Special Report

The Best Pizzerias in the World

Courtesy of I Tigli via Facebook

Americans love pizza. Several years ago, a Harris Poll, surveying more than 2,000 U.S. adults, found that if those polled could eat only one food for the rest of their lives, 21% of them would choose  pizza – more than any other food by far. (These are the American cities with the most pizza places.)

But it’s not just Americans, of course. Pizza, which originated from humble beginnings as a food for the poor in southern Italy, has become one of the world’s most popular foods, made (in one form or another) and enjoyed in every corner of the globe. 

So where are the best pizzerias in the world? To determine just that, 24/7 Tempo reviewed the ranking on 50 Top Pizza World 2022, an annual guide to top pizzerias worldwide, modeled after William Reed Business Media’s annual World’s 50 Greatest Restaurants, and compiled by about 150 specialists around the globe. In addition, we consulted rankings and listings on sites including Taste Atlas, The Guardian, Culinary Backstreets, En-Vols, and Travel Triangle, then used editorial discretion to choose and rank our top 25.

It should come as little surprise that of the top 25 pizzerias in the world, 10 are in Italy. The cream of the mozzarella is found in Naples, regarded as the birthplace of pizza, with three pizzerias in the top four. 

Click here to see the best pizzerias in the world

The United Nations understands the importance of pizza to Naples. In 2017, the Neapolitan art of pizza spinning was declared by UNESCO to be an “intangible cultural heritage,” adding it to the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. “Pizza is popular, cheap, democratic and sustainable,” said Marino Niola, who coordinates the Laboratory of Social Anthropology at the Suor Orsola Benincasa University of Naples in a CNN post. “It was invented by multitasking people to survive in a difficult city like Naples.”

Pizza, whether it’s a classic Margherita or a more imaginative variety topped with salmon, pumpkin, potatoes, or – saints preserve us – pineapple, is a worldwide food, as evidenced by our list. The best pizzerias in the world are found not only in Italy but elsewhere in Europe, in North and South America, and in Asia. (A taste of pizza variety may be found in our list of the most popular pizza in every state.)

Source: Courtesy of Brent C. via Yelp

25. Le Safari
> Location: Nice, France

A great favorite of locals and tourists alike, this indoor-outdoor restaurant on the Cours Saleya, site of Nice’s flower and produce markets, serves Niçoise specialties, pastas, and simply grilled fish and meat dishes – but what it’s know for most of all are its charred-crust wood-oven pizzas, ranging from a classic Margherita to the Napolitaine (tomato, mozzarella, anchovies, olives, and oregano) and the Catalane (tomato, mozzarella, chorizo, and sweet peppers).


Source: Courtesy of Frank F. via Yelp

24. Pizzeria Bianco
> Location: Phoenix, Arizona, USA

Pizzeria Bianco originated in 1988 and soon became an essential destination for pizza-lovers in the American West. Pies come from both a wood-fired oven (among them a version with house-smoked mozzarella, wood-roasted onions, and fennel sausage, with options that include San Daniele prosciutto and Gaeta olives) and a classic New York pizzeria-style deck oven (producing classic New York-style pizzas). Founder Chris Bianco was the first pizzaiolo to win a James Beard Best Chef award. He has a second Phoenix location and three other restaurants.

Source: Courtesy of Bottega via Facebook

23. Bottega
> Location: Beijing, China

Paolo and Daniele Salvo, who operate Bottega, are carrying on the family pizza-making tradition that began in 1928. They are the sons of pizza master Ciro Salvo, who has two other establishments on this list (No. 14 and No. 2). They brought their Neapolitan pizza techniques to Beijing three years ago – shipping their handcrafted oven to the Chinese city from Naples – and immersed themselves in the city’s food and beverage scene. The brothers import all their ingredients from their homeland – Stagioni “00” flour, crushed San Marzano tomatoes, creamy bufala mozzarella, and an assortment of Italian cured meats.

Source: Courtesy of Kate L. via Yelp

22. Spacca Napoli Pizzeria
> Location: Chicago, Illinois

Jonathan Goldsmith learned his pizza-making craft from the Neapolitan masters and brought that knowledge to deep-dish-pizza Chicago. Besides the classic Margherita choices, Spacca Napoli Pizzeria offers Funghi e Salsiccia (blended San Marzano tomatoes, fior di latte cheese, mushrooms, sausage, basil, pecorino gran cru); Cinque Formaggi (five cheeses – fior di latte, gorgonzola, fontina, caciocavallo, and pecorino); and the Salsiccia e Broccoletti (smoked mozzarella, sausage, rapini, and chile flakes). A Yelp reviewer enjoyed the Capricciosa with prosciutto, artichokes, olives, fior di latte, mushrooms, and San Marzano tomatoes, and a “perfectly chewy, bubbled crust.”


