands out for its simplicity yet bold flavors — fried pizza.
As someone who has grown up near the bustling streets of Naples, I’ve witnessed the remarkable journey of fried pizza from a local street food to a culinary icon celebrated across the globe. With its crispy crust and rich toppings, this traditional dish is more than just food; it’s a piece of Neapolitan heritage, a testament to the city’s ingenuity and spirit.
Join me as we explore Naples’ fried pizza, its origins, the art behind its creation, and, most of all, where to find the best fried pizza in Naples that will leave you craving more.
The Origin and History of Fried Pizza
Tracing back to the streets of post-war Naples, fried pizza holds a special place in Naples’ culinary legacy. Originating as a humble creation during hard times, it was a dish born out of necessity yet rich in flavor and ingenuity. This unpretentious beginning is something I’ve always found fascinating, reflecting the resilient and inventive spirit of the Neapolitan people.
Fried pizza, or ‘pizza fritta’ as we locals fondly call it, was initially a cost-effective way for Neapolitans to enjoy traditional pizza flavors when ovens were a luxury few could afford. Street vendors would fry simple dough topped with basic ingredients in large pans, creating a filling and affordable dish. Over the years, this simple street food evolved, with each vendor adding their unique touch, turning it into a culinary sensation that captures the essence of Neapolitan creativity and resourcefulness.
Today, fried pizza is a proud symbol of Naples’ culinary tradition, a dish that speaks to the heart of the city’s history and its people’s enduring spirit. It’s a personal reminder of the resilience and joy found in the simplest of meals, a dish that has risen from modest beginnings to become a beloved staple in the rich tapestry of Neapolitan cuisine.
Key Ingredients and Cooking Techniques
The magic of Naples’ fried pizza lies in its history, carefully chosen ingredients, and unique cooking methods that define its character. Traditional Neapolitan fried pizza uses a base of simple yet high-quality ingredients – a testament to the Italian culinary philosophy where quality stands above all. The dough, made from flour, water, yeast, and salt, is vital to achieving the perfect texture – soft yet crispy.
The cooking process is an art. The dough is deep-fried in oil until it puffs up and turns golden brown, creating a delightful contrast of textures. While seemingly straightforward, this method requires a skilled hand to balance the oil temperature and frying time, ensuring that the pizza is cooked thoroughly without becoming greasy. The toppings, often a rich mix of ricotta cheese, mozzarella, Neapolitan salami, and pepper, are added before the dough is fried, melting beautifully into the warm dough.
Having witnessed this process numerous times in the heart of Naples, it never ceases to amaze me how such simple ingredients, combined with the expert touch of a Neapolitan Pizza maker., transform into a uniquely flavorful and satisfying dish. It’s a culinary experience embodying Naples’s unassuming yet profound soul.
Top Locations For Fried Pizza in Naples
Naples’ landscape is dotted with exquisite locations serving fried pizza, each with its own story and distinct flavor profile. These establishments are more than mere eateries; they are cultural landmarks, celebrating the rich culinary tradition of Naples through every dish they serve.
Antica Pizza Fritta da Zia Esterina Sorbillo
Located on Via Dei Tribunali, just beside the Gino Sorbillo Pizzeria, Zia Esterina Sorbillo stands as a beacon of traditional fried pizza in the heart of Naples. This esteemed establishment is steeped in history and has been a cornerstone of Neapolitan culinary art for generations. Zia Esterina Sorbillo’s legacy in crafting authentic, mouth-watering fried pizzas is renowned, making it a beloved destination for locals and tourists alike.
When you step into Zia Esterina Sorbillo, you are greeted by an ambiance that melds tradition with a warm, welcoming atmosphere. The aroma of freshly fried dough mingling with the rich scents of melting cheese is an immediate invitation to indulge in one of Naples’ finest culinary offerings.
Each fried pizza is made with carefully selected, high-quality ingredients, ensuring every bite is a harmonious blend of flavors and textures. The crispy, golden crust, combined with the toppings, creates a symphony of taste that perfectly encapsulates the essence of traditional Neapolitan cuisine.
