The five best pizza places to try this Christmas
Pizza is great all year round, but there’s something truly lovely about enjoying a tasty pizza in a cosy setting during the festive season. Here are five of the best pizza places to try in London this December, which also all offer a takeaway service once tier-three restrictions kick in. Sharing a delicious pizza with loved ones can be really christmassy, even if it does have to be done over Zoom.
A Notting Hill favourite, Pizza East has reopened its doors this December following a refresh with new leadership. Kady Yon, Ollie Jones and Gus Haughton are focused on getting back to the roots of this place by returning to the original pizza recipe and cooking method – including the veal meatball pizza with prosciutto, lemon which will sit alongside a winter tomato plant-based pizza. Jones and Haughton both started their careers at The River Café at 18 years old and have since developed valuable knowledge working at Soho House, Lyle’s and Brigadiers. Hong Kong-born Yon grew up in Chicago where she worked at Charlie Trotter’s, as well as Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s restaurant.
Being Christmas, we sampled the luxurious Winter Black Truffle and the ever-popular Prosciutto San Daniele pizzas, the latter coming with a whole fresh burrata on top. The menu includes a selection of starters – don’t miss the Devon Crab with Flor sourdough – salads and three main dishes cooked in the wood oven. The team has also curated a classic cocktail list as well as an exciting wine list, including a selection of Italian, American and natural wines.
Pro tip: Add a slice of mortadella to the truffle pizza for the ultimate gourmet experience.
Santa Maria, aptly named due to its original location on St Mary’s road in Ealing, is run by Angelo and Pasquale, who have worked all over London in different pizzerias. The Neapolitan pair decided that the borough of Ealing needed its own answer to traditional pizza, and ensured this by importing their wood-fired oven from Italy. Since then, the brand has expanded to four locations, including a central one in Fitzrovia where we went to try their offer. For pizza that tastes like it’s straight from the streets of Naples, look no further.
Zia Lucia was awarded Best Pizza in London by Metro’s The Slice and was voted Best Local Restaurant by TimeOut. Run by a team of passionate Italians, they offer four different kinds of base. These unique 48-hour slow-fermented doughs are inspired by ancient traditions brought from across Italy to London, and range from classic to a healthy wholemeal and even a special variety made without gluten. We particularly recommend the experimental vegetable charcoal option: black in colour with a smokey flavour, this base looks striking on your Instagram under melting mozzarella – and tastes divine. It may not be your usual classic pick but it’s a risk worth taking. When ordering, don’t forget to check out the regularly changing special, and we suggest you finish off with an indulgent homemade tiramisu.
Oi Vita clearly know what they’re doing when it comes to pizza. The restaurant is run by two Italians with a passion for high-quality food and the menu proves most difficult to choose from, as every option looks scrumptious. For simplicity and a chance to really taste the staple flavours of Italy, try the Cosacca pizza with added burrata. The fresh cherry tomatoes are sweet and fresh, while the creamy cheese adds decadence.
A chain that has really got it right, Franco Manca has struck the perfect balance between affordability and great quality, with prices starting at just £5.20. There are festive pizzas available and all the dough is made fresh daily. The simple, Neapolitan-inspired menu offers vegan and gluten free options, whilst they always have an exciting range of specials.
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