Asking a Sydneysider where to get the best slice of pizza is a dangerous game. On the one hand, you could be met with a simple answer and brief directions — the ideal way. On the other, you could start a war between you, the stranger, and another stranger listening in who has their own opinion on where to get the best slice.
Either way, we should think ourselves lucky that our city has endless great pizza joints, slinging everything from classic Neapolitan to wood-fired bubbly charred crust, deep dish, and New York-style slices. And, yes, vegan pizza joints are also joining the conversation.
So if you prefer an easy Margherita, pillowy dough, or are craving something new, these are the best pizza places in Sydney.
The team behind Totti’s has a new pizza-by-the-slice and sandwich shop in Palings Lane just off George Street. Ever since opening, Sydney has been lining up for a piece. Oti’s, helmed by Mike Eggert, serves up Roman-style pizza by the slice and Italian sandwiches on hand-stretched schiacciata, made fresh throughout the day. Meats including prosciutto, salami, and mortadella are sliced straight onto the fresh schiacciata sandwiches and hot slab pizzas before being topped with at least one of eight kinds of cheese on offer, including Mike Eggert’s signature burrata.
In Penshurst, a new pizzeria is bringing a slice of Brooklyn to Sydney with its trendy retro 70s fitout and hot, cheesy slices fresh from the oven. Attracting hungry diners from all over, grab a box to go, or scoff it down curbside on a milk crate. At this little hole in the wall, it’s all about good pizza. Think pies topped with fresh pepperoni, mixed mushrooms, hot maple syrup, and so much more.
Venture to Crown Street to find Pizza Fritta 180 with Luigi Esposito serving the sealed, flash-fried pizza he’s been eating since childhood. So, what is fried pizza? They take a flattened ball of dough and cover it with toppings, then top it with another flattened ball and throw it in a deep fryer. Inside, they stuff it with everything from ricotta and mozzarella to salami, pork cheek, and eggplant. The deep-fried dough balls with Nutella dipping are also a must.
Bella Brutta does things differently; people either love or hate it — although the packed house says it all. The base is thin and crispy, the edge is puffed and blistered to the point of second-degree burn, providing a crispy foundation to hold the toppings while providing a light bite at the end. Luke Powell’s blend of Australian and Italian flours and long fermentation lends to its savoury and slightly sour taste. Expect pizzas topped with a handful of surf clams, salamis, and meats from LP’s Quality Meats and different cheeses.
The new kid on the block isn’t all that new, but it’s the only one dedicated to serving vegan slices. Gigi Pizzeria was known for selling some of Sydney’s best Neapolitan pizza, yet, pizzaiolo Marco Mattino rid the popular pizza joint of animal products. The pizza is still traditional, just without meat and cheese. Instead, pizzas are topped with mushrooms, eggplant, Beyond Sausage, and tree nut ricotta. Even without vegan cheese products, the slices have the same umami taste thanks to Pugliese yellow tomatoes.
You don’t have to travel far for a slice of Italy’s best. Via Napoli has outfits in Lane Cove, Surry Hills, and Hunters Hill. Head Chef Luigi Esposito imports flour, tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella, and olive oil from Italy to serve traditional Naples pizza. Imagine hanging cured meats, large cheese wheels, and an open kitchen. Gather a group of friends to tackle the show-stopping two-metre-long pizza topped with the restaurants’ most popular toppings.
Pizza lovers can get a slice of Sydney’s best wood-fired pizzas at Maybe Frank Randwick. Expect the same great-tasting pizzas as Maybe Frank Surry Hills, only with a crispier base, less puffy edges and simpler toppings. The bar is the best-kept secret, serving aperitifs and digestive cocktails on an outdoor terrace.
La Coppola is your friendly-neighbourhood pizzeria. The hole-in-the-wall pizza joint serves the flavours of Sicily, where owner Stefano grew up. Slices are crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside but not wet like Neapolitan slices. The menu includes family-inspired creations, such as Stefano’s pick, “Contesse”, with mushroom, roasted capsicum, and artichokes. Pick up a slice of house favourite, “Lilla”, with Italian pork and fennel sausage, artichokes, and fresh fennel. It seems pizza runs in the family, with Stefano’s daughter joining the ranks with inspired ideas.
Surry Hills and Bronte
Vacanza, which translates to vacation in Italian, is the brainchild of Nick Gilbert, who spent months learning the art of tossing dough in Southern Italy. His flagship in Bronte lasted all but two years before Gilbert opened a second shop in Surry Hills. The pizza is simple but excellent. Think Margherita with mushrooms, prosciutto, San Marzano tomatoes, and smoked ham. The show’s sidekick is the buffalo mozzarella bar paired with a variety of Italian nibbles, including olives, focaccia, and prosciutto.
We all have our favourite slices; Da Mario’s is a classic. Although it’s been around since 2013, it still remains among the top contenders for the best slices in Sydney. The Margherita ‘extra’ comes with a handful of extra buffalo mozzarella. Who doesn’t want that? As for the rest of the menu, expect authentic Italian slices with heaps of pancetta, ricotta, spicy sausage, speck, and more. The atmosphere is laid back and friendly, as it should be. The wine list is diverse, with bottles from Mudgee to Italy.
Sydneysiders are not very often grateful to Melburnians, but the renowned delicatessen from the D.O.C Group has us on our knees. D.O.C Surry Hills slings 14 different pizza options in a narrow space occupied by a marble bar and people-watching advantage spots. The pizzas are loaded with simple toppings: San Daniele Prosciutto, truffle oil, mozzarella imported from Campania, and much more. Keep an eye out for the daily specials on the blackboard.
The pizza here is unlike any other in Sydney. They take sustainability seriously, using local and seasonal ingredients for balanced and healthier slices. So if you’re vegan, vegetarian, or gluten-free, Al Taglio has you covered. Although the toppings are rebellious to your nonna’s pizza, the magic happens at the base. A mix of barley and semolina flour is used for the lunch slices and for dinner, Italian wheat flour. The result is a soft, light, and slightly crunchy experience.
Is there anything more iconic than grabbing a pizza at the Dolphin Hotel? Whether you decide to eat in or take away, you can’t go wrong with pizza at this pub. Sasa Smiljanic, most recently the Head Pizzaiolo at Bella Brutta, has taken the helm, reinventing Delfino Pizzeria in the hotel. Sasa’s past experience has given him an edge to think outside the box when it comes to the new pizza menu and a true passion for pizza. Along with Danny Corbett, they’ve crafted the perfect Napoletana pizza dough with an almost scientific precision that is new and unique to the Dolphin.