Food & Wine, restaurant, Reviews, Travel

Best Pizza in Naples, Italy

Best Pizza in Naples, Italy

Everyone says that pizza originated from Naples. And, there’s one place in particular that appears in every guidebook, on Facebook and throughout the Internet as being the “Best Pizza in Naples” – L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele, located on Via Cesare Sersale in Naples.

Pizza pieMy husband and I decided to put it to the test. We had been to New Haven, CT and tasted Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana, which got one of the highest ratings in the US and I can attest, it was the best pizza I ever had. So, when everyone talked about L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele, I thought I may have won the lottery (well not exactly, but maybe the taste bud lottery).

We had just finished a cruise that dropped us off near Rome and took a train to Naples, before heading to Sorento. We decided to stop off and go to the pizzeria, located just blocks away from the train station.

Naples was incredibly busy. Interestingly, I didn’t see any stop signs or lights. It seemed like the town was a free for all. Cars, motorcycles, people were walking in every direction. There was no rhythm in the streets, like NYC where people generally walk in one direction even when it’s crowded. Naples reminded me of the way 14th Street looked back in the 1980’s and 1990’s — low end stores and lots of people selling “junk” on the streets.

After walking a few blocks, we found the Pizzeria. As we approached it, we noticed a crowd of more than 50 people standing outside. I never saw anything like it. A Napolean woman told us in Italian to get a ticket and my husband walked up to the front and got number 101. He came back and told me it would be an hour wait.

The sun was beating on our heads and we had a lot of baggage we were carrying. I was hungry and cranky at this point and didn’t really feel like waiting, but that line was incredible and the reviews were even better.

“If Dan (my daughter’s boyfriend who is a pizza connoisseur) were here, he would say we have to wait,” Brian, my husband told me. “This is the best pizza in the world.”

So we waited.

Slices of pizza Hilary holding her pizza PizzaThen, we saw a couple sitting in the shade eating Michele Pizza across the street from the pizzeria. They were sitting outside a coffee shop drinking beer and eating pizza. “Go to take out,” the woman told us, “it will be faster.

And that’s what we did. My husband went to get the pizza and I stood near the couple waiting for them to get up so that I could get their table. When they were finished, I grabbed their table and ordered two beers. And, I waited.

About 15 minutes later, my husband came back with piping hot pizza.

He opened the box and grabbed a slice. It was burning. He put it down to cool off. Then did it again. The pizza wasn’t cut or very slightly cut so we had to tear it apart. It was soggy, the sauce wasn’t particularly good and the cheese was half baked so it was still clumpy. The crust was burned in parts and it tasted burnt.

This was supposed to be the best pizza in the world? I’m not sure why all the guidebooks tell you to go here, but it was probably the worst pizza we ever had.

I would suggest staying away L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele! There’s more hype and absolutely no substance. We were completely disappointed. If you want my advice, stay away!

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3 thoughts on “Best Pizza in Naples, Italy

  1. Hi Hilary – you got caught in the tourist trap near the train station – Naples gets a bad rap as a city – it is a fabulous walking city full of history, magnificent walking neigborhoods and unbelieveable Napoli pizza but you need to get off the beaten path. I am partial to the Chiaia District where small cafes are located that serve the best Napoli pizza ever – its light and fluffy with wonderful sauce, some dabs of bufalo mozzarella, basil and olive oil. Not soggy at all and based on your photo yours had way too much cheese and very sloppy looking. I never travel and look at food reviews – you need to go into the streets and areas where the locals eat – that’s your best chance of finding food for the soul. If you ever go back to Naples head to Osteria da Tonino – awesome local food and very inexpensive! If you want to taste some decent Napoli pizza here in NYC try Keste Pizza 271 Bleecker Street OR Don Antonio 309 West 50th Street at 8th Avenue.

    1. Thanks Bill. Appreciate your input. I’ll definitely check out those restaurants and you never know, they may be the next review on the blog! 🙂 Next time we go to Napoli, we will go beyond the tourist areas! Thanks.

  2. Hilary — as always, spot on!

    We stayed in a super Boutique hotel on the Via Gulia, a block off the Tiber River, across from the Vatican. Stopped into this tiny place where the street narrows that had outside tables and featured pizza.

    Same experience as yours. Unfortunately, when I voiced my unflattering comparison to Rays Pizza, the waiter was behind me and … not pleased. Showed it by huffing away, muttering about “Americani”.

    In Florence, however … but that’s a story for another day.

    Tom

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