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Pizza at Chicago's Spacca Napoli named one of world's best on Italian website

Chicago's Spacca Napoli named one of world's best pizzerias
Chicago's Spacca Napoli named one of world's best pizzerias 00:41

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Residents of the Ravenswood community probably already know about the amazing pizza at Spacca Napoli.

Now, the restaurant's Neapolitan-style pie is making headlines as one of the best pizzas in the world – based on the rankings of the Italian website "50 Top Pizza."

Spacca Napoli, 1763 W. Sunnyside Ave., comes in at No. 93 worldwide for 2023, and at No. 14 for the U.S.


The eatery opened on Feb. 14, 2006. It was founded by Jonathan Goldsmith – described by Peter Reinhart of Pizza Quest as "the legendary pizzaiuolo of Chicago, Illinois."

In a 2020 interview with Pizza Quest, Goldsmith said he changed careers to become a pizzaiuolo at the age of 50 – after a career in social work, focusing for many years on adolescent psychiatry. A native of Westchester County, New York native, Goldsmith told Rinehart came to Chicago to study for his social work studies at the University of Chicago.

Goldsmith told Rinehart his interest in pizza peaked while he and his wife, visual artist Ginny Sykes, were spending four years living in Florence, Italy.

"Besides finding various authentic Italian pizzas in terms of their appearance, aroma and tastiness you can also try fried dishes, pasta, main courses and desserts of the classic tradition combined with the best wine labels of Campania," 50 Top Pizza wrote. "The dining rooms are welcoming and furnished in warm tones, and the patio is very glamorous. The service is elegant and at the same time informal."

The list is dominated by pizzerias from Italy.

Of the top five on the list, 10 Diego Vitagliano Pizzeria in Naples, Italy, and The Mansnielli – Francesco Martucci in Caserta, Itay, are tied for No. 1. A Neapolitan Pizza on the Lower East Side of Manhattan in New York City comes in at No. 2, and at No. 1 for the U.S.

Panatieri Tailoring in Barcelona; The Pizza Bar on 38th in Tokyo; and the Lime Trees in San Bonifacio, Italy, round out the top five.

No other Chicago or Illinois pizzerias besides Spacca Napoli made the list. Among other American pizzerias in the top 25, Breed Artisan Pizzeria in Jersey City, New Jersey comes in at No. 11; Ken's Artisan Pizza in Portland, Oregon at No. 18; Tony's Neapolitan Pizzeria in San Francisco at No. 19; White Pizzeria in Phoenix, Arizona at No. 21; Limelight in Manhattan's East Village in New York City at No. 22; and 0' Munaciello in Miami at No. 25.

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