Pizza holds a special place in the hearts of people all over the world. Sure, history tells us that pizza is believed to have originated in Italy (way back in 1889) and Italy certainly claims it as a national dish, but these days pizza has been adopted shape or form by almost every nation on Earth. Whatever city you visit, you're likely to find a pizza place somewhere, and London is no exception - pizza is a favourite among students (kudos to the Domino’s marketing team), a staple of house parties and a fixture on various restaurants around the city, Italian or otherwise.
You see, pizza may not be glamorous or particularly healthy, but it has satisfied the cavernous appetites of hungry London foodies for decades now. Who doesn’t like pizza? Whether you are drunk, starving or just craving cheese, tomato and dough, pizza provides.
If you fancy throwing out some pizza based fun facts at your next social gathering, why not let your pals know that pizza is thought to be a cousin of flatbreads such as foccaccia, or that up until the early 20th century, it was actually considered a sweet dish rather than the savoury delight we know it as today. You can find great pizza at some of the best Italian restaurants in London, but if you're after dedicated pizza slingers that sink hours and hours into creating the perfect pizza dough, then we have plenty of those, too. The capital is full of great pizza restaurants, ranging from cheap and cheerful by-the-slice operations to upmarket Mayfair Italians where your pizza pie arrives under a mountain of truffle shavings. Whichever kind of pizza is your favourite, we think it’s about time we all raise a glass to one of the world’s most popular dishes, and get ourselves down to one of the delicious restaurants below, which serve up some of the best pizza in London.
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Traditional pizza in London
Pizza has taken on all sorts of styles and forms, but some people think pizza is best kept simple. Some of the best London pizza restaurants are keeping things classic, and if you think that's the best way too then you'll love these joints serving traditional pizza.
Green Mosaic, Hammersmith and Holborn
What: Wanting the pizza without the guilt? At Green Mosaic the pizzas are healthier than your average joint. Their unique dough is made with a special flour blend which is packed full of vitamins, fibres and antioxidants. The menus are split in two, with a variety of classic options as well as signature pizzas where things are slightly out of the ordinary. Have you ever had pizza with a hummus base? Well now is your time to try with the ‘Hummus Mania’ - a unique base that’s topped with olives, sun dried tomatoes, mozzarella and red onion.
Where: Broadway Shopping Centre, W6 9YE; 97 Leather Lane, EC1N 7TS
Book now: Green Mosaic; Green Mosaic Holborn
Alley Cats, Marylebone
What: This New York style pizzeria is taking Marylebone by storm and we completely understand why. Alley Cats’ pizzas put the focus on ingredients from southern Italy, such as San Marzano tomatoes and mozzarella from Campania. Inside you'll find classic pizzeria styling with gingham tablecloths and glazed tiles, with episodes of The Sopranos projected onto the walls. The pizzeria itself is small and busy with lots of atmosphere - it's also walk-ins only, so no need to book. Pizza options here are pretty classic with options for marinara, margherita and pepperoni as well as a mushroom, white base pizza and a plant-based option full of crispy potatoes and vegan 'nduja. The meatballs here are definitely worth ordering, in our opinion, and be sure to save room for dessert - tiramisu is a must.
Where: 22 Paddington Street, W1U 5QY
Book now: Alley Cats
What: A relaxed neighbourhood joint which is big on authenticity, Venerdi focuses on classic Italian comfort food. In contrast, the interior is industrial-chic with distressed wooden tables and low hanging lights. Pizzas from a wood burning oven mean perfectly crisp dough and that they are firmly the stars of the show. The calzone with ham, spinach, mushroom and pepperoni is not to be missed.
Where: 9 Chatsworth Road, E5 0LH
Book now: Venerdi
What: Another Italian that looks to Naples for inspiration, Quartieri produces large, sourdough pizzas with plenty of toppings. The pizzas here favour fior di latte over mozzarella, which they source from the Agerola municipality in Naples. The pizza menu has two sides – one focusing on the classics (like margherita and diavola) and ‘something a little different’, which includes a pistachio pesto pizza.
