London’s best pizzas for takeaway and delivery
The sun is shining (somewhat sporadically), the parks are filling up and the garden gatherings are under way. That can only mean one thing: it’s pizza time. Nothing gets a party into full swing like that cheesy, stone-baked circle of pure joy. Luckily for Londoners, there’s no shortage of this Italian classic in the capital – if anything, the options are a little overwhelming. Here are a few of our favourite pizza places, from the faithful Neapolitan to the American twist.
The wood-fired: Sacro Cuore
Sacro Cuore opened in Kensal Rise back in 2012 with the aim of creating a pizza experience identical to what you would get in Naples, from the ingredients and equipment to the classic cooking method. Their wood-fired pizzas proved an absolute delight – so much so that they have since opened an equally successful sister shop in Crouch End. If you’re looking to try a white base, we heartily recommend spicing it up with the Salsiccia and Friarielli, a local classic combining Naopolitan sausage, wild broccoli and chilli flakes. Those who prefer to err on the side of caution with their trusty tomato sauce will find a variety of delicious veggie options, our favourite being the Campagnola, complete with Italian mozzarella, artichokes, courgettes, aubergines, parmesan, fresh basil and extra virgin olive oil. Check out the full menu here.
The simple yet sophisticated: Vicoli di Napoli
Formerly named L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele, pizzeria Vicoli Di Napoli delivers world famous pizza from Naples (its founders Serena and Vania were born and raised in the city’s historic centre) right to the heart of Stoke Newington. The Via Del Sol – Margherita is simplicity at its best with a thin and crispy base; a rich and sweet tomato sauce; and generous helpings of indulgent mozzarella. The San Gregorio Armeno – Diavola, finished with salami and chilli flakes, is also a solid choice if you’re after something with a little kick. This is pizza stripped down to its bare elements, relying on fresh and quality ingredients to deliver an authentic slice of Naples. Check out their menu here and stop in for collection.
The family-friendly kit: Dough-re-me
If you’ve got kids, or you are simply looking for a more immersive experience, we recommend a kit from Dough-re-me. The pizza is super quick and easy, making it perfect for any small and messy hands, and the dough is especially delicious. The best part is that you can tailor the toppings to your own preferences – you needn’t upend all the sauce and the margherita base makes for a perfect canvas to add any other ingredients you like. What’s more, everyone can pick their own options to save you catering to every dietary requirement, making this a great option for a group dinner with friends. Order online here or purchase a voucher to send someone an unconventional and extra-special gift.
The sourdough starter: Franco Manca
Over the past 13 years, Franco Manca has risen across the country with as much success as the sourdough starter responsible for its signature base. Today the chain has around 50 branches across the UK and Italy, and yet maintains the atmosphere and quality of your favourite neighbourhood local, with daily changing specials ensuring it never stops moving. Franco Manca is a strong contender in the battle for best “cornicione” – or pizza crust. The clear standouts on their seasonal menu are the Number 6 (organic tomato, cured chorizo and British mozzarella) and Number 7 (traditional Neapolitan spiced pork salami, wild broccoli, organic tomato and British mozzarella), which was created in collaboration with Neapolitan pizza chef Enzo Coccia, voted number five on the 50 Top Pizza ranking. Find your nearest Franco Manca here or join the virtual queue system for outdoor dining.
The hands-on: Passo to Go
For another DIY kit that will set you up for a whole evening of entertainment, you could try ordering from Passo to Go. There are a range of mouth-watering boxes on offer, from Four Cheese and Spiced Salami to our recommendation, the Smoked Speck and Portobello Mushroom. Simply choose a pizza and a size (either two or four) and they’ll send you the freshly prepared ingredients along with clear instructions. Alternatively, you can opt for their bestseller, a make-your-own pizza with customisable toppings. Our top tip: roll the dough out a bit with a rolling pin and then stretch it by hand, letting the weight of the dough do the work. Order your kit from Plateaway.
The perfect crust: Bufala di Londra
When it comes to creating the perfect pizza, one must never underestimate the power of the crust. No one knows this better than Crouch End-based Bufala di Londra. The restaurant prides itself on its airy dough, which goes through a complex fermentation process in order to achieve a, soft, fluffy and easy-to-digest crust. Their pizzas are made with ingredients directly imported from Italy – even the cooking surface is made with volcanic soil from Vesuvius and they are baked at 60-70 seconds at a whopping 480-500 degrees. The chef’s recommendation proves to be a gret one: earthy pumpkin is paired beautifully with creamy gorgonzola and pecorino on a white base. It’s perfectly complemented with a glass of white wine – Italian, of course. Order online here.
