London’s best pizza restaurants

Where to go in the capital for a slice of the action

London’s overloaded menu of pizzerias can be hard to navigate, but here’s a guide to the capital’s upper crust establishments…

Farina, Notting Hill

You quickly learn on meeting Emanuele Michele how tight-knit the Neapolitan pizza scene is in London. Michele started out as one of the first chefs at Franco Manca (see below), serves limoncello made by the Pizza Pilgrims boys (also below) and opened Farina – his own venture – last year. The Neapolitan base is a purist’s dream: floppy, good charcoal spotting and made with double fermented dough. Toppings range from the traditional (Margherita, of course) to the delicious Burratina – a double whammy of fior di latte and burrata. www.farinapizza.co.uk

Pizza Pilgrims, various

The Pilgrims name came from the brothers James and Thom Elliott’s initial pilgrimages in an Ape 219cc van to Naples to learn the ‘true’ art of pizza making. These two are committed: they host pizza pop-ups (most recently flying in a Chicago deep dish specialist), have put on a poll to discover whether Hawaiian is considered a legitimate pizza type and revise their process every two months to make sure the crust is just right. The Canary Wharf branch even has a games room. www.pizzapilgrims.co.uk

Radio Alice, Hoxton

Radio Alice prides itself on a crunchy sourdough base – allegedly from Bologna as opposed to Naples. If you fancy doing a compare and contrast on different pizza crusts, definitely put Radio Alice on your list. It offers up plenty of toppings with seasonal changes and pizzas come sliced into eight, which makes sampling a variety of pizzas a doddle. The ‘nduja butter dipping sauce is a must.  www.radioalicepizzeria.co.uk

NYFold, Soho and Hackney

Pizza on the counter at NY Fold

If you want pizza fast and filling, New York-style, this is the place to seek out your pizza pie. Annabel Wheeler and her husband Michael missed their New York slice so much when they moved to London three years ago, they decided to set up their own place. The slices are huge and loaded with cheese (two is plenty for a normal size meal, four is a stomach expanding challenge.) The crusts are more biscuity than the Neapolitan classic, designed to be pinched in the middle and shovelled in on the hoof. www.nyfold.com

Franco Manca, various

London’s fastest growing pizza chain started in 2008 and has now spread out of town to Oxford, Bristol and even Sicily. Though not theoretically an authentic Neapolitan base (it uses a sourdough starter rather than regular yeast), Franco Manca was the first to bring crust specialisation to London. It’s cheap – the lowest priced pizza is their £5 version of a marinara – and still good despite the expansion. The Brixton Market one is the original, and quite frankly, still the best. www.francomanca.co.uk

Yard Sale, various

An old flatmate used to order Yard Sale on a near weekly basis and you’ll find Yard Sale pizzas popping up in pubs and food halls, including the imaginatively done new Market Hall Fulham. It was the brainchild of three pals in Hackney and grew from being a back garden business to a pizzeria in Clapton in 2014. You can order the double fermented stone-baked crusts at 12-inch or 18-inches (about £18 for the larger ones). For spice fans, the Ribona and the Ribona X are the ones to hit. Macaulay Culkin is said to be a fan, which is surely the only recommendation you need? yardsalepizza.com 

Homeslice, various

Homeslice only does 20-inch pizzas or by the slice on a thin and crispy crust. A whole 20-inch pizza will feed two relatively hungry people. A couple of slices are good for lunch. Toppings are irregular and adventurous (kimchi and porcini cream, anyone?) They change fairly often so don’t get too wedded to your favourite. Happily you can mix and match the toppings on the pizza, so you could have half aubergine and cauliflower cheese, half spiced lamb, if the mood takes you.  www.homeslicepizza.co.uk

Made of Dough, Peckham

Made of Dough started in a shipping container in various of London’s regular foodie haunts (Brixton Market, Broadway Market and so on) and now has a permanent home in Peckham. This is pizza for trendy types. The menu is relatively small – six variations of pizza running from a Margherita to one covered merguez sausage and broccoli, two dipping sauces and three kinds of gelato. A great to start to a night at Frank’s in Peckham or grab one at Swingers Crazy Golf in the West End.  www.madeofdough.co.uk


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