Few foreign foods are as ubiquitous in Beijing as pizza. Inspired by places as distant as New York, Naples and New Zealand, pizza restaurants and delivery services have spread throughout China‘s capital city during the past decade and given consumers a vast range of choices. Here are ten pizza places worth checking out.
Pizzeria, Chinese, $$$
With its fun advertising campaigns and hot pink theme, Gung Ho! is among the most visible pizza chains in the city. The partners, hailing from Australia and New Zealand, offer a menu that is both indulgent and healthy. Balance the smoked pork and mushroom pizza by getting a wholewheat crust, then pair it with a salad like the low-salt Greek option. The flagship store is close to Hooter’s in the China View building.
With its much-loved Naples-style cuisine, La Pizza carried the torch for years after opening nearly a decade ago at the Solana shopping center. It has since branched out and seen many worthy competitors rise up alongside. Along with the pizza, try the ravioli, spaghetti, calzone and more.
This place picked up where La Pizza left off. Bottega is run by two brothers from Naples – one handles the kitchen, the other is front of house – and ranks among the city’s best Italian restaurants. Expect blistered crusts topped with quality cheeses and sauces made with tomatoes from back home as well as plenty of other Italian specialties. And it’s all paired with a carefully selected wine menu. Bottega is now in the process of moving into a new space in Nali Patio and should have its pizzas back in action in June.
Best known as a Tex-Mex venue, Q Mex Bar & Grill also makes excellent pizzas, including tasty thin-crust variations. Nacho pizza might sound a bit odd, but the mix of tomato sauce, beef, guacamole, crunchy nacho chips and sour cream is a treat. Those on a budget can pop in on Tuesday nights when pizzas are half-price.
While better known for tipples like Guinness and Jameson, The Irish Volunteer also makes a worthy pizza. These are the kind of no-frills pizzas to enjoy while relaxing with friends and enjoying a few pints. Go for the meat-loaded Canadian pizza or the signature Cork pizza with feta cheese. The pies range in size up to a gut-busting 19 inches.
The owners recently adopted a new name (they were previously Pizza+) but kept the old focus on high-speed delivery of good-value pizzas. For traditionalists, the Capricciosa has olive, ham and artichokes piled on a tangy sauce, while the adventurous should try the earthy Four Seasons, a former World Pizza Competition champ, with white sauce base, walnuts, mushrooms, sausage and truffle cream.
This suburban gem features ‘Detroit-style’ pizza, so expect thick crusts with toasted cheesy rims. Along with pizzas like Motor City Meat and the BLT, Pie Squared also offers mozzarella bread, stromboli and more.
Set in a secluded Beijing side street, Ramo has burgers, pastas, flat breads and more but is best known for its pizza, available either whole or by the slice. There are both vegetarian and meat options – for the latter, try the Parma ham-topped pie. This place also does fun events, such as contests where customers can enter pizza recipes, with the winners then featured in the restaurant.
Pizzeria, Restaurant, Restaurant with Rooms, Italian
Tavola is a go-to venue for delicious Naples-style pizza in an upscale environment. The set lunch menu includes a pizza option and is popular with the business crowd in the Sanyuan Qiao area. The house pizza includes asparagus, tomatoes, olives, shrimp, onion and garlic as toppings. Tavola also has some of the best wine service in Beijing.
Great Leap #45 is for pizza fans what Great Leap #12 is for burger aficionados: a place to get tasty comfort food. It’s New York-style pizza here, whole or by the slice, washed down with homemade beers. Options range from The Little Nunzio, with sausage, chili flakes and basil, to the vegetarian-friendly Green Machine, with zucchini, kale, red peppers and more. There are also lots of appetizers, including beer-battered fried chicken and Cobb salad.