It's one of the world's most popular foods - and rightly so. But with popularity comes much mediocrity and across London bad pizza abound.
Thankfully our city also offers gluttonous amounts of very good pizza indeed, from crisp and chewy crusts to superlative sourdough bases and tip-top toppings.
These are the best places in London to get a slice of pizza pie.
L'Antica Pizzeria da Michele © Provided by Independent Digital News & Media Limitedimage
Flying in to Baker Street from Naples, this pizzeria - which incidentally was featured in Eat, Pray, Love - has been described as the best in the world, never mind London. The London branch is less scruffy (and a little more expensive) than the Naples original, and the pizzas are slightly different, too - the bases are thicker for a start. That said, the full-flavoured tomato base which is a signature is present and correct and there's no doubting this is among the finest pizza in the capital. Be prepared to queue.
199 Baker Street, NW1 6UY, anticapizzeriadamichele.co.uk
The sourdough pizzas at this teeny restaurant next to Streatham Hill station boast gloriously squidgy, salty bases and fresh full-flavoured toppings. Particularly friendly service makes it even more of a draw.
17-21 Sternhold Avenue, SW2 4PA, addomme.co.uk
50 Kalò di Ciro Salvo © Provided by Independent Digital News & Media Limited(Luciano Furia)
Don't be fooled by the red and black Dennis the Menace-style decor - this place does seriously good pizza. Ingredients are rich and authentic (the mozzarella is flown in from Campania) and the pizzas come with generous helpings of lip-smacking tomato sauce (that you be mopping up with leftover crust afterwards).
7 Northumberland Ave,WC2N 5BY, cirosalvo.it
Set within the Red Lion pub, this eatery serves a host of traditional Neapolitan style pizzas, all made with its namesake sourdough that renders the bases exquisitely chewy, springy, salty and savoury tasting.
80 High Street South, E6 6ET, facebook.co.uk
Sodo Pizza Café? © Provided by Independent Digital News & Media Limitedimage
In case you were wondering about the name, Sodo stands for sourdough. And that's something they take pretty seriously here. All the pizza dough is fermented for 48 hours and then baked at over 450° so that its light and airy with plenty of that sourdough 'tang'. With such great bases it makes sense to keep toppings simple, but special kudos must go to the brilliantly named Jon Bon Chovy topped with anchovies, olives, capers, chilli and fresh parsley.
Various locations, sodopizza.co.uk
Pizzas that Neapolitans would hold dear to their hearts are served at this small Streatham spot - and it's all about the base. Light and air-filled, it's crackingly crisp on the outside but chewily moist within. Simple but good quality toppings complete the package.
2a Sunnyhill Road, SW16 2UH, braviragazzipizzeria.co.uk
Crate Brewery © Provided by Independent Digital News & Media Limitedimage
No two items could be more perfectly suited to each other than beer and pizza - and few places are as geared up for the pair of them as Crate is. As well as making its own beer on-site it serves crispy, thin-base pizzas that are worthy of much more than just soaking up your drinks. Try the Middle Eastern lamb variety, topped with spicy mince, alongside more traditional numbers.
The White Building, Queen's Yard, E9 5EN; cratebrewery.com
This mini-chain with outlets in Shoreditch, Kentish Town and Portobello has exactly the kind of cool-glam you'd expect from an offering by the Soho House group. Light springy pizza bases are laden with robust cheeses and cured meats, while the wood-fired oven they are cooked in also adds flavour to alternatives such as mac 'n' cheese and rib-eye steak.
W10, E1, NW5, pizzaeast.com
Franco Manca? © Provided by Independent Digital News & Media Limitedimage
There's a staggering number of Franco Manca branches throughout the capital, from Soho to Southfields and Covent Garden to Chiswick. Despite its size, the slightly sour, salty chewy Neapolitan base which made such an impression at the original Brixton Market branch remains, as do the simple but well-sourced toppings. The original Brixton branch is still the best.
Various locations, francomanca.co.uk
The team behind this bustling neighbourhood pizzeria use traditional Caputo flour imported directly from Naples and ferment their dough for over 24 hours before it goes in the oven. The extra air inside means that the bases puff up quickly, making them lighter and airier. The pizzas are all named after famous Italians - try the Giuseppe Garibaldi made with smoked mozzarella, Napolitan pork sausages, mushrooms and truffle oil.
