This Italian staple has been elevated far beyond its humble roots. We’ve tried and tested the very best pizza and give you our top London pizzerias. Do you agree with our choices? Use the comments box below, or tweet your suggestions.
With its top-notch, UK-sourced (when possible) ingredients, speedy and friendly service, and rapid turnover, the original Brixton branch of Franco Manca remains, for our money, the best pizza joint in London. Both indoor and outdoor seating overlooks the bustling market arcade. Here you can sate a craving for genuine, Neapolitan-style pizza, with a flavourful slow-rise sourdough crust and a variety of traditional and innovative toppings.Read more
It’s not how big it is: it’s what you do with it. Take this joint in Neal’s Yard’s, which is serving pizzas that wouldn’t be out of place on ‘Man v. Food’. Served fresh from the wood-fired oven, most of these thin crusts are available by the slice (£4). Or, you can order a whole 20-incher (£20), which is enough to feed you and two of your pals. They’ll even let you have more than one choice of the topping selections if you ask nicely.Read more
The popularity of Pizza East, one of the first bastions of Shoreditch gentrification, hasn’t waned. This Soho House operation still packs out the landmark Tea Building, with hipsters and City boys arriving to eat well past 9pm during the week. The huge warehouse space features sharing benches, industrial decor and more bare brick and concrete than your average multistorey car park.Read more
Santoré seems to divide opinion: some diners can’t get enough of its authentic Neapolitan food; others can’t forgive the occasionally tetchy service. On our most recent midweek visit, however, we were greeted warmly by the staff who happily recommended their favourite dishes on the menu. The place was packed with diners.Read more
Having built a loyal following for its three-wheeler food van (usually found in Berwick Street Market), PP opened on this busy corner in summer 2013. You can see the kitchen and pizza oven (also servicing the takeaway trade) through the ground-floor windows. The main basement dining area feels intimate, the seating and tables compact.Read more
The bright yellow signage means Malletti is hard to miss – which is good, because you shouldn’t. This little takeaway joint supplies pizza the Italian way: by the rectangular slice, wrapped in paper for munching on the go. Arrayed in colourful strips along the bar, the pizzas on display are an appetising sight. Spicy salami and chilli has a firm, light base, with a rich, sweet tomato topping and a real kick.Read more
The former Fat Badger pub has transformed into a swan under the wing of the achingly fashionable Soho House Group, a company that seems to specialise in charging more than its cooking is worth, but compensates diners with fabulous interiors and a feeling of being in with the in-crowd. Refreshingly, this branch of the Pizza East concept doesn’t imitate the hit Shoreditch original.Read more
Venue says: Monday-Sunday, 11.30am to 5.15pm, pizza metro slice from £2.50 to £5.
Mimmo La Bufala specialises in southern Italian food, with a bias towards mozzarella (of course) and fish. The long pizza list includes all the classics as well as seasonal variations such as tomato-free ‘biancis’. ‘Mimmo’s pizza’, named after the ebullient proprietor, is made in true southern Italian style, its thin base topped with juicy tomatoes, smoky provolone and melt-in-your-mouth buffalo mozzarella before being baked in a wood-fired oven.Read more
Introduced to London by Alan Yau in 2008, this smart outpost of a Milanese bakery chain remains a popular all-day option. It’s an airy, good-looking room, with a sandstone interior, long black marble counters and a (slightly odd) water feature that runs the length of one wall. The food is varied enough to keep diners coming back for more. But try dining in the pizzeria (to the left as you enter), which offers table service and a marginally calmer atmosphere in which to enjoy a short but classy range of pizzas.Read more
Next door to Ealing Studios’ watering hole, the Red Lion, this pocket-sized pizzeria puts real heart into its offerings. Owners Angelo and Pasquale, finding nowhere in London to match the pizza of their upbringing, set about recreating an authentic slice of Naples in W5. Authentic, it doubtless is. Everything from the wood-fired oven to the Caputo flour and parmigiano reggiano is imported; the lightly salted dough is given a 24-hour rise; the tomatoes crushed by hand; the mozzarella cut in precise pieces that melt just-so.Read more
Venue says: For 16 years Il Bordello has been delighting Londoners with its hearty Italian cooking and warm, cheerful atmosphere. Large Lempicka prints adorn the walls and a gleaming copper bar acts as the restaurant's centrepiece. Our extensive menu is simply overflowing with beautifully fresh fish and seafood, succulent meat, hand-thrown pizzas and traditional pasta dishes. Sample delicacies like the insalata di piovra (a tasty octopus salad), or the bresaola della casa with olive oil, parmesan and a dash of lemon. Mains courses include - to name a few - cotoletta milanese (tender veal coated in golden breadcrumbs) and our spectacular pizza Il Bordello with plenty of homemade passata, lashings of creamy mozzarella, artichoke, red peppers and parma ham. By way of an accompaniment, enjoy a bottle of Italian wine of which we mainly import direct from small Italian vineyards. Our house wine is just £14.50 and other wines include a Barolo at £38.95. Recently we were awarded a certificate of Excellence by Trip Advisor for which we are eternally grateful to our customers. Unlike so many London Italian restaurants, Il Bordello sidesteps pretentiousness and instead focuses on delivering deliciously authentic Italian cuisine. An evening at Il Bordello will remain in your memory long after dining with us.
Attracting Wapping residents as well as tourists over the years, Il Bordello often sees queues out of the door during the week. Despite its position at the bottom of one of Wapping’s modernised brick wharfs, you could be taking a step back into the 1990s here – complete with tables covered in plastic cloths, and napkins carefully curled into wine glasses. Gigantic pizzas topped with time-tested combinations are a strength; we enjoyed a mix of bresaola, rocket and parmigiana.Read more
The Gowlett still looks like a proper boozer, albeit an antique wood-panelled, minimalist boozer – which is something of an achievement round here. The clue to its popularity is in the dough-scented air as you approach. This place sells the best pizza for miles around. The floury bases, pleasingly thin, taste sensational, and a special mention must go to the nutty organic spelt version – try it for £1.50 more and a five-minute extra wait. Look out for their pizza bus too, The Crust Conductor, currently parked up at Peckham's Brick Brewery.Read more
Fed by Water
Venue says: New vegan pizzas: 'farmer' (with mixed seeds), 'exotic' (mixed dry fruit), 'eclectic' (courgettes & almonds), 'mushroom party' (+ walnuts).
There's a focus on clean living at this new concept restaurant in Dalston - it's all about a holistic approach to the food and drink that's served. That means environmental sustainability when it comes to sourcing, an apparently 'alkaline' Mediterranean menu, and 'pure' (filtered) water used throughout the prep. There's plenty of the latter to drink, too. The menu boasts an Italian bent, with options ranging from pizzas by the slice (think spicy salami with tomato, mozzarella and crushed chillis, or smoked swordfish with cherry tomatoes, olives, capers and rocket) to focaccia breads, pasta, healthy salads and 'pure' soups. Vegetarian and vegan dishes feature prominently too, with Quorn used to replace the meat. There's booze on the drinks list, so don't go thinking it's all holier-than-thou here. The Wild Card Brewery provides the real ale, Italy the lager and Devon the cider. Plus there's old world wines by the glass, and a cocktail list that includes negronis, mojitos, cuba libres and caipirinhas. But health freaks fret not - there are freshly squeezed juices, organic soft drinks, herbal teas and plenty of that filtered water. Strong Italian coffee proves popular.