Pizza restaurants in London
"Pizza brunch? You heard right! Sat and Sun, 10.30am to 4pm. Enjoy new dishes like our shaksuka pizza pie plus, of course, bloody marys."
An authentically Neapolitan pizza place where the owners have done their homework. The oven, shipped from Naples, probably took the bulk of the refurbishment budget. And you might think they had to pinch pennies on decor – the restaurant takes the DIY look to new levels. But you probably won’t notice the bare plasterboard walls or the functional cable ducting, because the pizzas are so good. The chefs use their Neapolitan hardware to great effect, turning out thin, flash-cooked pizzas with still-runny tomato sauce and minimalist toppings (quality sausages, pecorino, porcini and chestnut). And they’re surprisingly inexpensive.
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.
"Pop in and ask Fabio to make you a traditional Neapolitan pizza!"
The attractions of Summerstown – a no-man’s land between Tooting and Earlsfield – won’t place it on many cultural excursions to London. But at Figli del Vesuvio ('brothers of Vesuvius'), some enterprising Neapolitan lads are recreating a slice of their home city. Sit by the oven and you can admire the craft of the pizzaiolo as he spins the dough with his muscular and heavily tattooed arms. The traditional Italian toppings are assembled to order, and might include friarelli (‘turnip top’ winter greens), juicy sausage, or tender artichoke hearts.
Local delivery available.
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.
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.
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.
Local delivery available.
Joe Public is an artisanal fast-food joint in a stools-only space that happens to be a former public loo. It serves its pizza US-style as a 20-inch pie – i.e. bigger than a grown-up’s arm so – so order by the single slice. Two to three is plenty. Toppings have a Stateside vibe: chilli-flecked slivers of pepperoni or fennel-spiced sausage with mushroom and caramelised leeks. At £4 or £4.50 a slice, it makes a satisfying pit stop that’s an absolute steal.
"25% discount on food every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday for all customers eating in the restaurant."
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.
Local delivery available.
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.
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.
Take it to the streets
This restaurant and pizzeria on Lauriston Road, right next to Vicky Park, is from three Italian friends aiming to showcase Sardinian cooking, complemented by an all-Italian wine list. There's a small terrace at the front of the restaurant, with an interior filled with prints of Sardinia and the mainland. Dishes range from Italian charcuterie and cheese to a seafood soup with mussels, clams, squid and prawns with garlic, parsley, tomato and chilli, grilled lamb chops with aubergine and courgette, and pan-fried sea bream with capers, olives and tomatoes. Various pizza, as well as risotto and pasta dishes, also feature, including pappardelle with a rich wild boar sauce. Desserts include affogato, ice creams and sorbets and baci di dama – vanilla shortbread biscuits filled with chocolate cream.
"Experience an unforgettable journey through the culinary delight of Italy using seasonal and top-quality ingredients and quality service."