The staff’s warm hospitality further enhances the dining experience at Zia Esterina Sorbillo. Their knowledge of the dishes and eagerness to share their history and culture add an invaluable layer to the dining experience. Enjoying a fried pizza is not just a meal; it’s a journey through the heart of Neapolitan culinary tradition, a sensory adventure that stays with you long after the last bite.
Di Matteo, situated on the renowned Via dei Tribunali in Naples, is much more than a pizzeria; it’s a landmark steeped in the city’s culinary history. This storied establishment has garnered acclaim far beyond Naples’ borders, attracting pizza lovers and curious tourists alike. Known for their masterful approach to both traditional and fried pizzas, Di Matteo serves up dishes that are a true testament to the art of Neapolitan pizza making.
As you approach Di Matteo, the lively atmosphere of Via dei Tribunali sets the stage for an authentic Neapolitan experience. The façade of the pizzeria reflects the city’s vibrant spirit. Inside, the ambiance is a blend of rustic charm and bustling energy, filled with the enticing aromas of baking dough and simmering sauce.
The fried pizzas at Di Matteo are renowned for their perfect balance — crispy on the outside yet soft and airy on the inside. Each pizza is crafted with precision and care, using traditional methods honed over decades. The toppings are a mix of classic flavors and fresh, locally sourced ingredients, creating a rich tapestry of taste that honors the simplicity and depth of Neapolitan cuisine.
Visiting Di Matteo is not just about enjoying a meal; it’s about partaking in a piece of Naples’ culinary heritage. The pizzeria’s history is intertwined with the city’s own, making dining here an experience that connects you to the heart of Naples. Whether it’s the friendly banter of the staff, the photos of famous visitors adorning the walls, or the sheer joy of biting into a perfectly made fried pizza, Di Matteo offers a dining experience that is as memorable as it is delicious.
La Masardona in Naples offers a unique and memorable fried pizza that combines traditional recipes with a touch of modern culinary innovation. Located away from the tourist area, this pizzeria is a hidden gem cherished by locals and food enthusiasts alike.
Upon entering La Masardona, guests are greeted by a warm and inviting ambiance that blends the charm of old Naples with a contemporary flair. The pizzeria prides itself on its deep-rooted family traditions in pizza making, passed down through generations. Yet, it isn’t afraid to add modern twists that elevate the classic fried pizza to new gastronomic heights.
The fried pizzas here are a testament to the pizzaioli’s culinary prowess. Each pizza is a canvas of rich, well-balanced flavors and textures, showcasing the versatility of fried dough when combined with high-quality, fresh ingredients. The light and airy yet crisp dough forms the perfect base for an array of imaginative toppings that pay homage to Neapolitan cuisine.
Dining at La Masardona is an immersive experience. The friendly staff eagerly shared stories about the pizzeria’s history and the dishes they served. This connection to the past, coupled with a vibrant present, makes eating at La Masardona a culinary delight and a journey through the heart of Neapolitan culture and tradition. It’s a place where each fried pizza served is not just food, but a piece of Naples’ rich and ongoing culinary story.
Pizzeria Concettina ai Tre Santi
In the historic Rione Sanità in the heart of Naples, Concettina ai Tre Santi stands as a testament to the enduring legacy and rich flavors of traditional Neapolitan cuisine.
Upon entering Concettina ai Tre Santi, you’re immediately enveloped in an atmosphere rich in history and buzzing with the energy of a passionate culinary team. The wall are adorned with traditional elements from the Neapolitan culture and the outside garden is a breath of fresh air, especially on summer.
Just like pizza, even the fried pizza here is done differently than in other places in Naples: the dough is left to raise for hours to ensure it has an airy consistency, and when fried, it bubbles without absorbing the oil. The fried pizza here is enormous, but you can taste it if you choose the montanara, which is different from the classical pizza fritta and can give you a glimpse of what to expect.
