Naples Pizza Guide (Part 1) - L'Antica Pizzeria da Michele - Food-Spotter
On a recent trip to Italy, I decided to do a day trip from Rome to the birth place of Pizza, Napoli (Naples). With less than 10 hours between the time my train arrives and departs back to Rome, I challenged myself to visit the top Pizzerias that Naples has to offer and try their Margherita offerings (the de-facto standard when it comes to Pizza). Any form of tourism would strictly be secondary (I know, it’s a tough job).
L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele
The 1st on my list was about a 15 minute walk from Napoli Centrale train station and made famous by Julia Roberts in the film Eat Pray Love – commonly known to Neapolitans as Da Michele. The scene pictured in the film is that of a buzzing pizzeria on a warm night crammed with locals and tasty slices of pizza being devoured. In contrast, I arrived at about 11am in the morning and was definitely lacking the background ambient chatter of the film, although still somewhat busy for that time of the day!
The menu is very straight forward. 2 types of pizza and a selection of drinks. Even the most fussy eater should be able to decide fairly quickly. If in doubt just flip a coin.
The restaurant feels old, with various old photographs dotted around the walls giving you a feel of the history – it opened in 1870 incase you didn’t know! At the far end is Da Michele the 2nd preparing the pizza before it’s thrown into the hot oven and sitting on the till Da Michele the 3rd.
“Enough of the history, what about the pizza!?”
The texture of the pizza is light – a soft, thin base with small char-grilled notes from the oven without any crispiness. What differentiates this place to the other traditional pizzerias in Naples is that they drizzle sunflower oil onto the pizza instead of olive oil – I believe this is purely a modern day cost saver as opposed to a flavour enhancer.
The tomato sauce is pretty much in the middle, it was light, not too strong and not too weak in flavour. As can be seen in the picture, the cheese is not a prominent part of a typical Neapolitan style pizza, it’s used more sparingly and is never overpowering in the mouthful.
As far as overall taste goes, I wasn’t blown away, but I wasn’t disappointed – it was simply a decent pizza.
I’ve heard and read about people claiming it’s the best pizza they’ve had in their life – total hype I would say, but it was still a pleasure to eat. I have to admit I was somewhat stuffed eating this pizza, which at €4 is great value.
L’ Antica Pizzeria da Michele
Via Cesare Sersale, 1-3,