As a bastion of Italian cuisine, the humble pizza’s hearty constitution 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.
Non Solo Pizza, Parnell
A neighbourhood favourite for 25 years, Non Solo Pizza welcomes all with open arms — and nothing says ‘welcome back’ like one of its delicious pizzas. Personally, we love the Nerrano, with marinated zucchini, asiago cheese, chilli and whipped stracciatella, as well as the more classic Spicy Salami with tomato, fior di latte and salami. Both topped with lots of fresh basil, of course.
Ooh-Fa, Mount Eden
Despite opening a year months ago, you’d still be hard-pressed to find a table at this Dominion Road outpost — a testament to its divine offering. Here, the wood-fired oven is the method of cooking for most dishes, including a range of utterly mouth-watering pizzas. Ideal for sharing, but the perfect size to keep to yourself too, our favourites are the tomato, garlic and oregano (with added stracciatella, of course), and the spicy Italian sausage with mozzarella, taleggio, red pepper and rosemary. And be sure not to look past the famed woodfired carrots, served with ricotta and pistachios. We’d eat this all day if we could.
Pizza Monkey, Grey Lynn
From its cute fit-out to its vast and varied pizza toppings, and pizzas that can be bought by the slice, Pizza Monkey is the perfect place to pop into to satisfy any and all pizza cravings. Located in Ponsonby’s newest hospitality precinct, Rose Alley (surrounded by a variety of other food and drink vendors) this pizzeria is a newcomer that is well worth trying out.
Andiamo, Herne Bay
This Jervois Road stalwart is one venue that offers consistently wonderful food, from its pastas to its meatballs, and everything in between. It has been said that you can tell the talents of a pizza chef by their take on a margherita, and Andiamo is no exception. Its pizzette, with Clevedon buffalo mozzarella, Neapolitan tomato sauce and fresh basil is an inspired take on the classic — and is the perfect size to devour in one sitting.
Lilian, Grey Lynn
This perennially busy Grey Lynn osteria always draws a crowd for its delicious food and beverage offerings. Its delightfully doughy pizzas are a large part of this appeal. We love the signature prosciutto and grape pizza with parmesan and thyme, as well as the unusual but delicious tua tua option, served with fennel cream, chilli flakes, fried garlic and pecorino.
Squisito Trattoria, Herne Bay
While we’d always recommend dining in at the new Jervois Road trattoria, can we just say the addition of the takeaway pizza window to this busy neighbourhood has been a godsend. Squisito’s woodfired manuka pizza is easily one of the best in the City, with topping options that run the gamut from tried-and-true classics (Margherita, Prosciutto, Capricciosa) to more unexpected takes. Here, the Gamberi is a must-try, featuring garlic prawns, chilli, rucola and San Marzano tomato.
Toni’s Pizzeria, Belmont
Traditional, authentic and fresh are three words we would use to describe Toni’s Italian Pizzeria in Belmont. Offering simple but satiating pizzas that any native Italian would be proud of (including toppings like hot salami, jalapeño and fresh garlic, and hot salami, ham, sausage, blue cheese, bacon, onion and garlic, as well as a selection made especially for kids) this delicious spot is easy, uncomplicated and hits the spot every single time.
This relatively new Italian eatery has all the makings of a future classic. And while its menu offers share plates, moreish pasta and an impressive line-up of wine, the pizzas are what draw us back time and time again. Authentically made to boast that perfectly chewy base, each pizza here is made with great care and attention. For our part, we can never go past the ‘Nduja. Topped with local buffalo feta, it’s divine, sumptuous and perfect for sharing.
Al Volo, Mt Eden
With a 150-year-old family recipe in tow, the team at Al Volo has been serving undeniably fantastic Neopolitan pizza since the restaurant opened in 2004. In fact, the pizza here is so good that in the past, it has been voted among the best in the world. Our favourite is definitely Al Volo’s signature eponymous pizza, a lesson in the beauty of simplicity with buffalo mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, fresh rocket, olive oil and parmesan. Sometimes, you just can’t beat a classic.
