There's been a serious revolution in the London pizza world over the past few years. It's now possible to get some world-beating pizzas here and we're on a mission 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's London spot 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 than 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 and cooked ham.
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 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.
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. He 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".
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 - such as porchetta with greens and Gorgonzola.
Also on the menu: A good selection of seasonal antipasti as well as a fish and meat of the day main course.
Wandsworth - 148 Northcote Rd, London SW11 6RD
Moving slightly away from the norm, Manifesto Pizza sets out its stall right from its name. That particular "manifesto" is all about using the best possible Italian ingredients (Molino Pasini flour, Pugliese mozzarella, etc). Their pizzas are a little different from norm too, including Goat + (goat cheese, heritage beetroot, parsley) and Pumpkin Pie (mozzarella, gorgonzola cheese, pumpkin, red onion, speck).
Also on the menu: Just pizzas here.
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.
Also try: Made of Dough's offshoot Roma, serving £5 Roma-style pizzas on Brick Lane.
Stoke Newington - 67 Newington Green Rd, Mildmay Ward, London N1 4QU
Stoke Newington does rather well in the Neapolitan pizza front with this and Vicoli being excellent representations. Oi Vita hail from Italy and their chef is the second generation in a pizza-making family from Naples, while their 24hr fermented dough has an emphasis on lightness. Their signature is the classic Cosacca - tomato sauce, red cherry tomatoes, Parmesan and Pecorino romano cheeses with basil.
Also on the menu: Pizza balls, fritto misto and croquettes to kick things off and pan-fried wild broccoli with chilli and garlic on the side.
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.
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 in Italy for their London street food stall 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.
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)
125 Stoke Newington Church St, Stoke Newington, London N16 0UH
This was the original L'Antica in London before some legal shenanigans, but although it's had a name change, it remains an excellent pizzeria. Expect traditional Neapolitan pizzas with the classic Margherita and Marinara at the heart of the menu joined by Via dei Gerolomini - Prosciutto e funghi (Fior di Latte, Grana Padano DOP, basil, cured ham, mushrooms, extra virgin olive oil).
Also on the menu: It's really all about the pizzas - but there is a Nutella pizza for dessert.
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)
Clapton, Finsbury Park, Hackney Road, Leytonstone, Walthamstow
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.
Aldgate, 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.
And there's more
- Radio Alice Pizza are now in Clapham, Hoxton and Canary Wharf, and all their pizzas are made with organic ingredients.
- Popping up in Homerton is Flat Earth Pizza with their plant-based pizzas
- In Old Spitalfields Market you'll find and excellent pizza at Sud Italia.
- 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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