Whether it’s a classic thin Italian or an American deep pan, Leeds has some incredible pizzas for you to sink your teeth into – here are the best.
It’s a mighty fine choice when you’re eating out, but where should you get your next pizza in Leeds and what should you tuck into? From thin crispy bases, smothered with traditional Italian toppings to sloppy American-style slices loaded with unusual, extravagant and sometimes downright odd embellishments – find out what the city has to offer.
Probably the most talked about pizza joint in Leeds, Dough Boys is a permanent resident within Belgrave Music Hall, serving their tasty slices to all and sundry. The toppings are not just tasty, but creative too, giving you a tempting alternative to the Margherita pizzas of this world.
Tuck into a much-loved meaty classic in the form of their Sausage Fest, with its mix of prosciutto, spinach, black pepper sausage, mascarpone and caramelised onions – or go veggie with the Queen Brie, a tasty medley of French brie, roasted grapes, black pepper, smoked sea salt and those sweet, sweet onions.
Dough Boys, Belgrave Music Hall, 1-1A Cross Belgrave Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 8JP.
Franco Manca are the masters of slow-rising sourdough pizza. They’re one of the most popular pizzerias to come out of London in recent years and their rustic-meets-industrial restaurant in Trinity Leeds is the perfect place to tuck into their delicious creations.
There are just seven options on the menu and they’re all made fresh-to-order. Why not try the spicy lamb sausage with roasted aubergine and wild garlic pesto or go meat-free with a combination of capers, olives, Cantabrian anchovies and mozzarella? If you’re in a rush, you can grab and go, and it won’t break the bank either – you can get one of their pizzas from just £5.
Franco Manca, 1 Trinity Street, Trinity Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6AP.
Made fresh to order using ingredients imported fresh from Italy, Culto’s stone-baked pizzas are the stuff of legend. You can enjoy yours in their cool, laid-back cafe-style eatery or grab one to go from the takeaway counter.
Their most popular pizza is the Diavola. This hot-as-heck pie comes topped with mild spicy Italian salami, Calabrian ‘nduja, fresh chilli and ham. Prefer one slightly less fiery? Try the Carmelo, which comes with ham, mushrooms and fresh sliced tomatoes. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous you can upgrade to a Pizza Nera, their trademark black pizza base made with vegetable charcoal, which is said to help detoxify the body.
CULTO, 97 Stainbeck Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS7 2PR.
A hands-down favourite since they opened at the back end of 2016, Pizza Fella swapped their converted Citroen H van for a cool, stripped back unit on Vicar Lane. The venue is simple, relaxed and totally focused on the food, which is, of course, proper Neapolitan pizza, made with Italian Caputo flour, San Marzano tomatoes and Fior di Latte.
If you asked them to offer a recommendation, they’d say number two, the classic Margherita pizza, is everything you’ll ever want from a slice, but between us, we’re more partial to number eight, which comes loaded with ‘ndujadi spilinga, balsamic onions and Calabrian chilli flakes.
Pizza Fella, 114-116 Vicar Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7NL.
A sweet little independent pizzeria nestled in Headingley’s student savvy heartland, Ecco brings Neapolitan pizza to Leeds, with stunning effect. It’s cooked in their proper, wood-fired oven, using the rules of old – namely, that they’re made with organic, seasonal ingredients from local farmers and artisan producers, with a few special items sourced directly from Italy.
The end result is a menu of scrumptious pizzas that toe the line between traditional and experimental. You’ve got your classics, taking you from Marinara and Margherita to Napoli and 4 Stagioni – but then there’s a selection of world-inspired options, like the Bombay, an unusual combination of tandoori chicken breast, roasted peppers, red onion, fresh chillies and coriander. With quarter metre square servings designed to give you more bang for your buck, it’s no wonder they’re regarded as one of Leeds’ best.
Ecco Pizzaria, 93 Otley Road, Headingley, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS6 3PS.
Trattoria Il Forno
Looking for the best pizza in Leeds? You can’t go far wrong with Trattoria Il Forno. These guys have been loitering at the top end of TripAdvisor for the last 3 years, wowing folk with their authentic pizzas, cooked in a wood-fired oven, with the sweet smells wafting out from the open plan kitchen and into the restaurant itself.
