Pizza East Portobello: The Best Pizza In London
IS THIS LONDON’S BEST PIZZERIA?
PIZZA EAST PORTOBELLO
Pizza East Portobello
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310 Portobello Road, London W10 5TA
Nearest Tube: Ladbroke Grove
THE QUEST FOR LONDON’S BEST PIZZA COULD BE OVER…
The popularity of London’s Pizza East movement hasn’t shown signs of fading; not from the second the original Shoreditch pizzeria took over the landmark Tea Building and shot to fame as one of the first bastions of Shoreditch gentrification. Since then, the Pizza East revolution has since crept across London, packing restaurants with hipsters, families and pizza lovers alike. Taking the action way out west, the Notting Hill outpost of this uber cool pizzeria, has been no different.
Delivered by the same mighty force behind some of London’s favourite haunts and funky feeding troughs, Pizza East Portobello is another suave operation from the achingly fashionable Soho House group. (If you’re hungry for more, Shoreditch House, Chicken Shop and Electric Diner are just a few of the group’s other hip and happening establishments well worth a look). Located at the tres cool end of Portobello Road, near Golborne Road, Pizza East Portobello has been embraced with something approaching fervour by locals and the loads of eager pizza lovers who make the prodigious trek, well beyond the Westway flyover, to feed on some of London’s finest pizza.
Spread over two floors of a restored Georgian pub, Pizza East Portobello may look rustic and randomly vintage but beyond the bright blue and white striped awnings, it’s as inversely sophisticated as a pizzeria can get. The space features a mish-mash collection of furniture, industrial decor and more bare brick, tiles and concrete than your average multi-storey car park. It’s busy, noisy and cool. From the on-site deli with its hanging salumi, polenta, Italian cured meats and cheeses, to the open kitchen and sensational wood fired ovens, Pizza East Portobello has the polished vibe you’d expect from a popular West London pizzeria.
To put it frankly, the pizzas are the business. The starters and sides are certainly no slouches. You’ll find a short list of wood-oven cooked, non-pizza options like pork belly, chicken, beef or salmon and there’s a chocolate, salted caramel tart of dangerous deliciousness on the dessert menu, but it’s undeniably the wood-fired pizzas that are the main draw. At the £8 to £14 mark, pizza toppings include the usual suspects plus a few edgy combinations from outside the square – guanciale, puzzone, the Swiss chard and roasted chilli is a classic in the making, so too the veal meatball, prosciutto and cream pizza, which is definitely lighter and less top-heavy than it sounds. With puffy, charred crusts, crisped to perfection on the edges and a base that’s pleasingly elastic in the middle, Pizza East’s pizzas are a serious contender for any list of London’s best pizzas. I love the American-style takeaway boxes for your leftovers too, if your eyes are too big for your stomach you can leave with your lunch for the next day, neatly packaged to pop straight in your fridge.