May 2019: We’ve added five more pizzerias: Buongiorno e Buonasera in Baker Street, the first London branch of this much-loved Oxford restaurant; Pi Pizza in Battersea Rise; Purezza, the London outpost of the UK’s first vegan pizzeria; New York-style Mulberry Street in Bayswater; and The Gold of Naples in Hither Green.
Pizza: it’s a delicious staple that’s been elevated far beyond its humble roots by Italian restaurants in London and beyond. Whether it’s delivered in a cardboard box or served in a swish restaurant, it’s hard to beat. Browse our list of the best in town and keep it handy; pizza cravings are coming your way.
Pizza restaurants in London
The owners of this authentically Neapolitan pizza place in Stoke Newington have done their homework. The oven, shipped from Naples, probably took the bulk of the refurbishment budget – still, you probably won’t notice the bare plasterboard walls because the pizzas are so good. The chefs use their Neapolitan hardware to turn out thin, flash-cooked dazzlers with still-runny tomato sauce and minimalist toppings (quality sausages, pecorino, porcini and walnuts). Gluten-free and vegan options are available. Takeaways and local delivery available.
If you’re tired of the Berlusconi-themed cabaret shenanigans in Bunga Bunga’s Drury Lane basement bar, head upstairs to Bungatini – a straight-down-the-line pizzeria with crowd-pleasing credentials. The decor comes with a contemporary edge, but the pizzas go for rustic familiarity in a big way: the dough is proved for 24 hours and loaded with artisan toppings ranging from wild mushrooms and rustica tomatoes to spicy ’nduja (spreadable salami). You can also sip cocktails without having to endure BB’s excesses. Bunga Bunga has a pizzeria and bar in Battersea, too. Takeaways available.
Buongiorno e Buonasera, a much loved pizza place in Oxford, has opened its first London branch on busy Baker Street. Highlights included the carbonara pizza, complete with pancetta and a creamy sauce; and the tried-and-tested favourite of spicy salami and buffalo mozzarella. If you’re not too keen on gluten-induced bloat – or are vegan – you’ll be well served here. Takeaways available.
A stripped-back ‘pizza bar’ version of swanky Cecconi’s in Mayfair, this Soho spot feels shabby-chic rather than top-end elegant, but its pizzette and more sizeable wood-fired pizzas are decent contenders in a crowded marketplace. Try the spicy lamb sausage, chilli and pecorino pizza, or the black truffle with caprino cheese, all washed down with a negroni or aperol spritz, which are dispensed from taps at the bar. No bookings. Takeaways available.
The name translates as ‘brothers of Vesuvius’ – a reference to the fact that this Summerstown pizza joint was set up by some enterprising Neapolitan lads who wanted to recreate a slice of their home city in SW17. Sit by the oven, admire the craft of the pizzaiolo as he spins the dough and watch as the traditional Italian toppings are assembled to order – perhaps friarelli (‘turnip top’ winter greens), juicy sausage or tender artichoke hearts. Takeaways and local delivery available.
Brace yourself: Four Hundred Rabbits in Nunhead is a restaurant that serves pizza and craft beer. The former is made with organic sourdough (thus chewy rather than brittle), while toppings are equal parts familiar and inventive – think chipotle-rolled goat’s cheese, rhubarb and piquillo peppers or courgette with feta and pine nut pesto. Also, snap up the banging specials, like the lamb mince, roasted cauliflower florets and pistachio dukkah. Beers include elite names like Burning Sky. There are branches in West Norwood and Crystal Palace, too. Takeaways and local delivery available (beers included).
Wood-fired sourdough pizzas with serious artisan credentials guarantee queues at Franco Manca – no wonder this cult-status mini chain has spread across London like a drizzle of chilli oil on your plate. Prices are rock bottom, the pizzas are served up super-quickly, and kids can watch the pizzaiolo doing 'messy play' in the open kitchen. The original Brixton branch seems less pioneering these days, but the bustling Market setting and the Neapolitan-style pizzas still do it for our money. Takeaways available across all branches. Delivery available at selected branches.
This Neapolitan pizza restaurant on SE13’s Hither Green Lane just happens to be knocking out some of London’s best pizzas. A basic napoli – cheeseless, strewn with olives and anchovies – was a de facto vehicle for a vivid and deeply flavourful tomato sauce. The tartufa also stood out. It came topped with boar salami, porcini cream and slivers of black truffle: a balmy Tuscan afternoon in pizza form. Takeaways and local delivery available.
It’s not how big it is: it’s what you do with it. Take this small chain’s original restaurant in Neal’s Yard, where the pizzas (served fresh from the wood-fired oven) wouldn’t be out of place on ‘Man v. Food’. Thankfully, most of these thin-crusted beauties are available by the slice (£4) – although 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 from the topping selections if you ask nicely. Homeslice has five other branches in Fitzrovia, Shoreditch, White City, Marylebone and the City. Local delivery available.