Where: 300 Kilburn High Road, NW6 2DB
Book now: Quartieri
Pizzeria Pellone London, Battersea
What: Looking for the top pizza in Battersea? Pizzeria Pellone began life in Naples in 1972, serving traditional Neapolitan pizza made with the freshest ingredients possible. Luckily for us Londoners, nowadays you can find them in the capital at this Battersea location serving their great-value classic and gourmet pizzas. A fantastic local haunt if you’re in the area.
Where: 42 Lavender Hill, SW11 5RL
Book now: Pizzeria Pellone London
Zia Lucia, Holloway and other locations
What: The original Holloway branch of this pizzeria opened in 2016 with great results. Now with additional restaurants spanning the city, Zia Lucia has gained quite the following. Its pizzas are 48-hour slow fermented and offer four different types of dough: vegetable charcoal, wholemeal, gluten-free and traditional. Pizza toppings include the ‘Leonardo da Vin-Cheese’ with gorgonzola, ricotta and homemade orange jam.
Where: 157 Holloway Road, N7 8LX
Book now: Zia Lucia Holloway
L'Antica Pizzeria da Michele, Baker Street and Soho
What: Made famous by the film Eat Pray Love (starring Hollywood royalty Julia Roberts), this pizza chain has two sites in London, the original on Baker Street and the other in Soho. Expect a concise menu which includes pizzas such as a half-and-half combination of margherita and marinara, and a fried pizza which is topped with salami, pressed pork and ricotta cheese.
Where: 199 Baker Street, NW1 6UY; 44 Old Compton Street, W1D 4TY
Book now: L'Antica Pizzeria da Michele Baker Street; L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele Soho
Santa Maria, Fitzrovia and other locations
What: On the hunt for the best neapolitan pizza in London? Santa Maria, now with several sites across the capital, is a pretty good shout. This no-bookings pizza restaurant packs a serious punch with pizzas made using Neapolitan-style bases and cooked in a wood-fired oven before being served alongside extra virgin olive oil and fresh basil leaves. Choose from toppings such as nduja, wild broccoli and rare breed Yorkshire sausage.
Where:160 New Cavendish Street, W1W 6YR
Book now: Santa Maria Fitzrovia
The Bird in Hand, Kensington
What: Its name may make it sound like an old-school boozer, but The Bird in Hand is actually a rather cosy little eatery. The Italian-leaning menu features cicchetti and pasta, but the pizzas are our favourites. All of them are made using a traditional tomato and mozzarella base, but toppings vary from the likes of truffle paste and Tuscan sausage to caramelised onions, gorgonzola, ham & pesto.
Where: 88 Masbro Road, W14 0LR
Book now: The Bird in Hand
50 Kaló di Ciro Salvo, Charing Cross
What: Ciro Salvo’s debut London pizzeria continues to carry the British torch for the original in Naples. While this restaurant’s eclectic interiors are not to everyone’s taste, the pizza definitely is. Each pizza has a soft and thin Neapolitan-style base with crispy outer edges and charring marks. A number of ‘white’ base options are available here, if that’s more your scene, with toppings including ham and mushrooms or beef and roasted artichoke.
Where: 7 Northumberland Avenue, WC2N 5BY
Book now: 50 Kaló di Ciro Salvo
By-the-slice pizza in London
Although eating pizza by the slice is a bit of a foreign concept to us (we’ll take the whole thing please), we understand that pizza slices are great for when you’re on the go and also provide the opportunity to try a few different toppings. There are a few by-the-slice pizza joints to choose from in London, so check out our favourites below.
Voodoo Ray’s, Peckham and Dalston
What: Voodoo Ray’s pizza slices are cut from a 22-inch pie kept behind a glass counter. Interiors feel like you have stepped into an 80’s arcade game, due to the colourful square tiles sorted into geometric patterns. The pizza names here are fun, with the ‘Queen Vegan’ made up of artichoke, olives, onion, tomatoes and green sauce, or the opposite end of the spectrum with the ‘Porky’s’ stuffed with toppings of cumberland sausage, stilton, red onion.
