Oh pizza, you may not be glamourous or healthy, but you have satisfied the cavernous appetites of hungry foodies around the world since you were invented, way back in 1889. Who doesn’t like pizza? The insane, that’s who! Whether you’re drunk, starving or just craving cheese, tomato and dough, pizza provides. So let’s all raise a glass to one of the world’s most popular dishes, and get ourselves down to one of London’s best pizza joints.
For classic pizza:
50 Kaló di Ciro Salvo, Covent Garden
Why: Ciro Salvo’s debut London pizzeria continues to carry the torch of 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. Toppings include carbonara, lasagne, and Bianca with ham and mushrooms, as well as many more.
Where: 7 Northumberland Avenue, WC2N 5BY
Portobello Ristorante Pizzeria, Notting Hill
Why: This Italian restaurant is all about keeping its pizza traditional. The sourdough is left to rise for 48 hours and cooked in an artisan Italian oven. Its pizza is also sold by the metre, a Neapolitan tradition. Half a metre is enough for two people and one metre will feed four. All the classics are available including, quattro formaggi, romana and diavola.
Where: 7 Ladbroke Road, W11 3PA
Why: 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 focussing on the classics (margherita and diavola) and ‘something a little different’, which includes a pistachio pesto pizza.
Where: 300 Kilburn High Road, NW6 2DB
Why: A relaxed neighbourhood joint which is big on authenticity, Vernedi 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 make for perfectly crisp dough and are the stars of the show. The calzone with ham, spinach, mushroom and pepperoni is not to be missed.
Where: 9 Chatsworth Road, E5 0LH
Zia Lucia, Brook Green and Holloway
Why: The original Holloway branch of this pizzeria opened in 2016 with great results. Now with an additional restaurant in Brook Green, Zia Lucia has 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 includes the ‘Speck-tacular’ with gongorzola, Pecorino and smoked ham.
Where: 61 Blythe Road, W14 0HP; 157 Holloway Road, N7 8LX
For American-style pizza:
Bobby Fitzpatrick, Hampstead
Why: 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 pepperoni and courgette, but the option to buy crust dips such as garlic mayonnaise and nacho cheese adds an extra sense of cheese.
Where: 273 West End Lane, NW6 1QS
Joe Public, Calpham
Why: Ever eaten 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 toppings served on a sourdough base. Our favourites are the chicken, halloumi and chorizo, and the native mushrooms, crispy shallots and truffle oil, with a parmesan and cream chive base.
Where: Former Public Convenience, The Pavement, SW4 7AA
Mulberry Street, Notting Hill
Why: In 2018, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson ordered a pizza from Mulberry Street pizza on one of his ‘cheat days’. One Instagram post later and Mulberry Street’s website crashed from all the incoming traffic. If all-American Hollywood star Dwayne Johnson enjoys the US-style pizzas from this restaurant, who are we to disagree? Its best seller is the ‘meat lover’, which includes Italian sausage, meatballs, ham, onion and mushroom.
Where: 47 Moscow Road, W2 5RT
For pizza by the slice:
Voodoo Ray’s Camden, Dalston, and Peckham
Why: Voodoo Ray’s pizza slices are cut from a 22-inch pie kept behind a glass counter. Interiors feel like you have stepped in 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 ‘The Meat is on’.
Where: Unit 91-92, North Yard, Chalk Farm road, NW1 8AH;95 Kingsland High Street, E8 2PB; Peckham, 285 Rye Lane, SE15 4UA
Why: This Big Apple-style pizza joint was opened by husband and wife team Michael and Annabel Wheeler, who are New York expats. Serving by-the-slice at their enviable location on Charing Cross Road, NY Fold has unsurprisingly been successful. Highlights from the menu include the carbonara pizza with pancetta, egg, double cream, pecorino cheese and black pepper.
Where: 103 Charing Cross Road, WC2H 0DT
Arancina, Notting Hill and Bayswater
Why: Don’t fancy American-style pizza by the slice? Arancina is best for you then, as it serves classic Italian pizza. Opened by brothers Edoardo and Michele Mortari (who also have branches in Rome), their London restaurants can be identified by a bright-orange Fiat 500 cut in half, on display in its front window. This pizzeria is notable for the fact it has two vegan options, which are the ‘Vegan glory’ and ‘No meat, no cheese’.
