Argentina is full of superlatives. We’re the land of Maradona, of Messi, of Máxima, of Mauro Colagreco, of the Pope, of the world’s best vineyard, and so much more. And since it seems that the trend of ranking everything under the sun isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, we’ve got another treat for you. According to the esperti over at Italy’s 50 Top Pizza, the best pizzeria in South America is located right here in Buenos Aires. Everyone, put your hands together for Palermo’s San Paolo [holds for applause].
What’s more, San Paolo was the only Argentine among the group of 11 finalists. Clearly, this is a big deal. We all know that when it comes to pizza, those tanos do *not* mess around. If you don’t believe me, check out this video that 50 Top Pizza posted to Facebook when announcing the championship that took place in Naples on July 23rd.
So, how were the pizzerias chosen by the panel of esteemed experts? They analyzed the quality of the dough, how the pizza itself is cooked, and other related aspects of the pizza universe, such as a restaurant’s wine and beer list, décor, cleanliness, and service. However, they’re quick to point out on the guide’s website that “50 Top Pizza does not indicate the best pizza or the best pizza chef. It indicates the best pizzeria thanks to the various factors that we have previously set forth.”
Of course, the primary focus is on Italy’s best pizza joints, and those lucky enough to be selected from abroad fall in line with the stereotypical characteristics found in the boot-shaped motherland. What I’m trying to say is, don’t be upset that your local fave Pin Pun or El Imperio didn’t make the list. Porteño-style pizza wasn’t even up for consideration (fine by me, btw). The guide’s curators, Luciano Pignataro, Barbara Guerra, and Albert Sapore, are three food journalists that coordinate the high-stakes work of 100 mystery inspectors that visit each space – as proven paying customers – that are in the running.
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When the news broke, owner and head pizza chief (and Naples native) Maurizio De Rosa spoke to Fondo de Olla to share his reaction: “I’m incredibly pleased to announce that San Paolo was chosen as the Best Pizzeria in Latin America by the prestigious guide 50 Top Pizza. I’m not a fan of rankings, but in this tough time for our dear Argentina, and the difficulties that come with working in the food industry in Buenos Aires, this award will serve to boost our morale and give us the courage to keep going.”
You might be familiar with De Rosa’s first pizza spot, Parténope, out in La Lucila. San Paolo opened in 2016 in Palermo Soho and started off with support from famed local chef Dante Liporace (Tarquino, the Casa Rosada, among others). Since then, San Paolo has become one of the most important altars to Neapolitan pizza in Buenos Aires, with a focus on high-quality, hyper-seasonal ingredients.