Anyone who likes their pizzas thin and crispy in the traditional Naples style should check out Pizza Bella Napoli, a homey pizzeria on Sukhumvit Soi 31, close to Phrom Phong BTS Station. This cosy, cavern-esque restaurant has low ceilings and has slowly expanded over the years as news of their delicious Italian fare (and amazing value for money) spread throughout Bangkok. As you enter, the smell of wood fired pizza and roasting coffee fills the air – unmistakably Italian – and this goes for the rustic decor too, as it is decorated like a kooky ‘trattoria’ with empty wine bottles and pictures of Italian landscapes on the walls of the red brick interior. In one corner of the main room stands the pizza oven, with flames burning deep inside and a team of uniformed pizza boys endlessly sliding pizzas in and out.
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The menu at Pizza Bella Napoli is a fairly predictable mix of pizzas, pastas, salads and meat options, but it is their namesake dish that we recommend: Pizza! In true Italian style, the pizza dough is tossed and spread thin, with bubbles and charred edges from the stone bake oven. Toppings are kept simple and allow the quality ingredients to speak for themselves. The Venizia pizza is a classic option with prosciutto cured ham, rocket lettuce and mozzarella cheese. There is also a signature bridge of Parma pizza, with a cute raised platform of ham constructed to look like a bridge across the base – a photographer’s favourite but tricky to eat. All pizzas are huge and considering they cost between 250 baht to 350 baht, they offer an unbeatable combination of taste and value.
Pasta dishes come served in a clay pot with a thin layer of pizza bread laid on top which is cut in front of you so you get the mouth-watering experience of watching the heat and fragrance explode under your nose. Generally, the pastas look better than they taste, but the spaghetti carbonara is a fittingly rich and creamy dish and, for fish lovers, the spaghetti misto di mare is a delicious mix of fried seafood with zesty lemon liberally squeezed on top.
Open throughout the day, the clientele is a mix of Japanese and European ex-pats and tourists – including native Italians, and it is always encouraging to hear conversations in Italian in a pizzeria. Service at Bella Napoli, however, is a little unpredictable and you certainly don’t feel you are being waited on diligently. On our last visit there was even a mix up with our order. Nevertheless, the pizzas are huge, the prices very affordable and – most of all – delicious.
Bella Napoli Pizzeria
- Opening Hours: 11:30-23:30
- Location: Sukhumvit Soi 31, Bangkok (20 metres down the soi on the right hand side)
- Tel: 022590405