66 Heath Street, NW3 1DN, anticapizzeria.co.uk
Hai Cenato © Provided by Independent Digital News & Media Limitedimage
Jason Atherton's Italian restaurant serves an interesting selection of pizzas, of which half are 'bianco' meaning no tomato sauce. The toppings are the clever and creative rather than traditional - as might be expected from a Michelin-starred chef - but there's nothing overly fussy going on. Try one topped with speck, nduja, spinach, anchovy and harissa for a flavour bomb, and also look out for the monthly-changing specials designed by top chefs. What makes them worthy of inclusion is that just as much care has gone into their salty, pleasingly chewy sourdough bases as it has in choosing the toppings.
2 Sir Simon Milton Square, SW1E 5DJ, haicenato.co.uk
Pizza Metro Pizza
Both Battersea and Notting Hill branches of this fast-casual chain offer a thoroughly Italian welcome. Call in for Mediterranean produce atop soft, chewy pizza bases the like of which you'd find in Napoli - they also claim to sell the "longest pizza in London".
Various locations, pizzametropizza.com
Homeslice © Provided by Independent Digital News & Media Limitedimage
There are now six buzzy Homeslice sites across London serving up impressive 20-inch pizzas. Some off-the-wall toppings may put off purists, but clever combos and a blistering hot oven ensure the end results really do work - even a goat shoulder and savoy cabbage number. Devour them whole or by the slice.
Various locations, homeslicepizza.co.uk
Pizza Pilgrims © Provided by Independent Digital News & Media Limitedimage
With restaurants in different corners of London, brothers James and Thom Eliot have come a long way since their days as street food traders. The Neapolitan-style pizzas here are soft and doughy with a plumped-up crust and a rich tomato base - try the nudja variety if you're feeling spicy.
Various locations, pizzapilgrims.co.uk
This Hackney Central restaurant churns out superlative crisp-based pizzas from its shiny mirror-clad oven, which also acts as a focal point in the industrial-style space. British-made charcuterie is another high-point, so why not combine the two - try a pizza topped with anise pepperoni, mozzarella and rocket.
197-205 Richmond Road, E8 3NJ; lardo.co.uk
Pizza Union © Provided by Independent Digital News & Media Limitedimage
This casual pizzeria with sites in Spitalfields and King's Cross is buzzy, fast and impressively cheap - plus the pizzas are the real deal. They're made in the Roman style, with bases that are thin and crispy rather than chewy, and come in an abundance of varieties. Good news for coeliacs - just ask for gluten free bases.
Various locations, pizzaunion.com
What makes Santa Maria pizza so good?
If authentic Neapolitan pizza is your thing, then you'll struggle to find a better spot than Santa Maria this side of an EasyJet flight. It's run by Neapolitans Angelo and Pasquale who are so fanatical about their pizza that they've been known to turn away those who just order salad - but why would you do that? Stretchy pizza bases are pleasingly chewy and laden with fine Italian produce. Try the Santa Bufalina topped with tomato, buffalo mozzarella, extra virgin olive oil and fresh basil - a fine example of less is more.
W5, SW6, W1, santamariapizzeria
A sister site to Ealing's Santa Maria, the authentic Neapolitan pizzas here are (almost) as good as the original.
45 Chamberlayne Road, NW10 3NB, sacrocuore.co.uk
Santore © Provided by Independent Digital News & Media Limitedimage
A hefty proportion of the clientele always seems to be Italian at this old-school Clerkenwell local, and that's got to be a good sign. The signature order is pizza by the metre, made with varying toppings along the stretch - you might want to bring a couple of friends to help polish it off though. For something different try the i panuozzi, a 'pizza sandwich' that has the same toppings but double the dough.
59-61 Exmouth Market, EC1R 4QL, santorerestaurant.london
This Neapolitan pizzeria on Portobello Road really excels when it comes to toppings. From creamy buffalo mozzarella to rich olive oil and full-flavoured tomatoes, the top-notch Italian produce really shines through.
271 Portobello Road, W11 1LJ, saporitaliarestaurant.co.uk