An American pizza company has edged out artisan pizzeria chains from across the globe to win the Pizza of the Year Award from 50 Top Pizza, the Italian guide to the best pizza restaurants in the world. Paulie Gee’s, with locations in Chicago, Brooklyn, Baltimore, Philadelphia and Columbus, Ohio, earned the special award for the Hellboy, a pie topped with fresh mozzarella, Italian tomatoes, Berkshire soppressata piccante, Parmigiano Reggiano, and Mike’s Hot Honey.
50 Top Pizza’s newest list spotlights the 50 best artisan pizza chains for 2023. Topping the list: Grosso Napoletano, a Naples-based chain that has been actively spreading the Neapolitan pizza style to other major European cities.
50 Top Pizza presented the 50 Top World Artisan Pizza Chains 2023 awards recently at the historic San Ferdinando Theater in Naples. The ranking was curated under the direction of Barbara Guerra, Luciano Pignataro and Albert Sapere.
For the first time ever, Grosso Napoletano managed to place first in this year’s ranking as the best artisan pizzeria chain in the world. Opened in 2017, it has since introduced Neapolitan-style pizza to Spain—first to Madrid and then to Barcelona, Seville, Saragozza and in other centers along the Iberian peninsula.
In second place this year is Da Michele, a chain that had captured the top spot for the previous two years. Opened 150 years ago in Forcella in Naples, today Da Michele has locations in Japan, England, Spain, the United States, the United Arab Emirates and Germany, in addition to locations in Italy. All of their venues offer the celebrated “wagon wheel” (a ruota di carro) pizza.
In third place is Big Mamma Group, a company that reflects two French businessmen’s love for Italy. Founded by Victor Lugger and Tigran Seydoux, the chain currently has numerous locations in France, Spain, England and Germany.
Fourth position was captured by Bráz Pizzaria, a Brazilian enterprise famous for its large and crunchy pizzas baked in a wood-fired oven.
Fifth place went to Berberè, owned by the Aloe brothers. They began with a single pizzeria in Castel Maggiore in the province of Bologna, subsequently opening numerous locations in Rome, Florence, Turin, Milan and London.
Rounding out the top 10 are:
No. 6: 400 Gradi, with outlets in both Australia and the U.S. The owner and founder, Johnny Di Francesco, is the current ambassador for Neapolitan-style pizza in Australia.
No. 7: Pizzium, which has recently opened its 50th location in Italy, all of which are managed directly.
No. 8: Errico Porzio’s pizzerias, which can be found in the Campania and Lazio regions and serve pizzas in the classic Neapolitan style as well as their equally successful pan pizzas.
No. 9: Luigia, which has locations in Switzerland and Dubai and features a selection of pies boasting premium-quality toppings from Italy.
No. 10: Peppe Pizzeria by Giuseppe Cutraro, a new entry with locations all over Paris.
In addition to receiving the Pizza of the Year Award, Paulie Gee’s also ranked at N0. 15 in the overall list of of the world’s best artisanal pizzeria chains, while New York’s Motorino Pizzeria Napoletana took the No. 17 spot.
Other special awards were assigned as follows:
New Entry of the Year 2023 – Solania Award: Peppe Pizzeria
Performance of the Year 2023 – Robo Award: Pizzana
Best Wine List 2023 – Asti DOCG Award: Doppio Zero
Best Service 2023 – Goeldlin Award: Luigia
Best Marketing 2023 – Mammafiore Award: Errico Porzio
Innovation and Sustainability 2023 – Ferrarelle Award: Pizzium
Best Pasta Proposal 2023 – Pastificio Di Martino Award: 400 Gradi
One to Watch 2023 – Fedegroup Award: Garden Pizza
Best Beer and Drink Service 2023 – Birrificio Fratelli Perrella Award: Cocciuto
Best Fried Food – Il Fritturista 2023 – Oleificio Zucchi Award: Peppina
Additionally, six pizzeria chains have for the first time earned a Green Oven award. This prize recognizes pizzerias who pay particular attention to environmentally sustainable practices. The 2023 recipients are: Berberè, Garden Pizza, Luigia, Menchetti, Pizzium and Sodo Pizza.
A new feature for this edition was the insertion of the “Excellent” category—those artisan pizzeria chains which are highly recommended in addition to the chains that made the ranking. The complete guide, therefore, has a total of 75 brands.