Lifestyle / Food And Drink

Hein Kaiser
Journalist
4 minute read
27 Oct 2021
12:34 pm

Best pizza in Joburg: Here’s our tried-and-tested top five

Hein Kaiser

We have spent weeks indulging in pizza in every shape and form to provide a rough guide. We have visited, thus far, some of Johannesburg’s best places to sit down or box-up.

Pizza is the best kind of comfort food. Picture Hein Kaiser

Pizza is not just pizza. Far from it. Just like pasta and sauces differ from region to region in Italy, just the same way pizzas are made differently in Naples than in Rome.

There are differences in the dough or flatbread fermentation periods and even toppings are slightly different. While Italian food has remained one of the globe’s favourite food types, pizza has become part of our culture and just like various regions at its genesis produces different varieties, just walking between two street blocks near anywhere in the world gives you pretty much the same result.

Pizza is not just about what’s on top, but equally about its heart, the crust. A thinly crispy, authentically wood-fired flatbread is hard to beat. The tomato base – the judge and jury of taste.

What’s slapped up on top, the bonus or, in some cases, the find-it-with-a-magnifying-glass adventure; frozen supermarket pizza is often the culprit here.

But for most South Africans, not a fortnight goes by without a slice of cheesy delight. While it may not be recommended for general health by experts, pizza satisfies wellness. It’s soul food and a good pizza, a foodgasm.

We have spent weeks indulging in pizza in every shape and form to provide a rough guide. We have visited, thus far, some of Johannesburg’s best places to sit down or box-up.

ALSO READ: Recipe of the day: Chicken fingers and French fries

Best pizza and value for money

Whether it comes in a box or on a plate, the equation between taste and value for money is more important than ever. The top five pizzas in Jozi, ranked by value and taste, are:

  • Di’Lishis in Boksburg. A small, family-owned business that is reasonably priced and offers the standard pizza fare. But you absolutely have to try the biltong gourmet pizza for R 130. It doesn’t have a tomato base. Instead, a bed of reduced balsamic flavours up this pizza in ways you never imagined possible. Toppings are generous and hover around a R100 mark. The base, crispy and light. The tomato puree, delicious.
  • Tony’s Spaghetti in Randpark. It’s become a landmark on Beyers Naude Drive and for very good reason. Here, pizzas come in small and large with prices starting below R50 for a plain jane bite through to around R125 for a large gourmet pizza. Tony’s also has a great range of vegetarian pizzas and whether you like meat or not, you must try the peppadew brie with rocket for R95. It’s life changing. Bases are fluffy and flavourful and the tomato base, fantastic with a subtle zing.
  • Romans Pizza deserves its spot in the top five pizza spots and the best amongst franchised brands. This despite the fact that it’s switched from the two pizza box to selling mostly singles. Price-wise, it competes well with a large classic cheese at R62 through to its new honey and mustard rib pizza for R91. They offer pan and thinner base pizzas, gluten-free options and one of the better tomato sauce foundations on the convenience pizza stage.
  • Del Forno may also be a franchise but it’s consistent across several of the stores visited. Generosity of toppings makes dining in or boxing one of their pizzas a real delight. It’s super, super cheese and wood-fired to boot. The base is of thin to medium thickness and the tomato base not bad at all. Value wise you won’t be sorry either. Medium sized pizzas start at about R62 for a basic Margarita through to a large, crab and seafood topped Mediterranean large pizza at the high end for R150.
  • Cut and Craft Bistro in Queen Street, Kensington, makes seriously good pizza. They are not round, but oval. The base, deliciously thin and crispy. But here, the secret has to be in the tomato base. It’s exceptional. It’s somewhat more expensive than contenders with the average price circling around R110-R120, but you get what you pay for. Generosity of toppings, and flavour that leaves you wanting more. A lot more. Try the suzi-q with artichoke hearts, ham, mushrooms and olives for R113. It is irresistible.