Image courtesy of hungryhouse

Pizza is one of the most popular dishes in the world, so it’s no surprise to see a vast array of pizza parlours dotted around the UK’s capital, London. While it was once considered a peasant food and a street food classic, the humble pizza has been given a gourmet make-over in recent years and pizzerias have become trendy, go-to restaurants for the culinary elite. If you’re a pizza aficionado looking for the best London has to offer, here are five restaurants you will definitely want to visit.

Santa Maria

This small, family style restaurant has recently been modernised after a brand-new refit, but its original charm and authenticity thankfully remain. All the ingredients and equipment used here at Santa Maria are shipped in from the motherland by the owners, who originate from Naples. This gives their pizzas a wonderfully traditional flavour – a taste you don’t want to mask with a mass of toppings, so if you want a taste of authentic, Italian pizza, sink your teeth into a Santa Maria margherita.

Franco Manca

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Franco Manca may be a franchise, but they are one of the best places in London to get a top-notch pizza. The slow-rise sourdough crusts here are simply delicious and give their selection of Neapolitan pizzas a flavoursome base to balance their locally sourced toppings. You’ll find more than 20 different Franco Manca locations in and around London, but the Brixton branch is the original and will always be the best.

Homeslice

There are only two Homeslice restaurants in London – one in Fitzrovia and another at Neal’s Yard in Covent Garden. There is a very friendly, excitable atmosphere surrounding both of these pop-up style pizzerias. The wood-fired oven the pizzas are cooked in leaves a beautiful smoky flavour into their thin bases. It doesn’t matter if you have just a few minutes or a few hours to kill because you can buy their whole pizzas, or sample them by the slice. So, if you’re looking to enjoy a gourmet pizza in a natural, casual location, then Homeslice could be the perfect place for you.

L’Antica Pizzeria

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Situated on Heath Street in the bustling heart of Hampstead, this cosy, traditional pizzeria has been a popular restaurant in London for a number of years. What sets L’Antica apart from other competitors is the skill of head baker, Giacomo Guido. His dough is up there with the best in the city and would rival anything you might taste in Giacomo’s home town of Ischia. The dough is left to prove for 24 hours, making it light, airy and satisfyingly crisp, in true Neapolitan fashion. The veggie loaded Sofia Loren is an offering any lover of food simply has to get their hands on.

The Gowlett

The name isn’t one that suggests you’ll find true authentic pizza hidden inside, and neither is the exterior. Traditionally English in looks, it’s the smell of dough wafting down the street that’ll catch your attention. Once inside, you’ll find a buzzing gastro pub that offers delicious, traditional homemade pizza. For just £1.50 extra, you can try their experimental spelt crust, which adds a wholesome, nutty texture to the dough. The Gowlett really is a hidden gem on the London gastro-pub scene and they serve some of the best pizza you will find anywhere in the city.

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