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The top 10 Neapolitan Pizza in Toronto

Posted by Liora Ipsum / January 7, 2014

neapolitan pizza torontoNeapolitan pizza in Toronto is about as close as you're likely to get to Naples without jumping on a plane. The pinnacle of authentic Italian pizza, it's a highly regulated niche overseen by the Associazione Vera Pizza Napoletana (VPN).

Here in Toronto, there are truly only a handful of certified pizzerias who follow the rigid guidelines to the letter. The use only premium, DOP ingredients and woodfire dome ovens, which result in crispy, charred crusts that are thin and pliable at the centre, covered in a soupy mess of cheese, sauce and olive oil that necessitates utensils or a four-fold to eat.

More plentiful in Toronto are the so-called imitators, those reverential pizzaiolos hand-slinging dough, those restaurants that boast imported ovens but expired VPN dues, and even a few ex-pat Italians fleeing purist-pizzadom.

Here's a round-up, in no particular order, of all the tasty "Naples-inspired" options around Toronto.

See also:

The best pizza in Toronto
The best pizza slice in Toronto

Viva Napoli
Situated on Mount Pleasant south of Eglinton, this VPN-approved pizzeria adheres to the stringent rules of the authentic style: thin blistering crust covered with bright tomato sauce, irregular melted pools of fior di latte and a basil leaf or two.

Pizza e Pazzi
This Italian trattoria boasts two locations certified by the VPN and is known for uncompromising, hand tossed wood-fired crust topped with San Marzano tomato sauce or white base and fresh toppings.

Pizza Libretto
This popular rustic pizzeria prides itself on being loyal to real, VPN-certified pizza. Here, the menu features purists staples first and foremost. Amidst the duck and blue cheese, the Margherita and Marinara still stand tall as the chief reason the lineups never cease.

Queen Margherita
This still expanding family of pizza parlours does pies in the Naples tradition; hand tossed 00-flour dough, tomatoes imported direct from the motherland, and locally sourced fior di latte that gets flame-licked at ultra-high temperatures.

Via Mercanti
Owned and operated by a pair of ex-pat Sicilians, these pizzerias (one in Kensington and one on Elm Street) offer simple, honest, hand crafted thin crust pies. The pizzas here boast optimal textural contrast between crust and saucy cheesy centre.

Fabbrica
This Mark McEwan-fronted restaurant does upmarket Italian fare including a selection pizzas that honour the traditional pizza making style of Naples. Notable menu features include the classic Margherita as well as a truffle crema-topped Funghi.

Doppio Zero
This midtown family restaurant is an obliging spot for homestyle Italian comfort foods and woodfired pie. As the name suggests, here you'll find dough with ultra-refined flour, even as the pies tend to be on the firmer side.

Pizzeria Defina
This Roncesvalles pizzeria offers pies in a choice of styles -- Rome or Naples, the latter of which is made on a traditional crispy thin dough that is soft and pliable at its centre. Here, liberal toppings include wild boar meatballs, caramelized shallots, and broccoli purée.

Famoso
This chain of no fuss Neapolitan-style pizzerias hails from Western Canada and employs an efficient service style that has guests order at the counter before the flash-fired pizzas are delivered to the table. Look for a combination of traditional imported ingredients or a choice of inventive combinations dreamed up by staff.

BONUS

Enoteca Motorino
Located in Woodbridge, this sleek hot-blooded pizza bar serves a full menu of Italian fare including a range of Neapolitan-style pies topped with San Marzano tomatoes and a choice of fior di latte or mozzarella di bufala.

