I’ve recently decided that it’s my mission to eat a pizza in every region of Italy. There are currently 20 regions and I’ve had a pizza in 4 so far — Lazio, Campania, Molise, and Veneto.
If you’re looking for the best pizzerias in Italy, here are a list of five to start with. There are numerous “best pizza” lists out there, all with varying degrees of bias, but generally you can find the best pizza to be in Naples. I’ve eaten at most of these places, and to let you know which one, I’ll put an asterisk of some sort so that you know.
Just so you know how passionate I am about pizza. I own a tabletop wood-fired pizza oven and imported an official “pizza al taglio” baking pan to make Roman style pizza in my home oven. I constantly experiment at home — so much so that you would think Pablo Escobar left a stash in my apartment due to the amount of flour that’s caked everywhere. I’ve also created multiple menus in Google Docs for my pizzeria that I will open some day. What’s not to love about pizza?
Pepe in Grani (Campania)
Pizzaiolo Franco Pepe is more notorious in pizza circles for his decision to leave the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana, which is the official association for certifying pizzerias as Neapolitan, based on a set of strict standards. He makes more progressive style pizzas, rather than the traditional.
Address: Vicolo S. Giovanni Battista, 3, 81013 Caiazzo, CE, Italy
When I visit Italy I spend my days in Molise at family’s house. One of the local pizzerias happens to be one of my favorites — L’Assaggio. This place is awesome and has my favorite crust. I’m a huge fan of very “bready”, dry crusts and L’Assaggio is the only one that delivers just that. Gianni, the head pizzaiolo, serves up some amazing food so if you’re ever passing through the area, check it out!
The Dom Rating: 4/5 (great crust, high-quality pizza, but creativity lacks)
Address: Via Sant ‘Eusanio, 1-5, 86075 Monteroduni IS, Italy
Gino Sorbillo (Campania/Naples)*
Sorbillo is certainly one of the more commercialized Neapolitan pizzerias with multiple locations in Naples, Milan, and New York City. This doesn’t detract from the quality, though. Without a doubt, Sorbillo has one of my favorite pizzas on the planet. What really separates a good Neapolitan pizza from the rest is the quality and flavor of the crust after baking (it should smell of bread and not yeast). Sorbillo hits on all cylinders. If you’re going to visit the Naples location, arrive EARLY as tables fill up quickly.
The Dom Rating: 4.5/5 (minus .5 for sometimes a lack of creativity with flavors)
Address: Via dei Tribunali, 32, 80138 Napoli NA, Italy
Pizzeria Concettina ai Tre Santi (Campania/Naples)*
A must-visit pizzeria. Hands down. Concettina is a twice Michelin-starred official Neapolitan style pizzeria serving up the most delicious pizza I’ve ever tasted. And did I mention you can get a whole pizza for 8 Euro? You heard that correctly.
The pizza pictured here is the signature. The crust is stuffed with italian salame and provolone cheese. The bed consists of San Marzano tomato sauce, crushed tarallini, roasted almonds, and fresh buffala mozzarella.
The Dom Rating: 5/5
Address: Via Arena della Sanità, 7 Bis, 80137 Napoli NA, Italy
For those of you that are familiar with Roman style pizza, it’s square shaped, often cut with scissors and sold by weight, and is very light and airy. One of the best to ever do Roman style “pizza al taglio” is Gabriele Bonci, owner and pizzaiolo of Pizzarium in Rome.
Luckily for us Americans, Bonci has opened two locations in Chicago, so if you’re ever in town, go check it out!
Address: Via della Meloria, 43, 00136 Roma RM, Italy (Rome), 161 N Sangamon St, Chicago, 1566 N Damen Ave, Chicago
What are your favorite pizzerias (can be from anywhere in the world, just no Dominos 🙂 )?