Where: 285 Rye Lane, SE15 4UA; 95 Kingsland High Street, E8 2PB
Book now: Voodoo Ray's Peckham; Voodoo Ray's Dalston
Joe Public, Clapham
What: Ever eaten by-the-slice pizza in a public toilet? No? Well now you can at Joe Public, a pizzeria that inhabits the site of a former block of public loos. Pizza comes California-style, i.e. with lots of toppings served on a sourdough base. Our favourites are the chicken, halloumi and chorizo, and the native mushrooms, crispy shallots and truffle oil.
Where: The Pavement, SW4 7AA
Book now: Joe Public
Posh pizza in London
If you find yourself craving pizza, but don’t want to order yet another Domino's, why not treat yourself to a slap-up pizza in a posh restaurant? We’ve found some of the most decadent pizzas in the capital for you to tuck into, topped with luxe ingredients like truffle shavings and served in sumptuous surrounds. See where you can splash the cash below.
What: Lardo is in our list of best restaurants in Hackney, not least because of its exceptional wood-fired Neapolitan-style pizzas. It makes everything in-house wherever it can – including its fresh pasta, pizza dough and gelato – and sources from local producers to keep everything as friendly to the planet as possible. There are lots of good things going on here, including its pumpkin, smoked semi-dried tomatoes, jalapeños, crispy kale, pine nuts, which is a dream.
Where: The Arthaus, Richmond Road, E8 3NJ
Book now: Lardo
Chucs, Mayfair and other locations
What: Elegant Italian restaurant Chucs has a few outposts across London all of which serve ‘Chucs classics’ alongside a selection of pretty swanky pizzas. An archetypal pizza Margherita is first on the menu with other options including a pizza bianca with quattro formaggi and marinated onions or the Chucs truffle pizza which is available for an eye-watering £28.
Where: 30B Dover Street, W1S 4NB
Book now: Chucs Mayfair
Bocconcino, Mayfair and Soho
What: With an imposing reception desk, plush beige seats and chandeliers, Bocconcino is far from your typical pizza joint. However, despite being an upmarket trattoria, there is a long list of pizza options on the menu. These consist of classics such as quattro formaggi and prosciutto e funghi, alongside more contemporary toppings such as spicy salami and black truffle shavings.
Where: 19 Berkeley Street, W1J 8ED; 58-59 Great Marlborough Street, W1F 7JY
Book now: Bocconcino Mayfair; Bocconcino Soho
Sodo, Clapton and other locations
What: This teeny tiny pizza joint offers little more than a handful of wooden tables (we counted four, plus one long bench) amidst rustic (let’s call it not-scruffy-but-not-smart) interiors. The draw here, though, is the consistently good sourdough pizzas which are always well-reviewed and taste far greater than the sum of their parts.
Where: 126 Upper Clapton Road, E5 9JY
Book now: Sodo Clapton
Napoli on the Road, Chiswick and Richmond
What: With some truly indulgent offerings, Napoli on the Road may be out of the way, but it's worth making the trip. Founder Michele Pascarella is often credited as the guy who brought high crust pizza to the UK - so we have a lot to thank him for! Here, the menu has a number of different sections, allowing you to choose from ‘le pizza classiche’ to ‘signature pizze by Michele.’ Why not try the ‘Tartufo and Patate’ a white-based option with baked truffle potatoes, mozzarella, fresh black truffle and caciocavallo irpino aged-cheese.
Where: 9a Devonshire Road, W4 2EU; 12 Red Lion Street, TW9 1RW
Book now: Napoli on the Road Chiswick; Napoli on the Road Richmond
Harry’s Bar, Marylebone
What: A sibling to the Mayfair members’ club of the same name, Harry’s Bar is an all-day operation which serves a menu of Italian fare. Here, the menu is packed with the classics, such as the Margherita and the rosso (pepperoni, nduja and roasted peppers) with a couple of more adventurous options available including a white based pizza with roasted courgette, ricotta, pine nuts and golden raisins. We’re also just a little bit in love with Harry’s dreamy old-school Italian interiors.
Where: 30-34 James Street, W1U 1ER
Book now: Harry’s Bar
Giant pizza in London
If you’re heading for pizza with your entire family in tow, or you’re catching up with a large group of friends over some dough, we’d recommend heading to one of these London restaurants which serve giant pizzas. Whether they’re 18 or 20 inches wide, these giant pizzas will satisfy everyone in the group, or if you’re really hungry, you could always try tackling one each.