Source: Courtesy of Fratelli Figurato via Yelp

21. Fratelli Figurato
> Location: Madrid, Spain

This standard-bearer for Madrid pizzerias is usually on the short list of the best pizzerias in Europe. Founded by Neapolitan expats Riccardo and Vittorio Figurato, Fratelli Figurato thinks outside the pizza box, fusing traditional with the avant-garde. Pizzas combine ingredients such as mozzarella, bacon, pesto oil, and black pepper. Recommendations from those writing on tasteatlas were for the Mangia Milano with mozzarella, gorgonzola, Alto Adige speck, truffle oil, walnuts, and basil. Other gourmet pizzas cited were pumpkin and crunchy bacon, mortadella and pistachio, and squash and pancetta.

Source: Courtesy of A Pizza de Mooca via Facebook

20. A Pizza de Mooca
> Location: Saõ Paulo, Brazil

A Pizza de Mooca, founded in 2011 and run by Bruna Zanuto and Murilo Dias, is considered the best pizzeria in Brazil. The pizzeria uses mostly locally sourced ingredients, though the flours come from Italy. Patrons can select from among 24 pizza choices, many of them using béchamel sauce and containing an array of meats. The Gorgon Ramsay has béchamel sauce, mozzarella, gorgonzola, and caramelized onion.


Source: Courtesy of Kym D. via Yelp

19. Pizzeria Mozza
> Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

L.A. chef-restaurateur and baker Nancy Silverton (she founded La Brea Bakery) sells some of the best pizza in the West at this adjunct to Mozza, the restaurant she owns with New York restaurateur Joe Bastianich. Among the California-fresh variations are one with squash blossoms, tomatoes, and burrata; another with brussels sprouts, guanciale, red onion, and mozzarella; and a “BLT” with bacon, guanciale, onion cream, roasted tomatoes, arugula, and aïoli.

Source: Courtesy of Liza H. via Yelp

18. Bæst
> Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

Helmed by pizzaiolos Daniel Lintner and Matteo Martinenghi, Copenhagen-based Bæst (Danis for “Best”) makes Neapolitan-inspired pizzas using seasonal produce. They believe that having a pizza is a shared experience and they have built a menu around splitting a pizza of your choice ordered à la carte and adding charcuterie, sourdough bread, cheeses, and small dishes.The dairy products are exclusively organic and made daily. The most popular pizza is made with ‘nduja, smoked mozzarella, red onions, and oregano. Another offering combines pumpkin purée, blue corn flour, sage, pumpkin seeds, and mizuna.

Source: Courtesy of Kristina P. via Yelp

17. Antico Forno Roscioli
> Location: Rome, Italy

Sibling to the celebrated Roscioli restaurant and salumeria nearby, Antico Forno Roscioli has been operating since 1972, on the site of a bakery whose origins date from 1824. Pizza is only a small part of what Alessandro and Pierluigi Roscioli produce and the selection is small, but the focaccia-like pizza bianca seasoned with cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil and unrefined Sicilian salt, the pizza rossa (made with raw peeled tomatoes, oregano, and organic whole salt), and the small pizza con mozzarella (with fior di latte and olive oil) have an outsized reputation among Roman pizza-lovers.


Source: Courtesy of Ti amo pizzeria via Facebook

16. Ti Amo
> Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina

Buenos Aires has a lively pizza culture of its own. This pizzeria got its start through Carola Santoro’s zeal for making dough. She prepared pizzas in her mother’s garden with her sister Vicki, and it became so popular that the two opened a pizzeria in 2019. Among the favorites are the four-cheese (Quattro Formaggi) pie served with a dollop of honey, a classic Margherita, and a “Pepperoni” with salami. There is a shrine to soccer great Maradona in the restaurant, honoring the Argentine-born player who won championships playing for Napoli nand led his national team to a World Cup victory.

Source: Courtesy of Sartoria Panatieri Gracia via Facebook

15. Sartoria Panatieri
> Location: Barcelona, Spain

Madrid native Jorge Sastre partnered with Brazilian Rafa Panatieri (of Italian extraction) to open Sartoria Panatieri in Barcelona in 2018. The pizzas are made with dough from local, seasonal organic flours. Their motto is: “dalla fattoria alla pizza” (from farm to pizza), and some of the ingredients, such as mini carrots and basil, are grown on-site at the restaurant. The dough is leavened for 48 hours and then another 12 hours after it is divided into smaller portion/=s for the individual pizzas. The pizzas are topped by items such Cantabrian anchovies, tomato, raw escarole, and black olives.


