Food & Drink

The Jackal’s guide to the best pizza in London

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Our definitive round-up of the capital’s finest combinations of dough, tomatoes and cheese

Despite the sheer amount of choice in London, a truly great pizza can be hard to come by. But there’s no need to settle for second rate – we’ve done the hard work for you and hunted down our top five spots for the best pizza in London. Whether you’re looking for an authentic Neapolitan number, or a quick Roman pizza to go, these’ll have you covered.

L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele

Often cited as the best pizzeria in the world, Neapolitan establishment L’Antica shot to prominence in the 2010 Julia Roberts film Eat, Pray, Love. The restaurant, which has been feeding hungry Neapolitans since 1870,  descended on these shores back in February 2017, when it opened its much-anticipated first London branch in Stoke Newington. A second spot has now opened in Baker Street to replace the first, and queues can regularly be seen snaking around the block. Despite the tourists, it’s well worth a visit.

Go here for: the real deal. Think perfectly puffed up, slightly charred crusts, and sloppy middles.

199 Baker St, Marylebone, NW1 6UY

Pizza Pilgrims

This successful London pizza chain was founded by Thom Elliott and his brother James after a six-week tour of Italy in an old Piaggio Ape van in September 2011. Inspired by the verdant produce and delicious food they found there, they transformed the said van into a food truck, popping up around London’s food markets and serving their take on authentic Neapolitan pizza. Fast forward seven years, and the brothers have six branches and a dedicated fanbase who return time and time again for their pizza.

Go here for: their short, but well-considered menu of pizza toppings, all sourced from fine Italian suppliers. Also their top-notch negronis always hit the spot.

Around London

Sacro Cuore

An under-the-radar favourite of many north Londoners, you’ll have to travel to leafy Crouch End or Kensal Green for one of these. Staffed by Neapolitans, and hosting hefty authentic pizza ovens shipped straight from the mother land, Sacro Cuore is the kind of low key, yet unbelievably tasty, joint that you want to keep to yourself. But I’m generous, and so it’s made the list anyway. As well as a comprehensive list of toppings, plus the kind of crisp-yet-soggy dough that’s straight out of Naples, they also do a great line in Italian gelato and homemade tiramisu.

Go here for: a low key first or fiftieth date – it’ll impress either way.

45 Chamberlayne Road, Kensal Green, NW10 3NB; 10 Crouch End Hill, N8 8AA

Pizza Union

Although Naples claims to be the originator, there are different versions of great pizza all over Italy, too. Rome’s interpretation, for example, is thin, crispy and made for eating on the go. Pizza Union has taken this ethos and run with it in London, opening several branches that sell super fast, super cheap pizza to hungry passersby. You can see your pizza assembled before your very eyes, before it’s whisked into the large oven and fired for a matter of minutes.

Go here for: a quick, tasty pit-stop to refuel while gallery hopping, or as a casual meet-up with friends.

Around London

Pizzeria Apollo

The passion project of two pizza-mad north Londoners, Pizzeria Apollo came to life in 2015 after the founders became tired of the lack of good pizza in their neck of the woods. Most of their budget went into the pizza oven, which was shipped from Naples, and it shows. Pizzas here are flash-cooked, for the authentic charred crust and runny middle, and come with a limited selection of toppings – just like in Naples. Just like the menu, the space is also back-to-basics, with long wooden tables and low lighting.

Go here for: oozy, gooey Neapolitan pizzas, served with a compact wine list. Come with friends, bag a long table and settle in.

160 Stoke Newington High Street, N16 7JL