Guests of the Devonshire Hotel Paddington all have at least one thing in common – and no, it is not just that they are all in Accommodation Near Paddington, thank you very much. Instead, it is that they have a taste for the good life. From spa packages to luxury hotel rooms, they like to feel comfortable and a bit more. These kinds of trips often mean a lot of extravagant, grand meals at fine restaurants and glamorous cocktail bars, but the truth of the matter is no matter how stunning the view from the 10th story river-vista restaurant, nobody wants only this sort of food for too long. Every now and then, let’s face it, you just fancy a quick pizza. Don’t get us wrong – we don’t mean one of the take-away variety (though there is no judgment here if that is exactly what you wanted). Instead, we mean great quality, lovely, charming pizzerias serving up the Italian favourite at its best. So, here is a whole range of options – whether you are looking for a wind-down, eat-and-go environment, or an authentic Italian kitchen, there is something for everyone across every borough.
Pizza Union is a top example of how quick, cheap and easy can also be synonymous as delicious, good value and did we mention delicious? Just in case it isn’t 100% clear: the pizzas at Pizza Union are absolutely delicious. There are a number of them in London, and going to any one of them is a great decision. It has become trendy in recent times to go for a sort of “sparse” blobbing of cheese – almost a movement towards making it artisinal to a degree. Well, if you were a fan of the “good old days” when pizza was evenly cheesy, then Pizza Union is the place for you – there is certainly no skimping on the cheese here! You order at the counter and collect when your freshly baked pizza is ready. You can also purchase little snack packs and drinks at the counter (including litre-sized Bierre Moretti or Peroni to keep things authentic) to take to your table, which are stools and bar counters with a trendy, chic, urban design.
All around the city of London, from the centre of Soho to Liverpool Street, there is a local Franco Manca to be found – they are spreading due to their continued success and being a nucleus for tasty, affordable, easy-going dining. Franco Manca is the perfect example that “fast” food is not inherently bad, or that it can’t be relatively classy too. In fact, Franco Manca totally encapsulates the Italian philosophy on pizza – easy, cheap, and most importantly, good! Not to mention, the chain started in Italy and this familiarity shines through the service, wine and food. For a chain restaurant, you would hardly guess it. Each branch appeals as a homely, local village pizza joint, rather than a series of the same thing. Their sourdough pizza bases are things of legend, and we would always recommend you give the current special a try, because it is a regular show-stopper! Not to mention, there are vegan cheese options for those who either can’t or opt to not eat dairy – so there really is no excuse not to visit.
The Pizza Room give up the ghost just in the name: they are all about pizza, and they are experts of the trade. There are four of them in London, so it is just about picking which one is best suited to where you are, what you are doing and where you plan on going afterwards. For instance, if you have been paying a visit to the V&A Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green, you could head to the Mile End branch whereas if you have been exploring the South East, you could venture to either the New Cross or Surrey Quays branches.
Pizza Pilgrims is not just your run-of-the-mill chain pizzeria, they still manage to retain a strong sense of self in every branch you visit and keep a consistently good standard, making it a no-brainer if you are within the proximity of one. They keep things so simple – and when it comes to pizza, this is always the best route because it is such a naturally delicious and simple dish. It doesn’t need frills or so many toppings you can’t even pick up a piece – it just needs fresh, delicious, high-quality ingredients, a killer tomato sauce for the base, and you will be happy with whatever you order. That said, going a little extravagant always goes a long way and there is absolutely no denying that the oven roasted mushroom and truffle pizza is worth the hype, wholly capturing the flavours of Northern Italy and transporting you to the likes of Verona (while of course sticking to the Neapolitan base – you “don’t fix what ain’t broke”). Go on, splash out and have the devilishly delicious Nutella dessert pizza ring afterwards – you are on holiday, after all!
London Borough of Hackney
Hackney is known for crushing that urban, industrial-chic atmosphere, from Shoreditch High Street to the bustling, creative hub of Dalston, so your Hackney pizza-pick ought to be similarly edgy and suitably quirky. You will find this on east London’s Richmond Road, at Lardo Salumeria pizzeria – they are really nailing it, especially with their rustic, warehouse-y, wooden decor. Wanting to try something slightly unusual but completely sensational? This is the spot to do it with the pumpkin, smoked tomato, pesto, crispy kale, and walnut pizza – even if you aren’t vegan you will want to try it! Thinking that this pizza is what gives Lardo its quirk? While it is certainly part of it, we can’t omit the fact that there is a disco-ball oven! You get the sense that it is a place for friends by friends as soon as you arrive, and you can sense how involved the people behind Lardo are.
Address: 197-201 Richmond Rd, Hackney, London E8 3NJ
London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham
Pizzeria da Mariano is a traditional Neapolitan pizzeria in Hammersmith and Fulham. It is happy and rustic, churning out hot, tasty pizzas one after the other – every one delicious, every time. The prices are affordable and you really feel a sense of ease in this stripped back but still homely environment. With a range of Italian toppings to choose from, you are in for a treat when you step through the doors of this restaurant which has been doing what it’s been doing (in wood-wired style) for the last 20 years. It is small, but it is packing a punch.
