The best pizza in Central london

2nd January 2017




Less than £20/head without alcohol

Four pizza chains have been metastasizing all over the city. They've hunted down most of the Pizza Express outlets like wild-haired gladiators chucking spears at some ageing, three-legged bull. It's upsetting for those who still like a dough ball with garlic butter from time to time.

So who are they and what do we think of them? From good to better to best:

1) Franco Manca: My own darling mother introduced me to this sourdough pizza purveyor. It's a great place for a cheap meal in pleasant, modern surroundings, and works particularly well as a suburban venue. They've even got one in Kentish Town.

2) Pizza East: I used to fall back on Pizza East for chill date nights and pre-Shoreditch carb loading. I still go to the Notting Hill branch because you can book and park right outside. It's a little circa-2011 - and it's been outdone by...

3) Pizza Pilgrims: The oven at the Swingers location is unusually good - for some reason they bang out exceptionally good pizza in this branch only. I haven ever eaten so fast in my life. Good pizza - but again, not the best in London.

4) Homeslide: I eat beyond the point of exhaustion, beyond the point of fullness, beyond the point of sanity. You can either order by the slice (don't do this) or get a whole 20 inch pizza to split with a buddy. They use extra salt on their sourdough crust, and it's as light as a cherubin cloud. Posh nosh ingredients go down a treat. I loved their mushroom, ricotta, pumpkin seed and chilli pizza, also the aubergine, cauliflower cheese and harissa. If you go to the Neal's Yard branch, they'll let you wander off until your table is ready. I recommend wandering in the direction of the wine bar next door. It's pricey but very good.

Noteworthy also are Osteria Basilico in Notting Hill and Firebrand Pizza on Lisson Grove. I've had a few slices in both places, but will withhold a full judgement till I've had a whole pie.