Lead photo from our review of Pizzeria Defina

Discussion

31 Comments

cosmosuave / January 7, 2014 at 09:01 am
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What no Mangia Bevi...
RealW OP / January 7, 2014 at 09:17 am
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Famoso?? What's next, McDonald's as the best burger in TO?
Fig / January 7, 2014 at 10:25 am
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I've been craving am authentic Margherita pizza for a week now. Must satisfy this craving soon!
Steven / January 7, 2014 at 11:19 am
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This place has the best wood oven pizzas! We've been numerous times - my partner always gets the same one! We don't work there, don't have a vested interest - just one of our fave Italian Restaurants with great, professional staff ... check out their pizza menu: http://www.famelia.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/pizze_Jul-11_2013.pdf
Parker / January 7, 2014 at 11:30 am
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North of Brooklyn FTW
VadiM / January 7, 2014 at 11:37 am
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Actually CIBO Wine Bar on King West has a pretty good pizza.
Libretto makes great pizzas. Happy they are moving on King West - I could actually walk there to get one of the best pizzas in town (in my opinion)
Via Mercanti on Elm street wasn't that great- soggy and too much sauce. Plus the service wasn't good either.
Pizza e pazzi - highly recommended.
Rick / January 7, 2014 at 11:54 am
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Just buy the Bituoni frozen pizzas - they make a great Neapolitan that tastes great - any they're like $3-$4 when they go on sale.
Sara / January 7, 2014 at 12:00 pm
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Sip Wine Bar is another one that just opened in the Yonge and Eglinton area. I have not tried the pizza yet but the decor is nice and the staff are very friendly.
Anna / January 7, 2014 at 12:10 pm
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Why aren't these top 10 lists listed from 1 through to 10 anymore? I always try to hit up the 10th spot right to the 1st to compare!
cosmosuave replying to a comment from Steven / January 7, 2014 at 12:19 pm
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Forgot about F'amelia not too mention their nice patio come summer time...
Matteo Popolito / January 7, 2014 at 12:33 pm
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Pizza Libretto is over rated.
Trio Ristorante has some great pizza.
www.trioristorantepizzeria.com
pizzalover / January 7, 2014 at 12:48 pm
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Libretto is a favourite with Doppio Zero as a close second.
Fiona / January 7, 2014 at 12:57 pm
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This is awesome to help my Naples homesickness. Been two weeks since I got back to Toronto and I can't get over how spoiled I was living back there with 3 Euro, authentic Neapolitan pizzas.
toronto replying to a comment from RealW OP / January 7, 2014 at 01:13 pm
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Lol, famoso is great fastest pizza and service is always on key
Simon Tarses replying to a comment from Anna / January 7, 2014 at 01:14 pm
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Liora/Sarah has trouble counting that high.
jd replying to a comment from toronto / January 7, 2014 at 03:54 pm
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Yeah, I don't get the McDonald's reference. While not the best in the city, it's still pretty good.

I even enjoy the prosciutto wrapped mozzarella balls... The sauce reminds me of when I was a kid.
BJ / January 7, 2014 at 04:20 pm
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If you like rude service and like to be rushed through your meal then pizzeria Defina is the place for you.
Racco / January 7, 2014 at 04:22 pm
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I'm pretty sure the mcdonalds reference was because you can find famoso in a mall food court.
jane st jane replying to a comment from RealW OP / January 7, 2014 at 05:13 pm
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I think you're pretty off there. Famoso offers pretty authentic tasting Neapolitan-style pizza. It's my new go-to because it tastes as good as(if not better than) Libretto, it has a kinder price tag and I don't have to wait an hour to get a seat. Slagging it off because it's a chain makes as much sense as writing off Auberge du Pommier because it's part of the O&B empire.
Mister Know it All / January 7, 2014 at 05:14 pm
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no no no no! My preferred joint is definitely better than any of these! You guys are idiots! And I'm also ignoring the fact that this is user poll generated!
Garneau / January 8, 2014 at 12:23 am
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I lived south of Naples for a summer back in 2002 and missed the food ever since. Really pleased this trend has legs.

We've been to the St. Clair and Christie Pizza e Pazzi a handful of times and always liked it. Never have had bad service. Wood burning stove and strict ingredient control really put it a cut above. Via Mercanti is good too, and Picea isn't bad although I haven't always had attentive service there. Famoso was ahead of the curve when it got started in Edmonton back in the day, and while I support what they do (and we go there quite a bit because the location is convenient), it doesn't really belong on this list. They're a franchise first.
jane replying to a comment from Vinny Barbarino / January 8, 2014 at 06:20 am
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you make me embarrassed to be Italian. stop dragging your knuckles against the pavement, it's gotta hurt.
sous replying to a comment from rob ford / January 8, 2014 at 09:10 am
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hahaha!
BillyO / January 8, 2014 at 01:17 pm
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For authentic VPN/APN certified pizza it's Libretto hands down. Then it's between QMP and Via Mercanti for #2. Pazzi used to be good but is a step below IMO. Defina is good, only been there once.
Donnie Brasco replying to a comment from jane / January 8, 2014 at 10:50 pm
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sFacWGBJ_cs
Reggio / January 9, 2014 at 12:29 pm
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Hey vinny barbarino You sound like one of those "Italians" who dont even speak the language like the jersey shore cast! If you've been to Italy like I have you will see that a lot of the head chefs there are from different ethnicity's. So stop it with your greaseball goomba comments!
Ronnie / January 10, 2014 at 02:02 pm
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Famoso is right on the money. Hot, simple, delicious pizza...mmmm.
Pizze / March 30, 2014 at 08:32 pm
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850 Pizza on Lakeshore in Etobicoke. I'll put it up against Libretto any day.
Italian / May 29, 2014 at 10:48 am
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Napoli Centrale in the Annex is the new Joint! Real Napolitan Pizza!
check it out at http://www.napolicentralepizzeria.com
Paul Duggan / July 19, 2014 at 05:04 pm
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Been to both Qmp and Pizzeria Libretto and hands down QMP has the best pizza in the city hands down. Their service and food was aces and the pizza was to die for. Great job both Libretto and Qmp.
Crystal / October 15, 2014 at 12:27 am
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Mangia & Bevi in Corktown - hands down!

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