Both Brisbane and pizza have come a long way in recent years, and we’ve done our darndest to bring you seven of the best vendors of those ancient, mesmerising frisbees of dough, sauce, cheese and miscellany. Now, these sorts of lists are, of course, a little subjective, but we can assure you a lot of pizzas were harmed in the compiling of it.
While nigh on impossible to narrow down our city’s ever-growing population of excellent pizza-makers, we’ve done our best to offer you seven of the finest that we feel nail the right balance of sauce, cheese, toppings and thickness/thinness of base. From traditional, wood-fired stalwarts to experimental, relatively non-Italian creations, there ought to be something for you here. Alas Dominos’ hot dog-stuffed-crust meatlovers with extra bacon fat narrowly missed the cut of these artisanal marvels.
What do you look for in a pizza? Traditional or cutting-edge? Tell us some of your favourite Brisbane pizza places in the comments. Below, in no particular order, are our picks.
Located on Bulimba’s cosmopolitan Oxford Street, Sugo Mi makes its pizzas in a contemporary, simple yet unique style, cementing it as a staple of the precinct and of any Brisbane pizza-lover. ‘Sugo Mi’ translates fairly literally into “sauce me” — and they certainly don’t disappoint in the sauce stakes. But then, they also impress without it. Sugo Mi offers two varieties of base: rosso (red, with house-made tomato sauce) and bianco (white, without sauce). Menu standouts include the Termolese (smoked leg ham, olives, anchovies) from the more traditional, rosso menu and the Zucca (pumpkin, pine nuts, goat’s cheese, rosemary and balsamic) from the more adventurous bianco selection. Sugo Mi offers great atmosphere and even a happy hour from 5pm-6pm Thursday to Sunday, where pizzas are $19. It also has its own attached groceria, should you wish to attempt your own Mediterranean delights.
3/190 Oxford Street, Bulimba
One of 2013’s most vibrant additions to the Valley eat-sphere, Alfredo’s adds to Damian Griffiths’ growing backstreet hub of Alfred & Constance, Limes Hotel and the new Kwan Brothers. Once upon a time, late-night pizza consisted of five-day-old slices slumped unappealingly on display trays under heaters (or ‘lukewarmers’) in greasy snack bars — but no more. Alfredo’s offers genuinely great-quality, fresh pizza until 3am Fridays and Saturdays. And they home-deliver alcohol (oh, and food too) on sleek vespas — now that’s pretty cool, right? Alfredo’s quirky pizza names run the gamut of rock history, such as the Piggy and the Stooges (roast pork, crackling, potato, apple sauce) and Red Hot Chilli Peppers (chill and peppers, understandably, with ‘inferno’ salami). You can’t go wrong at Alfredo’s, no matter the time of night.
Cnr Alfred Street and Constance Street, Fortitude Valley
Tucked behind Harveys bar and bistro on the bright lights of James Street, Tinderbox Kitchen is staking a claim as one of the city’s pizza frontrunners. Using free-range pork, Moree stoneground wheat and seasonal produce in the pizzas, Tinderbox ticks all the gourmet boxes of inner-city fine dining while serving up reasonably priced pizza treats. Fresh from their custom-made wood-fired oven come such simple yet inspired toppings as the Broccolini and Scarmorza (which also comes with chorizo — instant win — oregano and parmesan). The Tinderbox house special sports the likes of Mooloolaba prawns, chilli and zucchini. Adjacent to the Palace Centro cinemas, Tinderbox Kitchen is an ideal pre-movie stop-off.
7/31 James Street Fortitude Valley
Northside pizza fans will likely be familiar with Sandgate’s Il Forno. The pizzeria is establishing itself as a much-lauded destination among the many iconic fish ’n’ chipperies of the popular seaside precinct. Well-travelled owners Jane and Marco Agostini offer a diverse menu of woodfired pizzas, as well as antipasti, pastas and desserts. Among their cross-cultural signatures is L’Anatra, with crispy duck, hoisin sauce, cucumber and spring onions, and the Moroccan beef is hard to beat too. Fans of traditional margheritas and capricciosas won’t go hungry though, as the menu truly caters for all tastes. Ideal for romantic or group dinners, Il Forno is a must for any Bris Vegas pizzaphile. Even if you’re on the other side of town, it’s worth an adventure.
3 Third Avenue, Sandgate
Piccolo is an underrated player in the pizza market but has nonetheless recently grown to the point of opening a third southside store, at Highgate Hill. We attended Piccolo’s old-school pizza and espresso bar at East Brisbane for a satisfying pepperoni pie (complete with red peppers, meatballs and oregano). Other winners include Tandoori Chicken, the chorizo-packed Madrid and the Funghi, with its wild porcini mushrooms, asiago and truffle oil. Thin, crispy bases and herbaceous, full flavours characterise Piccolo’s handiwork. The pizzeria also offers $15.95 large pizzas every Tuesday — prices that compete with lesser, big-chain fare. Get in early for a stool at the bar and enjoy one of Piccolo’s many classics.
53 Lytton Road, East Brisbane; 589 Old Cleveland Road, Camp Hill; 36 Gladstone Road, Highgate Hill
Vespa Pizza, which has two stores at New Farm and Woolloongabba, is just as much an icon as a delivery service as it is for dining in, due to its delivery staff’s eponymous charming mode of transport. But the restaurants are so much more than their Italian scooters, providing many hungry Brisbane pizza-lovers with untold joy. Vespa offers a wide range of tastes on their thin-crust, wood-fired pizzas, from the traditional margherita and napoletana to the more eclectic Vespa Reigns Supreme, which is home to artichoke hearts, pancetta, bocconcini, capers and anchovies. And even the staunchest of carnivores will consider the Veg-edible (olives, artichokes, mushrooms, tomato, caramelised onion, capsicum). Dine in, take away or let these pizza sorcerers vespa it to your door.
148 Merthyr Road, Fortitude Valley; 617 Stanley Street, Woolloongabba
Effortlessly nestled among the sleek chic of Emporium, Tartufo’s aritsanal pizzas are not to be missed. Culinary veteran Tony Percuoco’s connoisseur pizza menu is made to be enjoyed in the pristine European-bistro interior accompanied by a few vinos. Cheese-lovers will find it difficult to look beyond the Quattro Formaggi (four cheeses: gorgonzola, emmental, fontina and provolone) and another standout is the Rustica alla Noel Staunton – an ode to his friend, the Brisbane Festival artistic director whose name this fine work of edible art takes – which has potato, pork sausage and taleggio rosemary on Percuoco’s signature crispy base. It’s a sign of a good pizza when you don’t leave the crust behind – and Tartufo lives up to that rule exceptionally.
1000 Ann Street, Fortitude Valley
Source: Concrete Playground words by Alex Condon: http://brisbane.concreteplayground.com.au/news/211830/the-seven-best-pizza-places-in-brisbane.htm?s=newsletter&utm_source=Concrete+Playground+Brisbane&utm_campaign=0c8e491dea-Brisbane_Perks_57_29_May_20145_29_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_af35581699-0c8e491dea-202083869