Here at the Time Out Paris offices, we’ve porked out on the city’s best jambon-beurre, then surrendered to a croissant coma. Now we throw ourselves headlong into a new taste test – that holy trinity of tomato, basil, mozzarella – the margherita pizza.
It’s not most people’s go-to order (let’s admit we’re all too greedy for such minimalism) but it remains a reliable benchmark for judging a good pizza joint. And with more hipster pizzerias in Paris than you can shake a rolling pin at, it seems the need to cut the wheat from the chaff has never been greater.
Marked out of twenty on dough, toppings, appearance and general taste, you'll never need to a bad pizza again. And of course, all margheritas were munched straight out of the oven – because no self-respecting fan eats one cold.
Our top five
You’ll want to finish every last crumb of this bad boy: soft dough, fresh but not overly sweetened tomato sauce and gobs of mozzarella. Bellissima!
Rating? 18.5/ 20
Where? Il Posto, 356 rue des Pyrénées, Paris 20e
Simple and full of flavour with super fresh ingredients. With a little more mozzarella, "La Tradizionale" would have got full marks.
Where? Pizza Dei Cioppi, 44 rue Trousseau, 11eme
Here in Corsica, it’s not a margherita but a ‘mozzarella,’ a tomato-mozza-oregano pizza (all the ingredients of the cult Italian pizza – minus the name, of course). Soft dough, delicious tomato sauce and an abundance of mozzarella. Like all the pizzas here, it’s sublime.
Where? Papacionu, 7 rue Cadet, 9eme
A fine and crusty base, with fior di latte (cow’s milk mozzarella) and immense basil leaves: everything is just as it should be.
Where? Allegra, 70 rue du Faubourg Saint-Martin, 10eme
Pillowy-soft dough and sauce that’s bursting with flavour. We’ve got issues with the rest of the menu though – a coke is €6 and an expresso is €3.50. But hey, we only came for the margherita.
Where? Marzo, 5 rue Paul-Louis Courier, 7eme
And the best of the rest...
Dough here is made from Italian flour and fermented for 72 hours minimum, while the tomato sauce gets a kick from the basil and melt-in-your-mouth grated mozzarella. It’s just a shame that such a good base is barely cooked.
Where? Genio Osteria, 9 boulevard Raspail, Paris 6eme
A wonderful thin base, with a good balance between cheese and tomato. However, an overly wood-fired crust overwhelms the delicate flavours.
Where? Louie Louie, 78 rue de Charonne, 11eme
A crusty, ultra-thin base with good quality ingredients, although more basil (or oregano) wouldn’t have gone amiss. But for such good quality, the €9 price tag is a win – it’s the cheapest margherita we tried.
Where? Il Brigante, 14 rue du Ruisseau, 18eme
An enormous hulk of a pizza with a thin, crispy base, but they were a little stingy with the tomato sauce. Oh, and it came served on an iron platter. Just imagine the sound of a knife scraping on that…
Where? Faggio, 72 rue de Rochechouart, Paris 9e
A huge pizza with plenty of gooey mozzarella and homemade tomato sauce with zero acidity, but it needed more seasoning. And we couldn’t help but notice that the ‘rustic’ look included a black basil leaf. Hmmm.
Where? Ober Mamma, 107 boulevard Richard Lenoir, 11eme
The dough is thick and cooked to perfection with lovely wood-fired edges, but sadly the combination of too much olive oil and fior di latte created a mini-swamp in the middle.
Where? Popine, 108 boulevard de Ménilmontant, 20eme
This new trattoria on rue d’Alésia tries too hard to be cool, the music is too loud and there’s too much on the pizza…why add parmesan to a margherita this good? But enough of our moaning, it’s more than edible and the price is not to be sniffed at.
Where? Fabrica, 81 rue d'Alésia, 14eme