Dining at Concettina ai Tre Santi offers a delicious meal and an immersive experience into the soul of Naples. It’s a place where each dish tells a story of tradition, passion, and culinary excellence. The warm hospitality of the staff, coupled with the exceptional quality of the food, makes Concettina ai Tre Santi a must-visit destination for anyone seeking the authentic taste of Naples.
Starita a Materdei
Starita a Materdei in Naples is not just a destination for pizza enthusiasts; it’s a landmark in the city’s culinary landscape. Renowned for its exquisite fried pizzas, Starita a Materdei has a storied history that intertwines with the gastronomic soul of Naples.
Stepping into Starita a Materdei, one is immediately struck by the atmosphere, where the rich aromas of traditional Neapolitan cooking fill the air. The pizzeria, with its inviting ambiance and walls echoing the tales of past generations, offers an authentic slice of Neapolitan life.
The pizzaioli at Starita a Materdei are true artisans of fried pizza. They skillfully combine classic techniques with innovative culinary concepts, creating pizzas rooted in tradition and daringly creative. Each pizza is a testament to its dedication to quality, featuring a perfectly fried crust that is light yet satisfying, topped with a blend of the freshest, locally sourced ingredients.
But it’s not just the food that makes Starita a Materdei special; the sense of history and community pervades the place.
Dining here is an opportunity to experience a part of Naples’ rich cultural heritage. The pizzeria uniquely makes everyone feel at home, whether you’re a first-time visitor or a regular patron. The warm hospitality, combined with the unparalleled culinary experience, makes Starita a Materdei a cherished spot for anyone seeking Naples’s authentic taste and spirit.
Cultural Impact of Fried Pizza
In Naples, fried pizza is more than a mere culinary delight; it’s a cultural emblem that resonates deeply with the Neapolitan way of life. This simple yet flavorful dish goes beyond its ingredients to tell a story of history, community, and resilience. As someone with close ties to the region, I’ve seen firsthand how fried pizza encapsulates the spirit of Naples, blending tradition and innovation in every bite.
Fried pizza symbolizes Neapolitan creativity and adaptability, evolving through the years while retaining its core identity. It’s a testament to the city’s ability to transform simple, humble ingredients into something extraordinary, mirroring the resilience and resourcefulness of its people. In every street corner and local eatery where fried pizza is served, there’s a sense of pride and communal identity, a shared heritage that unites Neapolitans.
The dish has also played a significant role in Naples’ gastronomic tourism, attracting food enthusiasts worldwide eager to experience authentic Neapolitan cuisine.
Stanley Tucci tasted pizza fritta in Naples while filming his show Searching for Italy, giving this popular and delicious dish the recognition it deserves.
Fried pizza doesn’t just feed the body; it nourishes the soul, offering a taste of Naples’ rich cultural tapestry with every flavorful morsel.
Fried Pizza: Pairing Recommendations
When indulging in Naples’ fried pizza’s crispy, savory delight, the experience can be elevated by pairing it with the right accompaniments. This combination enhances the flavors and transforms a simple meal into a gastronomic event.
A classic choice is a chilled glass of local Italian beer, which complements the richness of the fried dough with its crisp and refreshing taste. For wine enthusiasts, a light and fruity local red wine, such as Aglianico or a chilled Falanghina, can beautifully balance the pizza’s hearty flavors. These beverages enhance the meal and immerse diners in the Neapolitan culinary tradition.
Regarding side dishes, a simple insalata caprese – fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil – offers a refreshing contrast to the pizza’s deep-fried texture. For a more adventurous palate, trying fried pizza with a side of marinated eggplants or a Neapolitan-style salad can add a layer of local flavor and texture to the meal.
The Art of Simplicity
However, in true Neapolitan style, sometimes simplicity reigns supreme. Enjoying fried pizza as it is, savoring its flavors and textures without any additions, can be a sublime experience. This minimalist approach allows the authentic taste of Naples to shine through, highlighting the skillful blend of ingredients and the masterful preparation of this beloved dish.
