Delicious in its simplicity, a classic tomato-and-cheese concoction is suprisingly hard thing to get right. But these joints from across the country hit the mark every time …
The holy trinity of dough, tomato and mozzarella is Italian simplicity at its finest.
But alas, it's also one that all too often gets seriously mistreated. Soggy bases, plastic cheese and 50 million toppings all vying for attention? No thank you.
Which is why you've got to pick the perfect pizza joint to indulge your Neapolitan cravings. Helping us do just that is the Pizza, Pasta and Italian Food Association (PAPA) Awards, which has cracked out the secret for the best places to get your pizza fix this year.
From Sussex to Glasgow, here are the wood-fired favourites that the judges scoured the country for.
1. Independent Pizza Restaurant Award: Suffolk Stonehouse, Bungay
Why they won: Dough made and shaped daily, stone-baked at 300°C, and adorned with locally sourced ham and cheeses is the back-to-basics formula that makes this work.
What to have: Try the Harleston: rosemary-baked chicken meets roasted peppers.
18 St Mary's Street, Bungay, Suffolk NR35 1AX, suffolkstonehouse.co.uk
2. Independent Pizza Delivery Store: Stone Willy’s Kitchen, Birmingham
Why they won: Takeaway pizza has a bad reputation, but this Brummie eatery is all fresh ingredients, cooked to order. Yes please, we'll have fries with that.
What to have: Try the fresh mozzarella and serrano ham for a Friday night treat.
9 Longbridge Lane Northfield, Birmingham, Longbridge B31 2UQ, SWKitchenLongbridge
3. Pizza Chef of the Year: Paolo Crolla, Paolo's Italian Kitchen, Glasgow
Why they won: This lively Italian is a hit with happy locals – and owner Paolo's pizza-making skills are legendary.
What to eat: They keep it classic. Buffalo mozzarella, rich tomato and a scattering of basil are all the ingredients you need.
88 Overhaugh St, Galashiels TD1 1DP, PaolosItalianRestaurant
4. Independent Italian Restaurant: Il Michelangelo, Weston-super-Mare
Why they won: All authentic, all the time, is how this Italian hangout does business. Spend the afternoon on the beach, then enjoy top notch hospitality and expertly crafted pizzas for the ultimate holiday vibes.
What to have: Hit up a slice of full-blown decadence with a folded over calzone.
Liked this? Then try these:
- This is how to make a breakfast pizza
- The finest fish and chips in Britain have been revealed
- Are you ready for the world's longest pizza?
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