Where on earth would we be as a species without pizza? What would be our ultimate comfort food? What would we enjoy with our Campari-sodas and cold beers? What would we cram into our drunken mouths after a messy night out? It's just too terrifying to think about.
Lucky for us Mancunians, the humble pizza has had a recent spike in popularity, and the city plays host to arguably some of the best pizza joints this side of Milano.
Situated in an ex-car park in Manchester’s very own Little Italy, Rudy’s Neapolitan Pizza have earned themselves quite a reputation. Perhaps the first to start off this craft-pizza-craze in the city, you will find an uber-relaxed environment and dare I say, the best pizza in town. Get there quick mind- you cannot book a table so do expect a queue.
Rudy’s Neapolitan Pizza, 9 Cotton Street, Ancoats, M4 5BF
If pizza and pints isn’t your jam and you are one in pursuit of the more elegant things in life, then perhaps San Carlo is the place for you. Classic Italian with an elegant twist is the name of the game at this Mancunian institution, and even something as humble as the pizza is given a luxurious make-over to match the swish ambience.
San Carlo, 98-116 Deansgate, Manchester M3 2GQ
DG X Per Tutti
We had the pleasure of popping down to the Don Giovanni pop-up/take over of Per Tutti at the start of last month, and it is safe to say we were more than pleasantly surprised. The kitchen is fitted out with a world-class pizza oven, which I am not kidding takes up 2/3 of the kitchen space. I can’t imagine how hot it is in there. It is worth melting chefs for though, the pizza had a crisp crust and soft chewy middle and is topped with all sorts of Italian treats such as bresaola, Palma ham and Buffalo mozzarella.
DG X Per Tutti, 3-11 Liverpool Rd, Manchester M3 4NW
Stage and Radio
I think this one wins the ‘no frills’ competition when it comes to pizza. Tucked around the back of the Northern Quarter, an unassuming little bar serves up a variety of perfect pizzas which are precisely what they should be and just what you need four or five drinks in. I always go for their pepperoni, which is appropriately pimped up with the addition of spicy Nduja, basil and pickled jalapenos.
Stage & Radio, 43 Port St, Manchester M1 2EQ
Buca di Pizza
I like this one for two reasons. A) ‘Buca di Pizza’ literally translates to ‘Pizza Hole’ which is all my mouth is and ever will be. B) They do a bottomless pizza and prosecco deal, which they call their Tutto Deal. £25.95 per person for 90 minutes of all you can eat pizza and all you can drink prosecco. Don’t know about you, but that sounds like a challenge to me.
Buca di Pizza, 18 – 22 Lloyd Street, Manchester M2 5WA
On the complete opposite end of the spectrum to the former, sometimes you just want something filthy, and that’s where Crazy Pedro’s come in. Open until late, and with pizza available by the slice, the toppings at Pedro’s are what your wildest dreams are made of. Think fried chicken and waffle, shredded duck, Korean Fried Chicken and a monthly changing pun-tastic special.
Crazy Pedro’s, 55-57 Bridge St, Manchester M3 3BQ
A Northern Quarter favourite and within dangerous proximity to the Manchester’s Finest office, the pizzas at Ply never let us down. Handcrafted from sourdough and baked in a Neapolitan wood-fired clay oven in under two minutes, they are wonderfully authentic. The pizzas are served up next to a selection of craft beers and cocktails and in the spirit of the NQ, a programme of ever-changing art exhibitions.
PLY, 26 Lever Street, Manchester, M1 1DW
If you’ve been to either of the Universities here in Manchester, then you will have almost certainly had a drink at Sandbar. It is an absolute institution, and nothing shows us why more than the fabulous selection of craft ales and the pizza. Good Lord, the pizza. Stone baked to perfection and topped with the most sumptuous of toppings and available in 14” and 6”. They have all the classics and then some more adventurous toppings like smoked duck, grilled aubergine, and feta, and I hear that vegan/vegetarian options are available (and tasty too.)
Sandbar, 120 Grosvenor St, Manchester M1 7HL
Would West Didsbury be complete without a trendy new pizza joint? Certainly not. Made in the Neapolitan style with a soft, chewy crust and charred edges, in a tiled, wood-fired oven they use the most beautiful Italian ingredients and with all the toppings you know and love such as Foir de latte mozzarella, spicy Nduja sausage and lashings of olive oil.
Proove, 160 Burton Road, West Didsbury, Manchester M20 1LH
Dogs n’ Dough
Tucked away on a tiny street between Albert’s Square and Cross Street lies a New York themed bar and eateries with classic American style pizza-pies. Soft, doughy and swimming in cheese, they are the sort of pizzas that refined Neapolitans would scoff at, but we can’t get enough of. What’s more, they have a dessert pizza topped with your choice of sauce, sweets and enough E numbers to get you through Monday.
Dogs n’ Dough, 17 Bow Ln, Manchester M2 4FW
Honest Crust at Mackie Mayor
If you haven’t had a chance to grace this stylish food market, then can you even call yourself a millennial or even a person in the know? Both markets play host to a range of food vendors to offer a variety of delicious eats from Bao buns to authentic Neapolitan pizza – are you sensing a theme yet?
Honest Crust, Mackie Mayor, Eagle St, Manchester M4
The name of this titchy pizzeria in the hipster-infested suburb of Chorlton refers to the ultra-fine flour used in pizza bases and pasta. The pizza’s here are, you guessed it Neapolitan, and made from a dough that is fermented for a minimum of 48 hours and topped with all your favourite toppings from the classic to the controversial.
Double Zero, 368 Barlow Moor Rd, Manchester M21 8AZ
For when you’re on the go, and you just want a little something to keep those hunger pangs at bay, Slice in the Northern Quarter is the way forward. Minimal fuss with maximum flavour the pizzas are batch cooked in sheets and sliced up ready for you to take away or eat in. Only the finest Italian ingredients are used, and the make the perfect little lunchtime treat.
Slice Pizza & Bread Bar, 1a Stevenson Square, Northern Quarter, Manchester, M1 1DN.
Although we are sticklers for authenticity, sometimes something thin and crispy is just what the doctor ordered. Dough Pizza Kitchen in the heart of the Northern Quarter is a crowd pleaser and offers a contemporary approach to pizza. Expect all your Italian favourites and then some more wild choices like pastrami and mustard, feta and roasted veg or the English breakfast.
Dough Pizza Kitchen, 77 High St, Manchester M4 1FS