As a bastion of Italian cuisine, the humble, hearty pizza never fails to delight both the eyes and the stomach. While there are many establishments serving up laudable renditions of arguably the greatest gift Italy ever gave the world (followed closely by pasta, Peroni and gelato), we’ve rounded up a few of our favourites — available via takeaways during Auckland’s level 3 lockdown.
Epolito’s, Grey Lynn
Merging traditional Italian flavours with New York’s signature thin-crust pies, the pizza at this Grey Lynn local demonstrates what beauty can be born when cultures collide. The East Side (artichoke, lemon and parmesan) and On Madison (black olive, roasted garlic and feta) are two of our favourites, though any flavour will do you right.
The sensational new Spiga restaurant (tucked behind the Remuera shops) is offering its authentic Italian feasts via takeaway. As well as classic pizzas, we recommend trying the little bit different, but oh so delicious, freshly sliced prosciutto served with deep-fried pizza dough balls.
Dante’s, Ponsonby, Takapuna, Queen’s Rise, Eastridge
Dante’s Pizzaiolo (specialist pizza chefs) take their wood-fired Neapolitan-style pizza seriously — they look for a super light, fluffy crust made from good sourdough with crispy and charred spots. First in Auckland to receive Italy’s prestigious Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana (VPN) prize, their takeaways will take dinner to the next level.
East Street Hall, Auckland Central
Modern canteen and club East Street is used to bringing the good vibes on location, but they are switching things up this lockdown by offering a classic takeaway pizza menu. Pre-orders will be taken by landline from 4pm each day, with more delicious details on their Instagram.
Non Solo Pizza, Parnell
A neighbourhood favourite for over 25 years, Non Solo Pizza welcomes all with open arms — and nothing feels like a virtual hug, in the meantime, more than one of its delicious pizzas. Our top pick is the Porchetta with slow-cooked pork, roasted mushrooms and rosemary.
This eatery’s sourdough pizzas hit the spot every time. Petite enough to eat a whole one to yourself (although, they’re definitely not stingy), the exceptional dough and beautifully fresh ingredients will help to ensure you don’t feel ultra weighed down afterwards.
Lilian, Grey Lynn
The perennially busy Grey Lynn osteria always draws a crowd for its delicious food and beverage offering, and its delightfully doughy pizzas are a large part of this appeal. We love the signature prosciutto, grape, parmesan and thyme, or the mushrooms provolone, pesto, pinenuts and oregano.
Ponsonby Road corner cutie Farina has been an enduring go-to since it opened in 2014, and while its menu of pasta dishes and ‘secondi’ like cotoletta are filled with delicious bites, it’s the pizza we’re highlighting this time. Farina’s Napoletana pizzas are all delicious from the first bite to the last.
Francesca’s Pizzeria, Point Chevalier
Makers of truly authentic Italian pizza, the finest dish on the menu might just be ‘Francesca’s Choice’. Layering tomato, mozzarella, spinach, salami and eggplant on a light, wood-fired base then finishing it all with a sprinkling of chilli, we recommend grabbing one to go or perching up at the window to enjoy.
The Master and Margherita, Grey Lynn
Chef Ivan Janic specialises in perfectly wood-fired, Roman-style pizza at Surrey Crescent outpost The Master and Margherita. Thinner and wider in diameter than their Neapolitan counterparts, these 15-inch sourdough beauties have a pillowy crust yet aren’t super doughy overall, which lends a welcome lightness.
Toto Pizza, CBD
When the occasion calls for a metre-long pizza (and this lockdown does), there’s no one else we would turn to but the doughy dab hands, known fondly as Toto’s. Go for a half-and-half or a full metre of one flavour for takeaway — we like the never-fail Boscaiola (the truffle, mushroom one) or the Parma (prosciutto, mozzarella, tomato, parmesan and basil).
Purveyors of all things delicious and Italian, these culinary maestros certainly don’t drop the ball when it comes to their pizzas. The hefty selection has something for any craving; a particular must is the bianca with truffle mushrooms, white mozzarella, ham, rocket and grana padano.
Di Vino Bistro, Parnell
The generous selection on offer at this Parnell favourite can make for a difficult dining decision. But with no bad choices on the takeaway menu, there’s really no going wrong. If you do prefer a little guidance, however, the Napoli hits the mark, every time.
Green Door Pizza, Newmarket
New York-style-meets Napolese pizza, with a sourdough base that results in a perfectly crisp, puffy crust is what you can expect to get at Green Door Pizza. You’ll find classics like a margherita and pepperoni, alongside a mushroom pizza with shallots, raclette vincotto and thyme, and a very appealing mortadella combination with fresh mozzarella, olives, roasted red peppers and guindilla chilli.
Al Volo Pizzeria Cucina , Mt Eden
With their 150-year-old family recipe in tow, the team at Al Volo have been serving undeniably fantastic Neopolitan pizza since they opened in 2004 — and it has even been voted among the best in the world. We can’t go past the signature eponymous pizza, a lesson in the beauty of simplicity with buffalo mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, fresh rocket, olive oil and parmesan.
That’s Amore, CBD
Boasting one of the most extensive (and delicious) pizza menus in the CBD, That’s Amore brings a dose of Italian flavour to Courthouse Lane. You might have trouble choosing a flavour, but you’ll have no trouble eating these moreish and approachable pizzas.
Papa’s Italian Eatery, Kingsland
When a pizzeria has been operating since 1984, they must be doing something right, and Papa’s Italian is one such place. From its colourful corner site on Sandringham Road, Papa’s is offering takeaway pies in both classic and more ‘guilty pleasure’ flavours, like apricot chicken and Hawaiian.
Now that Ponsonby Road eatery Elmo’s is offering fresh pizza deliveries to our door, we have set our sights on its menu of wood-fired pizzas, from a classic Margherita or pork and fennel sausage pizza, to a vegan rendition with hemp sausages and cashew cheese.