It’s national pizza day, which means if you weren’t already planning on having a slice or 10 for dinner, you are now.
The problem with pizza, though, is there’s just so much choice. We’re not just talking thin crust or deep pan, we mean rossa or Bianca, Italian-style or American style, mozzarella di bufala or scamorza, traditional or creative, even meat or vegetarian.
We’ve picked out some of our personal favourites and asked our Italian friends, and we’ve come up with an in-no-way-comprehensive list of some of the best pizzas you can get in London right now.
Antica – Massimo Troisi
Neapolitan sausage – and I mean proper Neapolitan sausage, with that fennel kick and subtle spice – can elevate a pizza from just good to top class. Antica, in Hampstead, pair theirs with burrata, aubergines and truffle oil for a ridiculously decadent pizza, named for the star of Il Postino. It should be overpowering, but the quality of the ingredients means you can polish one off remarkably easily.
anticapizzeria.co.uk - Heath Street, NW3
L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele - Margherita
Considered the best pizza in the world, this tiny pizzeria recently opened its first London spot and you’ll regularly be greeted with queues down the street. You can order a margherita, a double mozzarella or a marinara, and frankly you don’t need anything more when it’s so good. When you have a perfectly cooked base and top-quality sauce and cheese, any additions would only lessen the impact.
facebook.com/damichelelondon - Stoke Newington Church Street, N16
Crate Brewery - Middle Eastern Lamb
As a West Ham supporter, I’ve spent a lot of time at Crate due to its proximity to the London Stadium. The entire menu is craft beer, wine and pizza – that’s it – and the thin crust slices do a great job of complementing/soaking up the ales and sour beers, depending on what time of the day you stop by. Lamb on pizza doesn’t always work, and I’m sure the purists will object, but here it very much does.
cratebrewery.com - Queen’s Yard, E9
Freakscene - Tuna Sashimi
No cheese, no tomato, not even the sort of base you’d expect – you might claim this isn’t even a pizza. However, chef Scott Hallsworth describes it as one, and it’s delicious, so who are we to argue. The crunch of the wonton-style base perfectly complements the freshness of the sashimi, and the Japanese flavour combinations are perfect.
freakscene.london - Cowcross Street, EC1M
Hai Cenato - Homemade fennel sausage, prosciutto, stracciatella, parsley, gremolata
At the time of writing, Hai Cenato has secured the expertise of Michelin-starred chef Massimo Bottura for a special one-off pizza, but their regular menu is pretty special already. Jason Atherton’s restaurant is specifically New York-Italian, rather than Italian-Italian, which gives a greater freedom for non-traditional toppings. However, this is the pick of the bunch.
haicenato.co.uk - Buckingham Palace Road, SW1E
Hana Maria - Dolcelatte
North London has its fair share of pizza hidden gems, and Hana Maria – with its half-metre pizzas – is one of them. The Dolcelatte combines a number of bold flavours, including the eponymous blue cheese, with the spice of red chillies and salami cutting through to give you a great flavour sensation with each bite.
hanamariapizza.co.uk - Stroud Green Road, N4
Homeslice – Mushroom, Ricotta, Pumpkin Seed and Chilli
Homeslice has a range of expansive flavour combos on its huge 20-inch pizza – things like spiced lamb with savoy cabbage and sumac yoghurt or aubergine, cauliflower cheese, spinach and harissa. However, one of their go-to by-the-slice staples is the best thing on the menu. Sweet and spicy, flavourful but not overwhelming, we’d recommend this to you even if you don’t normally like mushrooms on a pizza – it’s that good.
homeslicepizza.co.uk - multiple locations
Joe Public - Breakfast Pizza
Sometimes you want pizza as part of a special meal out, but sometimes you want it to soothe a hangover. You don’t want the same pizza for these two very distinct occasions, and Joe Public’s breakfast special is perfect for the latter. Bacon, chorizo, sausage, hash browns, caramelised onions and egg. Yes please.
joepublicpizza.com - The Pavement, SW4
Lost & Co - Truffle Shuffle
Yes, it only has branches in Putney or Battersea, which is a bit of a trek if you don’t live in either of those places, but we have it on very good authority that Lost & Co is worth the trip for this pizza alone. It’s porcini and chestnut mushrooms on a truffle base, with a whole rocket and parmesan salad on top, plus gorgonzola and prosciutto. It’s essentially two pizzas on top of one base, which only works when done properly… like this.
lostputney.co.uk - multiple locations
Pizza Pilgrims - Nduja
If you want a single ingredient on top of a cheese and tomato base and don’t plump for nduja, you’re doing it wrong. The soft, spicy sausage ensures you’re not adding extra unnecessary textures, but you are getting the salt and heat needed to bring out the best of your other flavours. If you see an nduja pizza on a menu, order that pizza immediately.
pizzapilgrims.co.uk - multiple locations
Sarracino - Sarracino
It seems to be an unwritten rule with family-run Italian restaurants that the pizza which shares its name with the restaurant is topped with prosciutto, rocket and parmesan. Not here, though. This West Hampstead joint puts swordfish on its house special, which we hadn’t even considered before eating here, and tops off the pizza bianca with provola, roasted aubergines and rocket. No idea how this works, but it does.
sarracinorestaurant.com - Broadhurst Gardens, NW6
Sud Italia - Zucca
You don’t have to pay top dollar for a properly great pizza, as Sud Italia demonstrates. It’s another vegetarian-friendly option, and pumpkin on a pizza goes down a treat – especially when it’s also topped with four different cheeses. It’s another case of doing the simple things right and getting a top-notch end result.
suditaliapizza.co.uk - Old Spitalfields Market, E1
Voodoo Rays - Green & White
Probably the first vegetarian pizza to become my go-to at any given chain. Voodoo Rays’ by-the-slice options are brilliant choices for the start or the end of a night out, and their Green & White is the most New York thing on a London pizza menu. The classic ricotta and spinach combo is elevated by the most obvious addition – that’s right, more cheese, followed by even more cheese.
voodoorays.com - multiple locations
Yard Sale - TSB
You don’t really get tenderstem broccoli on non-Italian menus, but that’s okay – all the more for those of us whose diet is 90% Italian food. Yard Sale’s TSB adds a Spanish twist to the vegetable with the addition of manchego and pine nuts, and honestly you don’t need anything else.
yardsalepizza.com - multiple locations
(Main image: Pexels)