Telephone (21) 2205 5331
Metrô bus inegrated from Largo do Machado
Pizza in Rio apparently falls into two categories; cheap, cheese-heavy and bearing no resemblance to anything you would ever find in Italy, and the unfeasibly expensive (but undeniably tasty) delights served in upper class restaurants across Ipanema and Leblon. Of course good pizza was never meant to be elitist, but to avoid the pitfalls of the pricey or the flavourless you have to be prepared to look a little further afield, and nestled just off Praça São Salvador in Laranjeiras is a locals’ favourite that is reassuringly and deservedly full every night of the week.
Luigi’s feels authentically Mediterranean, the covered outdoor terrace with a bar and huge wood-fired pizza oven at the far end ensures that, but more importantly everything tastes authentic. The base is somewhere between deep pan and crispy, the tomato sauce tangy, and the range of toppings is comprehensive without getting overly-clever - the Diavola (R$36) is a rare find in the city, quality pepperoni with fresh chilli sliced on top. There is plenty of seating indoors too, but booking on the terrace is definitely recommended for a little extra atmos, and there is even an upstairs room with occasional live music performances.