Update: the vote has now closed! Thank you so much for all of your responses guys - stay tuned for the results!
We are giving you guys the power to weigh in on one of the most important questions a South Londoner can be faced with: where is the best pizza? We're keeping it Lambeth specific for now, and have included a little taste of some of the borough's finest pizzerias below to get you in the mood. You might need to go out and try a couple to make absolutely sure you're making the right choice. Happy hunting!
- 17-21 Sternhold Ave, Streatham Hill SW2 4PA
Meaning - bizarrely perhaps - abdomen in Italian (I’m sure I’ve lost something in translation there) Addomme is the dough-eyed bambino of Stefano and Nadia, a couple from the Southern Island paradise of Capri. Over a thousand years in the making, you can taste the mastery in their dough, slow risen and fermented to perfection: “You can eat one of our pizzas and you can still have room for another!” exclaims Stefano, referring to the tangy dough that is impossibly light and easy to digest. It has the crunch and distinctive black blisters only a naked flame can produce, billowing dough filled with smoky, authentic flavour. Their menu is sizeable, but traditional, the only exception I can see to the usual, delightfully strict regimen of the likes of ‘Salsiccia & Friarelli’ (Italian sausage and broccoli rabé) or ‘Romana’ (flecked with the salty tang of anchovies and capers) is the ‘Nadia’, featuring french fries, Italian sausage, parmesan and basil, it has the indulgently mismatched feeling of holiday meals eaten outside, late in the evening.
- 169 S Lambeth Rd, Stockwell SW8 1XW
Bright eyed and bushy tailed, having only opened their doors in January, Stockwell Continental are anything but newcomers - despite what things may seem. At the helm is Trish Hilferty, of the Eagle (Farringdon), the Fox (Shoreditch) and her most recent solo venture (and departure from animal monikers) The Canton Arms, a few doors down in Stockwell. Alongside her is Jonathan Jones, whose pedigree includes St. John and his own more recent venture the hugely successful Waterloo gastropub The Anchor & Hope. Casting off into more unfamiliar waters, the two are offering up a serious contender for the Lambeth pizza crown, a stripped down, classic menu in a proper oven in similarly stripped surroundings, set atop ornate floor tiles - a relic of the space’s former identity as Rebato’s, a tapas restaurant. Perfect for those looking for both style and substance.
- Pop Brixton, 49 Brixton Station Road, Brixton SW9 8PQ
Before the hype, before it ventured into the realm of four walls on Bellenden Road, before it was (confusingly) voted both 1st and 2nd best pizza in London Made of Dough operated out of half a shipping container in Pop Brixton (before that there was the thing with the travelling pizza oven out the back of a Land Rover, but that’s another story). As we’ve already seen, the accolade of best pizza in Lambeth is a whole different ball game, but with summer approaching these guys are about to get (deservedly) slammed. They’re doing it right, 60-hour dough fermentation, mozzarella driven in fresh from Campania twice a week, and tomatoes from the foothills of Mt. Vesuvius - the birthplace of pizza. Working nearby many moons ago, I would pop in for the artichoke special more often than I’d care to admit, and any pizza can be pimped out with buffalo mozzarella - nommm.
- 2A Sunnyhill Rd, Streatham SW16 2UH
For locals, Bravi Ragazzi has them in a sort of limbo, caught between wanting to shout from the rooftops about the ultra-authentic little gem that’s sequestered just off Streatham High Road and telling no one to ensure they are still able to get one of the restaurant’s coveted little tables. So here I am, blowing their cover, because this place is the real deal. Roughly translated as ‘good guys’, the kitchen is young, with a real appetite for the serious business that pizza has become in London, they are straight out of Napoli after all. They offer the classics with a chewy cornichon cooked to perfection, as well as a carefully curated selection of ‘chef’s favs’ including - for those that can’t make up their mind - the ‘Bravi Ragazzi’ itself, a neopolitan tricolore of salsiccia & friarielli, ricotta & neopolitan salami and bufalina. The vibe is super local and super casual, the tables sit you close, and the pizzas bring you closer.
- 30-32 Westow St, Crystal Palace SE19 3AH
Another in the line-up bringing you sourdough bases in a stylish and fun atmosphere. But these pizzas are anything but run of the mill, the bases are perfectly crafted for those that remain on the fence when it comes to the napolitan craze - a hybrid between the ubiquitous thin-and-crispy of times gone by and the pillowy-chewy-soupy affair we are engulfed in now, their tang is also milder and less in your face. The base acts as a more subtle backdrop to the lashings of toppings laden on top at Four Hundred Rabbits - another departure from the Franco Manca formula - with specials that vary in influence from North Africa (think merguez sausage) to Southeast Asia (the March menu features massaman and jackfruit) these guys aren’t afraid to experiment though the menu remains small and focused, always a good sign in my opinion. A dangerous accomplice in all this is their barrel-aged £4 negroni, the cheapest I’ve come across in my quest, and finishing it all off is pizza’s only logical successor: proper gelato (theirs comes from the best of the best: Gelupo), with the option of going big in the form of a sundae with up to three scoops and toppings including crushed amaretti, nibbed pistachios and salted caramel sauce. The inevitably ensuing food coma is so totally worth it.
- 96 Bedford Hill, Balham SW12 9HR
For the more health conscious among us, we arrive here at Caminata. This Balham hotspot is more along the lines of a restaurant and offers something for everyone, including - shockingly - dishes other than pizza. But enough of that. The place is small and busy, always a good sign, and the menu is extensive but expertly executed. The real star of the show, however, is their activated charcoal pizza bases (see last pic above), as their website promises: “The charcoal offers many health benefits and is proven to absorb toxins in the body, lower cholesterol and fight a hangover.” I’ve definitely heard worse suggestions for battling black mornings-after-the-night-before than black pizza fresh from the oven. Mine’s a capricciosa (ham, egg, olives, salami and mushrooms).
- 173 Norwood High St, West Norwood SE27 9TB
A little on the borderline for Lambeth and a West Norwood takeaway fav, Pizzeria Volare also have a homely, authentic dining room in which to enjoy their delicious offerings fresh out of the oven. Brimming with Italian charm, and full of bold flavour combinations you’re not likely to find elsewhere - think caramelised pear and gorgonzola with rich taleggio and walnuts, or ‘The Mexican’, loaded with Fior di late cheese, spicy pork and jalapeños. Stick around for the homemade tiramisu and grab 15% off with your South London Club Card!
So now the power is in your hands. Let us know who you’re shipping in the battle of the bases, the clash of the cornichon, the meeting of the mozzarella, the skirmish of the salsiccia (okay I’m done). And if we’ve listed a couple you haven’t visited, there’s never been a better excuse to get down there - we want the fully researched, unadulterated truth, this is pizza, it’s serious business!
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