If you know of Pizza Pilgrims then you will be familiar of their Piaggio Ape Van that sits down Berwick Street market cooking the best stone oven baked pizzas. James and Thom Elliot have now opened their own pizzeria in the heart of Soho down Dean Street. It’s not hard to miss with its green coloured exterior that sits opposite Pizza Express, a bolshie but much respected move.
The restaurant is walk-in only with no reservations. As you enter you can watch the guys at work perfecting and cooking your pizzas in the stone-oven. There is a small window ledge table where you can watch the people of Soho go by. Don’t be fooled by the small seating upstairs, as alternatively you can head downstairs where they’ve got plenty of tables. As you go down you’ll see great posters of 60’s Italian films hung around the walls. The interior is very traditional Italian retro with simple green and white chequered tables. They’ve even got their own football table if you wish to have a play next to the bar after your pizza– what more could you want from a pizzeria!
Obvious to some, their main focus is traditional Neapolitan pizza with sourdough bases. Most of their ingredients are sourced from Naples. They use San Marzano tomatoes for the sauce, Caputo flour which is shipped from Naples, Fior Di Latte which is a cow’s milk mozzarella (delicate flavours), Basil from the local fruit and vegetable market on Berwick Street, and last but not least the amazing Nduja which is an incredible spicy sausage from Calabria which has been smoked and cured. As this sausage cooks it almost caramelises and the flavour in the oil spreads throughout the pizza.
For dessert they have gone and done something fantastic: they’ve teamed up with Gelupo. If you’re a gelato lover or a big foodie (like myself) then you’re bound to know about Gelupo. They serve a lemon sorbet which is served in a frozen lemon skin and a blood orange in a blood orange skin. On my visit I was taken aback by their great vanilla ice-cream with olive oil and sea salt. I’d never have put the three together but the combination is great. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to try their Nutella pizza rings as I had eaten far too much but they are a genius idea.
In terms of drinks they serve a range of well-known alcoholic Italian beverages such as Prosecco on tap, Moretti, Aperol, Camari, Negronis and liqueurs. For the non-alcoholics they have San Pellegrino cans which beat any other fizzy drinks. Finally, be sure to have a coffee as they serve the great Terrone coffee as seen in Netil Market in Hackney.
Pizza Pilgrims provide great customer service that really is friendly so you don’t feel like you’re being rushed out to fill more tables. You can see their passion for food and commitment in sourcing the very best ingredients. With authentic Neapolitan pizza, fantastic gelato, drinks and a football table you really are being spoilt!
Open: Mon – Sat 12pm-3pm & 6pm-10.30pm
Pizzeria address: 11 Dean Street, London W1D 3RP
Van address: 102 Berwick St, London, UK W1F 0QB
By Amelia Hallsworth, who is a freelance photographer with a passion for food and coffee. See her blog here http://ameliahallsworth.com/