There are few culinary delights as welcoming as the delicious Italian speciality known as pizza. Somehow the combination of fluffy crust, homemade pizza sauce and delectable toppings – ranging from your standard margarita through to your more interesting kebab pizza – is like a party in your mouth suitable for consuming anytime of the day.
Melbourne’s North, with its rich Italian heritage and food culture, is home to some of the tastiest pizza you’ll come across, and to help you find the best, here are our picks for the best pizza in the north.
Dining at 400 Gradi feels like you’ve been transported to the home of pizza in Naples on the southern Italian coast. Inspired by classic textures and architecture, the restaurant has an old-time feel with modern eating comforts you’d expect from an establishment as well received as 400 Gradi. Then there’s the food. The brainchild of chef Johnny Di Francesco – owner, the first Australian ever trained in Naples to the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana VPN rules, and winner of the best margherita pizza in the world at the World Pizza Championships in 2014, means this is certainly the real deal. Here, the focus is on authentic pizza, cooked in a wood-fire pizza oven imported from Italy. For me, the Diavola is a must, with just enough heat to get you hot under the collar. Along with pizza, 400 Gradi serve a delicious offering of meats, cheese, antipasti and pasta, and if that’s not enough, you can drop next door for some ice cream at Zero Gradi.
Location: 99 Lygon Street, East Brunswick
Website: 400 Gradi
Shawcross Pizza Joint
The home of Melbourne’s biggest pizza (22 bloody inches), Shawcross Pizza Joint is a Fitzroy staple reminiscent of American style pizza parlours. They offer a great selection of meat and vegetarian/vegan options, with the ability to add extra toppings, order half & half pizzas or request gluten free bases. For those that like their pizza meaty, we recommend the pork sausage and bacon topped Notorious P.I.G., while the Bon Jovi inspired Livin’ On The Veg caters for vegetarians. Shawcross is open late and are the go to for a greasy slice when the bars close, while those who like a challenge can try and beat the clock devouring a 22 inch pizza for the chance to win a t-shirt and slab of beer!
Location: 324 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy
Website: Shawcross Pizza
If you like eating pizza with local musicians supplying the atmosphere, then Compass Pizza Bar is the place for you. Located at the tail end of Lygon Street, Compass serve a varied selection of pizzas, from your standard margherita to tantalising broccoli pizza containing, you guessed it, broccoli, along with caramelised onion and blue cheese. Local artists regularly serenade punters while a free trivia night occurs every Thursday. If that doesn’t tempt you, then every Tuesday is 2 for 1 pizza while Wednesdays features $12 veggie pizzas. You can’t beat that.
Location: 319 Lygon Street, East Brunswick
Website: Compass Pizza Bar
Pizza Meine Liebe
Northcote sometimes doesn’t get the plaudits it deserves, so we are stoked to be highlighting Pizza Meine Liebe (German for “Pizza My Love”). Catering for those who love a thin base, Pizza Meine Liebe offer both traditional pizza toppings and those a little more outside the box. You can also B.Y.O. your own wine or have it with a pint in the lively Joe’s Show Store located next door. If there’s one thing you should do before visiting, it’s book a table, as this favourite amongst locals is known to get packed early most nights of the week.
Location: 231 High Street, Northcote
Website: Pizza Meine Liebe
Lazerpig Pizza Parlour
If you’re after a traditional looking Italian pizzeria, Lazerpig Pizza Parlour isn’t for you. Decked out more like a bar meets nightclub, Lazerpig’s décor and menu are about as zany as their website. One thing not to be scoffed at is their choice of pizza, starting with hand-stretched sourdough bases proved for a minimum of 72 hours and cooked in a 400+ degree oven topped with only the finest and freshest ingredients. As a meat lover, it’s hard to look past The Italian Stallion with its fresh salami or the Ronny J with pork & fennel sausage topped with jalapenos and Hurstbridge honey. You can also order the famed Lazerpig Cheeseburger along with a smattering of side dishes, from house made pickles to arancini and calamari fritters. From Thursday through to the weekend handpicked DJs play a variety of electronic music as the bar dishes out craft beers, Australian wines and some must try cocktails.
Location: 9-11 Peel Street, Collingwood
Website: Lazerpig Pizza Parlour
Feature Image Credit: Facebook