The menu is extensive, with a mind-boggling array of traditional pizzas for you to choose from. You’ve got familiar names, like Diavola, Romana and Frutti di Mare, as well as a few lesser-known delights that might well tempt you into trying something new. The Funghi Bianca is definitely worth a try – a white pizza, it comes topped with mozzarella, mushrooms, asparagus, chicken, cream, parmesan and garlic.
Trattoria Il Forno, 85 Town Street, Horsforth, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS18 5BP.
Grumpy’s is a family-run eatery in the stripped-back setting of Sunny Bank Mills, and their pizza has made it a firm favourite in Farsley. Sisters Cassie and Alex Rogerson have absolutely nailed their 11-inch Roman-style pizzas which are made in a wood-fired oven.
All of their pizzas are named after people – you can try one of their eight regulars, like the Simon, with its combo of ‘nduja hot chilli salumi and wood-fired chicken. But they also have a selection of adventurous specials. The Kathy comes topped with smoked speck ham, field mushrooms and a free-range egg. Grumpy’s is great for vegans too and you can make your own by going for the Morrissey DIY pizza, where you get to choose what goes on top.
Grumpy’s, 2 Old Combing, Paradise Street, Farsley, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS28 5UJ.
Pizza Loco have been staples of the Yorkshire street food scene for years, but now you can also try their wares in an industrial-chic venue in the centre of Oakwood. The secret to the success is their special recipe dough which they use to make classic Neapolitan pizzas in a wood-fried oven.
They come topped with San Marzano tomatoes and a host of incredible combinations. You can play it safe with a Margherita or broaden your horizons with the Salsiccia e Friarielli, a mix of fennel sausage and Italian turnip tops. They even serve panuozzos, pizza-style sandwiches filled with scrumptious treats like guanciale, scamorza, red onion, pink peppercorns and truffle mushroom cream.
Pizza Loco, 484 Roundhay Road, Oakwood, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS8 2HU.
Sela Bar is better known as a bar than an eatery, but for those in the know, it’s one of the city’s go-to pizza destinations. Delve into the basement bar and you’ll be treated to a stomach-lining feast in the form of their hand-pulled stone-baked pizzas, served right up to until midnight.
The selection on the menu is small but perfectly formed. You’ve got familiar treats like the humble Margherita and the spicy Pepperoni, but if you fancy something a little bit different, they’ve got that covered too. The Porker promises pulled pork, mozzarella and BBQ sauce, while Blue Balls! comes with meatballs, caramelised red onion, blue cheese and mozzarella. They never cost more than £8, either, so you won’t have to put your hand far into your pocket.
Sela Bar, 20 New Briggate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6NU.
Poco is one of the most popular places to get pizza in Leeds. This Sicilian street food joint comes from the folk behind Culto, but here they do ‘pizza al taglio’. Look at their menu and you might think the options are limited, but go inside and you’ll find a counter filled with veggie and meat pizzas.
They’re made the traditional way, with blue iron trays sourced directly from Sicily. The result is a light and fluffy base with a crispy bottom. You’ll have loads to choose from, and the toppings change daily – one day you could get prosciutto, the next roasted lamb – but one thing’s for sure, you’ll want to go back for more.
Poco, 360 Kirkstall Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS4 2HQ.
Wood Fire Dine
A former street food truck turned one of the best pizzerias in Leeds, Wood Fire Dine is a must-visit. The restaurant is in a Grade-II listed building and full of rustic charm, the perfect place to tuck into their authentic Neapolitan pizza made in their hand-made wood fire oven.
They source ingredients like Caputo flour, San Marzano tomatoes and mozzarella directly from Campania in Italy and the rest comes from local businesses. The dough is made fresh each day and topped with your choice of goodies. If you fancy a classic, you can go for the likes of Pepperoni or Margherita, but if you want to be adventurous, try one of their specials like The Cumberland, topped with Cumberland salami, goat’s cheese, caramelised red onions and green peppers.
Wood Fire Dine Artisan Pizzeria, 34-36 Commercial Street, Rothwell, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS26 0AW.
