Two Brussels pizzerias make European top 50 ranking
Two Brussels eateries have made it on to a list of the top 50 pizzerias in Europe: La Pizza è Bella Gourmet (12th place) in Etterbeek and La Piola Pizza (15th place) in Saint-Josse-Ten-Noode.
The number one spot in the ranking was claimed by Satoria Panatieri in Spain, with the top five rounded out by pizzerias in Denmark (Bæst), London (50 Kalò), Austria (Via Toledo Enopizzeria) and Germany (Pizza Zulù).
Pizza è Bella’s manager Marco Scaramuzzo said the secret to his success lies in the dough used for his Neapolitan pizzas, which takes two days to prepare.
“The mozzarella, the tomato sauce, the ham, everything on the pizzas comes from Italy,” Scaramuzzo told RTBF.
Pizza è Bella also won the Best Service 2023 Goeldlin Award from the Italian judges at 50TopPizza.
“The quality of the pizza is always guaranteed by the pizza chef Ciro Dario, here as well there has been an improvement made to the dough rendering it even more hydrated and digestible,” reads a translation of the Italian explanation for the pizzeria’s ranking.
“Owner Stefano Napoli is also very attentive to responding to the growing needs of consumers in terms of environmental sustainability – his latest novelty is the proposal of reusable round containers that are used to put the pizza in when it arrives at home, eliminating the cardboard box.”
The pizzeria is also moving towards the elimination of plastic bottling with the proposition of purified water: “This attention towards the environment makes a difference when choosing a venue over another. The pizza proposals are all very tasty and there is a small selection of wine and beer to choose from.”
La Piola Pizza also cites its dough as being key to quality.
“Compared to a year ago, the dough of La Piola Pizza has become even lighter and more digestible to guarantee the highest quality to all the approximately 800 pizzas that are served every day between lunch and dinner,” reads the explanation on 50TopPizza.
“The toppings all come from Italy and the management tends to always lean towards seasonality, craftsmanship and the enhancement of typical products. For example, the anchovies are from Cetara and the hot peppers are from Senise.”
Food writer Carlo De Pascale told RTBF that the absence of other Belgian pizzerias on the list was not indicative of a lack of quality.
“I've never been disappointed by a pizza in this ranking, but it's not a competition,” De Pascale explained.
“The culinary journalists who choose the pizzerias can't taste everything, so this selection is quite random. And besides, there are some very good pizzerias in Belgium that are not included in this ranking and yet meet all the criteria for inclusion.”