Reigning South African pizza champion Gino’s is back to defend its title

Gino Mazza and daughter Giulietta with the award they received last year for the country’s best pizza restaurant.

South Africa’s best pizza restaurant – as voted by the public
Reigning champion Gino’s is back to defend its title!

Gino’s in Robertsham is something of a Johannesburg restaurant institution – an old favourite that has stood the test of time and proudly celebrates its 40th anniversary next year.

So it was hardly surprising to its clientele that this family-run business won top spot in the inaugural Porcupine Ridge Pizzeria Challenge last year, beating tough competition from around the country. It’s second operation in Stellenbosch made the Top 10, another impressive achievement.

Owner Gino Mazza was delighted with the victory: “It was a tremendous validation of what we do, which is to provide delicious Italian food made with passion and which is good value-for-money. What made the win even better is that the competition is voted for by the public and it demonstrated that we are doing the right thing for our customers and to them I say saluti, bon appetito, grazie.”

Although Gino’s – which opened its doors in 1983 – was the brainchild of eldest son Gino, the entire family, from father Guiseppe (Babbo) to mom Antonia as well as sisters Carmela and Maria and youngest brother, Domenico (Dom), were drawn into the business in true Italian style.

Today there are two family-run restaurants. The original Gino’s still remains in the heart of Robertsham and is run by Mazza and his sister Carmela. His two daughters help out on weekends and school holidays and several of the first staff members are still loyal employees. Many original customers now visit with their children and grandchildren.

Babbo and Antonia have since retired and spend their time between their village of Monte San Giacomo, in the south of Italy, and South Africa.

The second Gino’s opened in Stellenbosch in 1996 with Dom in charge.

Gino is delighted to be taking part in the Porcupine Ridge Pizzeria competition again this year, after all pizza is a firm favourite with South African diners.

One of the Gino pizza offerings

He says the establishment’s best seller and signature pizza is the Chiattona, “the one with everything, as customers affectionately call it.” They also have a signature oval shape which is a firm favourite with customers.

For him, a pizza has to have a good crust and quality cheese and ingredients. His personal favourite toppings are bacon, anchovies, olives and onions and he believes that anything that can be put on a slice of bread can be used as a pizza topping.

The Porcupine Ridge Pizzeria Challenge runs from July 1 through September 30, 2022, with the Top 10 and Winner being announced in mid-October. The challenge is open to any restaurant offering pizza on their menu and holding a valid liquor license.

Consumers dining at participating restaurants will notice point-of-sale containing a QR code that prompts them to the voting platform. For more information and to vote via the website, please visit:

Each week, a lucky voter will be drawn to win wine from Porcupine Ridge and an EarthFire Pizza Stone & Cutter. A grand prize winner drawn at the end of the challenge will receive wine from Porcupine Ridge, an EarthFire Pizza Oven as well as pizza to the value of R2,000 from their favourite pizzeria.

For more on Porcupine Ridge, please visit:

Gino’s is at 126 Harry Street, Robertsham. Tel: (011) 680 1819.
Gino’s De Kelder is at 63 Dorp St, Stellenbosch.Tel: (021) 887 9786

Social media details:
• Website:
• Website:
• Facebook:
• Facebook:
• Instagram: @ginospizzajhb
• Twitter: @GRobertsham
• Hashtag: #ginospizzajhb #ginosjohannesburg #ginosrobertsham

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