Naples’ Oldest Pizza Restaurants Reviewed By A Local
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Are you in love with pizza and want to visit Naples, Italy, to eat the best and discover the oldest pizza restaurants in the city? I’m here to guide you and help you plan your Naples pizza trip at its best.
Hailing from the same Campania region as Naples, Italy, I’ve always felt a deep connection to this vibrant city. My visits to Naples have allowed me to immerse myself in the rich cultural and culinary tapestry that the city has to offer, particularly when it comes to its world-renowned pizza. With its historical significance in the pizza world, Naples has been a place where I’ve come to appreciate its unique pizza culture.
In this article, I will bring you on a journey through Naples, a city that holds a special place in the hearts of locals and visitors alike. Together, we’ll explore the captivating history of Naples’ oldest pizza restaurants that symbolize the essence of Neapolitan pizza. From Antica Pizzeria Port’Alba, often celebrated as the world’s inaugural pizzeria, to Pizzeria Brandi, renowned for crafting the Margherita pizza in honor of Italian royalty, these pizzerias have left an indelible mark on the city’s culinary heritage.
As we delve into their stories and savor their signature pizzas, you’ll understand why Naples and its pizza culture have a unique place in the hearts of those from the Campania region. Join me on this gastronomic adventure, where history, culture, and taste converge to celebrate the authentic Neapolitan pizza experience in the heart of Naples.
Antica Pizzeria Port’Alba
Our journey through the historic pizzerias of Naples begins with a visit to Antica Pizzeria Port’Alba. This place holds the distinction of being among the first pizzerias in the world. Founded in 1830, this iconic pizzeria is located on Via Port’Alba, in the heart of Naples’ historic center.
As you step inside Antica Pizzeria Port’Alba, you’ll be greeted by an atmosphere steeped in tradition. The walls are adorned with vintage photographs and memorabilia, telling the story of its long and storied history. The restaurant’s rustic charm transports you back in time to the early days of pizza-making in Naples.
The menu at Antica Pizzeria Port’Alba is a testament to simplicity and authenticity. Here, you’ll find the classic Neapolitan pizzas enjoyed for generations, including the Margherita and Marinara. The Margherita’s vibrant red tomatoes, fresh fiordilatte, and aromatic basil is a true masterpiece. Every bite is a homage to the flavors that have made Neapolitan pizza famous worldwide.
What sets Antica Pizzeria Port’Alba apart is its historical significance and dedication to preserving the essence of traditional pizza. The wood-fired oven, which has been used for decades, imparts that unmistakable smoky flavor and crispy crust that pizza connoisseurs crave.
Even after many years, Antica Pizzeria Port’Alba remains popular among locals and tourists seeking a genuine Neapolitan pizza experience. Renowned as one of the earliest pizzerias in the world, it consistently attracts pizza lovers from all over the world.
Next on this list is Pizzeria Brandi, renowned for being where the Margherita pizza acquired its regal title and fame.
Our expedition through Naples’ oldest pizza restaurants leads us to Pizzeria Brandi, an establishment that played a pivotal role in the history of pizza. Founded in 1889, this iconic pizzeria is located on Salita Sant’Anna di Palazzo in the city’s historic center.
Pizzeria Brandi is renowned for creating the Margherita pizza, a beloved classic synonymous with Neapolitan pizza worldwide. The story behind this culinary masterpiece is as fascinating as the pizza itself. In 1889, the pizzaiolo (pizza maker) Raffaele Esposito was tasked with creating a special pizza to honor Queen Margherita of Italy, who was visiting Naples. Esposito’s creation featured three simple yet symbolic ingredients: tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and basil. These ingredients were chosen to represent the colors of the Italian flag – red, white, and green.
This pizza was not only a culinary delight but also a patriotic gesture, and it was named after the queen herself – the Margherita pizza.
The Margherita pizza at Pizzeria Brandi continues to symbolize the principles of simplicity and quality that define Neapolitan pizza. The perfectly balanced flavors of the sweet San Marzano tomatoes, creamy fiordilatte, and aromatic basil leaves create a symphony of tastes that delight the palate. The crispy, slightly charred crust from the wood-fired oven completes this gastronomic masterpiece.
As you dine at Pizzeria Brandi, you’ll immerse yourself in an atmosphere that exudes history and tradition. Vintage photographs, certificates, and royal memorabilia adorn the walls, telling the story of the Margherita pizza’s royal approval and enduring legacy.
For pizza enthusiasts and history buffs alike, Pizzeria Brandi offers a unique opportunity to taste a slice of Neapolitan history. Each bite of their Margherita pizza is a delicious tribute to the craftsmanship and culinary artistry that has made Naples the world’s pizza capital.
Next on our itinerary is Pizzeria Di Matteo, where classic Neapolitan pizza is celebrated in all its glory.
