Italian Feast: The Best Pizza in Sydney
Lucio's Darlinghurst. Photo Credit - Nikki To
Al Taglio, Surry Hills
Gigi's Pizza, Newtown
Regardless of your pizza preference, there is little argument that this dough-based creation takes up a special place in everyone’s heart. A more recent push for pizzas, sorry, pizze cooked by wood fire oven has set a new standard for the humble pizza joint, ensuring that the bar is set high. Here are the best of the bunch, for an instant Italian food fix.
Hidden amongst the endless cafes and pubs of Rozelle and Balmain lies ReccoLab, one of the most authentic Italian restaurants Sydney has on offer. ReccoLab’s simple yet profoundly satisfying menu showcases Italian cuisine at the highest levels of finesse. Their 30-strong menu of pizza flavours, from marinara to porcini, there is something for everyone. On Tuesdays, ReccoLab serves up unlimited slices of traditional woodfired pizzas for just $20. The ‘Giro Pizza’ (translation: all you can eat) includes a selection of handmade creations cooked the famous Neapolitan way. Plus, for an additional $10, you can throw in an Aperol on the side. Buon appetite.
Shop A4 120 Terry Street, Rozelle
Always buzzing with people, Rosso Antico is the place to experience pared back Italian. In this industrial-warehouse restaurant, the wood-fired oven churns out Southern style pizzas and the dough is kneaded and set aside to prove for 36 hours so as to reach its full potential. For a taste of summer, the pesto pizza ($18) with fior di latte, cherry tomato, pesto and basil is a delight, while the quattro formaggi ($21) with scarmoza, fior di latte, gorgonzola and Parmigiano will have cheese-lovers satisfied.
2/52-60 Enmore Rd, Newtown
Proud members of the AVPN (Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana), Lucio’s is helmed by only the most accomplished Pizzaioli, flipping fresh pizza from the wood fire oven. The bufalina ($24) with tomato, buffalo mozzarella, cherry tomato, Parmesan and basil is perfectly understated while the calzone with ricotta, tomato, mozzarella, salami and pepper ($22) is a must. Try out the rustica with mozzarella, sausages, potatoes and rosemary ($21) for an addictive pizza bianca.
248 Palmer Street, Darlinghurst
One of the Inner West’s most acclaimed restaurants, La Disfida, is synonymous with excellent Italian fare and their wood-fired pizzas are second to none. Focused on providing authentic cuisine with only the finest of ingredients, the traditional menu doesn’t stray far from the classics – why change a good thing? The quattro stagione is perfect any day of the week, and the aptly named Disfida brings together tomato, mozzarella, ham, smoked mozzarella, olives, anchovies and capers ($22). Don’t leave without trying the tiramisu – it’s worth every calorie.
109 Ramsay Street, Haberfield
Via Napoli and it’s now three locations maintain an unwavering high regard in the eyes of Sydneysiders. Refusing to sacrifice on authenticity, Via Napoli’s pizze are (naturally) prepared and cooked in true Neapolitan style with a soft, pliable base that literally melts in the mouth. Classic pizze including the margherita, capricciosa and diavola are vital inclusions, while the more indulgent quattro salumi is impossible to resist. Fear not, you can pick and choose your toppings of choice with either a 1 or 2-metre creation.
Lane Cove, Hunters Hill and Surry Hills
Always brimming with customers, Rosso Antico is the place to experience pared back Italian – where the wood fired oven churns out Southern style pizzas in 90 seconds. The dough however, kneaded and set aside to prove, is given 36 hours to reach its full potential. The prosciutto e burrata will prepare you well to tuck in to the tartufo pizza ($25) with fior di latte, italian sausage, porcini and truffle paste, or the zucchini pizza ($23) with san marzano, fior di latte, zuchinni, pancetta, scarmoza and basil.
52-60 Enmore Road, Newtown
Perhaps a slightly controversial choice, Gigi’s Pizzeria went cheese-free back in 2015 and has never looked back. While the ingredients may be a little less traditional, Gigi’s pizze are prepared in textbook Neapolitan fashion; stone roasted in a wood fired oven. The cavolo ($22) brings cauliflower puree, artichokes, pinenuts, capers, currents, garlic and parsley together for an inventive take on classic flavours, while the funghi e radicchio ($23) with Swiss brown mushrooms, garlic, dairy free blue cheese, parsley, radicchio and roasted walnuts provides a good example of the kitchens’ culinary chops (vegan friendly chops…obvs).
379 King Street, Newtown
Fitted out in a typical trattoria style with a mandatory wood-fire oven in the corner, The Italian is the place to visit if a piping hot pizza is needed to warm the belly on a cold winter evening. The capricciosa ($23) with ham, artichoke, olive and mushroom is a staple and leads perfectly into the more adventurous riccardo ($25) with prawns, chicken chorizo, cherry tomato, basil and mozzarella.
5/183-191 High Street, Willoughby
Another Neapolitan affair, Da Orazio sets its dough to rise naturally over 48 hours ensuring that every pizza boasts that just-charred crust and heavenly base. The proscuitto with cherry tomatoes, fior di latte, San Daniele prosciutto and parmesan is almost earthy while the bufalina pizza with buffalo mozzarella, fresh basil and tomatoes hits a lighter, more summery note.
75-79 Hall Street, Bondi
Vacanza (Italian for ‘holiday’) is sure to take you on a trip to the heart of Southern Italy. Preaching the Italian pizza philosophy of ‘less is more’, Vacanza is a favourite among locals in Bronte and Surry Hills. Locals in Bronte have had their mid-week pizza fix sorted since 2010 (Surry Hills followed in 2013). Cult favourites include 'Il Pizzaiolo' Diavola ($22.90) for it’s classic combination of hot salami, fresh chilli, and olives, while the Il Capitano ($23.90) makes a delectable combination of swiss mushrooms, goats cheese, Italian sausage and truffle oil.
261 Bronte Road, Waverley
Stepping away from the immensely popular Neapolitan style pizza that has taken hold in Sydney, Enrico Sgarbossa (the head honcho) has set out to turn the norm on its head with gourmet creations using a slew of atypical toppings. The porchetta ($28) pizza with tomato, fresh mozzarella, homemade porchetta and apple puree washes down smoothly with a South Australian pinot noir, while the 4 cheeses and truffle ($26) with mozzarella, parmigiano, gorgonzola, pecorino and truffle begs for a hefty glass of Montepulciano.
102-104 Albion Street, Surry Hills
Who doesn’t love a cheeky mid-week BYO dinner? Rosso Pomodoro offers just that – not to mention the excellent pizza. With partner restaurants Mantecato in Balmain and Osteria Riva in Bondi Junction, Rosso Pomodoro brings the best of artisan pizza techniques and fresh, seasonal ingredients to the table, and their commitment to preparing the dough 72 hours in advance ensures an addictive lightness to their pizza bases. Try the calzone al salame ($23) with salami and olives or a prosciutto pizza with tomato, fior di latte and your choice of prosciutto ($24-$30).
20-24 Buchanan Street, Balmain