In Naples, where food is an art and a celebration of life, finding the perfect pairing for fried pizza is part of the culinary adventure. Whether through complementing beverages, contrasting side dishes, or enjoying the pizza in its purest form, each choice adds a new dimension to the experience, making every bite a journey through the rich tapestry of Neapolitan cuisine.
A Tourist’s Guide to Enjoying Fried Pizza
For tourists visiting Naples, the experience of enjoying authentic fried pizza is a culinary adventure not to be missed. As a local guide to this delightful journey, I have some tips to ensure visitors get the most out of their fried pizza experience in the city where it all began.
Discovering the Best Spots
Firstly, exploring beyond the well-trodden paths can lead to hidden gems where fried pizza is made with passion and authenticity. Don’t hesitate to venture into the less touristy neighborhoods of Naples, where many local favorites are nestled. Places like Pignasecca Market or the side streets of Quartieri Spagnoli often house some of the best pizzerias. Via dei Tribunali is one of the most animated areas in Naples. One of my favorite areas, Rione Sanità, is full of local flavors, history, and art.
Timing Your Visit
Timing is also crucial. For the best experience, consider visiting pizzerias during off-peak hours to avoid long waits and to have a more relaxed meal. Morning, late afternoons, or late evenings are often ideal for enjoying fried pizza without the rush. Queues can be the norm, especially in peak days, hours, and months, but queuing for a fried pizza is a pleasure not to be missed!
Engaging with Locals
Engaging with locals can also enrich the experience. Neapolitans are generally warm and friendly and take pride in their culinary heritage. Conversations with local patrons or pizzeria owners can provide insights into the history and nuances of fried pizza, making the meal more than just a culinary delight but also a learning experience.
Savoring the Experience
Lastly, savor each moment. From observing the skillful preparation of the pizza to taking that first bite, each element is part of the unique tapestry of Neapolitan culture. Let the flavors, aromas, and atmosphere transport you to the heart of Naples’ culinary soul.
Naples, with its rich history, vibrant culture, and world-renowned cuisine, is a magnet for tourists from around the globe. The city’s allure often leads to a bustling atmosphere year-round, with streets teeming with eager explorers and culinary adventurers. Given its popularity, it’s advisable for those planning to visit Naples to book flights and accommodations well in advance. The city’s constant crowd of visitors, especially during peak tourist seasons, makes finding last-minute travel arrangements challenging. Early planning ensures a smoother trip and a better opportunity to fully immerse in Naples’s delightful experiences, from its historic landmarks to its legendary culinary scene.
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For tourists, the quest for the best fried pizza in Naples is more than a search for a dish; it’s an immersion into a culture where food is celebrated, stories are shared, and history is savored one bite at a time. For locals, pizza fritta in Naples is just a way to demonstrate love for their city as genuinely and passionately as possible.
The journey through the streets of Naples in search of the best fried pizza is more than just a culinary expedition; it explores a rich cultural heritage, where each bite tells a story of tradition, innovation, and communal spirit. Fried pizza in Naples is not merely a dish but a symbol of the city’s soul, capturing the essence of its history, the warmth of its people, and the vibrancy of its streets.
As someone fortunate enough to experience this gastronomic marvel in its birthplace, I can attest to the unique joy and satisfaction it brings. From the bustling pizzerias echoing with laughter and conversation to the quiet dignity of a perfect bite amidst the backdrop of Naples’ historic charm, each experience is a testament to the enduring allure of this simple yet profound dish.
For locals and tourists alike, the search for the best fried pizza is an ongoing adventure that invites exploration, evokes nostalgia, and fosters connections. It’s a journey that beckons all who visit this storied city to partake in a culinary tradition as timeless as Naples.
Whether you’re a lifelong resident, a new resident, or a first-time visitor, the quest for the best fried pizza is essential to the Neapolitan experience, a delicious and unforgettable journey through the heart of one of Italy’s most beloved cities.