Ask the locals where you can get the best pizza in Edinburgh, and, even if the verdict isn’t unanimous, the winner will most likely be La Favorita.
At this pizzeria, homemade dough is rolled four days in advance and topped with the likes of spicy Calabrian sausage, chopped haddock, creamy mozzarella or sautéed carrots, before being cooked in log-fired ovens. It’s La Favorita’s attention to detail that makes people go back – that, or the early stages of arancini addiction. It is one in a string of Italian spots run by the Vittoria family – ranging from an easygoing, all-day diner (Taste of Italy), to smarter restaurants (Vittoria Leith and Vittoria Bridge) and a polite wine bar (Divina Enoteca).
La Favorita is usually bustling with restaurant customers enjoying the pasta and pizza dishes, although its next-door takeaway might be even busier. After all, what could be more tempting than the prospect of someone bringing polenta chips straight to your flat, or a salty four cheese pizza? The only drawback being the in-your-face email promotions that follow; perhaps an insight into the business-growing strategy that led La Favorita to sponsor the ‘La Favorita Freestival’ for the first time this year, a programme of (generally pretty good) free shows in the Edinburgh Fringe.
Empire-expanding plans aside, the pasta, antipasti, and especially the pizza, are intensely good. A favourite, for good reason.