Saporitalia, Notting Hill

Saporitalia is set to be a hit with its large, unpretentious and authentic pizzas

Booking a table at the last minute in London is challenging at the best of times. Trying to secure a spot for nine people on a Friday evening at a new and already well-reviewed restaurant on fashionable Portobello Road would seem to be a fool’s errand. You can imagine our surprise, then, that this turned out not to be the case at Saporitalia, whose easy-going staff informed us that seating our group that evening would be no problem at all. Continue reading

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Strada, Royal Festival Hall

The high street contender serves up reliably tasty pizzas in a prime riverside location

When it comes to high street pizza, the ubiquitous Pizza Express has done its best to corner the market. With 400 restaurants in the UK alone, the black and white stripes can be found on every major high street, with stablemates Zizzi and ASK (they all come under the umbrella of Gondola Holdings) mopping up any stray customers. Tricky then for another contender to operate in such a crowded market, but Strada has managed to carve its own niche nonetheless. Continue reading

Cantuccio, Clapham

Cantuccio is friendly but lacks the quality of some of London’s top artisan pizzerias

Cantuccio has chosen its name well. The Italian word means ‘corner’ or ‘nook’, which neatly suits the location of this Clapham pizzeria as well as its cosy, informal atmosphere. On arrival we were pleased to be greeted simultaneously by an elderly Italian waiter and the smoky aroma of the restaurant’s prized wood-burning oven. However our sense of anticipation turned quickly to agitation when we noticed the pizzaiolo busily working away at his pizzas… with a rolling pin. Continue reading

Sartori, Covent Garden

Sartori is a hidden gem serving great pizza-by-the-metre in the heart of London

Finding a decent meal in Covent Garden is like finding a needle in a haystack. For every Hawksmoor or Dishoom, there are at least a dozen chain restaurants, half-hearted brasseries and tourist-trap steakhouses. Finding a decent pizza is even harder, with most of the slice-based action restricted to the sickly-looking specimens found sweating in the cafés surrounding Leicester Square tube. Continue reading

Pizza East, Portobello

The Shoreditch success story repeats the trick in its new Western home

When the achingly hip Soho House Group announced plans for a Shoreditch-based pizza restaurant back in 2010, we must confess to harbouring doubts. Creating a network of exclusive members’ clubs is all well and good, but how would that initiative translate to the fashioning of a competent pizza?

Happily, our fears were thoroughly confounded by Nick Jones and his team, as Pizza East proved itself well capable of serving up delicious, authentic pizzas to match the see-and-be-seen atmosphere of its trendy, East London setting. Continue reading

Pizza Metro Pizza, Battersea

Size does matter for the restaurant that brought pizza-by-the-metre to Britain

It’s no surprise that the restaurant credited with introducing ‘pizza al metro’, or pizza-by-the-metre, to our shores takes its roots very seriously. The moment you step into the aptly-named Pizza Metro Pizza, it’s clear that a little slice of Italy has been lovingly created in Clapham Junction.

Small tables are crowded between a huge, gaudy mural of a Neapolitan market scene on one wall and an ancient coffee machine resembling something out of Dr Who on the other. Harried waiters run to and fro, balancing improbably long trays of pizza and shouting Italian to one another. The Vespa parked casually next to our table completed the impression that the atmosphere here is as informal, bustling and cheerful as anything you could hope to find in Italy. Continue reading