Address: 93 Fulham Palace Rd, Hammersmith, London W6 8JA
London Borough of Camden
L’Antica are all about serving up as authentic a Neopolitan pizza as is possible outside of Napoli – and they are making a pretty impressive run of it. Perched on the hill in Hampstead, a short walk from the train station, you will find this little pizzeria which is often identifiable by the people lining up to get a table. Between the sourdough base and oozing dollops of mozzarella, you are set for a real treat when you venture into this little pizza-palace. A great thing to do on a good evening is grab a take-away and eat it on the Heath, overlooking the beautiful city of London.
Address: 66 Heath St, London NW3 1DN
Lost Boys Pizza, right by Mornington Crescent Station, is London’s very own vampire-themed pizzeria – yes, you read that right. Think Bloody Mary’s, pitch-black bases and plenty of vampiric puns. Unlike the crypts of Dracula, though, Lost Boys Pizza is home to the kind of vampires that eat marinara sauce over blood, though (we hope). Their punnily-named pizzas (like “Fangs For The Memories” and “The Coffin Dodger”) come with charcoal bases, meaning their blackness adds to part of the charmingly gimmicky and undeniably delicious feel. The restaurant offers a laid-back dining experience, with pumping music, yummy cocktails, sumptuous starters (try the ragu meatballs if you know what’s good for you) and a constantly buzzing atmosphere that will draw you in from the street if you weren’t already planning on visiting. You are unlikely to find Lost Boys Pizza empty – some might even go as far as to say it is a beacon for all those hungry wanderers out there!
Address: 245 Eversholt Street, London NW1 1BA
The City of London
Maybe rustic, vampire-themed pizzas is not quite what you had in mind – perhaps the occasion is a family-do or a first-date, and bringing out the bloody imagery would be a bit of a buzz-kill – then venture towards City of London’s Bread Street and don’t stop until you are well-within Gordan Ramsay’s Street Pizza. It is focused on the simplicity of street pizza rather than fine dining and fancy frills. Following the Italian-way, the pizza is served in squares, and by the slice. The deal is: you pay one set price and then the pizza only stops coming out when you just can’t fit another slice in you! This is probably the most wholesome all-you-can-eat deal in the city.
Address: Ground Floor, 10 Bread St, London EC4M 9AJ
London Borough of Tower Hamlets
Brick Lane is arguably the beating heart of the Tower Hamlets borough, from the bustling street food market to the vintage clothing shops. There are pizzerias dotted all the way up the road – in fact, Brick Lane has just about everything dotted all the way up it, so you are going to want to dedicate a whole day to exploring it. A day that ends with a smashing pizza, specifically. Though the variety may seem intimidating, the pizzeria you should pay extra attention to is Laboratorio Pizza on the corner of Brick Lane and Hanbury Street. Their organic ingredients, which are seasonal and sustainably sourced, make for a killer line-up on the menu that will make even the die-hard margherita fans consider something a little more indulgent – especially when you catch a glimpse of an oozing buratto saunter by, inciting the kind of food-envy that you didn’t even realise was possible from just one look.
Address: 79 Brick Ln, Spitalfields, London E1 6QL
London Borough of Islington
Happy Face Pizza is just around the corner from Granary Square in King’s Cross and even though it is below street level, this is not any justification for underrating it. With an aperol spritz (with a slight olive-y twist) in one hand, and a cheesy slice of pizza in the other, you get the idea of what you will be doing from the moment you walk down the stairs into Happy Face Pizza. The name pretty much describes what you will be feeling once your order arrives. It is located across from the Everyman Theatre meaning that it is the perfect pre-show dinner venue – that is if you can resist the temptation of the basement, SUPERMAX, which turns into a speakeasy-style music venue and bar after hours from Wednesday onwards.
Address: 14 Handyside St, Kings Cross, London N1C 4DN
The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea
Da Mario is one of Kensington’s finest – and that is saying something, because Kensington is a hotspot for great food, drink and vibes. A lot of these suggestions go for the thick sourdough base approach to pizza, which is definitely well-loved by pizza-enthusiasts, but some prefer theirs thing and Da Mario are all about the crispy bases heaped with mouth-watering toppings. Da Mario is set in a Venetian-Gothic building, and is best described with the Italian word trattoria, which basically means homely and laid back but still more formal than a cafe or a by-the-slice pizzeria in Italy. Staying at The Devonshire? Then this is a great, walkable option from your hotel.
