The truth is that London is not exactly a pizza town. We know it, you know it, and we’ll admit it’s why it took us so long to actually make this guide. But a concerning number of slices and leftover-pizzas-for-breakfast later, and the day is finally here. From reliable Neapolitans in Camberwell to pillowy Detroit-style pies in Spitalfields, this guide has the best pizzas you can find in London.
Every part of London has restaurants that locals get a little doe-eyed and soft about, and Theo’s makes the list for the lucky folks who live around SE1 or SE5. Their Camberwell original, with its little garden outback, white marble-ish interior, £5 lunchtime panuozzos and £7 cocktails is still the proverbial One for us. Their Neopolitan pizzas never disappoint, mixing the perfect amount of tomatoey and chewy goo with their essential homemade chilli oil. The tiramisu for pud ain’t too shabby either.
There’s been a nasty rumour going around for years that eating pizza should be exclusively reserved for hangovers and meals with small children. Don’t believe it, London. Don’t. At Elliot's, the 10-inch sourdough pizzas are served alongside monkfish, bottles of natural wine, and importantly, candlelight. A deeply charming restaurant in Borough Market, their wood-fired pizzas come topped with everything from octopus and artichoke to a highly-addictive brown butter. Our personal favourite is the ‘nduja and gorgonzola number but at £12, it’s worth getting involved in one of the rich vegetarian options too.
True Craft is all about merry, brainless satisfaction and we wouldn’t have it any other way. A great little neighbourhood pub in Tottenham, they serve a short menu of eight winning sourdough pizzas. You’ve got the spicy Nduja Like It, the parma-loaded Totten-Ham—see what they did there—and our favourite, the zingy Bang! Pepper. You simply can’t go wrong with sweet balsamic peppers and mascarpone, and you also have the option to opt for one of their craft beer pizza pairings. Fun, very fun. Keep an eye out for their monthly specials too.
This pizza spot on Commercial Street has exposed brick, American paraphernalia hung up around the place, and our favourite Detroit-style pizza in the city. An in-and-out kind of place, there are a handful of high tables and stools where you can perch, making this welcome addition to Spitalfields a great spot to hit up for a quick weekday lunch. And while a single £4 slice of their 'Red Stripe' is enough to fill you up, the dough is so chewy and so fluffy, with a layer of cheese and a river of rich marinara on top, that we're willing to bet you'll want a whole pie. Because when they’re the kind of cheese-covered, marinara-heavy, deep-dish pizzas that taste as good as they look, everyone’s going to want a slice.
Sourdough has a bit of a funny rep these days. It’s become the Coldplay of fermented breads. But Sodo’s sourdough pizzas—found in Hammersmith, Hackney, and Walthamstow—have been consistently delicious for years. Their crispy base and wholesome toppings (the Lorena, ft. roasted butternut squash, feta, pine nuts and rosemary is a favourite) make for the kind of takeaway that doesn’t have you feeling like Jabba the Hutt afterwards. Even better, eat in and share a bottle from their amply-sized biodynamic wine list.
Ave Mario is a Big Mamma restaurant. In case you don’t know what that entails, please see this quick cheat sheet for this Italian mini-chain: huge spaces, walls of Limoncello, big holiday energy, desserts the size of a human torso, and cocktails that are served in risqué jugs. Importantly, they also serve some great pizza. Be warned that the white pizzas can be a little hit or miss, so you’re going to want to stick to the juicy San Marzano tomato options and always—whisper it—add the stracciatella.
We remember the times when this King’s Road spot used to serve their pizzas on a wooden sharing platter that stretched all the way from one side of the table to the other. And while we kind of miss them, we’re also kind of grateful that we now don’t have to worry about sharing their delicious, now regular-sized pizzas with anyone else. Topped with everything from burrata to spicy salami, the pizzas here are thin with chewy sourdough crusts, making this the perfect spot in Chelsea for when you want rustic interiors and a solid margherita for under a tenner.
