The Oldest Pizzerias in Naples

December 6, 2015 by Rem Malloy

Home > Blog > The Oldest Pizzerias in Naples

Known as the birthplace of pizza itself, there’s nowhere better to dig into some scrumptious, stone-baked treats than in the Italian city of Napoli. And, as all the locals know, the best pizzerias in Naples are the ones that have been around the longest, which is why we have put together a list of the oldest pizzerias in the city.

Naples hosts a celebration in honour of its famous dish every year, known as the Napoli Pizza Village Festival. Taking place on the beach, the festival involves pizza-making tutorials and is a real party complete with live music and entertainment that is sure to be fun for adults and children alike. 

As a universally- loved dish, the pizza always goes down well even in what is commonly seen as its most basic form: the margherita. Between airy dough, zingy tomato sauce, creamy mozzarella and fragrant basil, it is a real treat for the taste buds and going back to the roots of the dish to try it in this city is easily one of the best things to do in Italy.

If you are looking to try some of the best pizza in Naples, be sure to check out this list of the oldest pizzerias in the city.

Antica Pizzeria Port’Alba

Nestled in the city’s bustling centre, the famous Antica Pizzeria Port’Alba is not only the oldest pizzeria in Naples, Italy but the oldest pizzeria in the whole world. While the restaurant dates back to 1830, the origins of the business go back much further than that. 

Back in 1738, the first generation of Lucianos founded Antica Pizzeria Port’Alba which was then a street-food stand cooking flatbread pizzas in ovens lined with volcanic rocks from the nearby volcano of Mount Vesuvius. In 1830, the family transitioned the business into an official pizzeria, the first of its kind in the world.

The restaurant can now be found bustling with tourists wanting to tick off trying some authentic Neapolitan bites at their birthplace. Antica Pizzeria Port’Alba is drenched in history, once frequented by the modest but forward-thinking creatives of the world such as artists and students looking for a cheap bite to eat. A rustic interior and charming atmosphere act as subtle nods to the eatery’s intriguing past.

Nowadays, the restaurant is run by Vincenzo Luciano, who is the fourth generation of his family to do so. Sticking to a traditional style of cooking, he dishes up divine takes on all kinds of classics as well as more innovative dishes. 

So be sure to check out this incredible restaurant as a visit to Italy could not be complete without trying some of the best pizza in Naples at one of the oldest-known restaurants in the world.

L’Antica Pizzeria Da Michele 

Next up is L’Antica Pizzeria Da Michelle (also known as Da Michele) which was founded in 1870 by Salvatore Condurro and continues to be owned and managed by his family. Here, you will be able to try what is recognised as the most famous pizza in Naples due to its cameo in the world-famous romantic drama, Eat Pray Love, which stars none other than the renowned American actress, Julia Roberts.

Despite this huge claim to fame, don’t expect any ostentatious garnishes when visiting this pizzeria, as the Condurro family has chosen to keep it simple. Holding true to traditional Neapolitan styles, they have even gone so far as to only offer two types of pizza! 

You will have a choice between the margherita and the marinara (this option forgoes the cheese, which offers an exquisite and refreshing combination of tomato, oregano, basil and garlic). The Condurro family’s recipe for margherita and marinara wood-fire pizzas has been perfected across generations to provide the most amazing combination of flavours and textures so you are unlikely to have tried anything like it! Plus, this is an exciting opportunity to eat like a traditional Neapolitan!

Lombardi

Having been on the scene for 130 years, Lombardi knows what they’re doing when it comes to pizza. Located close to the National Archaeological Museum, this eatery was founded by Enrico Lombardi in 1892 and is easily one of the best pizzerias in Naples. 

Before establishing Lombardi in Italia, Enrico made money by selling pizzas in Brazil and his delicious recipes can still be tasted today. His business is now in the hands of his very own grandsons, Nando and Gigi, who continue to serve up tasty traditional recipes.

With something for everyone, a trip to this Naples pizzeria is sure not to disappoint. For those wanting to keep it simple, there are, of course, the classics such as the margherita, or if you are in the mood to turn up the heat, there is the option of the spicy diavola which is topped with hot salami and pickled jalapenos.

Whatever you are in the mood for, it is definitely worth making a reservation prior to visiting Lombardi, as it tends to get pretty busy with seats quickly becoming hot property!

Di Matteo

Dishing out exquisite pizzas since 1936, this certainly isn’t Di Matteo’s first rodeo! Back in the day, Salvatore Di Matteo established the business and organised for it to be run by what are commonly referred to as ‘scugnizzi pizzaioli’; poor children who tended to avoid going to school in favour of roaming the streets of Naples. 

These days, the restaurant is headed by Raffaele Marigliano, the founding father of the pizza con alici e cicinelli (pizza topped with anchovies and small newborn fish) – an option that tends to divide public opinion but is certainly a must-try amongst fish fans! 

If sea creatures aren’t quite your thing, fear not as you will also be able to branch out in other ways by trying another of Di Matteo’s specialities, the pizza fritta. This yummy option involves a deep-fried pizza complete with provola cheese, ricotta cheese, tomato sauce and sugna (also known as lard!). 

However, if you are a sucker for tradition and want to stick to classic Neapolitan styles, you are sure to be blown away by their delicious Margheritas – you are at one of the best pizzerias in Naples after all!

