The best pizza in London

"Свобода ничего не стоит, если она не включает в себя свободу ошибаться." Махатма Ганди ©

London’s come a long way since the first Pizza Express on Wardour Street dazzled diners with its open-kitchen dough-spinning in the 1960s. Back then, pizza was a novelty – today you can hardly move in the capital for artisan bases, outrageous toppings and a growing list of beloved Italian restaurants in London. But not all of them are created equal. Whether you prefer thin and crispy Roman-inspired pizzas, pillowy Neapolitan numbers or New York-style jumbo slices, here’s our pick of the 15 places offering the best pizza in London.

  • The best pizza in London

    Stockwell Continental

    STOCKWELL

    Run by the same team as legendary gastropub The Canton Arms over the way, this former tapas bar on South Lambeth Road is enjoying a lively second life as a pizzeria and aperitivo bar. Roman-style bases are the thing here, with an airy-yet-crunchy crust and meaty toppings such as fennel and red wine sausage all the way to the edge. Long tables mean it’s great for groups, and the super-strength negroni sbagliatos (served in dinky tumblers, presumably for safety purposes), will make any party go with a swing.

    What to order The House Nduja, loaded with homemade spicy sausage, rocket and pickled red onion

    Address: Stockwell Continental, 169 South Lambeth Road, Stockwell, London SW8 1XW


    Telephone: +44 20 3019 0757


    Website: stockwellcontinental.com

    Yard Sale

    LEYTONSTONE

    The fourth branch of a rapidly expanding dough empire, Leytonstone’s Yard Sale is bright, buzzy and pretty well guarantees a good time (as you’d expect from a business that started life as a supper club). Pies come in 12” or 18” sizes, and vegans are extremely well looked after: witness the American Not, with guindilla chillies, house-made vegan pepperoni and vegan mozzarella, and the Magic Mushroom, with roasted ’shrooms, truffle oil, vegan parmesan and black pepper.

    What to order Named after the world’s most famous skunk, the Pepe Le Pew (fresh garlic, red onion, jalapeno peppers and parmesan) is delicious, though perhaps not ideal for a first date

    Address: Yard Sale, 622 High Road Leytonstone, London E11 3DA


    Telephone: +44 20 8539 5333


    Website: yardsalepizza.com

  • The best pizza in London

    Pizza Union

    SPITALFIELDS

    Thin-and-crispy fan? Pizza Union has you covered. Or topped, to be more precise, with childhood favourite combinations such as chicken, beef and pepperoni, or four cheeses. This mini-chain of ‘pizza bars’ serves up piping-hot, 12″ Roman-style pies in Spitalfields, King’s Cross, Aldgate, Dalston and Hoxton – so wherever you are in East London, you’re never too far from a fix. Every single one costs £6.50 or less, and because the slimline bases cook so fast, your order gets to your table in double-quick time. Bonus!

    What to order The Tropicali – ham and pineapple, the ultimate guilty pizza pleasure


    Address: Pizza Union, 25 Sandy’s Row, Spitalfields, London E1 7HW


    Telephone: +44 20 7247 5116


    Website: pizzaunion.com

    Pizzeria Pellone

    BATTERSEA

    Hidden in plain sight on Lavender Hill in Battersea, this place serves up some of London’s most intriguing Neapolitan pizza. Owner Antonio’s grandfather opened his first restaurant in 1972 in Naples, and he gets almost all of his ingredients from Italy, including caputo flour, divella tomato sauce and Ciro amodio fior di latte mozzarella. The hand-painted plates are sweetly reminiscent of trad trattorias, but there’s nothing old-timey about combinations such as gorgonzola, speck, walnuts and torn basil, drizzled with the best extra virgin olive oil. The punchy calzone fritto with ricotta, mozzarella, Neapolitan salami and black pepper is a crisp-shelled delight.

    What to order Keep an eye out for La Tartufata on the specials board: yellow tomatoes, fior di latte, pancetta, rocket and truffle burrata


  • The best pizza in London

    Theo’s

    CAMBERWELL

    One of the fixed points around which Camberwell’s buzzy restaurant scene revolves, Theo’s serves Neapolitan-style pizzas that are renowned far beyond SE5. The billowing, blistered bases can more than hold their own against high-concept toppings, from Camberwell scotch bonnet nduja to cavolo nero cream with mushroom and datterini tomatoes (that’s at least three of your five a day). Cheesy garlic bread, cheerful staff and keen prices make for a faultless experience. There’s an excellent Elephant & Castle outpost too.

