The top 10 Neapolitan Pizza in Toronto
Neapolitan 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This pizza bar on Dupont had its oven built on site by master Italian oven builder Ferrara from materials imported direct from Naples. The menu offers a full range of comforting Italian fare and notable pies with nuanced flourishes like fried sage and smoked cheeses.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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