Words: Emily Mullen
After much racking of brains, trawling of the internet and broken down email threads we are proud to present, The Ultimate Dublin Food Guide, Pizza edition! A guide that cuts through the mire of food reviews made by every Tom, Dick and Harry, with opposable thumbs and access to 3G.
Few food items can give as much comfort as a pizza. The circular mass of dough, tomato and cheese is self-contained, complete. Each box holds a lunch, a dinner, a stomach liner, capable of shutting any ravenous mouth up with a flop up of the cardboard box.
The last few years pizzas have stepped up their game, with the number of pizza slingers more than doubled across Dublin, many including some in this list have expanded due to demand. To borrow Chef and Director of Conbini Condiments Holly Dalton’s words “there’s been a pizza renaissance in Dublin over the last few years”.
There were a record number of pizza places included in this list, making it incredibly difficult to whittle down to just ten, but thanks to our crack system (full breakdown here) this was made possible.
There was one name that was constantly on the greasy lips of the people we asked, followed closely by two more. Pizza-fiends might be surprised by some of the entrants on this list, as some aren’t your most recognisable or well-known pizzerias, but that’s the beauty of the Ultimate Dublin Food Guide, finding places you wouldn’t have ordinarily thought of.
All the answers have been swung up into the air and caught in a dainty fashion, into your waiting paws let us place The Ultimate Dublin Food Guide to pizzas:
The Forge as it’s affectionately called, is one of the few pizzerias with ties outside of the Pale. Starting out in a shipping container in Kerry’s Castlegregory, the team broke into the Dublin market by settling there in the Winters. Now installed in Ryan’s Arbour House Pub for the foreseeable, serving Neapolitan style Sourdough pizza. Each pizza on the menu is named after a different wave or surf spot on Brandon Bay, the 14km long horseshoe bay where Forge Wood Fired Pizza originated. Co-owner of Mister S and Featherblade Paul McVeigh was a big fan of their pies and the proximity, writing “your local take away pizza joint is always the best!”.
Most popular: Mossies made with crushed tomato, basil, Toonsbridge fior di latte mozzarella, gubbeen smokehouse chorizo, Piquillo peppers, pickled chillies and Parmigiano Reggiano
Ryan’s Arbour House
The team at Coke Lane Pizza have come a long way from slinging pizzas in a corrugated shed alongside Smithfield’s Frank Ryan’s on Coke Lane. They branched out from Smithfield into Dublin 8 a couple of years ago, installing themselves into Lucky’s on Meath Street and then before the lockdown into the recently launched The Circular in Rialto. The team sling Neapolitans that prove for no less than 48 hours, and cook them up in a big old wood fire. Chef and Director of Conbini Condiments Holly Dalton highly rates Coke Lane Pizza.
Most popular: Luciano made up with ventricina salami (pork salami from the Abruzzo region of Italy with salt, pepper & chilli peppers), fresh serrano chillies and in house chilli honey
The Circular, Rialto’s South Circular Road
Lucky’s The Liberties’s Meath Street
Pizzas aren’t the only thing this family-run Italian restaurant specialises in, their name has been name-checked in our pizza list too. The premises began life as a chipper before being converted into a Sapori D Italia in 2010. The line “authentic Italian” is one that goes hand in hand with Da Mimmo’s crispy crusted pizzas that are cooked in a wood-fired oven. “It’s just a cracking place with really really beautiful great ingredients,” former head chef of Chapter One Eric Matthews told us he selected the North Dock spot for his 30th birthday dinner, he’s also a fan of their delivery pizza.
Location: North Strand Road, North Dock
Created in the childhood home of owner Basil, is the self-proclaimed “Artisan Themed Restaurant” combining wine and pizzas. The team offer a twist on traditional stone oven pizzas with their thin ‘n’ crispy pies, they also have some gluten-free options available too. Basil was top of foodie and FM 104 presenter Crossy‘s list, who had this to say about it “I found out about BASIL in Ringsend during Lockdown 1 and I’ve been back on multiple occasions…. the dough, the sauce, the ingredients… ah lord…. so so fresh… to be honest, I always think I’m eating healthy when I have pizza from there.”
Location: Dublin 4’s Ringsend Road
With a serial restaurateur and storied chef like Ross Lewis at its helm, it’s perhaps understandable that Osteria Lucio has been included in this list. Describing themselves as being “uncomplicated yet uncompromising food with superb, seasonal ingredients”. They’ve got an authentic selection of artisan pizzas that are wood fired in a big ol’ oven. Osteria Lucio was featured on top of chef and restauranteur Niall Sabongi’s list.
