Written by: Reverend Bruce Scher
I am an ex-New Yorker who grew up on great pizza in Brooklyn, so when I moved to South Beach I began my search for the best pie in the neighborhood.
I went to about 12 pizzerias all claiming to have the best pizza. I visited small slice joints to well-known fancy Italian restaurants. It was frustrating to be denied the food of my childhood; the taste of freshly made thin dough with homemade sauce, fresh Mozzarella, basil, herbs, and olive oil.
It sounds so easy just put the 6 ingredients into the pizza oven at 900 degrees for five minutes and as we say in Brooklyn, Fuhgeddaboutit.
But as we know it's easier said than done. And one morning I was having Cuban coffee on Washington Avenue and started talking with a paisan from New Jersey, who liked all foods Italiano.
I told him I was having a tough time finding good pizza, he put up his hand to stop me from talking, and quietly said La Leggenda. He said all the pizzerias in Miami Beach and Miami couldn’t measure up to the ingredients, service, and hospitality of the owner Giovanni.
He is heir to a family of pizza chefs, in Naples. Since he was a boy he has worked as a pizza chef. And, for his original way of kneading a pizza, he immediately was nicknamed “The Legend”.
Giovanni has won several pizza awards in Italy - including the renowned;
2012 - Winner World's Pizza Championship - International Pizza Challenge
2017 - La Leggenda Opens shop in Miami Beach -
2022 Made 50 Top Pizza's List of America's Best Pizzerias
La Leggenda is the only pizzeria winner of this prestigious award in South Beach, considered one of the most influential industry guides for pizza-making perfection.
To add to his pizza-making street creds Giovanni is a member of the prestigious industry group of professional pizzaiolas called Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana. Their singular mission is to protect and increase the value of the pizzas produced and processed according to the old Neapolitan traditions and customs.
If you have a craving for authentic pizza, waste no time and get over to;
La Leggenda Pizzeria, 224 Espanola Way
Google Rating of 4.5 with close to 1000 reviews.
Bring a friend or two meet some new friends and mangia with some vino.