Ah pizza, the staple diet of modern society. Whether you’re an Italian food fanatic or not, it’s impossible to resist a slice of the good life whenever it takes front and centre stage on a plate in all its cheesy glory. Forget about the takeaway pizza joints for a second though because this Sydney pizza crawl is all about traditional produce, big flavours, wood fire ovens and even a vegetarian option thrown in for good measure.
Are we hungry yet? This is where to find Sydney’s best pizza joints that don’t come with pineapples or BBQ sauce.
They started life in Darlinghurst and have since spawned another larger venue in Zetlands thanks to its popularity. It’s all about traditional pizzas and antipasto dining at Lucio’s with produce that literally hangs from the ceilings. Sit close to the chefs’ quarters at their larger eatery and you can witness traditional Naples style pizza and pasta making. The rage here is their imported Buffalo Mozarella.
2/4 Defries Ave, Zetlands & 248 Palmer St, Darlinghurst
For a spot of beautifully prepared Italian grub served up in a trendy industrial room with hanging plants, head over Da Mario in Roseberry south of the CBD. They do a bloody amazing wood fired pizza here which is a given since Da Mario is member 153 of the ‘Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana’ – the first Italian joint in Australia to be awarded it.
36 Morley Ave, Rosebery
Walk down the main strip of Redfern and you’ll find a little shop that stands out like nonno Pepe trying to rock drop crotch pants. We don’t know what that means exactly but their traditional pizza is insanely good for place that’s a hole in the wall trying to hide a massive wood-fired oven. The pizza output here is Sicilian styled and the flavours are big. Make sure to book ahead or get there earlier as there’s only around five tables at most.
4/152 Redfern St, Redfern
So here’s the story. Some of eastern Sydney’s most respected names in food and drink got together to open a place serving up simple Italian food accompanied by a massive wood fire pizza oven. The rest they would say is history, a history built on a charred soft base and top notch ingredients.
29 Bay St, Double Bay
The backstreets of Balmain have long held a champion in Sydney’s pizza scene. Rosso Pomodoro’s secret is in their dough which is fermented for 72 hours when compared to the standard 24-48 hours. The result is a base which is light yet chewy with a crust loaded with flavour.
20-24 Buchanan St, Balmain
What started as a humble patisserie churning out legendary cheesecakes in the heart of Leichhardt has grown into a fully fledged Italian restaurant armed with a wood-fired rotating pizza oven. Ristorante Papa is the brainchild of Pasticceria Papa which offers the authentic taste of Italy using the finest produce. Needless to say, their pizza and pasta is as good as their iconic desserts.
145 Ramsay St, Haberfield
Enjoy gourmet Italian in all of its authenticity with the flair of open-planned dining in Surry Hills. Al Taglio isn’t a big eatery but it makes up for it with regional Italian pizzas made the traditional way. Expect imported Italian cured meats, cheeses, organic wines and craft beers. There’s also a decent vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free selection for the plant-based pizza lover.
102-104 Albion St, Surry Hills
They’re known for their metre long pizzas and lively Italian atmosphere but that doesn’t take away from the fact that they make some pretty decent pizzas with quality ingredients of the Neapolitan variety.
Society Pizzeria Di Catania
Whether you’re a beachside local or a city dweller, Society Pizzeria di Catania is here to satisfy your hunger for beautifully made pizzas. Pairing authentic flavours with a bit of innovation, Cantina uses the best seasonal ingredients and a wood-fired oven to serve up some of the best pizzas across town. And don’t forget to add the chilli oil.
65 Bondi Rd, Bondi
Thick crust, pillowy dough and more generous toppings makes Vacanza the place to be for the truly famished. The lines do get long but lucky for you there are two locations.
414 Bourke St, Surry Hills & 261 Bronte Rd, Waverley
Proper vegan pizza has arrived in Sydney and it’s not half bad. We stumbled on this place by accident by following the huge queues and thinking it was a standard pizza joint. And then we saw the menu and were worried. Alas we had nothing to worry about. Whilst slightly pricier than the conventional pizza, Gigi’s makes it over the line thanks to its careful selection of plant-based ingredients which doesn’t lose out on taste.
379 King St, Newtown
Queen Margherita of Savoy
Another member of the coveted Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana is this southern beaches pizza joint. It’s a symbol of traditional Neapolitan pizza done right according to old school manuals. This covers everything from the calibre of ingredients to the dough preparation. The winner? You.
9/2-8 Surf Rd, Cronulla
Verace Pizzeria is the winner of the World Pizza Championship Australia and that means their Nepolitana wood fired pizzas are on point when it comes to authenticity. Verace holds Certificate 596 from the ‘Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana’ so their pizzas need to abide by the strict rules of authentic Napolitana pizza. Go for the truffle oil pizza and remember to book in advance.
7 Khartoum Rd, Macquarie Park
The cultural eat street that is Enmore Road is hotly contested in Sydney and one of the Italian joints living up to that expectation is Rosso Antico. Charred crusted pizzas with just the right amount of puff slide out of the wood fired oven like clock work here.
2/52-60 Enmore Rd, Newtown
Diners can kick it old school with Caffe Roma in Potts Point. The family behind the restaurant have run the place for more than 30 years and it’s become quiet the institution. The pizza is what will really draw in the crowds though thanks to their use of fine organic produce and big flavours in every slice.
9 Kellett St, Potts Point
Pocket Pizza Manly
A taste of Little Italy of New York City…in the heart of Northern Beaches Manly. Identity crisis? Perhaps. But the pizza is good and the vibes better for a place this tiny. And you can forget about tradition or pizza certificates here as the pizzas ditch the classics in favour of the creative. And that’s exactly why it deserves to be here.
2A Whistler St, Manly