Press coverage organized A - Z by media outlet:
November 1, 2015
TOP 5 NEAPOLITAN PIZZAS IN CHICAGO / WATCH: HUNGRY HOUND'S TOP PICKS FOR NEAPOLITAN, TAVERN AND THIN-CRUST PIZZA IN CHICAGO
by Steve Dolinsky
"All of the hallmarks are here: the 00 flour, the 24-hour rise, bufalina and fior di latte cheeses (plus a blend of Parmesan and Sardinian Pecorino), oozing and creamy-sweet, placed haphazardly about the hand-formed spheres, and the imported San Marzano tomatoes, crushed into sweet/acidic oblivion; the tell-tale crust – puffy and blistered with leopard spotting on the cornicione as well as the undercarriage – with a remarkable chew that comes from a long fermentation; the final flourish – a healthy perimeter drizzle of olive oil imported from Vesuvio."
“For the pizza at Spacca Napoli, the passionate Jonathan Goldsmith goes for authenticity by using almost exclusively Italian imported ingredients: mozzarella di buffalo, San Marzano tomatoes, and Molino Caputo flour.”
September 17, 2014
BEST OF CHICAGO / BEST PIZZA IN CHICAGO / BEST NEAPOLITAN-STYLE PIZZA
"Take a trip to Italy by visiting this Lincoln Square pizzeria. Opened in 2006 after many trips to Italy, owner and “Pizzaiuolo” Jonathan Goldsmith’s eatery focuses on “true” Italian pizza: thin-crust pizzas cooked in a wood-fire oven. There’s also a focus on minimal — but fresh — toppings, whether you’re experiencing the salsiccia (San Marzano tomatoes, sausage, basil, fior di latte and pecorino gran cru) or the prosciutto e rucola (provola, prosciutto di parma, parmigano reggiano and arugula), to name just a few."
November 2, 2015
INSIDE CHICAGO'S BEST RESTAURANTS / WATCH JONATHAN GOLDSMITH MAKE A SFIZI AI POMODORI PIZZA AT SPACCA NAPOLI
Video by Steve Delahoyde, Produced by Luke Seemann
Food Drink Deal / napoli complex
by Liz Grossman
"Talk about authentic: Spacca Napoli is the first spot in the city to get its pizza-making technique approved by the pros in Italy."
Chicago sun times
March 31, 2006
by Pat Bruno
"Here is what I think: The pizza is great. The pizza is the best I have had this side of Naples, Italy. All of the pieces for great pizza are in place. The woodburning pizza oven (and a pizzaiolo who knows how to tend the oven) and a perfect crust (a specially milled flour from Italy) are just the beginning."
February 21, 2007
by Bill Daley
"For Goldsmith, making Neapolitan-style thin-crust pizza with authentic ingredients and flavorings is an outgrowth of his deep love for all things Italian. A casual suggestion that he open his own pizzeria sent him on a two-year quest to discover what pizza, particularly Neapolitan pizza, was all about. As he notes on the restaurant's Web site (spaccanapolipizzeria.com), Goldsmith was 'determined to bring the essence of the Italian markets, the street life, and the abundance of Italy right back to Chicago.'"
conde nast traveler
May 15, 2017
by Antonio Basada
"Spacca Napoli pizzas are the stuff of legend, thanks to high-quality ingredients and a dedication to technique. Casual, homey and approachable, it's the perfect spot for families, and even take-out."
April 5, 2016
BEST PIZZA IN THE WORLD: The 14 Top Cities for Pizza | #1 Chicago
by Daniel Young
"Contrary to popular belief, Chicago is not a one-pizza town. The great defender of deep dish embraces styles thick and thin. Some locals love the city's more traditional stuffed or pan pizza, while others chomp down on Neapolitan, coal-oven, or the South Side’s cracker-crisp, thinner-than-thin tavern style pies. For a thinner, more gourmet style, pull up to a table at Spacca Napoli."