Most popular: Apis pizza with spicy salami, chilli and honey
Location: The Malting Tower, Grand Canal Quay, Clanwilliam Terrace
One of the city’s most affordable dinners has to come from Sano, the pizzeria that prides itself on making “healthy Italian pizza without the crazy prices”. Starting out in Temple Bar the pizzeria recently expanded into Ranelagh. Former head chef of Mister S Dan Hannigan name-checked Sano, Eric Matthews was suitably impressed by the “chewy” crust, while co-owner of Brother Hubbard Garrett Fitzgerald was delighted that Sano have opened up near him, “it’s a fantastic new offering for the area”.
1-2 Exchange Street Upper, Temple Bar.
62 Ranelagh, Dublin 6
Nothing completes the after-work pints experience quite like eating a Cirillo’s pizzas in the back of Toners. The restaurant is right beside the unofficial CBD bar, excels in pasta, wines and of course pizzas. There’s a beautiful puffy crust to Cirillo’s Neapolitan style which is cooked in an oven imported from Naples (and fired with a blend of Irish oak and ash wood). Co-owner of Piglet Enrico Fantasia is a big fan of the wine list, but commended Cirillo’s on their classic and “more creative pizzas”. “But my all-time favourite is the ‘Salsiccia e Friarielli’, a pizza bianca (no tomato sauce on it) with Italian Sausages and some bitter greens typical from the Naples area. A bit of chilli oil on it and you are good to go,” Fantasia added. Dan Hannigan and Riggz Castillo the owner of Bahay listed Cirillo’s were also big fans of the Baggot Street spot.
Most popular: Calabra made with tomato sauce, mozzarella, nduja, Cashel blue cheese and basil
Location: Dublin 2’s Baggot Street Lower
Before the pandemic it was difficult to walk down George’s Street and not spot the queue for Pi, snaking alongside the swish exterior. All this waiting around was most definitely justified, with Pi’s complete and considered menu of good pies. “They were one of the first establishments in the new wave of all these pizza places that have been popping up all over the place,” said the owner of Lil Portie Nico Reynolds, while Dan Hannigan was a fan of the “crispy, chewy dough with some amazing toppings. The hen of the woods pizza is my absolute go-to”.
Location: Castle House, South Great George’s Street
The Dublin Pizza Company’s hatch on Aungier Street has been the saviour of many a hungry soul that has tramped around Dublin’s streets in a state of distress. After a reccy trip to Naples, growing some organic ingredients in a polytunnel, the team from Dublin Company fired up a woodfire oven and started selling pizzas. Unsurprisingly one of the OGs of the pizza game was named checked quite a few times from the likes of Dan Hannigan, Eric Matthews (who was a big fan of the hatch), while Holly Dalton said that it’s her “go-to when recommending good pizza in Dublin” adding that “I keep coming back to Dublin Pizza Co. though. The fact that they’ve made their home in so many Dublin pubs definitely helps.” While Charlotte Starke the manager of The Butcher Grill said that they “never fail, consistently good dough but the main difference for me between these guys and a heap of other pizza shops is the produce. They source really good quality produce which shines through and even when you think you won’t manage another slice, somehow you just cope!”.
Dublin 2’s Aungier Street
Dundrum’s Dundrum Road
A Forest Avenue project, Little Forest is an Italian inspired restaurant in Blackrock headed up by former pi chefs Reggie White and Shane Windrim. With a sourdough starter from Scéal Bakery, the dough is naturally leavened for 48-hours, before being fired into a wood-fired oven. Little Forest was on the lips of nearly everyone we asked from Dan Hannigan to Holly Dalton. Here’s what some of the experts said about Little Forest:
Andy Noonan from Baste: “Reggie is the undisputed Pizza King of Ireland.”
Riggz Castillo from Bahay: “A new edition enough to the Dublin pizza scene. In my opinion, wherever Reggie White is will have the best pizza in Dublin. The lad is a pizza artist.”
Colin Harmon from 3FE: “Anything Reggie does is worth travelling for.”
Paul McVeigh from Mister S: “Reggie’s a genius”
Location: Main Street, Blackrock
Serious Dough, Paulie’s Pizza, Rita’s Pizza, Manifesto, The Back Page, Rosso Authentic Wood Fired Pizza, DiFontaine’s, Ray’s Pizza Temple Bar and Village Pizza Dublin.
Not full enough? Check out our Ultimate Dublin Food Guide to Burgers