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Restaurant Guide to Naples:
Pizzarias

(See also Ciro a Mergellina, Ciro a Santa Brigida, Pizzeria Bellini, all under Restaurants and Trattorias)

Pizza

Note: The classic pizzas are marinara -- with only tomatoes, garlic, oregano and olive oil -- and Margherita, with tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, basil, and mozzarella -- but the trendiest pizza in Naples is a marinara additionally topped with prosciutto and tiny leaves of peppery rocket (arugula), both of which merely wilt on the hot pizza.

 

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Staff at Brandi
click for larger
The staff at Brandi enjoys lunch there too.
  Da Michele: This 19th century pizzeria is so traditional they serve only pizza marinara and pizza Margherita, plus baked cheese calzone (pizza ripiena). It is often touted as Naples' best pizzeria, especially by foreign journalists. Locals hold it in high regard, but everyone in Naples has a strong opinion about pizza and it is by no means the most popular.
    Via Cesare Sersale 1/3; tel. (081) 553 92 04; closed Sundays and three weeks in August.
   
  Trianon: If I had to pick a pizzeria that is the most popular in the city, this would have to be it. There is always a wait for a table, if that is any criterion, and young people love to gather here - more than entire families, which you see more at other places. It dates from the 1930s, and nothing seems to have changed.
    Via P. Colletta 46; tel. (081) 553-9426; closed Sundays and midday.
   
  Antica Pizzeria Brandi: This is the pizzeria where pizza Margherita was invented in 1889, in honor of Queen Margherita, the Savoy queen of the then less than 30-year-old unified Italy. Brandi still makes wonderful pizza but it also has many other good things to eat. It's near San Carlo, the Royal Palace, the Galleria, and good shopping, so it's convenient and good for lunch. Sit downstairs even though it may seem like upstairs is better. Good place to have a whole mozzarella di bufala. The place is touristic so Neapolitans enjoy putting it down, but I like it quite a lot.
    Steps off the via Chiaia, on a tiny sidestreet called Salita S. Anna di Palazzo; tel. (081) 416928. Closed Mondays
     


  Di Matteo: A personal favorite, as much for the location on the main street of the old city, and for the fried foods -- pasta cresciuta (dough balls) arancini di riso (rice balls), crochette di patate (potato croquettes), zucchini, and other vegetables in season - as for the pizza. Buy a bag of fritti to eat during your inevitable wait on the street for a table, and don't be put off by the fact that this is where President Clinton was taken when in Naples for the G7 Summit in 1993.
    Via dei Tribunali 94; tel. (081) 455-262; closed Sundays and two weeks in August
   
  Sorbillo: Another Spaccanapoli pizzeria, less popular than Di Matteo. I hear it is good, but I haven't eaten here.
    Via Tribunali 35 (no telephone)
   
  Trianon da Ciro: Specializes in unusually large pies.
    Via Pietro Colletta 42-44-46; tel. (081) 553 94 26
   
  Cantanapoli: Decent pizza on the street behind the Lungomare and the fancy hotels. Besides convenience to the big hotels on the bay, the main attraction to me is that they have live Neapolitan music at night. The waiters wear lazzaroni garb of the 18th century, which makes it an almost Disney Neapolitan experience.
    Via Chiatamone 36; tel. (081) 764 6110
   
  Lombardi Santa Chiara: Ideally situated around the corner from the Santa Chiara majolica cloister in the middle of the most historic section of Naples – Spaccanapoli -- it is friendly, has moderate prices, excellent pizza, for which it is known, and very good other food, for which it is not well-known. You can have a pizza sitting at a cramped bar downstairs, practically in front of the pizza oven – actually a fun thing to do -- but go upstairs and there are several comfortable, spare (well air-conditioned in summer) dining rooms with a full-enough menu featuring excellent fried vegetables and cheese, mostly good pasta (first rate spaghetti with clam sauce, but heavy gnocchi), and fresh seafood. Don’t order meat, except perhaps a plate of fine prosciutto. Do order vegetable antipasti when the season provides some variety – although the eggplant parmigiana is hardly up to the stuffed or sautéed peppers. .
    Via Benedetto Croce 59; tel. (081) 552 0780
     
    Il Cerasiello: A slick contemporary setting for locals to enjoy good, very large pizzas. For tourists, however, it can’t be beat when a big, somewhat American salad is the only thing that will hit the mark – grilled fish with salad, grilled chicken with salad, roast beef with salad. Decent pastas, too, all in larger than normal Neapolitan portions and at unbeatable prices. The pizza bread, dense and moist, is heavily studded with either black olives or walnuts, an attraction until itself. Stainless steel, contemporary tile, and thick, colorful paper tablecloths purposefully set askew create the tone. Unbeatable prices – only 8 euro for grilled fish, 6 euro luncheon specials. On a major thoroughfare uphill from the Maschio Angioino.
    Via Monteoliveto, 33/35; tel. (081) 781-0081
     
     
Naples Guide: Restaurants & Trattorias - Tavola Calda - Paticcerie - Cafes & Sweets - One Day Walking Tour of Naples
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