If it’s good enough for Julie Roberts in Eat Pray Love, then it’s good enough for us. This Soho restaurant is one of two London branches of the famous pizza shop in Naples and serves tasty Neapolitan pizzas with the perfect ratio of marinara to cheese. You can get them topped with whole burratas or king prawns and fresh mussels, but our favourite is the margherita with buffalo cheese. Simple, with lightly charred crusts and a puddle of tomato sauce in the middle, you’ll understand why the original Naples spot made it to the big screen. And with two levels and cushioned seating, it’s the kind of spot you’ll happily spend a couple of hours in.
An old-school pizzeria like Pappagone’s is a familiar restaurant experience to most people. It’s big and shouty, full of staff buzzing around and chefs rhythmically wielding pizza peels in and out of the oven like a team of Vikings rowing a boat. The Finsbury Park institution has been around since the late ‘90s and once you try one of their faultless wood-fired pizzas—we’re partial to a Hawaiian, just FYI—you’ll understand why.
In this Venetian-gothic building on the corner of Gloucester Road, with its homely interior, spacious downstairs room, and friendly staff, you’ll find some seriously great pizza. Da Mario has been serving Neapolitan pizza for the past thirty years. They’re thicker than your average sourdough, with a chewy but light base, and whether you go for the simple margherita safe-bet or the meat-heavy pepperoni sausage number, they’ll come covered in a very respectable amount of cheese. Come here in a group, mix it up with some quatro formaggi here and a rigatoni da mario there, and finish it all off with a big slice of their excellent tiramisu.
We once associated love triangles with the Mitchell brothers and Taylor Lautner masquerading as a CGI wolf. Not anymore. No, now the words love triangle are exclusively associated with a rich bolognese pizza that comes with enough fior di latte to make us use the word ‘creamy’ like it’s a synonym for ‘heaven’. A cool and casual spot near Tooting Common, Love Triangle makes quality, creative pizzas and the low-key terrace out front is the perfect place to enjoy their zingy hot sauce and a round of frozen margaritas. They also get bonus points for gluten-free options, vegan mozzarella, and their sweet chilli take on the divisive Hawaiian classic. We like it.
Yard Sale is no secret. The big NYC-style eat-in and pizza delivery spot is all over London, from Hackney to Balham, all the way up to Walthamstow and down to Crystal Palace. There are things to know about Yard Sale though. The first is that you should always order their ginormous 18-inch pizzas whether it’s for one person or for four. The crusts are crispier, the slices more satisfying, and that way you’ve got some in the fridge to eat in your underwear tomorrow morning. The second thing you should know is that the best thing you can order isn't even their marvellous massive pies. It’s their cheese and Marmite garlic bread. A truly gorgeous, gooey umami-filled delight.
Crust Bros sounds like the only fraternity we’d ever actually want to join. Here’s hoping the initiation process involves seeing how many garlic mayo pots you can down in under ten minutes. A casual industrial-look pizzeria, this place has got everyone’s lunch, dinner, and takeaway needs covered. We’re talking gluten-free dough, countless vegan options, and even truffle mayo pots for your mate who wants to feel boujie before getting the train to ‘the beautiful coast’ (rainy Bournemouth). Given their name, it makes total sense that the highlight here is their thick doughy crusts fresh from their hefty yellow pizza oven, and the vast range of toppings are winners too. Some of the pizza names may make you feel like you’re in an Italian stoner’s wet dream—‘Cheesus Christ’, we’re looking at you—but you can’t go wrong when the prices start at £7.45 and the cocktails are 2 for £10 before 7pm.
081 Pizzeria makes some very, very good pizza. We’re talking thick, chewy crusts, rich sweet tomato sauce, and toppings that include things like fried aubergines slow-cooked in a tomato sauce, and mushrooms with smoked mozzarella and truffle oil. Located inside Peckham Levels, this is a top option in the area, and if you look at the menu and are torn between any two of the 12-inch pizzas, just get them both. Because speaking from personal experience, they taste just as good cold as they do freshly baked.
Zia Lucia is probably Islington’s best known pizzeria, and for good reason. Your classic margherita is under a tenner, and a marinara is a bit less. The Holloway Road restaurant is rarely without a hungry customer outside, especially on match days when Arsenal fans are looking for their fix of charcoal dough topped with Buffalo mozzarella. The choice of doughs (charcoal, wholemeal, gluten-free, or traditional) aren’t something you see everyday and make that midweek Neapolitan pizza feel a little bit more exciting.