Grab a slice of the action with these cheap London pizza joints
By Steph Dye (follow Steph on Twitter: @HelloIAmSteph)
It’s time to put away the Pizza Hut menus and ditch the Domino’s: whichever part of London you live in and whatever your budget, we’ve got ten cheap pizza places that are guaranteed to keep you fed without breaking the bank. Like all of our budget dinner recommendations, all of the places on the list have delicious choices and always average out at under a tenner – so no having to stick to a margherita to keep the price down! However, please note that the estimated price we have suggested does include piles of pizza-based fun, but not the drinks or service, sorry!
As stated above, all of the menus average out at under £10 however, some of them are more expensive than others so check out the ‘£’ for further details. £ = Serious bargain, will even give change from a fiver | ££ = mid-range, but still enough change from ten pounds to leave a tip | £££ = pretty much spot on or just under £10.
#1| Pizza Union | King’s Cross and Spitalfields | £
What is it?: Super fast and super crispy, these insanely cheap pizzas should be a go-to snack for anyone looking for a delicious alternative to fast food in the city. For the price, the variety of different topping combinations is great and the taste and speed of the pizza definitely make up for the decor, which is basic to say the least: think bare, breeze block walls and exposed pipe work. Regardless, the interior has never stopped people queuing at the door to get their hands on a slice.
How much is it?: The most expensive pizzas on the list are £6.50 and the cheapest is only £2.95. With prices like that in central London, you really can’t go wrong. Plus, each pizza comes out at 12″ as standard, so you are guaranteed a filling lunch. Or for after work, pair with wine that comes to just £12.50 a bottle. Bargain!
Where is it?: Spitalfields – 25 Sandy’s Row, E1 7HW. King’s Cross – 246-250 Pentonville Road, N1 9JY.
Try the: For a spicy hit, go for the Calabria, which features spicy n’duja sausage that is nicely complemented by mozzarella and mascarpone. Or, if you don’t see anything you fancy, choose from a whole host of extra toppings that cost just £1 each.
#2 | Van Dough | Various locations in the South East | ££
What is it?: Coming to a South-East London location near you, this pizza-preparing dream team (serving from the back of their retro, 1970’s van) are elevating pizzas to the heights of sustainability, traceability and deliciousness. Made in their kitchen at home, these sourdough pizzas use local, seasonal products to create a small but honest and tasty menu.
How much is it?: The pizzas range between £5-£7 and are large for one person, coming in at around 10″.
Where is it?: As generally expected from being served from a van, Van Dough tend to move around a lot. However, they currently have permanent spots in the St George’s Church car park, Forest Hill on a Thursday and the brilliant Brockley Market on a Saturday. For more information on where to find them, check their website. Alternatively, if you don’t feel like sharing, you can hire them for an event.
Try the: Courgette, goat’s cheese and pesto pizza, as it is wonderfully creamy and rich, without the tangy-ness of tomato sauce. Alternatively, the specials are always likely to be a hit as you can trust the seasonality and freshness of the ingredients.
#3 | Theo’s Pizzeria | Camberwell | ££
What is it?: Crispy, Neapolitan-style pizzas are served up with variety of delicious toppings that steer away from the usual flavour combinations that pizza-patriots are generally used to. A relatively new venture, the interior is clean and minimalist, leaning heavily on white-washed walls and marble table tops. However, this clean styling does not feel soulless and when busy – such as on Friday nights – the place definitely has a buzzy charm reminiscent of Italy (helped along by the somewhat communal dining style). Plus, there is a small but quaint outside space for when the weather is fine.
How much is it?: Pizza range from £5.50 to £10. It is also worth bearing in mind that the house wines (available in a variety of sizes) and soft drinks are incredibly reasonable, so a whole meal at under £10 is perfectly feasible.
Where is it?: 2 Grove Lane, SE5 8SY.
Try the: Wood oven aubergine pizza, as it transforms the comfort-rich, southern Italian dish melanzane parmigiana (like a lasagne, but featuring layered aubergine as opposed to pasta slices) into easily-eatable slices of pizza. Magic!
#4 | Fundi Pizza | Various locations | £££
What is it?: Who would have thought that ‘pizza’ and ‘survivalist’ would go together in the same sentence? The Nelson brothers is who: coming from cooking background that featured very few resources, they hand-built their own pizza oven from scratch and hit the streets of London in search of cheese and tomato topped glory. This unusual start hasn’t stopped them from getting wood-fired treats down to a true art form however and their hand stretched pizzas cook in just 90 seconds. Top that!
How much is it?: All that skill does come at a price however and pizzas tend to cost between £7 and £9.
Where is it?: Due to high demand, Fundi Pizza tend to move around A LOT, especially in the summer when festival season starts. Luckily, they have a handy guide on their website, so there is no excuse for not checking them out. In addition, you can also hire them for your own personal event.
Try the: Classic pepperoni, only miles away from your standard frozen affair, featuring hints of spice from the meat, a rich, organic plum tomato sauce, stringy mozzarella, a kick of parmesan, all topped of with a drizzle of olive oil.
