Foto: Lisa Söderholm

Lilla Napoli – in pursuit of the perfect pizza

Lilla Napoli, one of Sweden's best pizzerias, is housed in an unpretentious white building that used to be a petrol station in an earlier life. Step inside and you’ll find artfully displayed Italian advertising posters and authentic Neapolitan pizza. The pizzas themselves may seem rustic and simple. But the owners take the craft of pizza making very seriously.

Written by Lisa Söderholm
Lisa Söderholm Redaktör och friluftsälskare

It’s pizza-night! That’s the vibe that hits you the moment you set foot inside the door. The place is packed with pizza lovers; a red mosaic oven takes centre stage, the excitement is palpable and at fever-pitch.

Lilla Napoli is spectacularly popular so be sure to make a reservations if you don’t want to return empty-bellied. The dough is freshly made (and sadly, in limited quantities). So when the dough is over, no more pizzas (sad face emoji).

Dörren står öppen till Lilla Napoli och ovanför entrén står Lilla Napoli textat med svart tusch.
Where do you find some of Sweden’s best pizzas? Why, in an old petrol station in Falkenberg, of course. Photo: Lisa Söderholm

Besmir Balaj and Ville Illola have been running Lilla Napoli since 2015 and it was the pursuit of the perfect pizza that took them to the birthplace of pizza – Naples. They learnt the art of pizza making at the feet of grizzled professionals and established contacts for sourcing authentic ingredients from there.

Both have spent thousands of hours perfecting the art and craft of the Neapolitan pizza. It is no coincidence then, that Lilla Napoli is one of Sweden’s best pizzerias.

Två runda pizzor är serverade på ett träbord.
At Lilla Napoli in Falkenberg, the pizzas have a rustic charm to them. Photo: Robin Söderholm

Besmir and Ville leave nothing to chance, handpicking only the finest ingredients. Most of the ingredients are Swedish and locally produced, but the flour and mozzarella come directly from Naples.

The Neapolitan pizzas differ quite a bit from those usually served in Sweden. They’re fluffy, easy on the tummy and have fewer, but carefully chosen ingredients.

En hylla fylld med italienska råvaror och i högra hörnet står en röd stor pizzaugn.
In addition to pizza, several other Italian delicacies are on offer at Lilla Napoli. Photo: Lisa Söderholm

Every table in the pizzeria has an interesting trivia sheet that details things like the temperature of the oven (600 degrees C), the time taken for baking a pizza (less than a minute), and the origins of the ingredients. Lilla Napoli tells it like it is with a bit of tongue in cheek wit when they state that if you don’t get your pizza along with the rest of your party, you’ve probably forgotten to order.

Bild på efterrättspizza med nutella, bär och glass.
Want a Nutella pizza with ice cream, berries and nuts? Coming right up. Photo: Robin Söderholm

The restaurant is unpretentious, but the pizzas are made with a generous helping of passion. You order the pizza when you enter and you pay on the way out. The emphasis is on serving extraordinary pizzas. And on the wall next to the black menu table is a glowing testimonial to their success. A certificate from Naples that endorses the establishment – an old petrol station in Falkenberg that serves authentic Neapolitan pizza.

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