London’s pizza: A guide to the best pizzerias in town
Just as picturesque inside as it is outside, Da Mario doesn’t disappoint. This frequent haunt of Princess Diana really is a pizzeria with a twist. Located off Gloucester Road its Italian passion within a very British encapsulation.
Widely renowned for its prized bread and, of course, its traditional and superbly home-made pizzas and pastas, I can assure you they are pure Gastronomia Napolentana!
Da Mario not only brings the purest Italian flavours home, but also brings them to life with its unique and inspiring presentation. My choice, Frutti Di Mare, was presented as a rich and wholesome seafood pizza, brimming with every sea food imaginable… I warn you, only try it if you’re a REAL fan!
For dessert you can indulge in a home-made tiramisu – if you are not too stuffed from the plump and doughy pizza base. But Da Mario has gone all out, even offering a yummy Tartufo Nero if you’re feeling adventurous.
The freshest, smoothest tomato sauce around town.
To book a table at Da Mario, 15 Gloucester Road, London, SW7 4PP, call 020 7584 9078 or enquire here.
Harry’s Bar Pizzeria
Tucked away behind what will become the magnificently renovated Blackfriars station in the coming months lies Harry’s Bar Pizzeria: an inspiration to anyone who thinks they deliver a traditional-style Italian restaurant.
Home-made and hand-made treats, tit-bits and full-blown dishes adorn the menus and prices are just as inviting as the staff. Although pastas and risottos are available as well as dishes that are not even on the menu (on special request), I suggest you treat yourself to a pizza if you really want a feel for the passion that this old-school pizzeria exuberates. Available with a white or wholemeal crust of your choice, there certainly is a wide selection. If you’re finding it hard to choose, don’t be scared to “make your own” – the accommodating staff will be all too pleased to accommodate your wishes and needs, and deliver a delicious dish just like mamma used to make. Thin, crispy and oozing with fresh toppings: make mine a Pavarotti, please!
So much Italian charm, you’ll forget you’re in London, let alone the UK.
To book a table at Harry’s Bar Pizzeria, 15-17 Black Friars Lane, City of London EC4V 6ER, call 020 7329 0240 or enquire here.
Perhaps not well-acclaimed for its pizzerias, Notting Hill is more of a trendy spot than a pizza paradise. Although in most respects Pizza Metro does serve up a traditional Neapolitan style pizza and can be seen to be a restaurant which really lives up to its name, you might be disappointed if you’re looking forward to a soft, doughy pizza treat. The pizzeria is proud of its metre-long pizza and it lives up its name of being fast.
Definitely cheesy, the aubergine Parmigiana on my Pizza de Metro really livened up the tomato base.
To book a table at Pizza Metro, 147 Notting Hill Gate, London, W11 3LF, call 020 7727 8877 or enquire here.
Pizza East Shoreditch
If you’re looking for rustic, en-trend cuisine but don’t want to splash the cash, you’re in the right place. Pizza-pies galore are truly on offer here at Pizza East Shoreditch: a real cheese-laden feast. It’s all you would hope a traditional pizza kitchen would be, yet so much more. Located in the TEA Building off Shoreditch high street, the real, rustic, industrial heritage shines though, adding charm to what can only be described as a buzzing and romantically lit warehouse. The roaring fires from within the two pizza-ovens give the restaurant, bar and deli counter an endearing glow. If you sit at the pizza bar, not only can you toast your tootsies but you can also watch your pizza being prepared before your eyes.
If you do only fancy a simple classic, margheritas are on offer; but don’t be scared to delve into the alternative ingredients such as veal meatballs. Although only deep-pan pizza seems to be available, this is deep-pan at its best.
Oven to plate in less than ten minutes.
To book a table at Pizza East, 56 Shoreditch High Street, London, E1 6JJ, call 020 7729 1888 or enquire here.
By day, Lancaster Court is virtually unknown. Located off New Bond Street, this tucked-away little maze of backstreets lined with bistros and bars is the hub of cutting-edge cool, and Rocket is placed smack bang in the centre. This bar/restaurant combo certainly is the place to be around town and its pizzas can certainly be considered among the best.
As you head upstairs, away from the buzzing bar, you might be mistaken in thinking that this contemporary setting is just another Nuevo restaurant serving haute-cuisine. With its white walls, high ceilings and chic deco, Rocket shows a relaxed atmosphere and the staff really do match: polite and attentive, the service is of high level.
Now on to the pizza: a wide selection is available at this high-end pizzeria. Also the nice touch of calzone – which can sometimes be hard to find – is on the menu, offering not just one but two! Doughy, baked and brimming with toppings, make sure you indulge in the black pudding pizza if you want to be adventurous; but if not, the 4 Formaggi Calzone is extremely tasty and won’t cost you the earth!
Black Pudding and prawns on a pizza, together. Now that’s a winning combo!
To book a table at Rocket, 4 Lancashire Court, London W1S 1EY, call 020 7629 2889 or enquire here.
Photos 1, 3 and 4: Greg Hayes