Circolo Popolare, Fitzrovia
What: Famed for its Instagram-ready dining room (twinkling lights, foliage and walls lined with thousands of bottles of spirits), you might think that Circolo Popolare is all style and no substance, but the food here is better than it needs to be. Pizzas are XL-sized and full of decadence - just take The Trufflepuff, a heady mix of mozzarella fior di latte topped with black truffle cream, parmigiano, black truffle and fresh chives.
Where: 40-41 Rathbone Place, W1T 1HX
Book now: Circolo Popolare
Yard Sale Pizza, Clapton and other locations
What: Established by three friends in an actual back yard, Yard Sale is probably most famous for its Clapton branch being the random venue that served as the UK debut for actor Macaulay Culkin’s covers band, but there are other branches too in Finsbury Park, Hackney, Leytonstone and Walthamstow. The 18-inch option is perfect for sharing with a friend or two, with humorously named pizzas including the TSB (tender stem broccoli) and the ‘herb your enthusiasm’.
Where: 105 Lower Clapton Road, E5 0NP
Book now: Yard Sale Pizza Clapton
Homeslice, Covent Garden and other locations
What: Homeslice was originally a pop-up restaurant selling pizza by the slice (which it still does), but now the group is best known for its 20-inch pizzas. Costs start from £24 and that’s plenty enough to share with a friend or two. The restaurant's toppings are quite creative too, with options such as wagyu beef, truffle creme fraiche and salsa verde and basil, or chorizo, corn and coriander.
Where: 13 Neal's Yard, WC2H 9DP
Book now: Homeslice Covent Garden
Cheap pizza in London
Pizza is one of the best cheap eats you can find in London, with several restaurants offering up slices of the good stuff for under a tenner. If you’re on the hunt for some pocket-friendly pizza that won’t leave a hole in your wallet, check out these cheap and cheerful pizza joints which will leave both your stomach and your wallet full.
Crisp Pizza, Hammersmith
What: Crisp has taken the city by storm, quickly making a name for itself and coming out as one of the best restaurants in London. Here, pizzas are called pies and come with a thick crust and multiple types of cheese. The menu boasts uniquely named pizzas - such as the ‘Vecna Pie’ which comes topped with pepperoni, parmesan, burrata and hot honey. There's also options for a nutella calzone if you're looking for something sweet. The best part? The options are all super affordable!
Where: 25 Crisp Road, W6 9RL
Book now: Crisp Pizza
Bridge Baker, Fulham
What: As far as pizza places in London go, this Fulham Bakery is keeping it classic. Slow-fermented dough ensures a light and crisp base that still has that thick and bubbly crust. At Bridge Baker, the pizza comes in all varieties from the classic margherita to more exciting options such as the ‘Hot Honey’ special which is topped with salami, goat’s cheese, black olives and homemade honey. Pizzas here are always pretty reasonable, plus they have happy hour deals making certain ones even more affordable!
Where: 811 Fulham Road, SW6 5HG
Book now: Bridge Baker
Pizza Union, King's Cross and other locations
What: Cheap and cheerful, self-service joint Pizza Union boasts a handful of sites across London, including in King’s Cross and Spitalfields. The USP here is that your pizzas are often ready to collect from the counter in under five minutes, with options to choose from including both the classics and more contemporary takes. Although dine-in tables are available, all branches offer takeaway if you’re short on time.
Where: 246-250 Pentonville Road, N1 9JY
Book now: Pizza Union King’s Cross
Ace Pizza at Pembury Tavern, Hackney
What: This Hackney spot is ideal if you're looking for something light and crispy. At Ace Pizza, the dough is made in house then left to slowly ferment for 48 hours, ensuring that crispy crunch after it gets baked in a raging hot pizza oven. Toppings vary from your classic options to something a bit more unique - 'The Wipe Out' is heaped with chorizo, grilled pineapple, ricotta, jalapenos and pecorino - perfect if you're of the opinion that pineapple on pizza isn't too bad.