101 BEST PIZZAS IN AMERICA: #23 BUFALINA
"Spacca Napoli stands out from the rest of the Chicago pizza pack due to its unique take on Neapolitan-style pizza. The restaurant has garnered a laundry list of accolades, from the 2013 Michelin Bib Gourmand Award to a 95 percent "like" rating on Zagat. The pizza is consistently applauded for its authenticity, as owner Jon Goldsmith travels to and from Naples regularly to study the flavors of the region. The menu differentiates pizze rosse (made with traditional red sauce, tomatoes, and topped with olive oil) from the pizze bianche (made without red sauce and topped with olive oil). Customers can dine on the prosciutto e rucola, bianca con bufala, diavola, or salsiccia when they're looking for an expertly prepared pie, but this year’s featured pie noted as the thing to order is the Bufalina: basil, mozzarella di bufala, and olive oil. Questo è tutto ciò che serve!"
March 7, 2017
by Leah Koenig
"It takes guts to buck against Chicago’s deep-dish norm, but Spacca Napoli has been carving out a niche for Neapolitan style pizza since 2006. Co-owner Jonathan Goldsmith is something of a dough whisperer, tending to his batches of flour, yeast, and water with the obsessive attention of a craftsman. His thin crust pies come out of the oak-fired oven bubbly and singed along the rim, with the slightly soupy center typical of Napoli’s greatest pizzerias."
by Rose Spinelli
"Like most who've walked through the door since its 2006 Valentine's Day opening, its been a Neapolitan-style love affair."
"Chicagoans revere the traditional Neapolitan pizzas coming out of the wood-burning ovens at the 10-year-old Spacca Napoli. Food writer and former Eater Chicago editor Ari Bendersky explains, "Spacca deserves to be on any top pizza list, Chicago or otherwise. It was really the place that started the Neapolitan movement here and has held its place at the top. The crust is perfectly crispy and doughy and wet in the middle. While they have their staples like the margherita with mozzarella, basil and pecorino, I love their funghi e salsiccia and the prosciutto e rucola — the fresh arugula adds a perfect pepperiness. This is one of the few places in town that makes you feel like you've actually traveled to Naples for dinner."
chicago restaurants / spacca napoli pizzeria / fodor's choice
"Despite Chicago's renown for deep-dish pizza, locals are swept away by the thin-crust Neapolitan pies at this bright Ravenswood gem."
October 20, 2017
by Katie Parla
"True to its Neapolitan muse, Spacca Napoli stays close to the flavors of the city, calling on imported San Marzano and Piennolo tomoatoes, as well as fior di latte (cow's milk mozzarella)... Goldsmith maintains close ties to top Italian pizzaioli, including Attilio Bachetti of Naples' excellent Da Attilio and legendary Franco Pepe of Caiazzo's Pepe in Grani, a testament to the quality of his pies."
food & wine
"The wood-burning oven was modeled after the communal ovens of ancient Pompeii. Its mosaic of wheat is made with Venetian glass tiles and was inspired by an image of a coin in Le Antiche Monete di Neapolis, a book about the ancient money of Greek Naples."
forno bravo | pizza quest
March 15, 2016
by John Arena
January 20, 2011
by John Arena
"If you don’t believe in miracles I suggest a visit to a quiet corner in the Ravenswood neighborhood of Chicago. There you will find Spacca Napoli, a piece of Naples somehow transported to the Windy City."
February 24, 2011
by John Arena
"Perfect practice makes perfect. By perfect practice I mean understanding that repetition is not enough. We all know people who have been making pizza for years and are stuck in a rut. We also know artisans like Jonathan Goldsmith of Spaccanapoli (Chicago) who are relative newcomers and are creating inspired pies. The great ones understand that practice is a combination of repetition and single minded focus on improvement every time you create a pizza."
fox 32 Chicago
aired February 21, 2018
with Brittney Payton
by Lorenzo Ruggeri and Gerardo Antelmo
"Jonathan Goldsmith, who trained with renowned pizza maestro, Enzo Coccia, has brilliantly brought Neapolitan sunshine into one of the coldest cities in the United States... Each day he gives the Americans in Obama’s home town the chance to fully satisfy their palates... For Jonathan, pizza is the authentic expression of a Neapolitan art that over the centuries has become hallowed pizzeria know-how."
by Gerardo Antelmo
"Johnathan Goldsmith si è formato a Napoli alla corte di Enzo Coccia. La sua pizzeria è una garanzia a partire dal nome, Spacca Napoli, e dal fornocostruito da artigiani napoletani di terza e quarta generazione. Impressionante la maniacale ricerca della materia prima che Johnathan conduce personalmente."
