There are bigger names in the South Florida pizza industry, and there are certainly smaller ma’ and pa’ pizza joints along Bird Road, US-1, Alton Road — you name it. However, there’s one unsuspecting pizza spot, whose roots come straight from Caserta, Italy, that you might have missed.
Mister O1, whose own website states it’s “That famous hidden place,” is a true diamond in the rough — literally. One of their prime locations in the Miami neighborhood of Wynwood seems to have had nearby construction surrounding the property over the past two years. However, both physically and metaphorically, it’s what is in the inside that counts.
Founded by Renato Viola in 2014, Mister O1′s first location was in an 18-seat pizzeria tucked away in an office building in South Beach. And that “O1″ in the restaurant’s name? It’s a nod to the O-1 Visa Viola was granted in order to move to the United States.
Food & Wine Senior Editor David Landsel describes Viola as a “a well-regarded pizza maker from the old country who came to the United States because some very smart person in government decided we needed his pizza skills.”