Where: 90 Amhurst Road, E8 1JH
Book now: Ace Pizza at Pembury Tavern
Crust Bros, Waterloo
What: If you're looking for some of the best pizza in central London then we think Crust Bros is a pretty solid option. Go for something from the fave pizzas menu such as the 'Seven Nation Salami' or the 'Harlem Truffle' or go for something a bit more personalised if you have specific requirements. Choose from red, white, green or vegan sauce options with meats and veggies to top as well as a whole host of cheese options - there's four different types of mozzarella, so you'll be spoilt for choice. With weekend offerings of bottomless brunch, you can enjoy 90 minutes of free flowing booze and unlimited pizzas and really make the most of your pizza.
Where: 113 Waterloo Road, SE1 8UL
Book now: Crust Bros
Pizza Pilgrims, Covent Garden and other locations
What: Pizza Pilgrims is well worth the pilgrimage indeed. Now over 10 years old, the Neapolitan pizza brand was originally founded by James and Thom Elliot following a 'pizza pilgrimage' around Italy in 2011. Now, you can find their pizzerias at over 20 sites across the UK. Popular orders include the Margherita Extra Extra, featuring datterini tomatoes, burrata and fresh basil pesto, and the Carbonara topped with crispy guanciale bacon, pecorino, black pepper, spaghetti, egg yolk and mozzarella. Don't miss its monthly guest pizzas created in collaboration with special guests!
Where: 23 Garrick Street, WC2E 9RY
Book now: Pizza Pilgrims Covent Garden
Made of Dough, Peckham
What: Serving up wood-fired pizzas on Peckham’s bustling Bellenden Road (also home to Artusi and The Begging Bowl), Made of Dough is a quick and casual joint turning out some seriously good pizzas. We’re fans of toppings which include lamb sausage, while vegans can opt for a variety topped with mushrooms, peppers and vegan cheese. You can also order sauces to dip your crusts in, including a basil aioli and a vegan kimchi mayo.
Where: 182 Bellenden Road, SE15 4BW
Book now: Made of Dough
Franco Manca, Soho and other locations
What: Cheap as chips and plenty of fun, Franco Manca locations have now been rolled out across the capital. Franco Manca is walk-ins only, so it’s a great spot for quick and casual dinners, especially if you’ve got your little ones in tow. Pizzas are great value too, with tomato, garlic, basil and oregano on a sourdough base setting you back just £6.50. Post-pizza, tuck into traditional Italian desserts including caramel pecan cheesecake and tiramisu.
Where: 51 Berwick Street, W1F 8SJ
Book now: Franco Manca
Cecconi’s Pizza Bar, Soho
What: Cecconi’s Pizza Bar is a more casual spin-off of the upmarket Italian brand, and although the décor feels a little bit Pizza Express, the menu features a reliable run of Italian classics. There’s spicy salami with mozzarella and chilli for the carnivores, while veggies can tuck into a combination of tomato, capers, olives and anchovies. To round things off, try the gelato of the day or the tiramisu.
Where: 19-21 Old Compton Street, W1D 5JJ
Book now: Cecconi’s Pizza Bar
Four Hundred Rabbits, Crystal Palace and other locations
What: With three neighbourhood sites on the fringes of London (you’ll find Four Hundred Rabbits in Crystal Palace, Nunhead and West Norwood), this popular pizzeria turns out a run of simple yet delicious pizzas. These are made using sourdough bases and there’s plenty of choice for vegetarians, who can tuck into combinations such as burrata, rocket and kale pesto. For the meat eaters, there’s chorizo with hot pickled peppers and mozzarella.
Where: 30-32 Westow Street, SE19 3AH
Book now: Four Hundred Rabbits
Bobby Fitzpatrick, Hampstead
What: Bobby Fitzpatrick is not only cheesy because of its pizza toppings. Celebrating the shag-pile days of the mid-1970s, this restaurant may be an assault on the senses (and perhaps taste) but it’s a lot of fun. The pizza selection is concise and largely features the usual fare such as mushroom and four cheese, with a few more interesting options including nduja with potato, honey and sage and lamb merguez with grilled aubergine.
Where: 273 West End Lane, NW6 1QS
Book now: Bobby Fitzpatrick
One of the best ways to enjoy pizza is out in the sunshine and if alfresco dining is your thing, you'll want to check out our guide to London's best outdoor restaurants.