Source: Courtesy of Christina H. via Yelp

14. 50 Kalò London
> Location: London, England

Located near Trafalgar Square, Kalò London is operated by third-generation pizzaiolo Ciro Salvo, whose original pizzeria in Naples comes in at No. 2 on this list. Salvo hydrates the flour for his dough, and claims that this makes a difference in the flavor. He chooses extra-virgin olive oil from the Campania region and adds that to the pizza at the end of baking, and uses only organic tomatoes: peeled San Marzano, Corbarino, and Piennolo varieties.

Source: Courtesy of Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana via Facebook

13. Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana
> Location: New Haven, Connecticut, USA

Connecticut is famous for its pizza, and no pizzeria is more renowned than Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana. The pizza is coal-fired, with a thin, charred, blistered crust. The New Haven institution is known for its white clam pizza (with fresh shelled clams, garlic, oregano, and pecorino romano). Its fresh tomato pie, available only in summer, is another favorite. There are now a dozen Frank Pepe locations in Connecticut, New York, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts, but the New Haven original is still tops.

Source: Courtesy of Han K. via Yelp

12. 400 Gradi
> Location: Lecce, Italy

400 Gradi means 400º – that’s Celsius, equal to about 750º Fahrenheit, and the temperature of owner Andrea Godi’s oven. In his quest to make the city of Lecce known for its pizza, he produces, among other pies, 23 white pizza variations, including the eponymous 400 Degrees (with mozzarella, homemade croquettes, crispy pancetta, and walnut cream); the Andrea Godi (stracciatella, San Daniele ham, and fresh basil on a piadina flatbread base); and the Porchetta Romana (with mozzarella, potatoes roasted with rosemary, and porchetta).


Source: Courtesy of Marian M. via Yelp

11. La Mezzetta
> Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina

Another Buenos Aires pizza destination is La Mezzetta, little more than a 1930s-vintage hole-in-the-wall, mostly standing room only with a few wall-mounted tables around the periphery. But it is famous for its fugazzeta, a genuine regional specialty – a thick pizza of onion dough filled with cheese. The Fugazzeta Rellena has mozzarella both on top of and inside the dough, as well as an especially large portion of onion.

10. Una Pizza Napoletana
> Location: New York City, New York, USA

At Una Pizza Napoletana on the Lower East Side, owner-pizzaiolo Anthony Mangieri espouses Neapolitan-style pizza, of which he is considered a master – even by Neapolitans. The pizzas set a standard with their incredibly light, tall, “dinghy”-rim crusts, making them one of the more iconic pizzas in New York City. Yelp reviewers rave about the airy cornicione and the natural sweetness of the Margherita sauce.


Source: Courtesy of Marco N. via Yelp

9. L’Antica Pizzeria I Decumani
> Location: Naples, Italy

Naples favorite L’Antica Pizzeria I Decumani offers 45 pizza variations, including what it describes as “insurmountable classics, revisited itineraries and new creations.” Among the creations are La Duchessa, made with pistachio cream, mortadella, two kinds of cheese, and basil and the Procidana, topped with fior de latte, cheese, black papper, basil, and grated lemon peel. There are also stuffed pizzas, like the Alla Salvatore, with a cornicione filled with ricotta and cooked ham and a center of baby tomatoes and bufala mozzarella.

Source: Courtesy of Michael U. via Yelp

8. Pepe in Grani
> Location: Caiazzo, Italy

Pepe in Grani is located in Caiazzo, Italy, about 12 miles northeast of Capua in southern Italy. Owner Franco Pepe is highly regarded as an innovator of the modern pizzeria and his stylish establishment is the go-to place for gourmet pizza lovers who come to enjoy the food and the views of the Caiatine hills and valleys. A Trip Advisor reviewer opined that “the pizza will seem a bit small to many (significantly smaller in diameter than the Neapolitan pizza, and visibly smaller than most modern pizzas), but for some mysterious reason it is still very satisfactory.” In 2018, Pepe in Grani was named the best pizza place in the world by “50 Top Pizza.”

