Bless the Italians for migrating to our shores and bringing with them the humble pizza. Now, there’s a clear dough and mozzarella revolution firing up in Brisbane, with a plethora of specialised pizzerias to tease our palettes.
Armed with a penchant for pizza and an insatiable appetite for carbs, I’ve volunteered the calories to bring you Brisbane’s best.
Pizza purists – you’ll find fourteen passages to heaven at Beccofino. For me, it’s the ‘Porri’ that ticks all the boxes, with its less-is-more mentality towards toppings. Who doesn’t love a carb fest when it’s a creamy blend of mozzarella, sautéed leeks, goats cheese and bresaola? Set in trendy Teneriffe, these Italianos don’t take bookings so you will be forced to pop across the road and wait for your table in the nearby bar. Life is tough… not.
With a menu as long as most of their waiter’s beards, this hipster institution in West End delivers a hilarious line-up of “I’ll have one X-Rated Prawn Please” and other pizzas that pack a punch. Fully loaded with powerful toppings like the ‘Big Voo Doo Daddy’ – pulled pork, chicken, red onion, Cajun sausage, glazed with bourbon barbeque sauce and sprinkled with coleslaw – The Burrow’s pizzas are offensively un-Italian, and we love it! The comprehensive drinks list with a selection of alcoholic ginger beers make this rabbit hole the perfect spot to set up for a night of drinking and dining.
It’s all about sex, pizza and rock and roll at this pumping pizzeria. Sure, we know traditional pizza has a time and a place, but when you’re knocking back jugs of sangria… I prefer Mr Alfredos’ take on things. The ‘Brown Sugar’ is a finger lickin’ combo of meatballs, pancetta, provolone, bourbon and barbeque sauce that’s sure to sate your hunger pangs. Don’t bother ordering a single slice, you won’t be satisfied without the whole thing – trust me, I’ve done the leg work here. With a bar atmosphere and a kitchen that’s open until late (read: not 9pm), Alfredo’s Pizzeria is the perfect spot to kick start your carb fest any Saturday night.
Like most little sisters, this gal has big shoes to fill… especially if it is going to attract the loyalists who love its half-sister, 1889 Enoteca. But like most younger siblings, Sorellina has her own cheeky charm, with a scaled back aesthetic, obscure wine list and simple but strong pizza menu that’s resonating with the locals. The hero is the zucchini pizza – a flavour sensation of garlicy zucchinis, creamy mozzarella, and chilli flakes served on a virtual cloud of ricotta. For a marriage made in heaven, wash it down with an Aperol Spritz – as the saying goes, ‘when in Rome’!
A pizzeria in New Farm – naturalmente! This local favourite serves 19 different wood-fired pizzas on a white or red base. Nothing beats the ‘Diavola’ – a fiery combo of hot salami, capers, capsicum, anchovies and chilli. Arriva‘s pizza is as good as I’ve had outside of Rome and the locals know it too. It’s a popular little joint so you’ll definitely want to book, especially if it’s a Friday or Saturday night.
Winners of the ‘Best Pizza in Australia’ Award (okay, a while ago but the proof is still in the pizza), Neo strikes the perfect balance between lots of topping and a crispy, not soggy, base. Tucked away on Gladstone Road in Highgate Hill, it’s a hidden gem that only the locals know (shhhh don’t ruin their secret), and it’s the best pizza spot for a feed under $20. My favourite is the marinated lamb – tender, slow-cooked lamb, marinated zucchini, fetta cheese, red onion and topped with tzatziki.
Viva Vespa! Set in two locations – New Farm and Wooloongabba – Vespa serves up a crispy blend of pizzas worthy of this list. Their thin base is a nod to pizza served the traditional way, but the toppings are far from what you’d find in the streets of Naples. The streaky bacon with red currant and camembert is absolute perfection and their signature delivery service, (naturally) on the back of a vespa, means you can get your pizza pronto.
Crispy? Tick. Cheesy? Tick? Easy on the eye? Tick! Il Forno in Brisbane’s Bayside is one of Brisbane’s best-kept Italian secrets. Traditionalists amongst us will find something to love on the menu and their contemporary creations are crowd pleasers too. The ‘L’Anatra’ is my favourite with its perfect balance of hoisin sauce, mozzarella, and shredded duck, topped with fresh spring onion and cucumber.
Peckish for pizza? I am! Where’s your favourite spot?
*Feature image: Shutterstock