Where to Find the Best Pizza in Sydney
From pepperoni-topped slices to vegan rounds, we've got you covered.
February 07, 2024
WHERE TO FIND THE BEST PIZZA IN SYDNEY
From pepperoni-topped slices to vegan rounds, we've got you covered.
Friends, it's time to pay your respects to the king of all the food groups: the pizza. That holy fusion of carbs and cheese that's basically impossible not to love and will rarely let you down. Luckily, Sydney's best pizza stores cover all the variations.
Here's where to find 13 of the best pizzas in Sydney that keep us coming back for their stretchy buffalo mozzarella, pillowy bases and perfect toppings — from chewy Neapolitan pizzas and giant New York-style slices to gut-friendly gluten-free bases and inventive vegan toppings.
Image: Casa Mia, Kitti Gould
We’re accustomed to the idea that every slice of pizza worth its weight in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles requires decent lashings of mozzarella. This is why the news that the famed Newtown pizzeria Gigi is a cheese-free haven of vegan goodness might be a bit of a shock to the unknowing Sydney pizza fan. According to owner Marco Matino, the tradition of the Neapolitan woodfired pizza “is an art form which will always be relevant no matter how times change”. That said, the King Street digs decided to kick their double-smoked ham and stringy mozzarella to the curb years ago in favour of a plant-based menu and have never looked back. The pizza here is both sustainable and ethical, with fresh, locally grown produce and key ingredients imported from Italy.
Dimitri’s Pizzeria and its eye-catching red-and-white sign had been a permanent fixture on Crown Street since the 70s; while it moved once (around 20 years ago), it had never left the strip — until 2019. That’s when the Surry Hills pizza stalwart uprooted its tables (literally) and relocated to Oxford Street, setting up shop in the building previously home to Hunky Dory Social Club. Here, the woodfired oven can get up to 150 degrees hotter than the restaurant’s previous oven (meaning the pizzas only have to spend a third of the time inside), and the pizza is made with a 100-percent sourdough base that is fermented for a minimum of 48 hours. Head to Dimitri’s — one of the best pizza spots in Sydney — to find unorthodox toppings, including brussels sprouts, honey (from Williams’ mum’s beehive), onion and fennel jam, and corn atop the pies — as well as the necessary mozzarella, which is stretched daily in-house.
Images: Kimberley Low.
As it turns out, Luke Powell of LP’s Quality Meats had a long-held dream of opening his own pizzeria. Mates Joseph Valore and Elvis Abrahanowicz over at Porteño had similar fancies, and it just took a trip to the USA to seal the deal. Out of the trip blossomed one of Sydney’s best pizza joints, Bella Brutta. The style of pizza served up here isn’t traditional. The bases are a mix between Neapolitan and Roman style — blistered and chewy like the former, but crisp enough that it can be eaten with your hands (like the latter) — and toppings vary widely, taking their inspiration from America and across Italy (and even around the corner in Chippendale). If you’ve been to LP’s in Chippendale, you’ve probably tried its house-made mortadella. And here, you’ll find it atop a pizza ($28) with garlic and green olives. The clam ($30) pizza is the show stealer, however, and takes its inspiration from a bit further away — New Haven, Connecticut. This white-based pizza is heavy on the chilli and garlic, and unlike anything else we’ve tried in Australia.
Images: Kitti Smallbone.
This snug Marrickville eatery is immediately inviting, radiating a pastel pink glow that spills out onto the corner of the busy Victoria Road. Pizza Madre is brought to you by the culinary legends behind cafe and pasta mecca, Two Chaps, and is similarly characterised by effortless simplicity — a handful of dishes done to perfection. The vegetarian ingredients are seasonal and exceptionally fresh, taking centre stage on a simple seasonal menu. Each month, there are six or seven pizzas on offer, which are shuffled, altered and revised based on the availability of local produce. No matter what is on the menu, you’ll be eating one of the best pizzas in Sydney.
Image: Kitti Smallbone.
Housed in a former cannery, Da Mario inhabits a large and open space — possibly selected to house the big red oven. Toppings are minimal yet deliciously paramount. That’s a big part of why we have named Da Mario as one of Sydney’s best pizza joints. Take, for example, the gorgonzola con radicchio or the full-flavoured Calabrese with hot salame, mozzarella and olives. Traditionalists will love the margherita, while calzone fans can take their pick of the salame, the funghi and the cotto e funghi, all of which are oozing with soft ricotta, melted mozzarella and black pepper. Everything at this Sydney pizza joint is stupidly delicious.
A fan-favourite down south, DOC Surry Hills is Sydney’s first taste of this beloved Melbourne hospitality group, which has a wide-spanning collection of delicatessens, espresso spots and pizza bars spread across Melbourne and the Mornington Peninsula. DOC is known for its crisp pizzas and commitment to timeless Italian simplicity. On the menu, you’ll spy plenty of top-notch imported Italian ingredients, which are all displayed on a map — so you know exactly where each tasty morsel has come from. Each ingredient sits atop crisp and springy bases in the 14-strong pizza offering. Chianti truffle oil is splashed on the pizza ai porcini (with wild mushrooms, mozzarella and pecorino), while the napoletana stars San Marzano tomatoes from Campania, Ligurian olives, and anchovies.
