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FOOD & DRINK

Where to Eat Pizza When All Your Friends Are Doing Italian Summer and FOMO Levels Are High

From chewy Neapolitan rounds to some of the best slices in the word.
By Imogen Baker
June 28, 2018
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Where to Eat Pizza When All Your Friends Are Doing Italian Summer and FOMO Levels Are High

From chewy Neapolitan rounds to some of the best slices in the word.
By Imogen Baker
June 28, 2018
  shares

WHERE TO EAT PIZZA WHEN ALL YOUR FRIENDS ARE DOING ITALIAN SUMMER AND FOMO LEVELS ARE HIGH

in partnership with

From chewy Neapolitan rounds to some of the best slices in the word.

Here in Australia, we're just about to enter what will no doubt be a gruelling winter. Well, our version of gruelling (socks and thongs weather). What makes it worse is that the Northern Hemisphere is enjoying summer, taunting us with pictures of beaches, lilos and rooftop cocktails while we huddle around an on-fire garbage bin and feel our seasonal affective disorder turn up a notch.

The smartest of us, the ones not shackled to our desks and chairs, will defect to the north and torture us even more with Instagram stories from the Amalfi Coast, photos that could be compiled into an overpriced coffee-table book and sold in a snooty art shop.

But you know what they say: if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. And if you don't have enough annual leave to join 'em, eat so much pizza that your cheese dreams transport you to warmer places. And then start referring to your tummy as Little Italy. And then despondently look for flights for Euro-summer next year.

To help you achieve this goal, we've teamed up with American Express to find the best Italian-style pizza to counteract Euro-summer FOMO. So, grab your American Express® Card and let's head out for some of the city's best cheesy rounds, slices and rectangles.

Got yourself in another dining situation and need some guidance? Whatever it is, we know a place. Visit The Shortlist and we'll sort you out.

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    Ahhh, what can we say about D.O.C.? D.O.C. is the Regina George of the pizza scene — the original and the best, a trendsetter and just a little mean. With a traditional Italian menu, artisanal pizza bases that have been perfected over the years and the kind of dramatic service that let’s you know D.O.C. has self esteem and won’t be pushed around, it really is an amazing Italian pizza experience.

    The pizza can best be described as delicate, with thin crunchy bases not overloaded with toppings. You really can’t go wrong here and it would be unethical of us to recommend one over the other — they’re all winners. And, if you really want a slice of summer, rug up and go during the day to sit on the street under the olive trees with a wine. It’s as good as a holiday.

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  • 7
    Takeaway Pizza is Preston’s answer to a problem we didn’t know we had: where do you get slightly fancy, very delicious, pizza by the slice, from a place that also has a buzzing outdoor bar scene? Enter Takeaway Pizza. It might be chilly outside, but if pizza and fine wine can’t warm you up, nothing will.
    If you haven’t visited already, expect a selection of bar snacks including chilli dogs, pizza pockets, fried olives, oysters and of course, a rotating selection of pizzas available by the slice and often with unconventional toppings (get ‘em to-go or dine in). For traditionalists, cold cuts of salami, prosciutto and smoked ham will also make an appearance, thanks to the two massive smokers in the kitchen. If you squint just right, you’ll almost believe you’re in Europe. 
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  • 6

    400 Gradi is famous on the Melbourne pizza scene, and for good reason — it makes unpretentious, award-winning pizza. And it’s the perfect place to hang out on a dreary winter night, with soft lighting, dark features and friendly service that combine to make a cosy atmosphere. Once you’re settled in, safely peruse your options knowing that you can’t go wrong.

    The bases, for one thing, are perfect — light, yeasty and lightly charcoaled in taste, cooked to perfection within 90 seconds. And the menu is faultless, whatever your inclination. Aside from the margherita, which is the pizzeria’s most popular item, the Caserta — featuring san marzano tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella, rocket and prosciutto ($24.5) — is also a guaranteed good time. 

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  • 5

    With a sleek interior, a woodfired oven and an Italian nonna making pasta by hand in the kitchen, Ladro will transport you to the Italian vacay you’re not on. Ladro is doing its thing in both Fitzroy and Prahran, but pizza isn’t the only thing it does well. It also really cares about local and environmentally conscientious consuming, which is really just a bonus because the food is absolutely incredible.

    Start with a salumi board ($16) featuring pancetta, salami, and house-made giardiniera (fancy Italian pickles) to set the mood and end — fittingly — with a classic pizza. We like the Patate ($23), an indulgent mess of fior di latte, taleggio, potato, rosemary, truffle oil, and basil (also known as carbs on carbs on carbs). Or the classic Puttanesca ($19.5), with tomato, fior di latte, parmigiano, cherry tomatoes, anchovies, fresh chilli and black olives. It’s a double hit of Italiano — a pizza take on a pasta dish, and as delicious as both combined.

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  • 4
    Baby Pizza is in no way a traditional Italian pizzeria. It’s part nightclub, part pizzeria and a lot of charm. A blend of rustic furniture, intimate booths, and a touch of neon, Baby’s fit-out and fare are designed to share. Unfortunately, there’s a no bookings policy, but, if you bring your friends, groups of six or more skip the queue and jump right to pizza gobbling.
    Serving over 20 variations of pizzas, we recommend going for one with the house-made mozzarella. In other words: all of them. The bases are thin and light, made with special flour from Naples to recreate traditional Italian pizza. When the pizza is this good, and the space this funky, you might actually make your mates wish they’d never skipped town.
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  • 3

    While the south-side is more famous for seafood and ice cream, Mr Wolf has carved out a niche as one of St Kilda’s  best pizzerias. It serves up a very Italian lineup — come with your Italian dictionary fired up because you might need to translate a few things. And, while you’re at it, bring your appetite because the bases are chewy and handmade and the toppings are thick.

    We recommend the Signore Lupo ($24.5) for something a little different, it comes with mozzarella, tomato, roast cauliflower, sausage, pancetta, and chilli. Or the No. 9 for a classic — buffalo mozzarella, prosciutto, and rocket ($24). Once your belly is full of pizza, take a stroll along the shore and, if you squint, you might be able to pretend you’re in Italy and the palm trees are rows and rows of beautiful, tall Italians bringing you a nice glass of red.

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  • 2

    You’ll find this gem of a pizza joint on the increasingly buzzy High Street of Northcote. Among the bohemian 1960s decor and higgledy-piggledy seating lies a true local family pizzeria. It serves delicious pizzas with thin, slightly chewy bases, smothered with thoughtful and unconventional toppings.

    Pizza Meine Liebe is best enjoyed in-house, to soak up the charming atmosphere. While it might not alleviate your Euro-summer FOMO so much as make you forget about it altogether, you will be distracted by thegood food, good company and cosy surrounds. When deciding what to eat, we recommend the Where’s The Wolf with braised lamb, red onion, tomato, chilli, and yoghurt sauce ($15/$20). 

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As you drink and dine with your American Express, reap all the sweet rewards of being a Card Member. Explore the many ways American Express has your back here.

Top image: Takeaway Pizza

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