#5 | Franco Manca | Various locations | ££
What is it?: Often hailed as ‘the best pizza in London’ it’s little wonder why this much-loved brand has grown exponentially, with 25 branches and a reach that now extends further than then confines of the M25. A lot of their ingredients are actively sourced in the UK, with fresh, exciting tastes with a few options featuring little or no tomato. Also beware: not all of the branches take bookings so you may have to queue to get a slice of the action. Check where your closest Franco Manca is here.
How much is it?: Pizzas range between £4.50 and £6.95.
Where is it?: As stated above, Franco Manca’s empire now boasts 25 stores around London and the South East, so check the website for more details.
Try the: Organic chorizo and mozzarella in either its dry or semi-dry form. It is close enough to a pepperoni pizza to feel comforting but still provides a little twist on the classic for any mini-rebels out there.
#6 | Homeslice | Covent Garden, Fitzrovia and Old Street | ££
What is it?: Serving pizza by the slice as well as the round, the Neapolitan-style pizzas at Homeslice might have the traditional crispy, slightly chewy base down but complement this with a range of unusual topping combinations that will at least pique your interest, if not get your mouth watering.
How much is it?: At £4 per slice, you can’t really go wrong and as the pizzas measure in at a whopping 20″ – so just one piece will make a decent lunch. If you have a couple of friends to bring along, go for a whole pizza (£20) for a delicious dinner for three.
Where is it?: Covent Garden – 13 Neal’s Yard, WC2H 9DP; Fitzrovia – 52 Wells Street, W1T 3PR; Old Street – 374-378 Old Street, EC1V 9LT.
Try the: Kalamata olive, anchovy and caramelised onion pizza, for hits of savoury, salty and sweet deliciousness. (be warned: you can only by this as a full size pizza so bring hungry friends).
#7 | Pizza Pilgrims | Soho locations | ££
What is it?: Starting out a humble food van, the guys behind Pizza Pilgrims took a pizza pilgrimage of their own, touring Southern Italy for six weeks, trying to learn everything there is to know about pizza. A few years on and their risky plan seems to have paid off, as they now have 4 Soho locations serving up traditional, delicious pizza.
How much is it?: All that knowledge doesn’t come cheap: whilst the pizzas all fall between £5.50 and £10, anything more complicated than a margherita and you are looking at closer to a tenner each.
Where is it?: All four locations are in the Soho/Covent Garden area – which is handy because none of the restaurants take bookings, so if one is full you can always walk to the next one!
Try the: Filetti – a white pizza (no tomato sauce) for fresh tastes of southern Italy: mozzarella, baby plum tomatoes, basil, parmesan and olive oil.
#8 | Santa Maria | Ealing | £££
What is it?: A trek for some into the depths of west London has divided the crowd over this pint-sized pizzeria. The pizzas are unashamedly delicious and definitely worth the journey, however your time savouring the flavour is likely to be a short one, as brisk service and a ‘time is money’ attitude will have you out of the door before you can say ‘bellissima’! Luckily, a second branch has just opened up in Chelsea, so you won’t have to travel quite so far to check it out for yourself.
How much is it?: Probably the most expensive on our list, with pizzas ranging from £5.75 to £11.95, however anything more than a margherita will set you back about £9.
Where is it?: Ealing – 15 St Mary’s Road, W5 5RA; Chelsea – 94 Waterford Road, SW6 2HA.
Try the: Sant’anna – similar to a ‘Four Seasons’ this pizza features ham, artichokes, black olives and parmesan on a standard margherita base. Delicious!
#9 | Soho Joe | Soho | ££
What is it?: The only one of our selection that isn’t exclusively a pizzeria (or even necessarily Italian food), Soho Joe is a nod to old-school Soho venues and a refreshing break from the self consciously styled eateries that are popping up all over the area. Serving from very early to very late, you will bump into all manner of people, all looking for the same cheap yet delicious offerings.
How much is it?: The pizzas cost £7 each, however if you go on a Monday or Tuesday before 5pm, they will only set you back a fiver. The joint also does a very reasonable drinks selection – a glass of wine will only set you back £3.50.
Where is it?: 22-25 Dean Street, W1D 3RY.
Try the: Capriciosa – essentially a ham and mushroom pizza, with the added bonus of Joe’s own home-roasted ham.
#10 | Yard Sale Pizza | Hackney | £££
What is it?: Open for just two years, this tiny pizza shop, (that serves more as a takeaway outlet than a restaurant) has taken hold of the local community, with local collaborations and ever-changing variety of specials drawing in pizza patriots from all over London.
How much is it?: You have to pay the price for not sharing : it works out more expensive to buy a personal pizza (12″ and on average £9.50) than a pizza for 2 (18″ and costing on average £8 per person).
Where is it?: 105 Lower Clapton Road, E5 0NP.
Try the: Whatever they have on as a special, as they may be the more expensive option but with collaborations such as White Men Can’t Jerk and Deeney’s Cafe in the past, we are sure they will be a treat.
Don’t fancy pizza? Carry on with the ‘take-away’ theme and grab a Chinese or Indian instead!