Pizza has been the cornerstone of food trends in America for decades – especially in New York and Chicago.
From deep dish to thin crust, breakfast to dessert, wood fired to deep fried – the US does pizza like no other country.
It’s hotly tipped as the next UK food trend too. Having taken London by storm in 2014, we reckon it’s about to explode in the UK’s second city too. Kawabunga!
But where’s the BEST pizza in Manchester? Here are our top tips – tell us what you think.
With special thanks to Laura Fell for hot-footed, carbohydrate induced reviews.
1. HONEST CRUST
Try: Portobello mushrooms, garlic oil, tomato and mozzarella.
Using only the best quality Italian ingredients from top local British producers, Honest Crust sourdough pizzas are stretched by hand and blasted in a wood-fired oven for just 90 seconds. The result? Being able to satisfy your need for an impeccable Neapolitan pizza that has soft, slow-rise doughy crusts, a firm and crunchy base and a multiplicity of toppings ranging from traditional to the most innovative.
You can find these guys down at the Market House, the trendy, independent foodie hub that has pizza fiends from around the North West flocking to Altrincham Market every week. Having usually around 8 pizzas on their menu you’ll find yourself spoilt for choice, including some standard, yet fantastic classic pizzas and some rather amazing specials; notably the smoked pig cheek, red onion, fennel seed, tomato, chilli, pecorino and mozzarella pizza. Yes! You heard correct, no wonder Manchester loves Honest Crust.
How much? £6.50 – £9.50
2. CRAZY PEDRO’S PART-TIME PIZZA PARLOUR
Try: Nacho Libre
What do you get when you cross an Italian pizza joint with an American diner, crazy rock/indie bar, a Mexican drinking den and a Caribbean rum joint? Crazy Pedro’s is what. Serving pizza until 4am makes Pedro’s ideal for a late night stop-off but offers so much more than just something to soak up the excess rum after a night out.
Coming on a superbly crispy 16-in base, their menu offers wacky choices – all of which seem to work! ‘The hotdog pizza’ is everything you would expect, with its meaty slices of frank, cheese and crispy onions smothered in a mix of sweet ketchup and tangy mustard.
Even better is the chicken, smoked bacon, waffle and syrup pizza. Yes, yes, I know. But trust us – sweet pizzas are the way forward. Crazy good. Seems Pedro wasn’t that crazy after all!
How much? £2.50 Slice or £14 16” Pizza
3. RUDY’S PIZZA
Try: The Margo; Tomato, Mozzarella, fresh basil and extra virgin olive oil.
You’ll find it difficult to come across anyone with as much passion for making pizzas as these guys. With their first-class, locally-sourced ingredients, Rudy’s pizza is a two-man band whose enthusiasm for making good quality pizza really shines through.
Popping up around Manchester city centre, they’ve been saving to open a place of their own, and 2015 is that year! All their pizzas use double-proved dough, making the base so fluffy and airy that when cooked in the wood fired oven for just a minute the crusts are incredibly soft! Absolute pizza perfection.
They don’t go heavy on the toppings though, as it’s all about the base for Rudy’s.
How much? £4.75 – £7
Opening July 2015 – Fairbairn Building, Little Italy, Ancoats. Various pop ups around Manchester until then.
4. SALVI’S CUCINA
Try: Pizza Tirolese. Porcini mushrooms, bufala, speck and mozzarella.
When I think of classic Italian pizzas, Salvi’s Cucina always immediately springs to mind. Renowned for cooking with only the freshest Italian ingredients in an open kitchen by their passionate, Italian chefs.
Salvi’s ensure that their pizzas are baked to perfection, using thin crispy bases making the whole eating experience here authentic. Bellissimo!
How much? £7 – £12
5. DOGS N DOUGH
Try: Triple Threat Pizza
Hidden down a small alley, this underground gem might specialise in sausages, but its unorthodox US-styled pizzas are worth a look too.
Served in the box, the Triple Threat is loaded with bacon, cheeseburgers and fries. It’s as filling as it sounds and might as well be renamed the Triple Heart Bypass.
Wash it down with one of the many cocktails on offer and fall asleep in the comfy leather booths.
How much? £6.50 – £11
Try: Chilli Salsiccia
Croma, located a dough ball’s throw from the town hall, has been around for ages, for one good reason. It’s very, very good at what it does.
Sweet chilli sauce, roasted peppers and Tuscan sausage makes for a fiery mix, so make sure you have a glass of water nearby.
Definitely worth delving into the traditional heart of Manchester for.
How much? £5.50 – £8.50
7. THE LAUNDRETTE
Try: Smoked ham & black pudding
Cocktails and carbs: this 18 month old place in Chorlton serves sexy pizzas. The toppings are rather wonderful. How about cod cheeks, smoked salmon flakes and wakame or smoked ham, Bury black pudding and spicy sausage (all under £10). Pizza’s not the only delicious carb at this crowd pleasing little joint, try the BBQ pulled pork burger or their homemade fresh pasta lasagne. And do not leave without sampling one of their sweet cocktails!
How much? £6.50 – £10
Beech Road, Chorlton, M21 9EL
Try: pulled pork
With its upmarket shops, trendy bars and ever increasing selection of restaurants, Spinningfields has quickly become one of the hotspots of Manchester’s high-end social scene. But amongst all the glitz, glamour, footballers and stars of Hollyoaks you barely remember the names of from back when you watched it on T4 – the question remains: can you get a decent pizza?
Artisan’s extensive menu contains a host of wood-fired pizzas, ranging from your classics to the slightly out of place doner kebab option. We went for the pulled pork, which arrived on a crisp dough with the toppings offering a heady flavour with a real sweetness from the tomato base and apples; saltiness from the pork and cheese; and peppery taste from the rocket and basil.
If you fancy an evening out and a good eat is what you’re looking for, then you’re in the right place at Artisan.
How much? £8.95 – £11.95
9. BLACK DOG BALLROOM NQ
Try: Jerk Chicken
Black Dog has a great beer selection, including Goose Island Pale Ale, so a good range of pizzas is a perfect pairing.
However, traditional, wood-fired pizza base with a jerk chicken (or the suprisingly tasty vegetarian Rustica) topping sends heritage out the window. A great hangover cure and a surefire food coma catalyst. As a bonus, they serve late night pizza right up until 1am!
How much? £6 – £12
10. GUSTO MANCHESTER
Should you know your Latin, you’ll know the name Gusto originates from the Latin word for tasting, and should you know this Mancunian haunt, sat back from the hustle and bustle of Deansgate, you’ll know it more than lives up to the name hanging above the door.
First introductions – large clay oven, open kitchen, friendly staff, solid selection of pizzas for both meat eaters and vegetarians – were strong. We selected the Caprino, which offered a real variety of taste: the sweet caramelised onions, crunchy pine nuts and tangy goat’s cheese combined superbly on top of a base which would have been perfect had it not been slightly too moist in the centre.
How much? £7.95 – £12.75