Slice work! Three Polish pizzerias named among Europe’s Top 50
Poland’s appetite for authentic pizza has been affirmed after three restaurants were named as among the best in Europe by the prestigious, Italian-run portal Top 50 Pizzeria Europa.
With the list purposefully excluding Italian pizzerias, the European rankings were topped by Barcelona’s Sartoria Panatieri. Baest in Copenhagen was placed second and London’s 50 Kalo in third.
However, there was also good news for Poland with a trio of restaurants recognised for their excellence. Of these, the highest ranked was Gdańsk’s Ostro in 34th place.
Overseen by the head pizzaiolo Kamil Szuba, his pizzas were praised for their “high” and “very light” crust. The justification reserved special applause for the Capricciosa and Diavola whilst also noting that the pear and gorgonzola and nduja pizzas were “particularly convincing”.
Thanking their followers and staff on Facebook, the restaurant wrote: “It can no longer be considered a coincidence that we were nominated as among the 50 best pizzerias in Europe for a second time in a row. What’s more, we were hailed as No. 1 in Poland.”
Also celebrating were Warsaw’s Ciao A Tutti who were ranked 38th. Featured on the list for the third consecutive year, the restaurant’s commitment to authenticity was hailed by the judges.
“This pizzeria has a Neapolitan setting in both its furnishing and in its understanding of pizza. The pizza is made with fresh ingredients imported directly from Italy. The pizza with four tomatoes and the mushroom and prosciutto are a must-try.”
Co-founded in 2012 by Michał Wesołowski – then a 23-year-old photography graduate – and his future wife, Joanna Księżopolska, Ciao A Tutti has since grown into a mini-chain of three restaurants.
“There is no real secret to the perfect pizza,” says Wesołowski, “after all, you’ll find some great tutorials just by searching about on YouTube. But what is crucial are the ingredients. Moreover, you need to be consistent. You need to make every pizza great.”
Something of a Warsaw institution, Ciao A Tutti was further credited for its “excellent panna cotta”, affordable prices and “interesting” drinks menu “influenced by Italy”.
However, perhaps the biggest headline for those unfamiliar with Poland’s food scene has been reserved for the entry of Zielona Górka in Pabianice. Yet whilst the town can hardly be described as a culinary hotspot, the quality of Zielona Górka has long been an open secret.
Ranked 46th, and described by the guide as “a true Embassy of Neapolitan tradition”, the restaurant has been visited by scores of celebrities and public figures since opening, among them politician Donald Tusk and the musician Czesław Mozil.
Launched by former architects Jędrzej and Lilianna Lewandowski, the restaurant proved more than merely a pet project with Jędrzej training in Naples to master the art of pizza-making.
Since representing Poland – and finishing with a medal – at the Olimpiadi Vera Pizza Napoletana (a.k.a. ‘the pizza Olympics’), his restaurant, found inside the couple’s former architectural studio, has become one of the worst-kept secrets in the region with a devoted fan base extending well beyond the borders of Pabianice.
Updated each year, the Top 50 “is inspired by the concept of excellence in the broadest sense”, with the pizzerias judged on a variety of factors including the pizza, service, ambiance, waiting times and beverages.