Let's be honest, the pizzas from Domino's just don't hit the spot. I'm after a thin, tasty base, gourmet toppings and preferably wood-fired pizzas. These four pizzerias have got what I'm looking for when I'm scoffing down piece after cheesy piece.
1. Caffe Roma Caffe Roma is by far my favourite pizza place in Sydney. I was first introduced to this cosy, little pizzeria by my friend after a night out at the Cross on a Saturday night. He was a little intoxicated, but he was adamant that he wanted pizza at Caffe Roma. It was 2am, so we were sceptical that it would even be open. Surely enough, it was.
Though the official address is technically in Potts Point, it's a stone's throw away from Kings Cross station (and all the nightclubs on Bayswater Road). It's open everyday from 6 pm till late, which often means 3am on weekends.
From the extensive pizza menu, order anything with prosciutto. I especially like the rocket & prosciutto pizza and the mushroom & prosciutto pizza. Yum yum yum. If you're like me and can't eat anything without chilli (I exaggerate a little), then you'll be happy to know that most waiters at Caffe Roma will ask you whether you'd like some chilli oil for your pizza. Say yes. If you like chilli, that is.
I'm very fond of sharing the dishes at this pizzeria. That way you can order a few pizzas and also some pasta or risotto. I highly recommend the gnocchi - especially the pesto gnocchi (super-creamy and addictive) and the gorgonzola gnocchi (cheesy and pungent).
Caffe Roma is not only perfect for dinner, but also if you're out for drinks at the Cross and you want a late night snack (and with snack I mean full-on meal). Find the contact details here if you'd like to make a booking.
2. Pizza e Birra Another pizza place that I love to frequent is Pizza e Birra in Surry Hills. The restaurant is located on trendy Crown Street, and is accordingly stylish in decor. As the name of the restaurant suggests, this restaurant is all about the pizza and beer. And the special thing is that they have their brand of beer.
The pizza menu has a good range of toppings, from chorizo and pumpkin to speck. There are also daily specials displayed on a chalkboard. Once I ordered the half pizza, half-calzone, which was very large - I'd suggest sharing this one. In general you could share the pizzas, but it also depends - you might be going with burly guys who want to inhale a whole pizza by themselves.
This restaurant is small and busy. And on top of that, it doesn't take bookings. This means that you'll have to put your name down when you get there. And to my dismay, you can't be seated until every single one of your party has arrived. This can be very irritating, especially if your friends are prone to be late (like mine often are - they're probably reading this article right now; hi friends!). Regardless, you're in for a wait. Don't give up though - it's worth it.
Have dinner here on any day of week, or pop by for lunch from Thursdays to Sundays.
3. Lucio Pizzeria Love. This. Place. A few friends and I got to Lucio Pizzeria at around 7.30 on a Friday night. We were greeted by a friendly Italian waiter who noted down our number and said it's probably a 30 to 45-minute wait. So we skulked around Palmer Street, waiting for the phone call, which we get after about half an hour.
This Darlinghurst pizza place is tucked away from Oxford Street, which is why not as many people probably know about it. I'm here to urge you that more people need to know about it ASAP. The Quattro Formaggi pizza is gooey and tasty. It was definitely the stand out dish for me that night. I could devour the whole thing by myself, I daresay. Get a bottle of wine to accompany the pizza yumminess. Lucio Pizzeria is open every night from 6pm.
4. Hugos Bar Pizza
Situated at Kings Cross, Hugos Bar Pizza isn't quite as trendy as it used to be. But that's mostly because there are so many new pizzerias popping up everywhere. Nonetheless, I still think it belongs on this list. After all, in 2008 Hugos Bar Pizza won the Best Pizza Restaurant in Australia award.
Prosciutto, tomato, rocket pizza with parmesan
The pizzas here are very thin and nicely balanced. There are even exotic toppings like kingfish and pork belly. I very much like that fact that there's also a gluten-free option. We tried the gluten-free base and it's unexpectedly delicious.
For the cheaper version go to Hugos Lounge where $5 pizzas are served from 8pm - the pizzas are very similar but there are less toppings and a smaller range available. If you, however, want the true restaurant experience Hugos Bar Pizza is the place for you.
I usually go on Sunday nights when it's not very busy. But you could come on any other day - possibly even on the weekend before you head out for drinks at Kings Cross. As indicated by the name, this pizza place is also a bar. And fortunately the bar serves lovely cocktails. Accompany your meal with a tasty cocktail or sit by the bar after dinner. Hugos Bar Pizza is open everyday.
Ventuno in Walsh Bay... Italian feel, Italian beers, Italian employees, Italian ingredients... Superb. Rosso Pomodoro in Balmain is another.
By cityc - reader Wednesday, 8th of June @ 11:41 pm
Sven's Pizza in Neutral Bay. Mmmm
By Erika4 - reader Thursday, 9th of June @ 11:02 pm
Bambinos in Berowra Heights. Delicious
By mattm1 - reader Monday, 13th of June @ 12:04 pm
Have you guys never heard of Bondi Pizza AAAAAAWSOME!!!
By Anonymous Wednesday, 15th of June @ 11:44 pm
Thanks for all the recommendations, guys! Will have to try all these!
By Sarah Han - senior reviewer Thursday, 16th of June @ 01:08 am
Lipari Pizza in Darling street Rozelle awesome
By benso0 - reader Tuesday, 21st of June @ 02:31 am
Mad Pizza on Crown St!
By jbrow - reader Thursday, 23rd of June @ 12:13 am
Mad pizza Victoria st!!
By Justi92 - reader Monday, 27th of June @ 12:38 pm
Sarah, you need to get out a bit more. The Cross, Surry Hills, Darlo, The Cross..... Thats your idea of Sydney? We do extend more than a kilometre or two from the GPO although it often seems some restaurant critics are unaware of this. I can recommend Nicoletto's in Northbridge, Zapparelli's Pizza at Lane Cove West and Pizzas in the Mist down at Robertson.
By john5 - reader Friday, 8th of July @ 06:26 am
You haven't had pizza until you've eaten at Rosso Pomodoro. So authentic, top quality ingedients. Last week had truffle egg pizza. Can't eat pizza anywhere else!!
By levab - reader Wednesday, 13th of July @ 04:57 am
Mario Brothers Pizza Pasta
Crows Nest Best on the Northside
By glgsp - reader Monday, 13th of February @ 10:03 am
Agree with John 5 - you really do need to investigate a little further than the CBD. Some of the best are in Haberfield, or for slightly closer is Castel Mola in Leichhardt - Fab!!
By taoth - reader Monday, 21st of May @ 09:50 pm
If you want one of the best pizzas in Sydney (according to my Neapolitanan husband) head to Via Napoli and see Luigi in Lane Cove....yes, that's Lane Cove!!!
By mamfa - reader Thursday, 31st of January @ 09:30 pm