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Restaurants, Pizza Leicester Square
3 out of 5 stars
Ben Rowe

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

A pizza place near Trafalgar Square selling excellent pizza by the slice.

Fast-food pizza joints in the Leicester Square/Covent Garden area may not be quite as plentiful as, say, beards in Shoreditch or Jimmy Choos in Knightsbridge. But you can’t walk more than around four minutes without spotting one.

More crucially, you’d usually do almost anything to avoid having to stop and eat at one of them. This is often the territory of bases that are as chewy as rubber and as thick as the September issue of Vogue; of sweaty, congealed industrial mozzarella; of toppings dried and withered from spending hours under a hot lamp.

The brand-new Fornetto has arrived in this over-supplied patch of heavily-touristed central London, but it couldn’t be more different from the norm. It feels authentically Italian in every way, from the elegantly plain decor to the highly specialised food and drink offering: pizza, cold drinks, coffee.

But what really makes it stand out is the pizza, served by the slice reheated or at room temperature, and for dining in or takeaway. Dough for the base gets a slow rise, which imparts a deep flavour and a texture with just the right amount of chew. My margherita featured notably tangy mozzarella and a very simple but flavoursome sauce. More elaborate options stick wisely with classic combinations of meat, cheese and vegetables; there might be just three or four options when you go in, but you’re sure to find something that appeals. And do try to get a slice of fruit pizza to finish the meal. It may sound weird, but it’s a treat and not just a novelty.

Prices are not the cheapest for the size of slice on offer. Launch prices started at £3 a slice and were going to rise, we were told, to start from £4. One slice will satisfy those of modest appetite; the hungrier among us will want two. If you’re going to be a regular, it’s worth picking up a free loyalty card for a 20 percent discount. I’d do it if I knew I was going to be going regularly. This is the best pizza in the area by a good margin.  

Fornetto says
Our 72-hour proofing method produces light and delicious pizza. We describe it as extremely airy, crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside and easily digestible.


Address: 21 Charing Cross Road
Transport: Tube: Leicester Square
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