Where: 19 Pembridge Road, W11 3HG; 19 Westbourne Grove, W2 4UA
For high-end pizza:
Why: With Mayfair by numbers interiors (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 Fromaggi and Napoletana.
Where: 19 Berkeley Street, W1J 8ED
Hai Cenato, Victoria
Why: Did you know Jason Atherton has a pizzeria? Well, you do now. Found in the shiny and relatively new Nova development in Victoria, this purveyor of pizza splits its options into ‘pizza rossa’ and ‘pizza bianca’. From the former, you’ll find a homemade fennel sausage, prosciutto, stracciatella, parsley and gremolata pizza. From the latter, confit lamb neck and spiced aubergine pizza with yoghurt and mint.
Where: 2 Sir Simon Milton Square, SW1E 5DJ
Chucs Dover Street, Harrods, Serpentine, Westbourne Grove
Why: Elegant Italian restaurant Chucs has a few outposts across London, all of which serve ‘Chucs classics’. This section of the menu contains three pretty swanky pizzas. The first is your archetypal pizza margherita, second is a pizza bianca with bresaola, rocket and parmesan and the last (which costs an eye-watering £30) is the pizza Bianca with black truffle.
Where: 30B Dover Street, W1S 4ND; Door 11, Hans Road, SW1X 7XL;Sackler Gallery, West Carriage Drive, W2 2AR; 226 Westbourne Grove, W11 2RH
For cheap and cheerful pizza:
Pizza East Kentish Town, Portobello and Shoreditch
Why: All three Pizzas Easts have different vibes. Shoreditch sees funky staff whizz around a wood-heavy dining room, Notting Hill is a more intimate affair and Kentish Town is the behemoth branch. Pizzas are affordable, starting from £10 for your basic buffalo mozzarella, tomato and basil, and stray no further than £15 with San Daniele prosciutto, rocket, parmesan and tomato.
Where: 79 Highgate Road, NW5 1TL; 310 Portobello Road, W10 5TA; 56 Shoreditch High Street, E1 6JJ
Pizza Pilgrims, various locations
Why: Pizza Pilgrims started out with brothers Thom and James Elliot, in a van pilgrimage across Italy to find pizza worth worshiping. We reckon they succeeded as their crisp Neapolitan-style sourdough pizzas are great. With its monthly guest pizza and Nutella pizza ring dessert, Pizza Pilgrims has enough twists to be different to the competition. You’ll also be happy to know that most pizzas are under £11.
Where: Various locations
Pizza Union, King's Cross and Spitalfields
Why: You’ll be hard-pressed to find pizza for prices lower than Pizza Union’s in London. The cheapest 12-inch pizza, which is of course a margherita, costs as little as £3.95, and the most expensive not a penny over £6.50. Other pizza options include the ‘fiorentina’ which is topped with egg and spinach, or the contentious ‘tropicali’ with ham and pineapple.
Where: 246-250 Pentonville Road, N1 9JY; 25 Sandy’s Row, E1 7HW.
For sharing pizza:
Homeslice, various locations
Why: Homeslice was originally a pop-up selling pizza by the slice (which it still does), but now the six-strong group has sites all over London and is known for its 20-inch pizzas. All Homeslice pizzas cost £20 and that’s plenty enough to share with a friend or two. The restaurant toppings are quite creative too, with options such as kimchi, porcini cream and basil, or chorizo, corn and coriander.
Where: Various locations
Pi Pizza, Battersea
Why: Pi Pizza is one of London’s more aesthetically pleasing pizzerias with its white-washed brickwork and a flower-laden ceiling. It also sells 20-inch pizzas for £24, which can be split into halves or thirds for pizza toppings. We like the sound of Nduja, ricotta, mint and jalapeño jam pizza, and the Lebanese spiced ground lamb, Turkish yoghurt and fresh parsley pizza.
Where: 6 Battersea Rise, SW11 1ED
Yard Sale Pizza Clapton, Finsbury Park, Leytonstone and Walthamstow
Why: 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. Despite this, the 18-inch option on offer sounds perfect for sharing with a friend. Humorous named pizzas include the TSB (tender stem broccoli) and the ‘herb your enthusiasm’.
Where: 105 Lower Clapton Road, E5 0NP; Finsbury Park, 54 Blackstock Road, N4 2DW; 622 High Road , E11 3BZ; Walthamstow, 15 Hoe Street, E17 4SD
Fancy comfort food, but not pizza? Take a look at our list of the best comfort food dishes in London at the moment.