Pizza, like so many other foods, did not originate in the country for which it is now famous. Unless you have researched the subject, you, like so many people, probably always thought Pizza was strictly an Italian creation.
Considered a peasant’s meal in Italy for centuries we cannot say who invented the very first pizza pie. Food historians agree that pizza like dishes were eaten by many peoples in the Mediterranean including the Greeks and Egyptians.
No history of pizza would be complete without the classic story of the pizza Margherita. Modern pizza history was made in 1889 when Queen Margherita Teresa Giovanni, the consort of Umberto I, visited Naples with her king. Don Raffaele Esposito, who owned Pietro Il Pizzaiolo, was asked to prepare a special dish in honour of the Queen’s visit. Esposito consulted his wife who was the real pizza expert and together they developed a pizza featuring tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and basil. He named it the Margherita Pizza, after the city’s guest of honour.
As contentious as the history of pizza is, it is arguably one of the most popular cuisines that the world has ever seen. Here are some places in Kenya that you can enjoy a scrumptious bite of the best of Italian pizza.
Osteria– the Osteria group of restaurants located in Karen, Lenana road and Gigiri are authentic Italian restaurants with a classic Italian feel. Expect to be wowed with wonderful thin crust pizzas fresh from the oven.
Que Pasa– Located in the vibrant Karen shopping centre; this is a bar and restaurant loved for its wood fired pizzas. The pizza oven churns out a tasty array of pizzas every day, with hand-made dough being baked from early morning till late at night.
Mediterraneo– Located at the Junction and Gigiri branches; you are assured of an unforgettable experience of true Italian dining. Set in its warm colours, it takes you back to the streets of Florence as you indulge yourself in their freshly oven baked pizzas.
La Dolce Vita– Located at the Muthaiga Shopping Centre, La Dolce Vita, named after one of the most widely seen and acclaimed European movies of the 1960s will transport you to Italy. The interior is bright and airy with art work from the Federico Fellini film on the walls creating a stylish but unpretentious space for enjoying their famously known mouth-watering pizzas.
Zafferano– Offering the best Italian pizzas in town, the Zafferano experience begins as guests are welcomed and ushered to their tables, at the bright , airy outdoor terrace or the luxurious interior of the restaurant. You are spoilt for choice between their wide arrays of pizzas straight from a traditional Italian pizza oven.
Trattoria-Established since 1981, they are the oldest family run Italian restaurant in Nairobi. The menu abounds in specialities from the south of Italy, Rome, Tuscany, Piemonte and Veneto. They use only the freshest produce, and their pizzas are reputed to be well known amongst locals and tourists alike.
Sale e pepe- The Sale e Pepe Restaurant (“salt and pepper” in English) is located in the Hilton Nairobi, and serves dinner daily. The menu includes classic Italian fare such as pizza and pasta. The decor mimics the rustic feeling of a traditional Italian trattoria, and includes wooden tables and chairs, red checkered tablecloths, and candles.
With Fort Jesus itself being designed by an Italian, it is no wonder that this coastal region is teemed with many restaurants offering Italian cuisine. Over passing years, the culture has been embedded in the system and what better way to celebrate it by enjoying the finest of what it has to offer.
Robertos– Roberto Miano, long time resident of the Kenya Coast has a lifelong hobby – and that is cooking. His restaurant, Roberto’s has the finest Italian cuisine on the Kenya Coast and residents flock back time after time to sample his tasty dishes which he changes almost weekly. He prides himself that he produces the best pizzas, and spends hours in the kitchen himself, either preparing or teaching his chefs to produce the delicious pieces so that when eaten, you can imagine yourself in a trattoria in the heart of Rome.
Il Covo– In June 2009, Il Covo opened a second branch in the heart of the residential area of Nyali, half way between the centre of town and the tourist area of Bamburi. This small cosy restaurant and bar has a sitting capacity of 30 and also accommodates a large wood burning oven which gives the best authentic Italian pizzas. A range of take away pizzas and dishes are available with delivery service all around town.
I love pizzas-I Love Pizza established 1982 by two young Italians created the first and now Oldest Restaurant in Malindi. It has changed hands over the years although still renowned for its delicious pizzas. Situated on the Beachfront opposite the Malindi Jetty, it is quite central for the Travellers in search of a place to dine and unwind.
Tangeri- Tangeri is well known for its tasty food, wonderful service and nice ambience. On top of that, it is one of the best places in Malindi to enjoy finger licking oven baked pizzas.