Tapped’s pizza is a mighty fine way to line your stomach before you delve into their almost overwhelming selection of craft beer. Their pizza is handmade from scratch, using the best Italian ingredients, with a not-so-secret addition to the base to make it special – yes, you guessed it, beer. These are not your usual bar pizzas.
The menu has 13 options, with a little something for everyone, whether you’re carnivorous or veggie. Tuck into classics like Margherita, Funghi and Quattro Formaggi or go wild with something a little more adventurous. The Ruby Murray fits the bill, with its roasted peppers, fresh chillies, coriander and beef keema. It’s worth adding a dip to take your pizza to the next level, with Garlic & Rosemary Mayo, Rum BBQ sauce and Tapped in the Head Hot Sauce up for grabs.
Tapped, Trinity Leeds, 51 Boar Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5EL.
A student favourite, and with good reason, Rustica serve up handmade pizzas from their basement venue on Blenheim Terrace. Watch the chef spinning the dough in the kitchen as he whips up a delicious Italian pizza base and smothers it in quality ingredients.
You certainly aren’t short of options here, you can even create your own, with a whole ream of ingredients to choose from. Want someone else to make the choice? No problem. Mr Popeye doesn’t just have a good name, it’s also a great combo of spinach, feta, onion, egg, crushed chilli and tomato – or why not try something different in the form of The Ottoman? It comes topped with meatballs, onion, tomato, crushed chilli, green peppers and fresh parsley.
Rustica, 30 Blenheim Terrace, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 9HD.
Simpatico has mastered the art of ‘pizza al taglio’. This traditional Roman-style pizza joint is owned by Nick Julian – he became so obsessed with proper Italian pizza that he trained in Rome under acclaimed pizzaiolo Cristiano Garbarino and now he’s brought his expertise to Leeds.
They use 72-hour fermented dough for the base, which adds flavour and that signature crunch, but it also has a fluffy upper layer. There’s no menu here, instead they serve an ever-changing selection of pizzas, which means there’s always something new to try, whether it’s Lobster, Samphire and Crayfish or Asparagus, Broccoli and Gorgonzola.
Simpatico, 16 Queens Arcade, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6LF.
Small Victories have made themselves at home in the popular riverside haunt of Water Lane Boathouse. Not only is it the perfect spot for a drink and a bite to eat, but they have a hand-crafted pizza oven made by Stefano Ferrara in Napoli, which means you can expect a mighty fine slice.
Their sourdough pizza is made with just three ingredients and proved slowly over 24 hours with wild yeast to make it deliciously light, then they smother on the toppings – try the ‘nduja mascarpone, spianata calabrese sausage, caramelised onion, San Marzano tomato and mozzarella. Oh, and don’t forget to head over on a Sunday or Monday for half-price pizza.
Water Lane Boathouse, Canal Wharf, Water Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS11 5PS.
Dough House is a cool, laid-back pizzeria from the same folks behind local favourite LIVIN’Italy. You can look forward to a heaving menu of original pizzas and you’ll want to make sure you bring a couple of friends because the majority of them are 20-inch behemoths.
First you’ll choose your dough. They do a light and crispy Tradizionale, a crunchy Integrale or a natural Gluten-Free. Then you pick the topping with over 20 different ingredients ready to add. Try the Lombarda, which comes with cream of Gorgonzola, black olives, pear and walnuts. Alongside the food, they have a massive cocktail menu, full of Italian classics and boozy shakes.
Dough House, Cloth Hall Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 2HD.
San Carlo’s Flying Pizza has been one of the most popular pizza restaurants in Leeds for over a decade – and with good reason. They use Neapolitan flour, Sicilian tomatoes and imported mozzarella to create the base for a delicious menu of pizza, which you can enjoy in a refined, but laid-back venue.
There are 11 different choices on the menu. You can go for classics like Margherita, Prosciutto e Funghi and Diavola, or expand your horizons with something a little more unusual. The Tartufo brings together Caciocavallo cheese, porcini mushrooms and black truffle, while the Spago promises a white base with onions, sour cream and smoked salmon. Fancy trying their speciality? The Calzone comes stuffed with chicken, garlic, spinach and cheese and topped with oodles of tomato sauce.
Flying Pizza, 60 Street Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS8 2DQ.Cover image © Copyright Leeds-List 2018 by Corvin Pamp.