February 27, 2013
BEST CITY FOR PIZZA: THE TOP TOWNS IN AMERICA FOR SNAGGING A SUPERIOR SLICE OF PIZZA PIE / HUFFPOST CHICAGO EDITORS TOP 5 PICK FOR CHICAGO'S BEST PIZZAS
"The Windy City has been called the home of the America's "Most Life-Changing Slice" so it comes as no surprise that Chicago-style creations are often imitated — but never duplicated."
August 7, 2015
"Authentic Neapolitan pizza, and the best pizza in the city. Period. Exclamation point. Mic drop."
legends of pizza blog
March 25, 2016
by Albert Grande and Peter Reinhart
"Both Jonathan and John embody the true spirit of pizza. While there are certain differences in their style, there is common ground in turning simple ingredients into pure pizza magic. The wonderful thing about both is their willingness to share and collaborate with others who share in the joy of creating pizza. Both are willing to share their experience with a pizza master or someone who is just discovering the love of pizza. Pizza is a dish which inspires and illuminates."
ONE OF CHICAGO's great Neighborhood Restaurants 2010-12
luciano pignataro wine blog
July 11, 2017
I dieci pizzaioli che hanno davvero fatto tendenza e colto il senso della modernità nella pizza napoletana
May 18, 2017
October 9, 2015
michelin bib gourmand - chicago
GOOD CUISINE AT A REASONABLE PRICE
Defined as “Inspectors’ Favorites for Good Value,” Bib Gourmand restaurants offer two courses and a glass of wine or dessert for $40 or less (tax and gratuity not included), and are often of most value to a city’s residents, who regularly dine in neighborhood restaurants.
new york times
May 9, 2007
by Frank Bruni
“In growing numbers, serious chefs and bakers are making, and the food cognoscenti are devouring – exemplary pies inspired at least loosely by the thin crust pizzas of Naples… You can find in Manhattan at Una Pizza Napoletana in Chicago at Spacca Napoli, and in Phoenix at Pizzeria Bianco…”
page & plate
December 14, 2017
"I have never in my life had mozzarella di bufala that was so spreadable, flavorful, and melt-in-your-mouth delicious. And when it also starred on the Enzo pizza that came to the table, but SMOKED?! I mean, wow. Say goodbye to mozzarella that tastes like nothing. This cheese will change your life."
March 1, 2016
by Jeremy White
"Italy is truly part of me. If asked by someone in the pizzeria about my heritage, I most likely will say “sangue russo, piedi americani, ma cuore italiano.” Russian blood, American feet, but Italian heart."
March 1, 2018
by Michael Nagrant
"Yes, we are the city of pizza casserole and square “party cut” cracker-crisp thin crust, but the Spacca Napoli pie rules them all. Roberta’s in Brooklyn gets all the credit for reigniting America’s interest in Neapolitan-style pizza with its leopard-print charred crust and airy croissant-like bubble cross-sections. But Spacca Napoli was doing this kind of pizza in sleepy Ravenswood two years before Roberta’s. Since owner Jonathan Goldsmith launched his pizza spot, he has assumed a monk-like, or maybe sushi master-like, approach to learning. Goldsmith believes he can always make better pizza and that every batch of dough is an opportunity to refine things. He’s not wrong, and indeed the current product is better than it’s ever been."
February 10, 2017
by Michael Nagrant
"The secret to Spacca Napoli’s sustained quality lies in Goldsmith’s dedication to the craft and immersion in Italian culture. Like Rick Bayless and his evangelism of regional Mexican, Goldsmith’s championing of the Neapolitan way is boundless."
scott's pizza journal
December 11, 2013
by Scott Wiener
"This is one of the best Neapolitan pizzas I’ve ever eaten. The crust has a chewy interior protected by a delicately crispy exterior. Cheese is milky and smooth with bright accents thanks to its simple crushed tomato compliment. I’ve eaten so many pizzas in this style and there’s something intangible that happens when you come across something so basic that it needs not hide behind any distractions."
