Ferdinando’s is crowned South Africa’s most loved pizzeria


Ferdinando’s serves South Africa’s favourite pizza, according to diners who voted the establishment into top spot in this year’s Porcupine Ridge Pizzeria Challenge.

The colourful and quirky Observatory-based restaurant, run by Italian Diego Milesi and his late partner Kiki Bisogno, beat out strong competition to take the title.

In second place was Joburg favourite Gino’s in Robertsham (owned by Gino Mazza and last year’s winner) while Enzo Pizzeria Trattoria in Scottburgh made it into 5th position, the first KwaZulu-Natal establishment to achieve a Top 10 ranking.

The knack of serving award-winning pizzas clearly runs in families: Gino’s second operation in Stellenbosch, with brother Dom Mazza at the helm, was in fourth spot while restaurateur sisters Cristina De Almeida and Claudia Lau both made the Top 10. De Almeida’s Edenvale establishment Piccola Rossa came in at 8th position and Lau’s Osteria Rossa in Bedfordview achieved the 9th spot.

The Top 10 in the Porcupine Ridge Pizzeria Challenge 2022 are:

  1. Ferdinando’s (Observatory, Cape Town)
  2. Gino’s (Robertsham, Johannesburg)
  3. Bardelli’s (Kenilworth, Cape Town)
  4. Gino’s (Stellenbosch)
  5. Enzo Pizzeria Trattoria (Scottburgh)
  6. Caspita (George)
  7. Lucio’s Pizzeria (Northcliff, Johannesburg)
  8. Piccola Rossa (Edenvale, Johannesburg)
  9. Osteria Rossa (Bedfordview, Johannesburg)
  10. Izzeria (Brooklyn, Pretoria)

One of Ferdinando’s best-selling pizzas is their Classic Diavola – spicy Italian salami on a Margarita base while their signature pizza is the Turbanite, with a topping of grilled baby marrow, homemade caramelised onion jam and feta. The team at Fernando’s believe their pizzas are special, as they open the door to their Italian heritage which they love to share with their patrons.

Gino’s is a Johannesburg institution which celebrates its 40th anniversary next year. The establishment’s bestseller is the Chiattona, or ‘the one with everything’ as customers affectionately call it. They also have their signature oval shape which is a firm favourite with diners at both Robertsham and Stellenbosch locations.

Says Lynton Kaiser of Porcupine Ridge: “We are thrilled that both the South African pizza-loving public and pizza-serving establishments continue to embrace the Pizzeria Challenge. Everyone has their local favourite pizza spot and this just gives patrons the chance to make their support known … hopefully with a glass of Porcupine Ridge in hand! Congratulations to all the pizzerias who were voted into the Top 10 and indeed to each participant, not only for making delicious pizzas, but for harnessing the support of their loyal customers.”

For achieving top spot, Ferdinando’s receives a Winner’s Paddle, Porcupine Ridge wine for a year and promotional materials to the value of R25 000.

The Porcupine Ridge Pizzeria Challenge also offered consumers the chance to win with their votes via a dedicated voting website (www.votepizza.wine) and each week of the campaign a lucky winner was drawn to win a prizes. The Grand Prize winner – Rob Burgoyne, who voted for Bardelli’s – received an EarthFire Pizza Oven and accessories as well as pizza for a year from Bardelli’s and wine from Porcupine Ridge, all valued at more than R8 500.

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