Pizzeria Brandi 

Founded in 1780, this little haven is far from your average Neapolitan pizzeria, in fact, Brandi is widely recognised as the birthplace of the legendary margherita pizza. 

Raffaele Esposito, the restaurant’s former pizza maker, is said to have created the margherita in 1889 after being requested to serve three different types of pizza to Italy’s royal family during their visit. When it came to ranking the pizzas, the margherita came out top and won over Queen Margherita who loved how it represented all of the colours in the Italian flag: green from the basil, red from the tomatoes and white from the mozzarella. And so, this world-renowned dish was named in her honour and she made sure to request it every time she visited the city. 

If you’re looking for a touch of sophistication during your pizzeria dining experience then Pizzeria Brandi is definitely the place for you as, instead of the classic drinks pairing of beers, Brandi serves white wine alongside its dishes. Although this would warrant a grimace from many traditional pizza eaters, this custom works wonders for the pizzeria and compliments their food delightfully. 

Open six days a week for lunch and dinner, you are likely to have plenty of opportunities to taste the royal pizza during your visit to Naples. However, being a tourist-favourite, it is best to reserve a table before visiting Pizzeria Brandy in order to avoid disappointment or having to queue but even if you do have to wait, it is sure to all be made worth your while as soon as you take that first bite!

Pizzeria Trianon da Ciro

Just a stone’s throw away from da Michele lies another of the best pizzerias in Naples, Pizzeria Trianon da Ciro. Founded back in 1923 by husband and wife power couple, Ciro and Giorgina Leone, this is another historic spot where you will be spoilt with delicious pizzas that are sure to be bursting with flavour and freshness. 

Unlike some of the more traditional pizzerias on the list, Pizzeria Trianon da Ciro offers a huge variety of different toppings including specialities such as the salsiccia (an italian sausage) and friarielli, which is a nutty broccoli native to Naples. Although this spot is very popular amongst locals and tourists alike, you are unlikely to be short on a seat as the huge building spreads over three floors.

As if the scrumptious pizzas weren’t tempting enough, this restaurant boasts another extra special draw; its famous ‘wheel of the cart”’ Named in homage to its enormous size, this pizza is huge and makes the perfect sharing dish for groups of hungry visitors.

Sorbillo

Like many of the other restaurants on the list, business at Sorbillo is a family affair. Luigi Sobrillo and Carolina Esposita started off the restaurant by opening what was a modest pizza shop back in 1935. Flash forward 87 years, their little eatery is being run by their grandson, Gino Sobrillo and has grown into a thriving business and one of the best pizzerias in Naples.

Sorbillo has received lots of commendation for using organic, locally-sourced ingredients to make their tasty pizzas, but the praise goes beyond the food. Gino Sobrillo has actually become something of a local celebrity in the city after standing up to some of the local troublemakers who are said to have damaged the pizzeria a few years ago.

With such a strong reputation, Sobrillo tends to be heaving, so you will likely have to queue to get a seat. But as long as you come prepared with a cooling refreshment, this can be a great opportunity to relax and take in the hustle and bustle of the city. If you fancy skipping out on the queues, you could always order one of their famous pizzas to your door, as they also offer online delivery options.

Il Pizzaiolo del Presidente 

The next pizzeria on the list has an impressive claim to fame; established by the brother of Di Matteo’s pizza connoisseur, Il Pizzaiolo del Presidente has been graced by the presence of none other than Bill Clinton, former president of the United States.

From this moment on, the pizzeria was known as Il Pizzaiolo del Presidente, which translates to The President’s Pizza Baker in a nod to this spectacular moment in the restaurant’s past. However, the pizzeria remains very traditional despite this huge honour and is mainly frequented by locals.

If you do venture to Il Pizzaiolo del Presidente, you will be treated to some truly authentic pizza that has been enjoyed by some of the highest members of society. In fact, you can even order the pizza which Clinton himself had, now known as the President’s Pizza.

Da Ettore

In an idyllic seaside location with stunning views over the Castel Dell’Ovo marina, Da Ettore is another of the oldest pizzerias in Naples. Its enviable position has not gone unnoticed by high flyers in society, with many celebrities and politicians known to have paid a visit to this remarkable spot.

With the option to eat alfresco by the sea, Da Ettore is a natural choice for tourists wanting to enjoy one of the best pizzas in Naples while making the most of the city’s coastal setting. Along with the classics, the pizzeria also offers traditional Neapolitan snacks known as frittura all’italiana which includes deep-fried aubergine, arancini, potato croquettes and zeppole con alghe (fried seaweed with a savoury doughnut-like filling).

Truly a slice of paradise, you will be able to enjoy all these delicious snacks alongside a glass of wine amidst stunning surroundings and the heavenly sound of the waves lapping around you.

Summary

Easily one of Europe’s food capitals, Naples is a hiving metropolis and the perfect place to try the most famous staple of Italian cuisine, the pizza. Being its birthplace, you will be going back to its roots and enjoying the meal at its most authentic – with many of Naples’ oldest pizzerias being run by the grandchildren of their founding fathers. Expect lots of charm, a bustling atmosphere and – of course – exquisite food while enjoying the traditional pizza which has become very much a part of community life in the area.
If you’re planning a trip to Naples and want more advice on where to go and what to do in the city, get in touch with Italy4Real and speak to one of our team about our bespoke range of tours.

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