BRIGHTON’S BEST PIZZA – OUR TOP 8 PLACES
The gastronomic standard of any city can be judged on how easy it is to find a really good pizza. Brighton is, unsurprisingly, bursting at the seams with pizzerias from gourmet eateries offering weird and wonderful toppings through to traditional Italian restaurants sticking to Mama’s own recipe. For vegetarians especially, pizza is always the dining out fail-safe that never gets boring and with so many veggie, vegan friendly and gluten free options available Brighton really does have something for everyone. This list runs through our pick of 8 of the best pizzas in town. (Fancy something a bit more spicy? Check out our guide to Mexican Eateries, or Indian Street Food)
Although Pizza Face specialises in takeaway and delivery rather than dine-in, it has such a legendary reputation and extensive range of mouth-watering vegetarian options that it just had to feature on this list. There is also now a table in the new Hove branch so a sit-down meal is possible. They use the very best simple, fresh and authentic ingredients including sardinian ’00’ flour to create super thin Italian style pizzas cooked at 300 degrees in a gas fired pizza oven. Pizza Face cater superbly for both vegetarians and vegans (full vegan range available on Monday and Tuesday) with a huge selection of meat-free toppings; make sure to sample the ‘THOM YORKE’ featuring amazingly creamy vegan cheese made from coconut with tasty smoked tofu and spinach – delicious! All of the pizzas can be washed down with an ice cold brew dog craft beer and for dessert they stock ice cream from Brighton’s renowned Boho Gelato which comes in all kinds of flavours from frozen margarita sorbet to the delectable salted caramel.
New kid on the block Morelli Zorelli has moved in where Gourmet Pizza Kitchen once stood in Hove. Anticipation for this one has been high because the pizza bases at GPK were always great but the toppings a little bizarre: They used to serve a vegetarian butternut squash pizza with blue cheese sauce- what?!. Morelli Zorelli has rectified these sins and taken things back to basics, as pizza should be. The vegetarian options are fairly limited with only two choices aside from the margherita. One is topped with goats cheese, roasted vine tomatoes and rocket, the other with artichokes, sun dried tomatoes and pesto – although you can also create your own. The small size of the menu however is certainly made up for by the seriously big flavour of the pizzas. The sourdough bases (available in standard and gluten free) are reminiscent of the real Italian deal; chewy, tasty and slightly burnt on the edges in the best possible way. Important to note, if you dine here definitely order the mozzarella topped garlic bread to start– cheesy, perfectly seasoned and deliciously chewy this is really something special.
Visiting Pronto in Tavola and being cooked for by the owner Nino (who somehow manages to be the chef, run the front of house, wait on his guests and hold multiple conversations simultaneously), feels more akin to visiting an Italian friend’s house for dinner than eating in a conventional restaurant- but this is no bad thing. Nino cares so much about the standard of his pizza that he shuts the restaurant during his holidays back to Italy rather than risk the reputation of his food slipping and rightly so: with pizza this good there is a lot at stake. Thin, classic and fantastic quality, if simple Italian flavours cooked to perfection is what you are after; this is probably the place for you. Don’t leave without sampling some of the homemade desserts including, fresh cannoli and the delectable “Nanny’s cake” made following his grandmother’s recipe using pasta frolla, custard cream and pine nuts.
Pinnochios is a Brighton institution and officially the oldest Italian restaurant in the city having been established over 40 years ago. They specialise in serving cheap and tasty no-frills Italian fair to an always buzzing and packed-out restaurant spanning two floors in the centre of town. The antidote to the sometimes pretentious wave of ‘gourmet’ pizza that has swept the nation you won’t find strange toppings or fusion dishes here; just simple and traditional flavours that stay classic. The staff at Pinnochio’s are always friendly despite being stupendously busy and this is what makes it a great venue to visit with a large group of friends for an affordable and fun meal out. The pizzas are really flavoursome and there is a good choice for vegetarians. With the set menus starting from just £7.95 for two courses you really can’t go too wrong.
Pizza 500 doesn’t look like much from the outside but in this case appearances can be very deceiving. Step inside this converted garage and you will be transported from Preston road Brighton into a little slice of Italy. Expect a loud and raucous atmosphere with sometimes chaotic, but usually charming, service. There is an array of vegetarian-friendly traditional Italian starters and appetisers to choose from including fried arancino rice balls filled with bolognese and mozzarella, four cheese homemade gnocci and aubergine parmigiana. These are all good however the star of the show is undoubtedly the pizzas (guess the clue is in the name). From the simple but perfectly executed pizza funghi through to the rich and indulgent gorgonzola and walnut, these really are worth writing home about.
Pizza VIP has caused quite a stir since opening a few months ago at the Old Steine. The owners hail from Naples and are the third generation of a pizza-making family dynasty who opened their first pizzeria in 1845 – so it is safe to say that good pizza is in their blood. The sourdough, Naples-style pizzas they serve up are as generously portioned as they are topped, and arrive on chunky wooden boards which match the substantial nature of the food served. Ingredients are lovingly sourced from Italy and include their show stopping melt-in-the-mouth mozzarella imported straight from Naples. The cosy and intimate decor makes Pizza VIP an incredibly pleasant venue to while away an evening over some tasty Italian wine while you admire the array of food-based knickknacks which adorn the walls.
If you’re looking for a quick and delicious pizza for lunch time then it’s got to be My Slice Brighton who serve up authentic Roman Pizza al Taglio (square pizza by the slice) right in the centre of town. My Slice started out it’s life as a pop-up at the ever popular independent supermarket hiSbe, where the team perfected and tested out their recipes on eager and willing customers. ‘It’s all about the dough’ at My Slice, the husband and wife team behind My Slice travelled to Italy on a quest for the best dough they could find and now use a secret Roman recipe for a deliciously light and crispy pizza bases.
Dead Wax Social is a relatively new bar replacing Riki Tik in the North Laine. The ethos behind Dead Wax Social is to create a place with crafted items and people at it’s core and the bar aims to be the new community hub for those that work in Brighton’s vibrant music industry as well as anyone that loves music. One corner of this eclectic space is dedicated to Pressing Plant Pizza where artisan pizzas are handmade by their Italian chef on sourdough. The dough is indeed deliciously sour with just the right amount of toppings and the sauce is perfectly seasoned. Not only are these pizzas delicious but also incredibly reasonably priced with a 12″ Margherita costing just £7!