    What to order At lunchtime they serve panuzzo – pizza-dough sandwiches – for just £5: we love the wood oven-roasted aubergine one

    Address: Theo’s, 2 Grove Lane, Camberwell, London SE5 8SY


    Telephone: +44 20 3026 4224


    Website: theospizzeria.com

    Ozone

    BETHNAL GREEN

    Coffee, breakfast, brunch, lunch, supper… there isn’t much this Bethnal Green roastery-slash-eatery doesn’t serve. As it happens, that includes some mighty fine pizzas. A short and sweet menu features two calzone, both filled with mozzarella, British tomatoes and basil (one comes with pepperoni and ricotta too), then a selection of rosse and bianche pies. They take sustainability and ‘whole-cycle eating’ seriously here – so all the cheeses on the quattro formaggi are British, and they ferment their own chillies to pep up the pepperoni and nduja pizza.

    What to order Jerusalem artichoke, courgette, salsa verde and rocket on a white base, please


    Address: Ozone, Emma Street, Bethnal Green, London E2 9AP


    Telephone: +44 20 7490 1039


    Website: ozonecoffee.co.uk

  • The best pizza in London

    Voodoo Ray’s

    DALSTON

    It isn’t just the pizzas that are New York-style here: the neon signage, subway tiles and late-night vibe all scream retro Manhattan. The giant 22” pizzas, which come by the slice, read like they’ve been dreamed up by someone with a terrible hangover, and there are pots of dip for your crusts, sides such as jalapeno mac ’n’ cheese and £5 Negronis. Psst: on Mondays every slice is just £2.50, and you can get a whole pizza for £20. Shoreditch and Peckham have branches too.

    What to order The so-wrong-it’s-right Full Moon Slice: bacon dust, Japanese mayo, mozzarella, vine tomatoes


    Address: Voodoo Ray’s, 95 Kingsland High Street, Dalston, London E8 2PB


    Telephone: +44 20 7249 7865


    Website: voodoorays.com

    Mamma Dough

    BRIXTON

    A blend of rye, wholemeal and white flours gives this Brixton favourite’s bases a distinctive bite, while tongue-in-cheek specials such as the Peter Piper, with padron and poponcini peppers (see what they did there?) keep things interesting. Almost all of the vegetables and herbs are locally grown, the beers are brewed mere miles away and they make their own ginger ale. Venturing further into south-east London? Peckham, Sydenham, South Norwood, Ladywell and Honor Oak Park have Mamma Doughs too.

    What to order Turn up the heat with The Devil: tomato, mozzarella, salami calabrese, onions, nduja, dry chilli and olives

    Address: Mamma Dough, 354 Coldharbour Lane, Brixton, London SW9 8QH


    Telephone: +44 20 7095 1491


    Website: mammadough.co.uk

  • Zia Lucia

    HOLLOWAY

    Long before Holloway was hailed as a gastronomic hotspot (it’s home to the likes of cult favourite laksa bar Sambal Shiok and Xi’an Impression’s hand-pulled biang biang noodles), Zia Lucia was pulling in the crowds. Its USP – other than the fact it’s always rammed – is that diners can choose from four different doughs, including charcoal and a world-class gluten-free one. Toppings are simple but superb: we love the Parmigiana, which comes covered in rich aubergine, tomato and mozzarella. Aldgate East, Boxpark Wembley and Hammersmith all have outposts.

    What to order Push the boat out with the Arianna: mozzarella, fresh sausage, taleggio goat cheese, pecorino cheese and truffle honey


    Address: Zia Lucia, 157 Holloway Road, London N7 8LX


    Telephone: +44 20 7700 3708


    Website: zialucia.com

  • The best pizza in London

    L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele

    BAKER STREET

    Although he wasn’t big on food, even Sherlock Holmes might have had his head turned by the garlicky wafts coming from this place on Baker Street. The central London offshoot of the authentic Neapolitan pizzeria from Eat Pray Love (there’s also a Soho one in the pipeline) is famous for its slightly misshapen bases, with their signature ultra-puffy crusts and dark spots from the oven’s searing heat. Are they really the world’s best, as their many admirers claim? There’s only one way to find out…

    What to order Stick to the classic Margherita, but double up on the mozzarella


  • The best pizza in London

    Sodo Pizza

    WALTHAMSTOW

    Walthamstow’s premier pizzeria majors in long-fermented sourdough bases, craft beers and natural wine, served in an airy warehouse space – very E17. If you’re visiting at the weekend you can order one of the special brunch pizzas: The Casper, with smoked mozzarella, cream, chard, white onion, eggs, Lincolnshire Poacher and Parma ham, is the one to beat. There are Bethnal Green, Hoxton and Clapton branches too, and if you fancy learning the tricks of the trade, they run pizza-making classes.

