Overall Experience - 8.8
Summary : This neighborhood pizzeria, located on the outskirts of Naples, serves quality Neapolitan pies. Half the adventure is getting there and back. The other half is digging into their mouthwatering pizza.
After spending a few hours at the Caputo flour mill and headquarters during our second day in Naples, it was time to return to the pizza trail. As I noted in the posting about Da Michele, Scott and I had done independent research about which pizza places to visit and compared our notes to see where they overlapped. One place that wasn’t on my radar at all, was Pizzeria Salvo (10-16, Largo Arso, 081-275306). Perhaps that’s because it’s not actually located in Naples proper, but rather a residential commune called San Giorgio a Cremano. In case you’re wondering, the Province of Naples is made up of 92 communes. It’s capital city is Naples — which is where all of the other pizza places we visited were located. Pizzeria Salvo is about four miles south of there.
When we mentioned that Pizzeria Salvo was on our list during out visit at Caputo, the generous folks over there offered to drive us to the restaurant. Otherwise, I’m not sure we would have made it out there. Finding our way back to the center of Naples via public transportation, however, was a bit of a nightmare. So my first tip about visiting Pizzeria Salvo is to take a cab. It’s worth it.
The pizzeria consists of a small dining room and an adjacent patio which was enclosed for the winter (it happened to be close to 60 degrees the day we dined there). Aesthetically, it’s nothing special; it’s the type of place you’d expect to find in a residential area. Although we were in what was essentially the Italian suburbs, I was surprised that a number of staff members there spoke English and they even had an English menu. We were definitely the only native English speakers there.
We started our meal off with a selection of fried goods, which many pizza places in Naples are also known for. On the left is arancini (a fried rice ball), in the center is crocchè (a fried potato croquettes), and on the left is a frittatine (a fried macaroni pastry). The frittatine was the best of the three. They were €1.50 each (about $2.00).
The most difficult part about eating pizza in Naples is cutting it. The thin pies are almost always served whole and accompanied by blunt silverware. So we didn’t hesitate when they asked us if we wanted our Margherita pie cut in half (although we then had to reassemble the pie for a photo). It was the only pizzeria which offered this service, mostly likely because we were American. In the United States, it’s rare to visit a pizzeria (even a Neapolitan pizzeria) and be served a full pie (one place that comes to mind that does serve whole Neapolitan pies is Pizzeria Orso in Falls Church, VA). Personally, I believe that pizza is meant to be shared among many people. It’s easiest to do so when a pie is cut into slices. In Naples, however, pies are generally eaten by a single person… knife and fork in hand.
Our Margherita pie was delicious — definitely one of the best pies I had during the entire trip. The crust was cooked to perfection and the interplay between the cheese and sauce was right on par. Just enough basil and you have what is close to a perfect pie. It held together well and was adequately filling. To top things off, it was very modestly priced at just €3.50 (about $4.50).
Based on the waiter’s recommendation, we also ordered a Ripieno Fritto — fried dough containing ricotta, mozzarella, salami, black pepper and parmesan. It was similar, yet more flavorful, than the Totò we had at Pizzeria Brandi the previous night. It was also larger and cheaper than the Totò at just €5.50 (about $7.50). I mean, look at the size of this thing!
I wish that we’d been able to try more pizza at Pizzeria Salvo. The Margherita pie was very promising and I’m curious as to whether the other pies would have been as good. I do know that the prices couldn’t have been more reasonable. The most expensive pie on the menu was €6.50 (about $9.00).
Getting back to Naples proper, as previously mentioned, was a bit complicated. We ended up walking to a bakery that had come highly recommended (Pasticceria Sirica) and from there hopped on the 156 bus which we thought would get us to the main train station. When that route terminated elsewhere, we hopped on a C69 bus that also terminated elsewhere. At that point we were able to walk to the main train station to catch the R2 bus to our hostel. In all it took more than two hours. Needless to say, if you go to Pizzeria Salvo — splurge on a taxi cab!
Although I wouldn’t put Pizzeria Salvo in the “must try” category, if you are spending a week in Naples and hoping to dine at multiple pizza places, it’d be worth your while to make Salvo one of them.
The above piece is the 5th article in a 13-part series about my pizza adventures in Italy (January 2011 – February 2011). You can access the other parts of the series here:
Introduction (Part 1)
Da Michele – Naples (Part 2)
Pizzeria Brandi– Naples (Part 3)
Caputo Flour Mill– Naples – (Part 4)
Salvo– Naples (Part 5)
Pizzeria Starita – Naples (Part 6)
Buffalo Mozzarella Tour – Caserta (Part 7)
Di Matteo – Naples (Part 8)
Sorbillo – Naples (Part 9)
Dar Poeta – Rome (Part 10)
Forno Marco Roscioli – Rome (Part 11)
00100 Pizza – Rome (Part 12)
Pizzeria Pellone – Naples (Part 13)