From unusual toppings coming out of a brewery kitchen to massive 18-inch pies from one of the most beloved local shops, Hackney is home to some truly great pizzas.
Restaurant, Italian, $$$
Venerdi is a proper neighbourhood Italian restaurant that prides itself on using authentic ingredients and homemade dishes. Pasta is one specialty, made fresh daily, and pizza is another. Both the dough and the sauce is made in-house and there’s a wealth of toppings to choose from tomato, mozzarella and nduja to mixed seafood, olives and capers. Best of all, you can get them to takeaway too.
Yard Sale Pizza quite literally grew out of someone’s back yard, a small pizza oven in co-owner Johnnie’s garden to be precise. After going from serving friends and family to weekly supper clubs, Yard Sale grew into a proper shop in Clapton in 2014 (and now also has branches in Finsbury Park and Walthamstow). Their Holy Pepperoni, with Cobble Lane pepperoni and nduja, and their TSB, tenderstem broccoli with manchego and pine nuts, have quickly become favourites, and you can get each pizza as monster 18-inch sharers.
Franco Manca has established itself as one of the premier pizza chains in London thanks to their slow-rising sourdough crust. The Broadway Market site doesn’t disappoint, serving up their simple combinations made with quality British and Italian ingredients and organic wines.
Crate, sat right on the canal in Hackney Wick, is best known as a brewery and bar but they also turn out some fantastic pizzas. Hand-rolled and stonebaked, they have a thin crust and come topped with classic ingredients like prosciutto and rocket as well as with more unusual ingredients including Middle Eastern lamb and stilton, sweet potato and walnut. Whichever one you choose, there’s a pint of own-brewed beer to match.
Proper wood-fired Neapolitan pizzas are the specialty of the house at this south Hackney restaurant. They leave their dough to rise for 48 hours before baking at 350 degrees, so you get that great crust, and the topping combos are all fairly classic too like Tuscan sausage and wild broccoli, prosciutto and rocket and quattro formaggi. They even do a nutella, banana and vanilla ice cream pizza – perfect for those with a sweet tooth.
Lardo bills itself as a salumeria pizzeria so that should give you some idea of what this place does best. Their salumi is excellent thanks to their relationship with Native Breeds who process their pigs and it also makes plenty of appearances across their pizzas, from the lardo, gorgonzola piccante, walnut and basil one to the black anise pepperoni and rocket option. There’s a good spread of non-meaty pizzas too, so plenty for vegetarians to look forward to and you can also get them all with a gluten-free base should you need it.