10. Franco Manca
Sourdough pizza. They really make a very special dough, although for some people can be slightly gummy. They use “a very soft wheat that results in a very digestible product”. The system to prepare this dough was developed by Greeks, and it does taste like pitta bread.
Address: Shops in Angel, Brixton, Soho, Broadway Market and more. Web
Thin, large and tasty pizzas, chosen from a list of 10 different styles. Their 20” the pizzas are enough to feed 2-3 people and flavours can be split 50/50. Their signature is probably the one with mushroom, ricotta, pumpkin seeds and chilli, which is fantastic indeed.
They only take a limited number of bookings, in order to allow space for walk-ins. The only exception is their Covent Garden restaurant, which works on a first in, first served basis.
Address: Neal’s yard, Shoreditch and Fitzrovia. Web
Very cool restaurant in industrial-style premises, right in the middle of trendy Hackney. Very crispy and thin crust, with some tasty toppings such as roasted pumpkin, Sicilian anchovy and tenderstem broccoli. It may be fun to sit at the bar and watch the chefs cooking in the open kitchen. They offer good cocktails as well (good Negroni!), and brunch.
Address: 197-201 Richmond Rd, London E8 3NJ. Web
7. Bravi Ragazzi
Crackingly crispy on the outside but chewy in within, another delicious traditional Neapolitan pizza. It is an independently owned cosy shop, offering 9 classic pizzas and 9 specials. They also offer craft beers which they change over time.
Our recommendation from their menu cannot be other than Maradona, and not only for his name. Mozzarella, tomato, Italian sausages, sweet peppers, black olives, capers and extra virgin olive oil make a perfect combination and honour the greatest football player of all time.
Address: 2A Sunnyhill Rd, London SW16 2UH. Web
6. Santa Maria
Authentic Neapolitan pizza. Pleasingly chewy crust and extremely tasty ingredients. They offer 15 varieties of pizza, one calzone, some great starters and specials that change over time, sometimes weekly. The restaurant is run by Neapolitans Angelo and Pasquale. It is normally quite busy, but fortunately, you can wait in the bar next door, called Red Lion.
Santa Bufalina (tomato, buffalo mozzarella, extra virgin olive oil and fresh basil) is probably their signature pizza. They also serve their own craft beer (La Birra Artigianale Red).
Address: 15 St Mary’s Rd, Ealing, London W5 5RA. Web
5. Pizza Pilgrims
Great balance between thickness and crispness. Fresh and tasty ingredients. They offer 9 styles of pizza, plus one guest, one calzone and a sweet Nutella ring. You can vote online and help to select the next guest flavour. Some good ones in the past were “Burrata, pesto and yellow datterinis” and “The Squasage” (roast squash with butter & sage, Tuscan sausage and fresh chilli).
My favourite is their Gianfranco and Gorgonzola (Gorgonzola, ribboned courgette and fior di latte mozzarella). But if tomato sauce is a must for you, I would go for their Aubergine Parmagiana.
Address: Shoreditch, Covent Garden, Exmouth market and more. Web
4. Rosso Pomodoro
Another excellent Italian restaurant, with a good variety of pasta and Neapolitan street food, and of course pizza. Delicious burrata, probably the best one from the restaurants on this list. They also offer a few different doughs, such as multigrain and whole wheat. Also two varieties under 500 kcal, and one stuffed and deep fried. And if you want a try 4 pizzas in 1, you can order one of their oval gourmet pizzas, called Pomodorosa.
Address: Camden, Chelsea, Covent Garde and more. Web
3. L’Antica Pizzeria Da Michele
Authentic Neapolitan pizza, with a thin and slightly crispy texture. Probably the smallest and simplest menu you will ever see, offering two varieties of pizza: margarita and marinara. The former can be ordered with double mozzarella.
The shop is quite small and can get very busy on weekends. They do not book tables in advance; however, they write your name in a list and text you when it is ready. So you can cross the street and visit The Red Lion while you wait. You can even monitor your place in the queue with your mobile.
Address: 125 Stoke Newington Church St, Stoke Newington, London N16 0UH. Web
2. Zia Lucia
It was a great surprise to discover this small pizza restaurant on Holloway Road. Clearly high-quality ingredients, with a generous amount of toppings. The parma-ham is delicious. Any of the flavours can be ordered with any of 4 types of dough: vegetable charcoal, wholemeal, gluten-free and traditional. Additionally, they offer two uncommon and quite good Italian beers: Menabrea and Ichnusa.
The only downside is that they take their time to prepare it.
Address: 157 Holloway Rd, London N7 8LX. Web
This is a great Italian restaurant, offering many other dishes as well. Their pizza’s dough has the right thickness, consistency and amount of toppings. Great variety of types as well, with 17 flavours and 5 specials. You can also order pizza by the meter: 1/2, 3/4 and 1 meter, containing 2, 3 and 4 types of pizza respectively.
It may not be a traditional Neapolitan pizza, but it is delicious with no doubt. I would recommend trying one of their specials called Rotolo Rustico, which is a rolled pizza filled with mozzarella, ricotta cheese, sautéed aubergines and smoked cheese.
Address: 59 – 61 Exmouth Market, Clerkenwell, London EC1R 4QL. Web