We first tried a L'Antica Pizzeria da Michele pizza in 2009 in Naples on a Italian excursion. We thought the pizzas were so beautifully tasty that we ate there twice on our trip and guess what, we brought a pizza back on the plane to eat at home on the last day, our housemates were bemused we when revealed a mightily squashed pizza from our backpack. Still, the taste reigned supreme and was worth evading customs for!
In hindsight we overlooked the lore surrounding Da Michele's pizzas. Started in the 1870s in Naples the pizzeria only focuses on only two types of pizzas, Margherita and Marinara, the latter a garlic and tomato combo. You can see from the photos we opted for Margherita every time and so did the tourists and people of Naples who queue heavily, and daily, for the proposed best pizza in the world. Washed down with ice cold Peroni.
Fast forward 8 years and by some stroke of luck Da Michele's have open only their 4th restaurant in the world in Stoke Newington, London! Preceeded by only Naples, New York and Tokyo. Did it follow us here? If so we are glad it did. It's safe to say the london variation is pretty consistent with its Napolean mother. All the ingredients are imported from Italy and the chefs and waiting staff are all natives. The sun drenched streets of Naples are the authentic home of the pizza and so the very nature of Church streets quaint and minuscule shops are a stark contrast to 4 story apartments of Naples. As a result of it's scale the pizzeria is busy. We were lucky to just walk in but within 10 mins a large lunchtime queue had formed, hardened by some winter rainfall. Inside, we enjoyed two margherita pizzas. They were beautiful; elasticated dough, cooked quickly, with gnarly edges and softened buffalo mozzarella. For us the cheese is killer part as it's so creamy and flavoursome, we recommend it just for that! There are some excellent pizzerias in the area: Yard Sale, Franco Manco et al but for me Di Michele just about tops the list. Go Eat, pray and then eat another slice!
L'Antica Pizzeria da Michele, Naples, 2009
L'Antica Pizzeria da Michele, Stoke Newington, 2017