Spacca Napoli ranked among world’s best pizzerias

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A beloved Chicago pizzeria was recently ranked among the 100 best in the world by the Italian culinary website 50 Top Pizza.

Spacca Napoli (1769 W. Sunnyside Ave., Chicago) came in at No. 93 on a list that included pizzerias from France, the Philippines, Spain, Japan, Denmark and more. Diego Vitagliano Pizzeria in Naples and I Masanielli in Caserta shared the top spot.

“It’s always nice to be recognized,” Spacca Napoli owner Jonathan Goldsmith modestly responded.

Goldsmith has won a slew of awards for his Neapolitan pizza over the years. He learned the trade from master Neapolitan pizzaiolo Enzo Coccia, and in later years from respected pizza makers Antonio Starita, Franco Pepe and Attilio Bachetti. He continues to visit Napoli on a regular basis for further research and the acquisition of Italian ingredients of “alta qualità.”

He credits the success of his restaurant to a combination of elements. “Our culture is special, we use good products and we are dedicated,” he said.

His pizzas, both “rosse” (with tomato sauce) and “bianche” (without), are baked in wood-burning ovens built by third- and fourth-generation artisans from Napoli.

The menu also includes a variety of antipasti, several Italian beers and a wine list particular to Campania. Pizze and antipasti found on the specials board reflect the changing seasons and available local ingredients.

So does Goldsmith have any plans to expand given his recent accomplishment? No, he said, Spacca Napoli will remain his “unica sede” (only location).

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Fra Noi produces a magazine and website that serve the Chicago-area Italian-American community. Our magazine offers our readers a monthly feast of news and views, culture and entertainment that keeps our diverse and widely scattered readers in touch with each other and their heritage. Our website offers a dizzying array of information drawn from every corner of the local community.

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