1. Best Toppings – Yard Zale Pizza, various locations
Starting off in a backyard and now with locations ranging from Balham to Walthamstow, Yard Sale’s pizzas are incredible – think huge pies, with no space wasted when it comes to toppings.
Our favourites include the simple yet deliciously moreish ‘TSB’ featuring tender stem broccoli, parmesan, pine nuts, garlic & olive oil, or their ‘Holy Pepperoni’ featuring Cobble Lane pepperoni, regular pepperoni and spicy Nduja sausage for the meat-lovers out there.
A special mention goes to their vegan pies, such as the ‘Texas VBQ’ which are equally delicious.
Hicce is found @ Unit 102, Stable Street, N1C 4DQ – www.hicce.co.uk
2. Best Sourdough pizza – Franco Manca, various locations
Starting as a small pizza joint in Brixton Market and now with over 50 locations nationwide, you might be sceptical that Franco Manca could stay true to its roots with such rapid expansion.
But Franco Manca’s sourdough slices are just as good as ever. What makes these pies so good is undoubtedly the sourdough base, cooked in a wood-fired oven; crispy, doughy and slightly tangy, their crusts are arguably the best in the city.
Their slices are reasonably priced too, with a tomato and mozzarella pizza at just £6.80 a relative steal for London prices.
3. Best Chicago-Style Deep Dish pizza – Japes, Soho
Lots of the pizza you’ll find in London is relatively thin and crispy; classically Italian. Japes’ deep-crust pizza flies in the face of that, in the best way possible.
Japes’ pizza is thick and doughy, made in the Chicago style with a layer of homemade tomato sauce over a thick layer of mozzarella cheese, all held up inside an incredible deep dish crust.
With a painstaking tasting process just to choose the pepperoni featured on their epic Chicago Deep Dish, a lot of care is put into every pie here, and you can taste it.
4. Best Value – Pizza Union, various locations
At just £3.95 for a 12-inch Margherita pizza, and about a fiver for other flavours, you might not expect the quality to be as high as it truly is at Pizza Union.
Their slices are thin, crispy and delicious, with the low price (by London’s standards) an added extra. They’ve got all the classics – Funghi, Pepperoni, Formaggi – but our absolute favourite is the simple yet spectacular Aglio, a white pizza with mozzarella, parmesan, garlic and rosemary – and at just £3.50 it’s an absolute steal.
5. Most Underrated slice – Joe Public, Clapham Common
An absolute hidden treasure. Tucked away next to a busy tube station in a former public toilet, you could easily miss Joe Public among the bustle of an evening commute.
But it happens to be, in our opinion, one of the city’s best pizza spots. The slices here are mammoth, and at about 4 pounds each, very affordable. Flavours include a classy mushroom, crispy shallot, truffle oil and parmesan option atop a cream chive base, as well as an indulgent ‘meat lover’ feast sporting beef, sausage, bacon, pepperoni and caramelised onion. We seriously recommend grabbing a slice or two and heading over to the nearby common for a picnic.
6. Most fancy (yet affordable) pizza – Homeslice, various locations
Air-dried Wagu beef is not something you might expect to see atop a humble slice of pizza, but Homeslice has ventured there, keeping it company with truffle crème fraiche, cipollini onions and salsa verde.
We told you this place was fancy. Other pizzas on their menu feature spiced lamb, savoy cabbage, sumac yogurt and pickled Spanish chillies, or the ‘You Goat’a Be Kidding Me?’ which sports goat salami by Cobble Lane Cured, Goats Curd, BBQ Burnt onions with soy and chilli, fresh mint and pesto.
But while their toppings are daring and bold, Homeslice is far from pretentious; you can order a slice of their top three pizzas for just £4 or £5, with other flavours going at around £22-30 for the whole pie, which could easily serve 2 or 3 people.
7. Best pizza out of a food van– Sud Italia, various locations
Pizza at its core is a simple concept – dough, tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese combining to make a glorious invention that has lasted centuries.
So why dress it up in a fancy restaurant with knives and forks? Sud Italia serves pizza as good as any restaurant’s out of its several mobile food vans, complete with wood-burning ovens, and it does not disappoint.
With six staple slices on the menu, you can’t go wrong – but we recommend the ‘Ndjuja pizza topped with spicy pork sausages and onions. All ingredients are imported directly from Italy for a fresh, authentic taste.
8. Most variety – Zia Lucia, various locations
Not many pizza joints offer four different types of dough – but Zia Lucia does. Choose from Vegetable Charcoal, Wholemeal, Without Gluten or Traditional, depending on your preference; this is what sets Zia Lucia apart from other pizzerias.
And it doesn’t stop there. With over fifteen different options to choose from, like the incredible Andrea Pirlo featuring mozzarella, gorgonzola, apple, truffle oil and oilve pathe, you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to toppings as well as dough here.