An artisan fast-food joint in a stools-only space that happens to be a former public loo, Joe Public serves its pizza US-style as a 20-inch pie (i.e. bigger than a grown-up’s arm) – so order by the single slice. Two or three is plenty. Toppings have a Stateside vibe: chilli-flecked slivers of pepperoni or chicken and chorizo with halloumi and oregano. At £4 or £4.50 a slice, this is not only a satisfying pit stop, but also an absolute steal. Local delivery available.
A trendy street-food stall gone permanent, this cool pizza joint comes with a moody lick of paint and a stylish marble bar – although it’s all about the blistered Neapolitan-style specialities that are pulled out of the oven. Our top pick from a range of inventive toppings is the version strewn with merguez sausage (from Flock & Herd across the road), red onion, shredded cavolo nero and fior di latte – a Peckham classic in the making. Made of Dough also has three pizza ‘kiosks’ – in Pop Brixton, the West End and Fulham. Takeaways available.
As an all-round restaurant specialising in southern Italian food, Mimmo La Bufala has a bias towards mozzarella (of course) and fish. The long list of 13-inch pizzas includes all the classics as well as seasonal variations such as tomato-free ‘bianche’. ‘Mimmo’s’ signature version (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.
Imagine if Subway had a baby with Nando's, and that baby produced really delicious pizza. Meet MOD, the first London outpost of a 200-strong US chain. Queue up at the counter, choose from three sizes, and then make all your pizza dreams come true by adding unlimited toppings – there are more than 30 on offer! Spread over three floors off Leicester Square, MOD scores zero for atmosphere – still, there’s always unlimited soda from the fountain. Takeaways and local delivery available.
On a weekend night, expect all five tables of this frill-free, New York-style pizzeria in Bayswater to be filled and a stream of orders getting ushered out for delivery. The pizza here comes in two sizes: the personal 10-inch or the humongous 20-inch to share. There are plenty of meaty toppings to choose from – think pepperoni, ham, chicken and meatballs – alongside lots of cheese (try the ‘Cheese Bomb’) and some vegetarian options, too. Takeaways and local delivery available.
The first London branch of a Winchester-born pizzeria, Battersea’s Pi Pizza creates beautifully airy dough that’s fermented for up to 72 hours using a secret recipe. Eaters are actively encouraged to go for the ‘half and half’ pizza, which come as either a 12-inch or a whopping 20 inches, choosing from a range of high-quality artisanal toppings and for no extra cost. As for toppings, they include wild boar salami and piquillo peppers, as well as artichokes and lardo on a creamy white base. Takeaways and local delivery available.
The popularity of Pizza East (from the Soho House group) hasn’t waned one jot since it launched: this outlet still packs out Shoreditch’s landmark Tea Building, while other industrial-chic branches do the business in Kentish Town and Portobello Road. Served on a ciabatta-style dough base, nearly every topping comes with an alluring twist, such as creamy burrata cheese paired with tomato, aubergine and roasted peppers, or veal meatballs with lemon and cream. Takeaways and local delivery available.
Having built a loyal following with its three-wheeler food van (usually found in Berwick Street Market), PP opened its first bricks-and-mortar site on this busy Soho corner back in summer 2013. You can see the kitchen and pizza oven through the ground-floor windows as the cooks wheel out soft, chewy offerings in the Neapolitan style, with thick bases and generous on-trend toppings – ’nduja, salsiccia, friarielli and the like. Check out the nutella ‘pizza ring’ for dessert, too. Other branches in London Bridge, Shoreditch and Covent Garden. Takeaways and local delivery available within 2km.
Billing itself as a ‘superveloce’ (superfast) Italian, this industrial-looking canteen in Spitalfields really does serve its pizzas pronto – a flashing buzzer summoned us to the counter to collect ours less than five minutes after ordering. The menu lists all the classics alongside a couple of more recent immigrants, such as a tomato-free ‘bianca’ with great rosemary and garlic pungency. Baked in a large igloo-like oven, the pizza bases are uniformly thin and light with a crisp crust. There are more joints in Aldgate, King’s Cross and Dalston. Takeaways available at all branches; the Dalston restaurant also offers local delivery.
The London outpost of the UK’s first vegan pizzeria (its other base is in Brighton), Purezza offers a range of plant-based toppings – from smoked tofu to beetroot carpaccio – on a Neapolitan-style, sourdough base. Try the Parmigiana Party, topped with rich aubergine pieces and lightly smoked ‘mozzarella’ (made from fermented brown rice milk). Takeaways and local delivery available.
