There's been a quiet revolution in the London pizza world over the past few years. It's now possible to get some world-beating pizzas in the town and we're here to tell you where to find them.
St James - 7 Northumberland Ave, Westminster, London WC2N 5BY
One of Naples top pizza restaurants, Pizzeria 50 Kalò di Ciro Salvo sees them creating as close to that Neopolitan experience as possible. It's all about the dough - 50 Kalo refers to "good dough" - and the menu features a much larger selection of pizzas that other Neapolitan imports. The Evening Standard's David Ellis says they're "serving London’s best pizza.". Big talk indeed.
Also on the menu: That would be their Frittatina di bucatini - that's eggless pasta omelette: Bucatini, Bechamel sauce, Provola Smoked Cheese, cooked ham.
Cost of a meal: Cost of a Margherita and a beer - around £15
Marylebone - 199 Baker St, London NW1 6UY
London went completely nuts at the arrival of what was dubbed Naples’ (and by that the world’s) best pizza when it opened in Stoke Newington. After some dispute over the use of the name, the sole L'Antica Pizzeria da Michele is now housed in Baker Street. when they started, they only did two pizzas, a Margherita and a Marinara (which they do they very well) but they've now expanded with a lot more options - including a fried pizza.
Also on the menu: Fritto misto to kick things off.
Cost of a meal: Cost of a Margherita and a beer - circa £15
Covent Garden, Fitzrovia, White City, Shoreditch, City
Ry Jessup started Homeslice with a hand-built mobile wood-fired oven hand that he launched at London Fields Brewery. They did a shed load of festivals and the like before teaming up with Mark and Alan Wogan, sons of the late great Sir Tel, to open their first restaurant. You'll find the traditional pizzas here, but they're also keen on coming up with unique flavour combinations - kimchi, porcini cream and basil anyone? The pizzas are also HUGE - a regular is 20".
Cost of a meal: Cost of two slices of margherita and a half of Camden Hells - £10.75
Hackney - 197-201 Richmond Rd, London E8 3N
Not strictly a pizzeria and more of an Italian by way of Hackney restaurant, Lardo’s pizza section elevates it to this list. In addition to the classics served up by former Bistrotheque manager Eliza Flanagan and partner Hugh Thorn, pizzas include regularly changing seasonal specials - their summer menu right now there’s courgette flower with courgette, goats cheese, and anchovy.
Also on the menu: A good selection of seasonal antipasti as well as a fish and meat of the day main course.
Cost of a meal: Margherita and a bottle of Peroni - £13.70
Coming up the street food route like so many others, Made of Dough’s first bricks and mortar spot was in Peckham. They’ve stayed true to their roots, roping in local butchers Flock & Heard for the sausage on their Merguez pizza. They use a lean dough recipe with a 60-hour fermentation process. The mozzarella's driven fresh from Campania twice a week and the parmesan's aged for over 30 months.
Also on the menu: Order some Salchichón Riera or garlic, fior di latte & rosemary bread to kick things off.
Cost of a meal: Margherita and a schooner of Gypsy Hill beer - £11.95
London Bridge - 44-46 Southwark St, London SE1 1UN
O-Ver's key feature is that the pizza dough is infused with real purified seawater. That may sound like a gimmick, but the pizzas that they're producing are top class and it's one of the best restaurants in the Borough area as a result. Top of the list to order should be The Paloma - that's "Smoked buffalo mozzarella from Sorrento, wild chiodini mushrooms, artisan rolled Italian bacon, organic black pepper, basil"
Also on the menu: The organic white truffle burrata from Apulia sounds like a must to us and they have a large pasta menu too.
Cost of a meal: Margherita and a Kernel pale ale - £16
Soho, Carnaby, Exmouth Market, Covent Garden, City, Shoreditch, London Bridge and West India Quay
Brothers James and Thom Elliot are the folk behind Pizza Pilgrims. Having bought a van for their street food stall in Italy they decided to go and get it and drive back tasting the best Neapolitan pizza and mozzarella that Italy has to offer. It seems to have paid off. Ingredients are now flown in from Italy and they attribute their success to "soft dough, really simple, and not overloaded with ingredients. We don't have a complicated menu, we don't have weird toppings."
Also on the menu: We think you'll want the ‘Bread Zepplin’ puffed-up, double fermented dough, all dripping with garlic olive oil.
Cost of a meal: Margherita and a Birra Moretti schooner - £11.45
Ealing, Chelsea and Fitzrovia
Named after St Mary's Road in Ealing, the site of their first pizzeria, owners Angelo and Pasquale used their Neapolitan heritage and expertise in running pizzerias all over London to open their own in 2010, bringing in master Pizza chefs Lucio Miano Petta and Emanuele Tagliarina to complete the dream team. The ‘Santa Bufalina’, which is just tomatoes and D.O.C mozzarella is one to beat in London.
Also on the menu: Plenty of starter and sides. Highly recommended is the Caponata (Classic Sicilian vegetable stew with olives and pine nuts)
Cost of a meal: Santa Margherita and a bottle of Peroni - £12.50
Dalston, Shoreditch, Peckham
It's all about the slice at Voodoo Ray's. Opening in Dalston back in 2012, their huge 22-inch pizzas are served by the slice, NYC style. The style may be American, but the ingredients are all Italian - they use both Buffalo and fior di latte mozzarellas, Caputo flour and San Marzano tomatoes for the topping.
Also on the menu: Get a side of mac and cheese (and upgrade it with jalapenos and bacon)
Cost of a meal: Two slices of Ray’s Margherita and an Estrella Damm - £7.70
Clapton, Finsbury Park, Leytonstone, Walthamstow, Fulham
Yard Sale really were a home starter business, first setting up in Johnnie Tate's backyard in Hackney, serving up pizza to his and co-founders Nick Buckland and Dan Spinney's friends and family. The opening party of their first place in Clapton has gone down in history for including a secret gig by Macaulay Culkin's band. They've made a particular name for themselves with interesting collaborations and, with the exception of the margherita, the toppings are very East London.
Also on the menu: A choice of salads and you can have your garlic pizza bread with added marmite.
Cost of a meal: 12” Margherita and a Cruzcamp lager - £11.25
Holloway and Hammersmith
A relative newcomer to the London pizza scene. Founders Claudio and Gianluca named their first Holloway Road pizzeria after Gianluca's aunt. Their pizza dough is 48 hours slow fermented and baked in a wood-fired oven. But probably their key point of difference are the four types of dough available including the Insta-friendly vegetable charcoal (which they delicately explain has "digestive gas-absorbing capacities"), wholemeal, gluten-free and traditional.
Also on the menu: before the main event you can kick off with bruschetta, burrata or roasted aubergines.
Cost of a meal: Margherita and a Sardinian Ichnusa beer - £10.70
And there's more
- Still a good bet for a pizza is any Franco Manca, now expanded all over town.
- Soho House's Pizza East is worth a try, particularly the one in Shoreditch.
- For a Danish take on pizza, head to Mother in Battersea
- Over in Stoke Newington head to Oi Vita for top Neapolitan pizzas.
- For pizzas served ultra-fast when you're in a hurry, Pizza Union is a good bet.
- One of our favourites, Sacro Cuore in Kensal Green is recommended.
- For huge New York style slices, try NY Fold.
- For Jason Atherton's take on Pizza, head to Hai Cenato.
- And we hear good things about 400 Rabbits at Crystal Palace and Nunhead too.
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