    What to order It’s got to be the John Bon Chovy (tomato, mozzarella, anchovies, olives, capers, chilli and fresh parsley), for the name if nothing else


    Address: Sodo Pizza, 21-23 Hatherley Mews, Walthamstow, London E17 4QP


    Telephone: +44 20 8520 1244


    Website: sodopizza.co.uk

    Santa Maria

    EALING

    They’re big on provenance at this funky Ealing mainstay: Neapolitan owners Angelo and Pasquale are veterans of London’s pizza scene, and they only use San Marzano tomatoes and fior di latte from Campania, along with delicacies from closer to home such as rare-breed Yorkshire pork sausage. Santa Maria has one of London’s best vegan pizza selections, topped with walnut- or pumpkin-cream bases. As well as the original, there are branches in Chelsea and Fitzrovia.

    What to order The mortadella and pistachio pesto – or, if you’re meat-free, the vegan Sant’ Andrea, with cream of potato and onions in soy milk, red and yellow peppers, portobello mushrooms and olives


    Address: Santa Maria, 15 St Mary’s Road, Ealing, London W5 5RA


    Telephone: +44 20 8579 1462


    Website: santamariapizzeria.com

  • The best pizza in London

    Lardo

    HACKNEY

    Hackney’s original industrial-cool Italian restaurant has been going since 2012 in the Arthaus development, but shows no sign of flagging: the mirror-mosaic-covered oven is a reliable source of pleasingly quirky pizzas. Ironically, given its name, Lardo has been scaling back on its meat usage – the menu is now about three-quarters vegetarian, with the pumpkin, smoked tomato, pesto, crispy kale and walnut a standout. The pineapple, mortadella and pickled chilli number has perennial filthy-gorgeous appeal.

    What to order The thinly sliced crispy potato, smoked anchovy, mozzarella and rosemary one: umami to the max


    Address: Lardo, 197-201 Richmond Road, Hackney, London E8 3NJ


    Telephone: +44 20 8985 2683


    Website: lardo.co.uk

    Homeslice

    COVENT GARDEN

    The reigning champion of foldable slices, this London mini-chain excels at leftfield toppings: anyone for chorizo, corn and coriander? Its 20” pizzas come whole or by the slice (complete with paper plates), and there’s a head-spinning range of site-specific and seasonal specials. There are seven locations, and the option to go 50-50 by splitting toppings, plus plenty of choice for vegans (hello, garlicky mushroom, pumpkin seed and chili), make this a very safe bet for a group trip.

    What to order Wagyu beef and truffle is pretty extra


    Address: Homeslice, 13 Neal’s Yard, Covent Garden, London WC2H 9DP


    Telephone: +44 20 3151 7488

  • The best pizza in London

    Princi

    SOHO

    There’s a time and a place for giant oblong pizzas with squidgy bases cut into hot, cheesy squares. The place is Soho restaurant Princi, on Wardour Street, and the time is… well, whenever you fancy it – this Milanese export stays open until midnight every day apart from Sunday. The focaccia pizzas by the slice are a Soho lunch-break stalwart, with topping combinations such as pecorino and grilled vegetables, speck and potatoes or parma ham and buffalo mozzarella, perfect for chowing down on at the relaxed counter seats.

    What to order Take things to the next level with with 5 Cheese: mozzarella, brie, crescenza, gorgonzola, parmigiano and mushrooms


    Address: Princi, 135 Wardour Street, Soho, London W1F 0UT


    Telephone: +44 20 7478 8888


    Website: princi.com

    Like this? Now read:

    The best restaurants in London

    The best restaurants in London right now

The best bakeries in London

The best bakeries in London

The best cheap restaurants in London

The cheapest, nicest restaurants in London