Pizzeria Di Matteo
Our quest to explore the essence of Neapolitan pizza culture brings us to Pizzeria Di Matteo, an esteemed establishment founded in 1936. Located on Via dei Tribunali, in the heart of Naples, Pizzeria Di Matteo is a beloved pizzeria that has captured the hearts and taste buds of locals and visitors alike.
Stepping into Pizzeria Di Matteo, you’ll find yourself in a cozy, welcoming atmosphere that immediately feels like home. The restaurant’s rustic charm and unpretentious ambiance are reminiscent of the traditional pizzerias serving Naples for generations.
At the heart of Pizzeria Di Matteo is a commitment to preserving the authenticity and flavors of classic Neapolitan pizza. The menu features various pizza options, including Margherita, Marinara, and a selection of toppings. Each pizza celebrates the core ingredients that define Neapolitan pizza.
The Margherita pizza at Pizzeria Di Matteo is a work of art featuring the same iconic combination of San Marzano tomatoes, fiordilatte, and fresh basil, making Neapolitan pizza famous worldwide. What sets it apart is the expert craftsmanship of the pizzaioli (pizza makers), who have honed their skills over the years to create the perfect pie.
The wood-fired oven at Pizzeria Di Matteo is the show’s real star, and countless pizzas have been passed through. The oven imparts a distinct smoky flavor and blistered, chewy crust to each pizza, making every bite a testament to the time-honored techniques of Neapolitan pizza-making.
As you savor the flavors of Naples at Pizzeria Di Matteo, you’ll also be surrounded by the restaurant’s rich history. The walls are adorned with photographs and memorabilia that offer a glimpse into the pizzeria’s storied past and its place in the hearts of Neapolitans.
Pizzeria Di Matteo is more than just a pizzeria; it’s a living testament to the enduring love affair between Naples and its most cherished culinary creation.
The next stop is Pizzeria da Michele, an internationally acclaimed iconic establishment dedicated to tradition and taste (and a certain Julia Roberts).
Pizzeria Da Michele
Pizzeria da Michele is an iconic establishment with a legacy that extends far beyond the city’s borders. Founded in 1870 and located on Via Cesare Sersale, Pizzeria da Michele is renowned for its commitment to the simplicity and quality that define Neapolitan pizza. It has a special place in the list of Naples’ oldest pizza restaurants.
Pizzeria da Michele gained international fame through its mention in the book and film “Eat Pray Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert, where the protagonist embarks on a quest for self-discovery and indulges in the pleasures of life, including devouring an irresistible Neapolitan pizza.
What sets Pizzeria da Michele apart is its devotion to tradition. The menu here is refreshingly minimalistic, offering mainly two pizza varieties (but you can choose four different pizzas): the Margherita and the Marinara. These classic Neapolitan pizzas are a testament to the restaurant’s belief that simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
The Margherita pizza at Pizzeria da Michele features San Marzano tomatoes, for di latte cheese, basil leaves, a drizzle of olive oil, and a pinch of salt. The combination of these high-quality ingredients, expertly baked in a wood-fired oven, results in a pizza embodying Neapolitan culinary excellence’s essence.
The wood-fired oven at Pizzeria da Michele, like the pizzeria itself, is a testament to the time-honored pizza-making techniques. The intense heat of the oven, fueled by wood, creates the ideal conditions for achieving the crispy yet chewy crust that is the hallmark of Neapolitan pizza.
Pizzeria da Michele isn’t just a pizzeria; it’s a shrine to the art of pizza-making. Its commitment to preserving the authenticity and flavors of classic Neapolitan pizza has earned it a place in the hearts of pizza enthusiasts worldwide.
Our next destination is Pizzeria Pellone, a local favorite known for its focus on traditional Neapolitan pizza and a warm, inviting atmosphere.
Our exploration of Naples’ historic pizzerias brings us to Pizzeria Pellone, a local institution that has been serving authentic Neapolitan pizza since 1932. Conveniently located near the Naples central train station on Via Nazionale, Pizzeria Pellone is a beloved spot for residents and travelers seeking a taste of Naples’ rich pizza culture.
From the moment you enter, Pizzeria Pellone welcomes you in a warm and inviting atmosphere. The restaurant’s ambiance blends tradition and comfort, making it a favorite gathering place for families, friends, and pizza enthusiasts.
At the heart of Pizzeria Pellone’s appeal is its dedication to the time-honored traditions of Neapolitan pizza-making. The menu here showcases an array of classic Neapolitan pizzas, each prepared with the utmost care and attention to detail. Whether you’re a fan of the Margherita, Marinara, or a specialty pizza, you can be sure that every bite celebrates Naples’ culinary heritage.
The Margherita pizza at Pizzeria Pellone is a delightful symphony of flavors, with San Marzano tomatoes providing a rich, sweet-tart base, fior di latte mozzarella lending creaminess, fresh basil adding aromatic notes, and a wood-fired oven giving the crust that coveted charred and chewy texture. It’s a combination that epitomizes the essence of Neapolitan pizza.
