We always loved our pizza in Berlin and I’ve been putting a lot of thought behind what the best pizza in Berlin is. The year of 2015 saw a massive surge in the popularity of the iconic dish with the opening of several restaurants serving versions of the original, Neapolitan style pizza from Campania. In this pizza jungle it’s about time to define the very best Neapolitan style pizzas we have in Berlin right now.
The very logical question to ask at his point is “What the hell is a Neapolitan style pizza?”. Right on. In contrast to the much more common, Roman style pizza with it’s thin and crunchy crust you will recognize a Neapolitan style pizza by its thick and soft outer crust. Neapolitan style pizzas are also always circular and never baked in rectangular trays. Then it really comes down to the right ingredients and the right kind of oven that blazes the pizza to slightly charred perfection in the matter of minutes (check in the bottom of the article for detailed infos*).
The reason I’m doing a standalone article Neapolitan style pizza is simple, the relatively complex nature and high quality ingredients needed for this kind of pizza inevitably require a lot of dedication and love from the pizza baker and that combination is always the recipe for greatness. So don’t be upset if your favourite Berlin pizza place is missing, this list only judges pizzas that are roughly baked according to Neapolitan style regulations and Roman style pizzas are not included. In my opinion the era of the Il Casolare and Due Forni pizzas is also coming to an end, there is simply not enough love and quality in their products and we should expect more craftsmanship from our pizza baker.
A massive help in judging the best pizza in Berlin was the opportunity to taste all of them during one of the amazing Good Food Tour nights organized by premium food delivery service Foodora, a reoccurring gathering of Berlin food experts where we pick niche topics and visit four restaurants during one, single night, allowing us to directly compare specific dishes. During the Good Food Tour with the theme “Best Neapolitan style pizza in Berlin” and my numerous, other visits to these restaurants one thing became very clear. One, we have some bloody amazing pizzas in Berlin nowadays and two, the pizza quality changes a lot from one day to another at these restaurants, the tiniest changes in humidity, dough quality and oven temperature will significantly affect the end product and consistency is not guaranteed.
I’ll keep this list updated if any place pops up on my radar or any of the current places slip. Don’t be sad if your favourite pizza is missing, just send me an email and let me know which one.
Without further ado, the best, Neapolitan style pizzas in Berlin are:
Monella is a pizzeria in Neukölln that opened its doors in late 2015 and who took the craft of Neapolitan style pizza to Neukölln with their disco ball looking oven. As a Berlin newcomer Monella still has some room for improvement when it comes to perfecting their dough, especially when it comes to elasticity and texture and at times it’s just slightly too dry and crispy. What they do very right though is using fantastic ingredients for their pizzas and the Fior di Latte cheese and San Marzano tomatoes are top notch. One for the future.
Nostra is not really a proper, Neapolitan style pizza. It’s a hybrid pizza with a semi-thick crust baked in an electric oven and the quality of the ingredients is also as good as the other places. It still makes this list though for two, simple reasons: The guys cooking it are from Napoli and their pizza is damn delicious. It’s the kind of pizza you want in your lap for your Sunday hangover movie. So this is just their version Neapolitan style pizza. MORE INFO
Masaniello is the old-timer on the list, an Italian institution in Kreuzberg that has been baking some of the city’s best pizzas since way before the wall came down. Their delicious and authentic Neapolitan style pizzas are always worth a visit and used to be my favourite pizza for many years. MORE INFO
MORE INFO is the pizzeria that opened in a Kreuzberg backyard in 2015 and joined the ranks of quality Neapolitan style pizza in Berlin. With its massive, wood-fired oven, Zola dishes out some of the tastiest pizza Berlin has ever seen and the quality of the dough is second to none, hitting that perfect note of slight crisp and softness. The wood fired oven adds fantastic smokiness to the Zola pizzas and the toppings are all fantastic as well.
Standard is a pizzeria Prenzlauer Berg that’s on a mission to serve the perfect Neapolitan style pizza. Taking zero shortcuts and sourcing all main ingredients directly from the Campania region, Standard pizza serves the very best Neapolitan style pizza in Berlin right now. Especially the quality of the ingredients stands out, the tomato sauce is extraordinarily fruity and delicious and the Fior di Latte cheese they use some of the best you can get. In the end it’s really the quality of the ingredients that make Standard the best, Neapolitan style pizza in Berlin right now, despite the fact that they don’t have a wood-fired oven but a gas-fired one. But to be fair, it’s a very tight race between Zola and Standard and the Berlin pizza of my dreams is a Standard salami pizza baked on Zola dough in the Zola oven… MORE INFO
*Further info on Neapolitan style pizza:
According the the Associazione Vera Pizza Napoletana, the official association for this kind of pizza, the genuine Neapolitan pizza dough consists of high-protein, type 0 or 00 wheat flour, natural Neapolitan yeast, salt and water. The dough must only be mixed with a low-speed mixer, formed only by hand to a thickness no more then 3 millimeters thick and then finally backed for 60-90 seconds at around 485 °C in a stone oven with an oak-wood or gas fire. The ingredients for the pizza should further also orginate from the region and the classic version is a Margeritha with San Marzano tomatoes, Buffalo Mozarella or Fior di Latte from Campana, extra virgin olive oil and basil. A pizzeria can get officially verified by the AVPN and only one in Berlin has succeeded in doing so, that’s Malafamenna. There is only one other restaurant in Germany which has been certified, found in the Allgäu.