Address: 15 Gloucester Rd, South Kensington, London SW7 4PP
London Borough of Lambeth
Pizza Brixton is the kind of name that would reasonably lead you to believe it is a pizzeria in Brixton – and on most accounts, that is certainly the case. However, there is also a branch in Clapham – so if you find yourself organising a meetup, it may be worth clarifying which one you are visiting to make sure everyone gets in on the same wonderful doughy page. Again, this is a wonderfully authentic Italian restaurant – a recurring theme with our recommendations, you will be starting to realise. We are all about the authenticity when it comes to pizza in London – if you aren’t going to do it properly, why do it? Ordering anything with the spicy sausage ‘nduja is a solid bet, and honestly the only way you can go wrong here is by not ordering a pizza. Keep the wine pouring, the banter flowing, and you have a winning combination at either of these South London pizza hotspots.
Address: 105 Brixton Hill, Brixton, London SW2 1AA
408 Brixton Rd, Ferndale, London SW9 7AW
195 St John’s Hill, London SW11 1TH
London Borough of Lewisham
Mamma Dough are really the matriarch’s of all things sourdough-y and delicious. They always have a killer specials menu, depending which branch you go to, and the freshest range of toppings and sauces. The dough is hand-rolled every day from Shipton Mill organic rye, wholemeal and white flour – it is really something special. There are a range of vegan options, and some can be made vegan too, so there is something for everyone.
Address: 40 Ladywell Rd, Lewisham, London SE13 7UZ
London Borough of Southwark
Crust Bros take a slightly unique approach to pizza-making – instead of set menus with classic combinations, this is a build-your-own type of place. You pick your dough (including gluten-free options), your sauce (with the green pesto a real crowd-pleaser), your protein (from spicy sausage to anchovies), your cheese (you will be very tempted by the smoked mozzarella and burrata), your veg and of course, a dipping sauce for your crust! Build your own magical pizza that suits you to the t. If this sounds a bit too daunting, there are some pre-set pizzas that will blow your socks off and make you wish you had thought of it first, like Nonna’s Yard which is mozzarella, caramelised onions, mushrooms, goats cheese and pesto – yum!
Address: 113 Waterloo Rd, Bishop’s, London SE1 8UL
London Borough of Wandsworth
If making the kind of pizza you want to text all your friends about seems like an easy task, that is probably because places like Pizza da Valter make it seem that way – but there is nothing easy about making pizzas this good. It takes stacks of skill and most importantly, heart. Open-plan kitchen, wood-fired oven, fresh ingredients, bubbling cheese – Pizza da Valter ticks all the boxes for the perfect meal out. Be sure to try their four cheeses pizza, bubbling away with dreamy Mozzarella, Dolcelatte, Parmigiano, and Scamorza.
Address: 7 Bellevue Rd, London SW17 7EG
The Royal Borough of Greenwich
Bianco43 is a top-notch, authentic Italian pizzeria in Greenwich’s Cutty Sark. It is very traditional in many respects, but also modern. Most importantly, it is bustling with heart, proving the value of the history of a place – friends Massimo and Fabrizio established it together. The cocktail menu is very impressive, but nothing will blow your socks off quite like the pizza menu. The gourmet pizza list are utter showstoppers and the restaurant’s namesake Bianco43 has a different pizza for each quarter – a quarter is sausage-mushrooms-smoked cheese, a quarter aubergines-smoked cheese, another the tomato sauce-spicy salami- mozzarella, and a quarter tomato sauce and mozzarella. That is what we call a quadruple whammy!
Address: 43 Greenwich Church St, Greenwich, London SE10 9BL
London Borough of Newham
Santi just gets it so, so right – there is not even necessarily one reason why this is the case, but rather how the whole experience adds together. The combination of premium ingredients, hearty Italian recipes and 24 hour fermentation dough, it is hardly shocking that this is one of Newham’s finest. A shining star of their menu is the Scugnizzo, which includes smoked pancetta, fresh stracciata cheese, fiordilatte mozzarella on a butternut squash cream base – we know, and yes, before you ask: it is so worth it.
Address: 42-45 Victory Parade, East Village, London E20 1FS
The City of Westminster
In Marleybone, right by your hotel, you will find Firebrand Pizza (you will also find one in Clerkenwell). Serving sourdough pizzas which have been proved for 72 hours, top of the range ingredients and the freshest of menu combinations, Firebrand Pizza is a total gem of a restaurant and one of London’s best picks for pizza. Try the 12 Month Cured Culatello Ham, Artichoke, and Mozzarella – it goes without saying the reasoning behind this suggestion. Just trust us.
Address: 41-43 Lisson Grove, Marylebone, London NW1 6UB
So, if you find that a trip to London using London Hotel Offers is often slightly over-stuffed with intricate, expensive and sometimes over-the-top dining, then make sure you schedule some time in for a tasty but care-free pizza at any of these locations. Not to mention, if one evening after a killer Afternoon Tea Near Paddington you find yourself just needing a snack, why not share a pizza with some friends? Just because it is easy, does not mean it can’t be a dining experience to remember!