What sets Pizzeria Pellone apart is its commitment to using only the finest, freshest ingredients. The pizzaioli at Pellone take pride in crafting pizzas that stay true to the flavors that have made Neapolitan pizza a global sensation.
As you dine at Pizzeria Pellone, you’ll be surrounded by the joyful chatter of locals and the aromas of pizza prepared with passion and pride. The restaurant’s timeless charm is a testament to its enduring popularity among those who appreciate the authenticity of Neapolitan pizza.
Pizzeria Pellone embodies the spirit of Naples’ pizza culture, where tradition and taste create an unforgettable dining experience.
Our Neapolitan pizza journey continues, with more historic pizzerias waiting to share their stories and flavors. Next on our itinerary is Pizzeria Gino Sorbillo.
Pizzeria Gino Sorbillo
Our Neapolitan pizza odyssey now leads us to Pizzeria Gino Sorbillo, a renowned establishment that combines tradition with a modern twist. The Sorbillo family founded this pizzeria, which has roots dating back to 1935, on Via dei Tribunali, a bustling street in the heart of Naples’ historic center.
Pizzeria Gino Sorbillo is a place where history and innovation converge. As you enter the restaurant, you’ll be greeted by a vibrant and contemporary atmosphere that harmoniously complements its rich heritage. The decor blends classic and modern elements, creating an inviting space that is also quite big to allow many people to step in and enjoy a pizza (or two!).
While Pizzeria Gino Sorbillo embraces the timeless classics of Neapolitan pizza, it also offers a creative array of toppings and flavor combinations that cater to diverse tastes. The menu showcases an enticing selection of pizzas, from the iconic Margherita and Marinara to inventive creations that push the boundaries of traditional pizza-making and are often the result of partnerships between the pizzeria and other famous Italian and Neapolitan brands.
The Margherita pizza at Pizzeria Gino Sorbillo remains a shining star on the menu. Crafted with the same dedication to quality ingredients and wood-fired perfection, it embodies the essence of Neapolitan pizza.
Don’t miss out on Pizza Fritta (as shown in the picture), a highly popular and beloved variety of Neapolitan pizza. Sorbillo’s version is exceptional, originating from the recipe of Zia Esterina, Sorbillo’s aunt. It features a crispy dough on the outside and soft on the inside, combined with a perfect blend of cheese and cured meats for a truly flavorful experience.
Pizzeria Gino Sorbillo reflects Naples’ ever-evolving pizza culture, where the spirit of tradition remains alive while embracing the diversity of modern tastes.
A Journey Through Naples’ Pizza Culture
Our voyage through the historic pizzerias of Naples has taken us on a remarkable journey that celebrates the art, history, and flavors of Neapolitan pizza. From the humble beginnings of Antica Pizzeria Port’Alba, often hailed as the world’s first pizzeria, to the innovative and diverse menu offerings at Pizzeria Gino Sorbillo, we’ve explored the rich tapestry of Naples’ pizza culture.
Naples, as the birthplace of pizza, holds a special place in the hearts of pizza enthusiasts worldwide. It is a city where tradition and taste intertwine to create a culinary experience like no other. The essence of Naples’ pizza culture lies in its simplicity, where a handful of high-quality ingredients and the skill of the pizzaioli come together to produce pizzas that are both timeless and transcendent.
Throughout our journey, we’ve encountered the iconic Margherita and Marinara pizzas, witnessed the creation of the Margherita pizza in honor of Italian royalty, and savored the distinct flavors imparted by wood-fired ovens. We’ve explored pizzerias that have been serving Naples for generations, each with its unique story and contribution to the pizza world.
As we conclude our culinary pilgrimage through Naples, I invite you to continue your exploration of this extraordinary city and its pizza culture. Whether you’re a seasoned pizza enthusiast or a first-time visitor, Naples offers a treasure trove of pizzerias waiting to be discovered.
If you are interested in visiting Naples, check out the best hotels in the city or the best deals on flights to land at the Capodichino Airport, just a few minutes away from the best pizzerias in the world.
In Naples, pizza is more than just a dish; it’s a way of life. It embodies tradition, the celebration of flavor, and the heart and soul of a city that takes immense pride in its culinary heritage. Each pizzeria we’ve visited has shared a piece of this remarkable culture, and countless more are waiting for you to uncover.
So, whether you find yourself drawn to the historic charm of Antica Pizzeria Port’Alba, the regal legacy of Pizzeria Brandi, the timeless traditions of Pizzeria Di Matteo and Pizzeria Pellone or the modern creativity of Pizzeria Gino Sorbillo, know that Naples welcomes you with open arms and a slice of authentic Neapolitan pizza.
The journey to the perfect pizza is never-ending in Naples; every slice tells a story. May your exploration of Naples’ pizza culture be a delicious adventure filled with history, tradition, and the unforgettable flavors of authentic Neapolitan pizza.