Occupying the old Limoncello digs in Double Bay, this Sydney pizza spot is a labour of love for chef Angelo Malerba. The hero of the restaurant is the matte white cladded woodfired pizza oven with forest green panelling encasing it. Classic pizza lovers should love the formula here: a charred, soft base and sparse, quality ingredients.
You can never go wrong with a margherita, and this one does not disappoint. But we are also big fans of the porcini mushroom, salami and truffle oil creation and Matteo’s Amalfi pizza — topped with zucchini puree, sun-dried tomatoes, prawns, stracciatella and lemon zest. Pair this with a cheeky spritz for the ultimate summertime meal.
Images: Steven Woodburn.
The quality of a good pizza lies predominantly in its base — and the bases at Rosso Antico are super legit. They have that perfect crispy, chewy balance, and the toppings that amply adorn those bases are on point. Highlights at one of Sydney’s best pizza joints include the norma, with generous caramelised slivers of roasted eggplant, islands of salted ricotta and a generous amount of fior di latte and the equally cheesy zucchini — with crispy pancetta, roasted zucchini strips and melted fior di latte and scamorza.
For a more low-maintenance option when you don’t feel like a full meal, City Oltra has you covered with huge pizzas available whole or by the slice. The casual eatery is situated in the EDDY precinct by Central Station, ideally located for you to grab a bite on your way into the city or before a commute home.
Pizza options include Poor Tom’s gin sauce with cheese and basil, hot pepperoni with cool ranch, soppressata siciliana with pickled peppers, and changing specials. Drinks-wise, there are craft beers, Poor Tom’s cans, aperitivos like a strawberry gin and grapefruit highball or Baba’s rakija and tonic plus a selection of fun wines.
Opening a restaurant at any time is hard, but your back is really up against the wall if you try to do it in the midst of a four-month lockdown. Despite that, Amani Rachid, Huss Rachid and Sal Senan pulled it off, opening My Mother’s Cousin in the middle of Sydney’s lockdown to great success.
The Bexley North spot is a classic Sydney pizza and wing joint that nails the simple things. The dough for each of My Mother’s Cousin’s pizzas is fermented for 48 hours and topped with high-quality ingredients that stray from the mundane while staying true to flavours Sydneysiders love to see on their doughy rounds. Simple classics like fennel Italian sausage with roasted capsicum or white cheese, garlic confit and caramelised onion are here, alongside a spicy nduja, sopressa salumi and ricotta pizza that is calling out for a drizzle of hot honey.
Venture down to the southernmost point of King Street, and you’ll find hot pinsa romana emerging five days a week from Casa Mia Osteria. This inventive style of pizza is a contemporary reinvention of an ancient Roman technique that’s growing in popularity across Italy. The fluffy oval-shaped pizzas have a distinctly different appearance from their circular Naples-style cousins, but that’s not the most important distinguishing factor. That would be the dough, which combines three different types of flour. This means that it rises more when cooking compared to the Naples-style pizza base Sydneysiders are familiar with, and results in the pinsa romana’s signature light and crunchy bases. When it comes to what’s on top of the dough, the restaurant will have a new seasonal menu every few months.
Pocket Pizza in Sydney pays homage to New York’s Little Italy with red-and-white tables and plates, exposed brick walls, vintage NYC photos and a hip hop playlist to boot. The 12 hand-tossed pizza pies are the star of the show here — most of which come topped with fior di latte, and all of which are given punny titles. There’s the ‘Netflix & Chilli’ (spicy ‘nduja, ricotta, chilli flakes and honey), the Gordon Hamsey (double smoked ham, pineapple, pickled jalapeño and red onion) and the Funghitown (field mushrooms, fried kale, dried ricotta and truffle). Gluten-free bases and vegan cheese are available for all pizzas, as is a very American ranch dipping sauce for the crust.
Shlomi Palensya has been mastering dough throughout his career. Formerly the Executive Pastry Chef at the Ritz-Carlton in Israel and Sydney’s Park Hyatt, Palensya has turned his attention towards a different kind of dough — with his first solo venture, Ta Ta Ta Pizza, opening in Bondi.
The eastern suburbs’ takeaway eatery specialises in thick, fluffy, and crunchy Roman-style al taglio pizzas. This airy-style pizza is perfect for those who like their pies thicker without being too doughy. The easiest way to attack the menu is to get a few friends together and opt for the chef’s selection, which includes three to six different styles of pizza, depending on how big your group is. You can also snag standard Italian favourites, a spice lovers option with hot salami and jalapeñeos, or more adventurous combinations, like a trio of mushrooms with kale, chilli and parmesan cream sauce.
Top image: Gigi’s Pizzeria.
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