Introduced to London by Alan Yau in 2008, this smart outpost of a Milanese bakery chain remains a popular all-day option in Soho. It’s an airy, good-looking room, with a sandstone interior and long black marble counters, but do try the pizzeria (to the left as you enter), which offers table service and a marginally calmer atmosphere – great for enjoying a short but classy range of pizzas: margherita, quattro formaggi, diavola, capricciosa etc. Delivery available within central London.
Finding nowhere in London to match the pizza of their upbringing, Angelo Ambrosio and Pasquale Chionchio set about recreating a slice of Naples in W5. The result is a pocket-sized pizzeria that puts real heart into its offerings: everything from the wood-fired oven to the Caputo flour is imported; the lightly salted dough is given a 24-hour rise; the tomatoes are crushed by hand. And with one eye on the trends, they have recently introduced a dedicated menu of vegan pizzas. Branches in Chelsea and Fitzrovia. Takeaways and local delivery available.
Sodo may look a little rough around the edges, but it’s really all about the pizza at this branch of the mini chain. Margheritas never have a lot to hide behind and our version was superb: the Neapolitan-style sourdough base (Sodo, geddit?) was thin, crisp, delicious and impressively topped. Also look out for ‘The Wicker Man’ (with ’nduja, mascarpone and pepperoni) and the vegan option, ‘Mary Jane’ (garlic mushrooms, roast celeriac and walnuts). Gluten-free options come on a base fashioned from butterbeans. Branches are also in Hoxton, Bethnal Green and Walthamstow. Local delivery available at Hoxton and Bethnal Green branches. Collection is available at the Clapton and Walthamstow restaurants.
Following on from its branches in Soho and the City, this offshoot of Temper boasts a trademark open kitchen – although the menu is all about rustic Italian cooking, especially ‘small dish’ pastas and a raft of pizzas (the best bits of the setup). Choose from the topped flatbread or the deep, cheesy ‘Detroit’ square pizza – try the ‘cheeseburger’ with beef ragu or the ‘pork al pastor’ with chipotle marinara. Takeaways available.
Theo’s is similar to indie artisan setups such as Franco Manca, dishing up Neapolitan-style sourdough pizzas and very little else. But this joint has made itself the crown pie-prince of Camberwell, with crusts that are soft and chewy on top and crisp underneath. Additions include datterini tomatoes, chestnut mushrooms, anchovies and pork in various guises (including Camberwell ’nduja) – and they come piled high. ‘Pies’ range in price from £7 for a basic marinara to £11 for meatier options. There is also a branch in Elephant & Castle. Takeaways and local delivery available.
Bright blue colours set the tone in this Stokey pizzeria and the menu couldn’t be briefer – just two varieties (margherita and marinara) and absolutely no bits on the side. The pizzas are gigantic and properly luscious. The site was previously billed as an outpost by the internationally lauded L’antica Pizzeria da Michele, whose original Naples branch was made famous by Julia Roberts in ‘Eat, Pray, Love’, but the restaurant was renamed after a legal dispute. L’antica Pizzeria da Michele, however, still has a restaurant in Marylebone. Takeaways available.
An impeccably hip drop-in selling seriously delicious pizzas by the slice up to 22-inch New York-style whoppers. The hours are long, portions are gigantic and the menu is downright wacky. Skip the ‘Giorgio Moroder’ and ‘Hot Mix 5’ and instead try the ‘Vegan Queen’ (artichoke hearts, green olives, red onion, sun-blush tomatoes and green sauce), or sample a ten-inch ‘brunch pie’ topped with wild mushrooms and cherry tomatoes on a soy yoghurt base. Branches in Dalston, Shoreditch and Camden. Takeaways and local delivery available.
Yard Sale’s pizzas are served fresh from the oven here in Clapton in either 12-inch or 18-inch stone-baked sourdough rounds. Toppings range from classic margherita to ‘The Spudnik’, with roasted potato, cherry tomatoes and The Ribman’s Holy Fuck mayo. Mind you, we’d plump for the crowd-pleasing TSB any day (that’s tenderstem broccoli with manchego). They peddle gluten-free bases and vegan cheese too. There are also branches in Walthamstow, Leytonstone and Finsbury Park. Takeaways and local delivery available.
Opened by Highbury locals Claudio Vescovo and Gianluca D'Angelo, Zia Lucia serves up an old-fashioned Italian family feast in a contemporary setting. Various 48-hour fermented doughs give the menu its USP: there’s a deliciously nutty wholemeal option, an impressive-looking vegetable charcoal one and even a gluten-free crust. Toppings are new classics (’nduja, aubergine, broccoli etc.) and there’s also a vegan version involving butternut squash cream. There are further branches in Boxpark Wembley and Hammersmith. Takeaways and local delivery available.
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