Santa Maria

Restaurants, Pizza Walham Green
4 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars
(5user reviews)
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A second west branch for the much-lauded Neapolitan pizza specialists.

What has Europe ever done for us? Well, for one, the Italians are still giving us proper pizza, saving us from the naffness of novelty stuffed crusts and pineapple toppings.

In London, you’ll be hard-pressed to find better, more traditional Neapolitan pizza than at Santa Maria, who have spearheaded a renaissance for the doughy staple from their base in Ealing for a few years now, picking up many accolades along the way. This light and airy new site in a residential part of Fulham continues to fly the flag, with the added bonus that, unlike the original, you can actually book in advance.

Their success is based on doing the simple things to very high standards: quality ingredients are sourced straight from the homeland, dough is given an entire day to rise and a furnace-like wood-fired oven (also imported) dispatches consistently great pizzas with pillowy crusts and blistered bases.

The Santa Rosa, chosen from a long list of pizzas with an array of premium toppings, was piled with slivers of salami and squishy chunks of aubergine, plus a woody backdrop thanks to the smoked mozzarella. A rocket salad on the side arrived packed with cherry toms, crystally parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil: perfection. Ice cream is from Oddono’s – and a scoop of the pistachio was easily up there with the best gelato in town. Great-value Aperol spritzes and negronis are on hand to bookend your meal and the house wine is a steal (500ml carafe, £10.95).

Should you cross town for it? Depends how into pizza you are. But it’s definitely worth checking out if you’re in the area. And there’s not a pineapple in sight.

By: Mark O'Donnell

Posted:

Venue name: Santa Maria
Contact:
Address: 92-94 Waterford Rd
London
SW6 2HA
Price: Dinner for two with drinks and service: around £65
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Static map showing venue location

Average User Rating

4.4 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:3
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|5
1 person listening
tastemaker

Honestly, guys, this is probably the best pizza I've had in London (heck, anywhere!). And that's saying a lot.


Coming from someone who simply cannot resist ordering a pizza if it's on the menu, be it a Young's pub or a corner shop (don't ask), I can confidently say I've tried quite a few pizzas. But I've never sampled such a delightfully soupy, melty, cheesy pizza with just the right amount and carefully selected toppings as the ones I've tried at Santa Maria.


Imagine a Franco Manca where the waiters are actually nice to you and don't frown if you order something other than a pure cheese and tomato pizza. That's SM for you. Yes, it's a trip out if you're not South West-based but honestly, it's worth it. The wine is truly excellent too - even the house wine - as well as starters (those cheese balls tho!) and desserts - affogato with a shot of espresso and you're set for a good night's sleep, interestingly.


Once deemed the best pizza in London by Time Out, you never lose that crown.


Tastemaker

Im not really sure what all the fuss is about this place.  The pizza was good, but it's pretty similar to a lot of other independent Italian-run pizza places around London.  The crust is so thin, that once it has toppings the middle collapses (which is how a thin crust pizza is meant to be).  There were some good vegetarian and also meat options, but all in all I found it to be okay.

Tastemaker

Very good pizza and this is coming from a snobby NYer. The base is thin like NY pizza. The taste is great: fresh ingredients and a healthy serving of them to boost. I got the San Francisco and was pleased with the amount of veg/sauce/cheese.

My only issue is the crust can get very soggy with all the toppings so best to eat or freeze quickly. The Italian staff were very nice whilst I waited for my takeaway pizza.


To frequent Santa Maria has long been an ambition of mine, but when I arrived and found more Italians than English my expectations rose yet further. Fortunately, the restaurant was equal to the challenge.

The relaxed atmosphere and decor set the tone for an enjoyable experience - the service was unpretentious and efficient. We started with smoked mozzarella in a tomato sauce and bresaola with rocket and pecorino. Both were exquisite; the delicious, delicate flavours clearly the hallmark of the most choice ingredients.

We both opted for pizzas, which were again highly impressive. The dough was light and tasty, clearly fostered carefully through the mixing, proving and kneading process. Topped as it was with the finest of pasata and creamy cheese, the crowning jewel was the pork sausage which just melted in the mouth. The house montepulciano meanwhile was great value, inexpensive and slipped down a treat.

Tiramisu and an espresso was the perfect end to a great meal. Highly recommended!

Tastemaker

Great pizza, great value, great place! Tucked in a very food service deprived corner, this pizza place almost made my eyes water when it opened. And visiting it was even better! With proper 00 flour brought in from Italy, the pizzas have a high border crust that is light and delicious, and are topped with premium ingredients in just the right amount. The tomato sauce is rich and fresh, as it was possible to notice in the moreish aubergine a la parmegiana, topped with a golden cheese crust. As starter, go for the burrata if you're looking fro something on the fresh side, with its creamy heart and rocket topping. Service is attentive without being pushy and decoration is informal but nicely done. Overall a great little place to get a good piece of Napoli.

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