Rua Estado Israel, 240
São Paulo, 04022-002, Brazil
São Paulo is famed for its pizzerias, a fact of which Paulistanos are very proud. The city’s strong pizza heritage is thanks to waves of Italian immigrants that call São Paulo home. There are pizzerias of all stripes in Sampa, from utterly elegant to tiny one-woman operations. We were completely spoiled for choice in São Paulo and didn’t quite know where to start, so we were completely grateful when our hosts in São Paulo, Marciel and Angela, suggested we try 1900 Pizzeria.
1900 Pizzeria, which has several locations around Sampa, is an upscale establishment specializing in artisan Neapolitan pies. The name of 1900 Pizzeria comes from the fact that some iteration of the Pizzeria has been open since the year 1900. The recipe is also reportedly unchanged since that time. The restaurant itself was lively and bustling when we entered at the early, un-Brazilian time of 7 PM, and the partially open kitchen was working full-tilt. We could see pizza ovens burning, which was naturally a good sign.
The menu was divided into “Traditional (Tradicionais)” and “Specialty (Especias)” varieties of pizza – with the specialty pizzas having slightly more adventurous combinations like bacalhau and dried beef (and slightly higher price points). Pizzas came in individual, medium and large sizes, and the prices for a large pizza ranged from 47 to 62 reais (about 25-35 dollars). Across 2 large pizzas we sampled 4 varieties (1/2 of a pie each). First up was the endive and Margherita pizza. We had never tried endive on a pizza before, but the slightly spicy endive made for a very delicious and fresh pizza. The classic Margherita was lovely, with a perfect distribution of tomatoes, fresh basil and buffalo mozzarella (see below). Our second pizza (which we tried with a whole wheat crust) was ½ four cheese and ½ arugula. The winner of this pie was the 4 cheese, which included the delicious Brazilian staple Catupiry along with gorgonzola, mozzarella and provolone. We slightly preferred the whole wheat crust, since it added a little more substance to the pizza. For dessert there were also several sweet pizzas, with nutella, strawberries, etc, apparently an exceedingly popular option in São Paulo pizzerias.
Though it was more than we are used to paying for pizza, we felt the added cost was worth it. The pizzas at Pizzeria 1900 were excellent, and we are happy that we got to experience a slice of São Paulo pizza culture with our friends. We only wish we could have more time in Sao Paulo to try some more pizza spots.