Josh Cheetham delivers his verdict on what’s hot and what’s not on the ever-rising Walthamstow pizza scene
Pizza lovers across Walthamstow are fast becoming spoiled for choice, with a host of new pizza joints popping up within a mile of the High Street.
Yard Sale Pizza is the latest contender to throw themselves into the area’s cheese-topped renaissance, and they’re already causing a buzz. In February the award-winning stalwarts of Clapton and Finsbury Park opened a Hoe Street branch in a converted warehouse just below an old stained-glass workshop, complete with a takeaway spot at the front and outside seating.
But do they take a slice out of the competition? I decided to use the opening of Yard Sale as an excuse to reacquaint myself with Walthamstow’s existing pizza places, excluding the big chains, in a delicious attempt to decide which is best.
Yard Sale (Hoe Street)
Yard Sale offers weekly specials, and options for a gluten-free base and vegan cheese. Handily, if you can’t decide what to have, there’s the option of having half-and-half pizzas too. The franchise’s signature 18-inch pizzas, with double fermented dough, are quite chewy, and the menu is veggie-heavy which may be disappointing for diners looking for variety. But overall, considering their size, they’re good value for money.
Sodo Pizza Café (Hatherley Mews)
Sodo is a serious contender for Walthamstow’s top slice. The award-winning outfit – with other spots in Hoxton and Clapham – is known for its sour dough pizzas (‘Sodo’ – geddit?) which are made with superb ingredients and are quite reasonably priced. They’ve got a nice range of pizzas, including some interesting specials, but be sure to try the ‘Lorena’ topped with mozzarella, butternut squash, feta, pine nuts and rosemary.
Nuovo Mondragone (Hoe Street and Orford Road)
Just across the road from Sodo Pizza Café is another staple of the Walthamstow pizza scene. Nuovo Mondragone first opened its doors in 1999 and has a second branch along Orford Road in the Village. At face value they seem like a typical Italian restaurant but their thin, light pizzas will leave you wanting more. Their service isn’t always the fastest, but overall they’re very reasonably priced.
Pizza Toto (High Street)
A very unassuming Italian restaurant hidden in plain sight along the market. But don’t be fooled, they’re easily one of Walthamstow’s heavy hitters and run by some exceptionally friendly staff. Nice and simple, authentic Italian pizzas with dough so delicious you’ll almost forget you’re not by the Mediterranean Sea.
Uffizzi (Lea Bridge Road)
Named after Florence’s famous Uffizzi Gallery, this family-run restaurant was once named ‘best pizza in London’ by Time Out. It’s one of Walthamstow’s quirkier eateries with artwork splashed across its walls and a dining area dotted with life-size replicas of famous Renaissance statues. The pizzas here are made with nice ingredients and are generaly tasty, if a little greasy.
Peppe’s Pizza (pop-up in Hoe Street)
Peppe’s is a pop-up just outside Ye Olde Rose and Crown pub and serves pizzas as they should be; delicious, light dough, and stuffed with toppings. Their menu is wide-ranging and their very friendly team offer a load of mouth-watering specials too. Hands down the best pizza you’ll find in Walthamstow, and maybe one of the best in London. But be ready to wait a while – Peppe makes all the pizzas himself!
With a strong reputation to build on, Yard Sale is already becoming one of Walthamstow’s more popular pizza joints, but if you’re looking for authentic Italian pizza, Peppe still wears the crown!