Where to Find the Best Pizza in Miami

In Coconut Grove, Neapolitan pies from Harry’s dominate the pizza scene.

Where to Find the Best Pizza in Miami

Courtesy of Harry’s Pizzeria

Daniel Ramirez, a Miami native and the chef de cuisine at the pioneering Harry’s Pizzeria, helped usher in the city’s new wave of Neapolitan pies so good they’d make a nonna cry.

“My first pizza memories are of Frankie’s Pizza, a little pizzeria in Westchester that’s wedged between a gas station and a place that sells auto insurance. I spent a lot of nights there with my dad and my brother when I was a little kid. This was back when Miami’s pizza culture was all New York-style, with gas-powered ovens and lots of red sauce and mozzarella. Frankie’s is still one of my favorites.

“When I was in culinary school and we were learning about pizzas and doughs, I remember telling my professor, ‘I don’t need to learn how to make pizza; I’m going to be a chef!’ Less than a year later, I was working the wood-fire oven station at Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink, the big brother to Harry’s, and one of the first in the city to do wood-fire pizza. I was making 20 to 30 pizzas a shift. That taught me a lot about fire and how to control it, and it also reconnected me with everything my abuelo taught me about live-fire cooking when I was growing up.

“The real shift in my appreciation for pizza came after we opened Harry’s. We started a pop-up series with visiting chefs, and [Philadelphia chef] Mark Vetri really opened my eyes to the beauty of pizza. That was a huge turning point for me, to understand that pizza is alive, and that no matter how hard we try to maintain consistency, pizza always takes on a life of its own.

“I’m happy to say others in Miami are now making Neapolitan-style pies with a similar eye toward quality. I really like going to Lucali in South Beach for their plain pie. I’m a purist, and the simplicity of Lucali’s menu—the way the ingredients speak for themselves—stands out. I’m not really sure what people outside of Miami think about the pizza down here. I hope that, with places like Harry’s and Lucali and throwbacks like Frankie’s and Casola’s, people will be pleasantly surprised to see that Miami has a real, thriving pizza scene.” —As told to Evan S. Benn

>>Next: Miami’s Oldest Neighborhood Is Turning Up the Heat

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