Source: Courtesy of Sarah D. via Yelp

7. Peppe Pizzeria
> Location: Paris, France

Peppe Cutraro, former chef for the local Big Mamma restaurant group, makes his mark with his Neapolitan-style pizza – including the variation called the montanara, in which the dough is fried before the toppings are added. Also worth trying are the pizzas with mortadella and pistachio or truffles and hazelnuts. A favorite for one Yelp reviewer was the Campione del Mondo, with yellow tomatoes, prosciutto, bufala mozzarella, grilled almonds, provolone, and fig jam.


Source: Courtesy of I Tigli via Facebook

6. I Tigli
> Location: San Bonifacio, Italy

Simone Padoan is the maestro of I Tigli, located in San Bonifacio, between Verona and Venice. His doughs are made with whole wheat or semi-whole wheat flours and natural leavening, and some add corn or seeds. Padoan utilizes different hydrations for varying consistencies and levels of crunchiness. All of the pizzas are served in a tasting format, so you can try different combinations. The Margherita is made in three versions: crunchy, soft, or with buffalo-milk mozzarella. Pizza toppings can include raw fish, duck, sweetbreads, creamed codfish, eel, and snails.

Source: Courtesy of Auon H. via Yelp

5. Pizzarium Bonci
> Location: Rome, Italy

Pizzarium Bonci, located not far from Vatican City, is operated by Bonci, who goes by just the one name. He says on his website that he’s “changing the pizza game by embracing my artisanal Roman roots and these guiding principles” [and] to wit, “quality without compromise, use only the freshest, natural ingredients available, [and] agriculture as culinary art.” Bonci’s pizzas are styled in “al taglio” – large, rectangular pies packed with toppings, cut with scissors into quadrilateral slices and sold by weight. Bonci says this makes it easier for patrons to customize for both price and variety. Pizzas range from the classic Margherita to creations with such ingredients as pumpkin, speck, and caciocavallo.


Source: Courtesy of Mengting Y. via Yelp

4. Gino e Toto Sorbillo
> Location: Naples, Italy

The Michelin Guide-endorsed Naples stalwart Gino e Tolo Sorbillo is known for its pizza pesto genovese, among other innovations, as well as a Margherita made with four cheeses and a lot of basil and cherry tomatoes. Owner Gino Sorbillo, who appears regularly on Italian television and is a celebrity in his own right, has opened numerous offshoots of his pizzeria around Italy, in Miami and New York City, and even in Tokyo, but the original on the via dei Tribunali maintains its high standards. Reviewers on tasteatlas say the “ingredients are many but the natural leavening makes this kind of pizza light.”

Source: Courtesy of Michael U. via Yelp

3. I Masaneilli – Francesco Martucci
> Location: Caserta, Italy

I Masaneilli is in Caserta, north of Naples. It has been operated by Francesco Martucci since 2001. He makes his pizzas by three different methods: steamed (at 212º F), fried (at 355º F), and baked (at 750º F). The Margherita pizza is made with San Marzano tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and Madonna dell’Olivo Core’ngrato extra-virgin olive oil. The Nero di Corbara uses salt-packed Corbarino tomatoes and pork sausage with fennel seeds, with smoked caciocavallo and extra-virgin olive oil added after baking.

Source: Courtesy of Asish P. via Yelp

2. 50 Kalò
> Location: Naples, Italy

50 Kalò, helmed by Ciro Salvo, produces traditional pizzas as well as some innovative varieties, always of the highest quality. According to 50 Top Pizza, “The dough is perfect, melty and fragrant, and serves as the perfect foundation for tasty and well-balanced toppings that are a result of a careful selection of ingredients.” Salvo seeks out artisanal ingredients and uses locally milled flour. Diner favorites include the classic Margherita; a pie with salami and squash blossoms; and another with sardines and tomato sauce.


Source: O Kemppainen / iStock Editorial via Getty Images

1. L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele
> Location: Naples, Italy

Opened in 1870 and still run by the founding Condurro family, this pizzeria is often dismissed as a tourist trap – a situation hardly improved by the fact that Julia Roberts scarfed down a slice here in the movie “Eat Pray Love.” In fact the restaurant controls crowds by handing out numbers, deli-style. Nonetheless, da Michele is known the world over for its quintessential Neapolitan-style, wood-oven pies, and they may well be the platonic ideal of what Neapolitan pizza should be. Don’t look for contemporary takes here. There are only two pizzas available – the classic Margherita, topped with tomatoes, fior di latte, fresh basil, and a drizzle of soybean oil (in place of the traditional extra-virgin olive oil), and the Marinara with tomatoes, garlic, and oregano (no cheese). But enjoying one (or both) in this venerable establishment will tell you definitively what pizza is really all about.

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