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L'Antica Pizzeria da Michele - worth the hype?

We'll be in Italy for three weeks in September, with the last three days in Napoli. To those of you who have made the pilgrimage to Pizzeria da Michele, was it worth the wait? Our time in Naples will be tight with many things we want to see and do and I am trying to decide if we want to brave the long lines. Additionally, is there a best time to go to avoid the longest of lines? I know they are open 11:00 - 23:00. Are there less than peak times?

Posted by
55 posts

If your time is tight, I would not bother. There are many good places for pizza and you would be better off not waiting in a long line for , in my opinion, just average food. When we were there, the wait was about an hour and the atmosphere was rushed. We thought the pizza was good but not great. Actually, there is another place just across the street that was rated on par with Michele's, but had no lines outside. Enjoy Naples!

Posted by
6148 posts

I don't know where you live in New Mexico (close to Santa Fe perhaps?), but you can get true Neapolitan pizza right here in the US. They have to be "certified" but you can find places on the web. I have a restaurant close to me that's run by Neapolitans, and I've had great Neapolitan pizza in Southern CA and Salt Lake City, to name a few. I wouldn't stand in a horrendous line just for pizza when you can get great food just about anywhere in Naples. TripAdvisor, unfortunately, is a victim of its own success and the top rated places seem like the only game in town. Spend your time checking out the cultural attractions, not in line for pizza (which I'm fairly sure would be (over) priced to take advantage of the hype).

Posted by
55 posts

I do live near Santa Fe and I know that we have only one certified Neapolitan Pizzeria (as certified by the Associazione Pizzaiuoli Napoletani) in all of New Mexico, in Albuquerque, Amore Pizza. I try and stop there each time I'm in ABQ. However, I will be in Naples, so I wanted to sample some pizza Napoletano in Napoli.

Posted by
1140 posts

Do the reverse exercise: if you were an Italian visiting the US southwest and wanted to get some good chili, would you insist on going to the highest ranked place on Yelp in Santa Fe?

Posted by
55 posts

I get your point, but I haven't ever even looked at Yelp. Pizzeria da Michele's reputation extends WAY beyond Yelp. Just Google "Pizzeria da Michele" and see how many rave reviews you get independent from any review site. And, I'm not asking for Yelp reviews, but input from people on the Forum that have actually been to Pizzeria da Michele.

And, if you come to New Mexico, don't order "chili." We don't have "chili." We do have red or green chiles and they are used in just about everything including green chile stew, which is INFINITELY superior to "chili."

Posted by
23405 posts

Can you send me some Chimayó red, please? A little Posole? And some Hatch green, when the season is right. I simply can't get decent green peppers here...... grrrrr.

You're lucky. Excellent pizza can be found in a number of places. But real New Mexico cooking is impossible to find here.

Posted by
1478 posts

Frankly, we were underwhelmed by Michele. And that's an understatement. There are many places with great pizza in Naples. ANY line here would be too long in my opinion.

Posted by
13933 posts

In February, I dropped in around 6 pm and there immediate seating. The pizza was fine but not the best I ate on that trip; the best was in Rome in Trastevere. Also, they don't serve wine, only beer, water and a few soft drinks. The best meals I had in Napoli were at da Carmine in Via dei Tribunali (thanks to Zoe).

Posted by
14 posts

We just ate there last week and also agree that it was okay. Nothing great. We were there about 5:00 ish and had a 30 minute wait. Thought the older gentleman at the host desk was a grouch and the place was mass confusion. If there is a line make sure you go inside and get your number. The call out the next number in Italian, so brush up on your Italian counting. Didn't know anything about the "Eat, Pray, Love" connection until we saw an excerpt on the wall along with a picture of Julia Roberts. They only make the 2 types of pizza as discribed in the book. And they are very greasy pizzas.

Posted by
55 posts

Nigel, I feel your pain, as we are arranging to move to Canada as we are none too fond of the recent wave of fascism taking hold here in the U.S., and I know I will severely miss my yearly ritual of putting up a bushel or two of green chiles in the freezer each Aug./Sept. That's one of the markers of becoming a true New Mexican - if you have a separate freezer for your chile. I might get in one more harvest and one more batch.

Chimayó chiles are probably the hottest around, but the Hatch chiles are bigger and meatier and probably better for freezing for the year. I also grow chiles in my garden and while they aren't as big as the Hatch varieties, they are incredible moments from being picked. Chimayó just had its annual wave of pilgrims that walk to the Santuario from Santa Fe and points beyond. Some 30,000 people descend upon tiny Chimayó increasing the population by about tenfold for Good Friday Mass.

Posted by
2 posts

Just returned from a 3 week Italy trip. Absolutely not worth it. Worst pizza I had in my life and I have eaten it all over the world, including Naples, many many many times. It is wet, soggy, more like a soup - totally uneatable. Neither my wife or I ate ours nor the Irish couple sitting next to us. You want the hype, go there, you want good pizza go anywhere else in Naples but there.

I am very disappointed RS has this place in his books. I spent a good couple of hours going there to eat based on his recommendation.

Posted by
5641 posts

We had an incredible pizza in Naples at Antica Pizzeria I Decumani, €3.50, table service.