July 17, 2014
by Lance Roberts
"Over the last year, I've spoken to Jonathan in depth about his amazing journey from clinical social worker to world-class pie man, and he's been incredibly generous with his knowledge and time. Among other things, we discussed the chance encounter on a plane that changed the course of his life, the legendary pizzaiuoli he's studied and befriended in Naples, and the power of food to connect people. But mostly? We just talked about pie."
southwest airlines spirit magazine
by Peter Reinhart
“… Though they’re made like the grandfather of all pizzas, Spacca Napoli pies will never taste outdated.”
time out chicago
August 31, 2016
THE BEST PIZZA IN CHICAGO: #19 SPACCA NAPOLI
By Amy Cavanaugh and Elizabeth Atkinson
"This place is serious about Neapolitan pizza: A custom-built, oak-stoked oven kicks out bubbling beauties with perfectly charred peaks and valleys in less than two minutes. The hand-formed crust is paper-thin at the center and thicker toward the edges and has the unmistakable chew of a true Neapolitan pie. "
December 9-15, 2010
100 BEST THINGS WE ATE (AND DRANK) THIS YEAR: small bites, Burrata, spacca napoli
by Julia Kramer, Heather Shouse, David Tamarkin
“Burrata—soft buffalo mozzarella with a cream center—can’t ever really be bad. But if you get it at Spacca Napoli, where it seems to be somehow fresher and creamier, it can be transcendent.”
Apr 9–15, 2009
2009 EAT OUT AWARDS READERS’ CHOICE AWARDS / BEST THIN-CRUST PIZZA: SPACCA NAPOLI
by Julia Kramer
“It’s been a good couple of years for pizza in this town, and owner Jonathan Goldsmith’s three-year-old Ravenswood venture deserves the bulk of the credit for kicking off the local Neapolitan trend. (A powerhouse in the Eat Out Awards, Spacca Napoli beat out a now-familiar round of competitors to win the Readers’ Choice Award for Best New Pizzeria in 2007.) The heart of these pies is the dough-baking process: The thin crust bubbles and chars at insane heat levels inside Spacca’s custom-built oven, maintaining a distinctive chewy—almost wet—center. Which is not to give short shrift to the toppings—from creamy buffalo mozzarella to rosemary-scented roasted potatoes to bright, bitter arugula. These pizzas will make you proud to be a thin-crust-loving Chicagoan. 1769 W Sunnyside Ave, 773-878-2420.”
Mar 29–Apr 4, 2007
BEST NEW PIZZERIA: SPACCA NAPOLI
“There are approximately 2,000 pizza joints in Chicago, but readers say this peach-colored Ravenswood spot tops them all. Owner Jonathan Goldsmith’s attention to detail is legendary: He imports his buffalo milk mozzarella from Cardito, Italy, and he brought sand, brick, volcanic stone and a team of Neapolitan builders to Chicago just to build his oven. The meticulous approach pays off: When our last piece of Margherita topped with fior di latte mozzarella, anise-perfumed basil and zingy tomato was finished, we were almost ready to swear off deep-dish pizza forever. 1769 W Sunnyside Ave, 773-878-2420—MN ”
December 28, 2006
THE 100 BEST THINGS WE ATE (AND DRANK) THIS YEAR: #4 margherita pizza, spacca napoli
“We found the perfect pie at this Ravenswood spot.”
thrillist chicago | food & drink
October 11, 2017
THE BEST PIZZA YOU CAN EAT IN CHICAGO: Thin-crust
by Brett Hickman & Jay Gentile
"Using the best possible ingredients (pecorino gran cru, San Marzano tomatoes), and taking great care with his dough, Goldsmith’s Ravenswood pizza restaurant is rightfully well revered. Any of the hard-to pronounce offerings will treat you right, but if there’s one must-try pie on the menu it would be the Bufalina featuring blended San Marzano tomatoes, mozzarella di bufala and basil. Then again, the Salsiccia (with sausage and basil) is no slouch either."
town & country
April 5, 2017
the 10 most classic restaurants in chicago: #10 Spacca napoli
by Katie Chang
"In 2006, Jonathan Goldsmith set out to prove there’s more to the city’s pizza scene than deep-dish by opening this rustic Italian spot. The chefs faithfully produce pies here in true Neapolitan fashion, topping them with San Marzano tomatoes and buffalo mozzarella, before finishing them in the wood-fired oven until they’re puffy and blistered with leopard spots."
