Nnea serves up not just just the best pizza in Amsterdam, but in fact one of the best in Europe (it’s official). Here’s what you need to know…
There are no shortage of pizza restaurants in Amsterdam. Like any major European city, Italian migration has enriched local culture by way of numerous “Italeateries” from high end to fast food.
And as parents to two mini pizza-lovers, we’ve gone from high chairs to high tables, sampling crispy bases and doughy crusts at the best pizzerias in town. Amsterdammers all have their favourites – ours have included Pizzabakkers and La Perla, Renatos and YamYam. But our latest adventure proved to be the very best of all.
The first time I heard Nnea mentioned was actually via a reader of the blog. In 2019 she sent me a message raving about it and, so effusive was she, that I asked her several times whether she worked there. She assured me she didn’t but was certain I would love it.
Scroll forward a few years. For some reason it had always been ‘on my list’ but I’d never made it there in person. Suddenly, the perfect opportunity presented itself. Date night with the 10 year old. After offering His Royal Discerning-ness a variety of options, he picked Nnea. And so it was we found ourselves walking up a blustery Bliderdijkstraat at 6.00 on a Thursday evening in October.
Let me say first of all, you must book. Nnea is no longer Amsterdam’s best kept pizza secret and even though I reserved 10 days in advance, there were limited slots available and it was packed – even at such an early hour.
Nnea doesn’t have “film star Italian looks.” The interior is stripped back, Functional/industrial style white chairs, white metal tables and wooden floor. If you’re after glamour the highlight is the giant handmade pizza oven with its enormous yellow dome.
But its not the decor that people come here for. Nnea has achieved the extraordinary accolade of ranking number 6 in the 50 top pizzas of Europe. Yes that’s Europe – which includes Italy in case you were wondering. Unsurprisingly it has further topped the table of The Netherlands’ best pizzeria for two years running and was voted one of the best Italian restaurants outside Italy.
That’s quite some reputation, so how good could it really be?
Well the answer for us was very good. Very, very, very good indeed. So good, that after a week of action-packed Amsterdam activities, young Zacster declared this outing to be his very favourite.
So – why so special?
Chef Vincenzo Onnembo is obsessed with dough. In his words:
Research, curiosity for contamination and a visceral love for the transformation of flour into a living form that becomes pizza, these are among the reasons of the existence of nNea.
Pizza is not fast food
We believe in a light and fluffy cloud of dough to host our ingredients; to achieve this result we use quality flours without additives, purified water and the most important piece of the fermentation process: time.
Our dough is the result of ongoing research, a never-ending journey that begins with grains. nNea blend is obtained by mixing flours by Molino Denti (Italy) together with local dutch Emmer (Triticum dicoccum) and Einkorn (Triticum monococcum).
As you gather they take their ingredients seriously. Mix that up with a 5 day fermenting, resting and proofing process and a pizza oven set to precisely 420 degrees C.
The result is an unbelievably moreish Neapolitan pizza. Don’t like your crusts? Think again. These pizzas are the lightest, chewiest most pizzery pizzas on planet pizza. And best of all for 10 year olds, they are served with scissors which adds a dose of magic and charm to the fun.
Flavour-wise there are some badass combos – I’m talking their infamous oven roasted/flamed octopus in its juice; pumpkin and buffalo blue cheese or roasted potatoes with pork sausage. But there are good (very good) Margherita pizzas too and small versions for the littles (not that Zacy had any interest in contemplating that!)
The wine list is pretty special here and soft drinks are quirky – think Fritz Kola and Yaya Kombucha.
But it’s the pizzas that keep guests coming.
Do bear in mind the rules are strict:
No reservations via Facebook or Instagram
No reservations via phone or email
Book your table only through the reservation form on the website.
No cash taken
No modifications to your pizza except for allergies and intolerances
Oh, and if you’re onboard with all that, I have to add that the pizzas are definitely not cheap. But boy, are they good.
Some of the reviews online are a bit sniffy about the staff. We found them super helpful as it happens, so much so, they raided the cellar in a hunt to find something smaller than a pizza box for us to takeaway our leftovers.
So, whether you’re a cheffy foodie, or a 10 year old who knows a good pizza from an average one, make tracks to Nnea between Tuesday and Sunday from 5.30
As someone recently wrote on TripAdvisor:
I took a chef that has worked in Michelin restaurants.
He took a bite of the pizza, looked at me and said:
“Ali, Until today, I’ve never had pizza in my life”