The daring: Crudough
While Archway is not top on the list for tourists, the area does hold a few attractions that the locals would probably rather keep to themselves. One of these is Crudough. This North London pizzeria holds a unique appeal in its use of daring ingredients, though you can rest assured they never stray so far as to disrespect sacred Italian traditions. You’ll likely be impressed by the signature Crudough, which stars the lowly butternut squash, while the Nduja also packs a sweet and intriguing twist by pairing the spicy sausage with gorgonzola and honey. Either pop in for a takeaway or book a table at their terrace by calling on 020 7272 1672 or sending them an e-mail.
The sweet and savoury combo: Tomo
This pizzeria might be tucked away on Hornsey High Street, but it’s worth travelling for. If you are a lucky local, be sure to support this family-run venture, or pop by for click and collect and witness an open kitchen in full swing. The ladies are dressed up as Rosie the Riveter on our visit, a fun shoutout to female empowerment. The pizzas, too, are named are women: of course, there’s not better catch than Margherita, but we are equally beguiled by Eve – Tomato, mozzarella, spinach, mushrooms, peppers, red onion & olives – and our personal favourite, Giorgia, finished with a free-range egg. But be sure to make room for a sweet course, because the homemade desserts are to die for. An incredibly moreish tiramisu is perfect for the purists, while a remarkably light cheesecake with seasonal fruit coulis provides a refreshing conclusion. Order online here or call 020 8348 0099 to collect.
The faithful: Santa Maria
Santa Maria is pizza exactly as it should be: accessible and authentic. The restaurant is committed to creating pizzas that are fit for all, from penniless students to VIPs – with a three-pronged focus on quality, quantity and affordability. True to their word, the team offer honest prices whilst also delivering on incredible flavours. The San Rocco – Tomato sauce, burrata pugliese, pecorino romano DOP, roasted aubergines and wild rocket – achieves a remarkable balance between creamy indulgence and freshness, while the Santa Margarita is simple perfection (though the addition of premium parma ham also won’t disappoint). You don’t get a friendlier deal than a meal from Santa Maria. Order online here.
The generous: Firezza
If you like your pizza in generous portions, Firezza may just be the place for you. Their vast menu comes in two possible sizes – 1/4 metre and 1/2 metre – so you can be sure you won’t go hungry, and there’s also an option for half and half if you’re struggling to choose. The chain are currently celebrating their 20-year anniversary by bringing back their original menu, so there’s even more on offer until May. Our highlight is the Tutta Bufala, with soft dough and a fine selection of ingredients, though the Salsiccia packs a punch for the any hotheaded carnivores. If that’s not enough, there are also some tasty sides on offer – from the breaded chicken, which offers a perfect meat to crumb ratio, to the crispy ridged potato wedges. To top it off, there are an impressive range of sauces, from green pesto to fiery tomato and garlic and rosemary mayonnaise. Order online here.
The playful: Crazy Pizza
Crazy Pizza has a slightly different concept to your classic pizzeria. Here, it’s not just about the eating experience but about recreating the theatre of Italian hospitality. Within the restaurants themselves – located in Marylebone and Knightsbridge – the passion of the industry comes through in playful performances by the serving staff. Of course, if you are option for collection or delivery, you may have to watch the action from a safe distance, but you can still get a taste of their beautifully thin and crispy base and high-grade toppings. Visit the website for delivery and takeaway options.
The Californian: Joe Public
This casual joint brings a slice of California to Clapham. Offering up a range of deep-pan American-style pizzas, this neighbourhood restuarant doesn’t do things by half: it’s a slice or a mammoth 20″ sharer. The West Coast way is to add more toppings, so if you’re the kind of person who wants a loaded base, this is the place for you. Unlike familiar US chains, though, these pizzas feature fresh combinations. We enjoy a simple mix of Courgette, Aubergine and Garlic Butter, but the more adventurous might opt for a gourmet helping of Native Mushrooms, Crispy Shallots, Truffle Oil, Parmesan, Cream Chive Base, or a more refined meaty slice of Chicken and Chorizo Halloumi and Oregano. Check out the menu here.
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