Soho is completely changing with a raft of new dining establishments that’s helping shed it’s once seedy reputation. And in the middle of Soho, cheekily opposite the Pizza Express jazz bar, you’ll find the Pizza Pilgrims first permanent restaurant.
So where did it all start – Two brothers went on a pizza pilgrim around Italy learning how to make the perfect Neapolitan pizza and which ingredients made an authentic pizza. The knowledge they built up from visiting restaurants in Italy (predominantly Naples) was used for the launch of the brothers’ van, Pizza Pilgrims on Berwick Street. It was the talk of the town with the two owners cooking out the back of their little green Piaggio Ape especially when the street food scene hit big a few years ago. Combining this following of fans and the traditional hand-built pizza oven makes this a restaurant to try.
The decor is simple, in their signature white and dark green colours. As you walk in you’ll see the staff working in the kitchen around the pizza oven. The owners built the pizza oven from scratch, including the mosaics. The walls are mostly decorated with posters from Italian movie classics. Most of the restaurant is downstairs and was bright and colourful.
The menu is simple and small, focussing on what they do best: pizza. There are a few starter dishes like olives, salad and bread but its very much all about the main event. There is a basic drinks menu with Prossecco, wines on tap and Birra Moretti beer alongside San Pellegrino. Nothing too extravagent. So how were the pizzas:
I went for the portobello mushroom and truffle pizza. In their authentic style, the dough was soft so you could eat it easily and the toppings were delicious. I’m not really a fan of pizza bianco, because it often loses the sweetness a pizza needs, but you could taste the truffle oil. I did add some chilli oil to give it some added flavour. The base tasted fresh with a crispy but not too crunchy crust. Apparently the flour is shipped in from Naples don’t you know. I did like the look of the artichoke and mozzarella pizza which had tomato in it – will have to try that next time.
We didn’t go for dessert as the pizzas were really heavy but I was intrigued by the options – nutella ring, ice cream with olive oil and salt, blood orange sorbets and ice cream from Gelupo. I did want to try the affogato however they didn’t make it with decaf so wasn’t going to risk a night of no sleep! Maybe a dessert for the next visit.
Outside of Naples, I would definitely say Pizza Pilgrims do the best pizzas in London. Mamma would definitely be proud of the brothers! Yummy yummy pizza….