Back in May 2021 retail property consultants Barker Proudlove put out a social media post revealing that they had completed a deal with L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele who were opening in Manchester. The world-famous pizza restaurant finally opened its doors this week after refurbishment of the former Zizzi site on King Street.
Once an Edwardian Baroque bank, the Grade II listed building has now been transformed into a relaxed fine dining venue featuring a traditional Neapolitan Pizzeria and a glamorous Italian restaurant with dramatic glass chandeliers, elegant marble columns and original tiled floors. Guests can watch the action in the buzzing open space kitchen and enjoy a pre-dinner drink at the Pink Cocktail Bar, located at the entrance.
Michele Condurro, the famous master pizza maker, founded the original L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele in Naples in 1870, launching what was to become a long tradition of master pizza makers who were experts in the preparing and kneading and cooking pizza. Since then, five generations of L’Antica’s family pizza makers have faithfully carried on the tradition to Michele’s methods using only natural ingredients.
In 1930, the pizzeria moved to its present location on Via Cesare Sersale, which has become known as Naples’ ‘sacred temple of pizza’. But L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele became a global sensation after a mention in Elizabeth Gilbert’s novel ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ which was turned into a movie starring Julia Roberts whose character loved L'Antica so much she proclaimed she was “having a relationship with her pizza.”
Now the famous Neapolitan pizzeria has sites all over Italy, as well as in Barcelona, Berlin and Tokyo. In London they have two venues, one restaurant in Baker Street Marylebone and another in Old Compton Street Soho and both have a constant queue of people outside.
When the original restaurant first opened, they only offered two simple options – the classic Margherita (tomato sauce, basil, Agerola fior di latte cheese, pecorino Romano D.O.P. cheese) and the vegan Marinara (tomato sauce, oregano, garlic, seed soya oil.) Many Italians considering it sacrilege to add any extra toppings.
L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele’s current menu has expanded to include starters, classic Italian main courses, pasta dishes, desserts and cocktails – along with their famous pizza of course.
L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele, 53 King Street, M2 4LQ Manchester