Our 10 Favorite Neapolitan Pizzerias in the U.S.

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Our 10 Favorite Neapolitan Pizzerias in the U.S.
In the United States, pizza styles vary from city to city. Everyone loves to argue that their city’s style is the best—it’s practically a national pastime. But whether you prefer deep dish, New York–style thin crust, Sicilian, stuffed, or grandma, did you know that all pizzas are adaptations of the Neapolitan, the original, classic pie of Naples, Italy?

A true Neapolitan pizza, as you would find in Naples, differs from what you might be used to, and the best way to gauge whether a pizzeria makes a good one is to order the margherita. This pie differs from a standard cheese pizza in that it’s very light on the cheese—there’s so little cheese, in fact, that you can see almost as much sauce as you can cheese. A Neapolitan’s crust is always thin and crispy, save for the center. A proper pie is topped with a few fresh basil leaves and super-fresh mozzarella that liquefies as the pizza bakes, leaving the center soupy (in a good way). This soupiness isn’t really an issue for those eating it in Naples, because in that great city–New Yorkers might want to sit for this–most pizza is eaten with a fork and knife.

In recent years, we’ve seen more and more American chefs embrace the original Neapolitan pizza, and while we could wax poetic about it all day, we’d rather just tell you where to find the best one near you.   
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    That’s Amore
    In the United States, pizza styles vary from city to city. Everyone loves to argue that their city’s style is the best—it’s practically a national pastime. But whether you prefer deep dish, New York–style thin crust, Sicilian, stuffed, or grandma, did you know that all pizzas are adaptations of the Neapolitan, the original, classic pie of Naples, Italy?

    A true Neapolitan pizza, as you would find in Naples, differs from what you might be used to, and the best way to gauge whether a pizzeria makes a good one is to order the margherita. This pie differs from a standard cheese pizza in that it’s very light on the cheese—there’s so little cheese, in fact, that you can see almost as much sauce as you can cheese. A Neapolitan’s crust is always thin and crispy, save for the center. A proper pie is topped with a few fresh basil leaves and super-fresh mozzarella that liquefies as the pizza bakes, leaving the center soupy (in a good way). This soupiness isn’t really an issue for those eating it in Naples, because in that great city–New Yorkers might want to sit for this–most pizza is eaten with a fork and knife.

    In recent years, we’ve seen more and more American chefs embrace the original Neapolitan pizza, and while we could wax poetic about it all day, we’d rather just tell you where to find the best one near you.   
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    Brooklyn
    Roberta’s

    We know what you’re thinking: Why go out of your way to find Neapolitan pizza in New York when you could grab a good dollar slice on a nearby corner? But Neapolitan pizza is different in a good way, and so is Roberta’s. The restaurant has its own small rooftop garden, whose tiny bounty makes it way onto the menu as pizza toppings, salads, and tomato-y pasta pomodoro.

    Courtesy of Roberta’s
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    Chapel Hill
    Pizzeria Mercato

    Owner Gabe Barker learned to make Neapolitan-style pizza at Pizzeria Delfina in San Francisco, a Bay Area favorite, before moving back to his hometown to spread the joy of pizza. Pizzeria Mercato is the youngest pizzeria on our list, but since opening last year, the restaurant has earned some well-deserved attention for Barker’s traditional and seasonal pies topped with ingredients from the nearby Carrboro farmers’ market.

    Courtesy of Pizzeria Mercato
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    Oakland
    Pizzaiolo

    Named for the cooks who sling pizzas in Naples every day, Pizzaiolo is dedicated to creating a community space. In true Bay Area–style, nearly everything is local, from the ingredients to the servers. Most of the menu changes daily based on what’s in season, but the food never feels pretentious. At this restaurant, families, couples, and old-school Oaklanders can all enjoy a well-made pizza pie.
    Courtesy of Pizzaiolo
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    Chicago
    Spacca Napoli

    Spacca prides itself on authenticity and quality. Many of the ingredients that chef Jon Goldsmith uses in his authentic Neapolitan pizzas are sourced from cheese makers and farmers he has gotten to know. These special relationships mean that his pies are among the few pizzas in Chicago that use such ingredients as Greci a Folzani prosciutto and Nettuno anchovies. While it’s quite a leap from a deep dish–restaurant, Spacca is arguably one of the most authentic Neapolitan pizzerias in the country.
    Courtesy of Spacca Napoli
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    Austin
    Bufalina

    There’s more to Texas (and to Texan pizza) than barbecue. Which is why we highly recommend taking a break from pulled pork and ribs to eat the carbs and cheese that your body deserves. Bufalina’s menu stays true to its southern Italian roots and doesn’t have the slightest hint of the Southwest.
    Courtesy of Bufalina
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    Los Angeles
    Pizzeria Mozza

    We’re not just suggesting Pizzeria Mozza because it’s known as the pizzeria in L.A. to spot Beyoncé (sometimes in a pizza-patterned suit, no less!). Fine, maybe we are. But if it’s good enough for Beyoncé, then it’s good enough for us.

    Courtesy of Pizzeria Mozza
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    Miami
    Stanzione 87

    While most people visit Miami for the beaches and nightlife, we’re likely to travel there for the food. Stanzione 87 is certified by The Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana (AVPN), the Italian authority that monitors the authenticity of Neapolitan pizzas. Even if a meal here leads to a pizza coma, we would rather miss a day at the beach than miss out on this certifiably delicious pie.
    Courtesy of Stanzione 87
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    Boston
    Posto

    Chef/owner Joe Cassinelli makes fresh mozzarella for his Neapolitan pies every day, and the triple-threat of creamy mozzarella, light basil, and crusts baked in a wood-fire oven creates pizza cravings. Cassinelli started a pizza truck, Posto Mobile, a couple of years ago, and although it’s used only for catering events, we still might chase it down like it’s the ice cream man.
    Courtesy of Posto
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    Seattle
    Tutta Bella

    Tutta Bella now has five locations across the greater Seattle area and all are AVPN-certified. (It was the first pizzeria in the Northwest to receive such legit status in 2004.) Pizzas come in two sizes so—pro tip—go with the smaller version to leave room for more than one pie.

    Photo by @vivalaevaxx
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    Portland
    Nostrana

    The interior of Nostrana looks like a lodge where you’d sip hot cocoa and eat stew rather than traditional, uncut Neapolitan pizzas. However, given the fact that chef/owner Cathy Whims has been nominated as the best chef in the Northwest for six years in a row, it’s clear that pine needle–decor mixed with wood-fired pizza is a winning combo.
    Courtesy of Nostrana
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