February 12, 2018
42 OF CHICAGO’S BEST PIZZA PLACES, RANKED: #6 spacca napoli
by Jessica Hamrick
"Brb, drooling too much to think of something witty."
February 5, 2016
by Dawn Reiss
"Osteria La Madia chef Jonathan Fox says Spacca Napoli is one of his go-tos for Italian because it's "simple, yet delicious." Fox's recommendation: the margherita pizza."
washington post travel
March 21, 2018
by Kate Silver
"Spacca Napoli is, as our server explains, “the real deal.” The wood-fired oven, which cooks pizzas in 90 seconds, came from Italy and the pizza makers trained in the motherland… It’s the kind of pizza you can actually call quenching, whether you’re devouring the Bufalina, a simple pie made with San Marzano tomatoes, mozzarella di Bufala and basil; the Porcini e Carciofi, a white pizza made with fior di latte cheese, porcini mushrooms, Sardinian artichokes and Parmigiano-Reggiano; or any other kind."
by Daniel Young
published by Phaidon on April 25, 2016
Daniel Young's top 20 best pizza places in the world: #20 Spacca napoli pizzeria
"Where To Eat Pizza by Daniel Young is the experts’ guide to the best pizza places in the world and gives you insider knowledge on not only where you should eat but which pizza you should eat. When putting the book together Daniel enlisted the help of 121 regional experts and 956 global pizza fans from 48 countries to hand-pick the 1,705 pizza places featured.
Significantly though, Daniel decided not to rank the pizzerias in the book, preferring instead to break up his tasty content on a geographic basis. However, because of the extensive research that went into putting the book together, and the many subsequent requests from fans of the book Daniel has decided to release a previously unpublished list of the 20 pizza places that received the most nominations from the guide’s 1,077 contributors."
CHICAGO'S BEST RESTAURANTS / TOP PIZZA
"Authentic Neapolitan-style pizza has a thin, bubbly crust covered in a tangy tomato sauce and gooey cheese. The pie at Spacca Napoli captures the essence of the simple preparation."
NEW SURVEY RESULTS: CHICAGO'S BEST RESTAURANTS / WINNER: TOP PIZZA
"Offering a taste of Naples on the north side of Chicago, you'll have a difficult time choosing between the dozen red and white pies. We suggest the Bufalina with tomato sauce, mozzarella di bufala, basil and olive oil or the Fiori with fior di latte, garlic, grated zucchini, grape tomatoes and squash blossoms."
12 MUST-TRY DISHES FROM CHICAGO SURVEY WINNERS: TOP PIZZA
CHICAGO'S FIVE BEST PIZZA SPOTS
“Get here as fast as you can” advise admirers of this midpriced Ravenswood pizzeria dishing “true thin-crust” Neopolitan-style pies that reach “superlative” levels with “well-sourced ingredients”; the rustic space is “sparsely decorated but comfortable”, service is “friendly” and patio seating is “divine”, so it’s “perfect for a casual dinner, family party or cozy date.”
5 MUST-TRY NON-DEEP-DISH PIZZAS
"This authentic Italian pizza bridges the nearly 5,000-mile gap from Chicago to Naples. Diners can choose between pizze rose – red sauce made with Italian tomatoes and topped with olive oil, mozzarella cheese and toppings, or pizze biance – olive oil, mozzarella and toppings. These toppings emphasize the earthly flavors found in southern Italy by offering truffle oil, mushroom, Italian sausages, basil and arugula."
“The coveted No. 1 pizza prize goes to this Ravenswood "thin-crust" upstart whose 'sincere' owner 'traveled the whole of Italy to learn his craft' – and 'you can taste the love' in his 'fabulous,' 'authentic Neapolitan' pies whose 'slightly charred,' 'bubbly crusts' are topped with 'high-quality ingredients'; the menu is all ’za, antipasto, bierra and wine, the 'noisy' environs are 'low-key' and 'the wait may be long' but it's 'worth it.'”