Bivacco, Viaduct Harbour
Since opening with great aplomb at the end of last year, Bivacco has become a go-to destination for a delicious long Italian lunch. Under the guidance of Head Chef Ryan Moore, the pizzas here are unparalleled, and are made even more perfect when enjoyed overlooking the sparkling waters of Viaduct Harbour with one of Bivacco’s delicious cocktails in hand. And while you really can’t beat the Margherita here, those craving something more lavish will find it in the smoked salmon pizza, adorned with lemon stracciatella, fried capers, chives and Ōra King caviar. Perfection.
Head over the Harbour Bridge to discover a hidden venue that is so under the radar, you know it’s bound to be brilliant. Here, the woodfire pizza menu is endless, offering an abundance of seasonal ingredients and traditional flavours. If you find yourself torn between options, rally a crew and try the Blu Celeste, the Funghi, and a Four Cheese Calzone to share for the ideal Italian indulgence.
Green Door Pizza, Commercial Bay
Pizza by the slice has to be one of the greatest inventions of the modern world. Green Door Pizza is perfect for a grab-and-go snack as you shop your way around Commercial Bay, with the larger pies being more ideal for a take-home meal. We love the Pepperoni, which gives a true taste of how New York does it, with a welcome addition of chilli oil to kick our tastebuds into high gear.
This eatery’s sourdough pizzas hit the spot every time, and we recommend enjoying them on-site for ultimate freshness. Petite enough to eat a whole one to yourself (although, we recommend sharing so as to try more than one iteration) Umu’s exceptional, fermented dough and beautifully fresh ingredients will ensure you don’t feel too full afterwards (certainly an added bonus).
Ponsonby Road favourite, Farina, has been an enduring go-to since it opened in 2014, and while its menu of pasta dishes and ‘secondi’ like Cotoletta offer a bevy of delicious bites, it’s the pizza we’re highlighting this time. Whether you dine in or takeaway, Farina’s Napoletana pizzas are all utterly delicious and offer a diverse array of toppings to satisfy any kind of craving.
Bar Non Solo, Britomart
As the sister spot to Parnell stalwart, Non Solo Pizza, of course Britomart’s Bar Non Solo boasts a superior offering of pizza, perfect to share over drinks and conversation with friends. From classics like the margarita and the mortadella (topped with lemon ricotta, guindilla chilli and parsley) to more unique offerings like the goat’s cheese (with pear, vincotto, fennel cream and rocket), there is a gourmet pizza here to suit every taste.
If you have a sizeable group to cater for and pizza’s are the go, look no further than Ponsonby Road eatery Elmo’s. There’s something for just about everyone on its menu of woodfired pizzas although a few certainly stand out. The Discovery of Honey pizza is a bit of a showstopper, featuring an amalgamation of four cheeses topped with spiced honey and crispy sage, as is the Truffle Shuffle, boasting a white base of taleggio béchamel and topped with mozzarella, wild mushrooms, black truffle cream, pancetta and chives.
One of Auckland’s most beloved Italian stalwarts has long been known for serving some of the best pizza in town. Here, Prego’s hearty selection has something for any craving, although one we can virtually never look past is the Bianca with truffle mushrooms, white mozzarella, ham, rocket and Grana Padano.
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 Eastside (artichoke, lemon and parmesan) and On Madison (black olive, roasted garlic and feta) are two of our favourites, though any flavour here is guaranteed to please.
East Street Hall, just off Karangahape Road
At this very cool eatery and bar, tucked just off Karangahape Road, not only will you find excellent music, tasty drinks and an all-around convivial vibe, but you will also find a delicious pizza menu, available for dine-in or takeaway. Here, the offering is concise but considered, offering some of the best pizzas you’re likely to find in Auckland. And while the Pepperoni and the Pork & Fennel Sausage are two very good options, it is the Market Greens pizza that we can never say no to. Topped with a tonne of mouthwatering greens, kale pesto, mozzarella, chilli flakes and lemon, this unique pizza is simultaneously fresh and indulgent — not too heavy, not too light.
Dragonfired Pizza, Waiheke Island
Almost worthy of the ferry trip alone, these Waiheke mobile pizza legends have garnered themselves a bit of a cult following. You can find Dragonfired Pizza in an unassuming shack at Little Oneroa Beach throughout summer (they are open in winter but hours are more limited and weather dependant), offering a menu that works on a ‘build your own’ basis — if you’re stumped for the best combo, just ask the knowledgeable team to point you in the right direction.
Dante’s, Ponsonby, Takapuna, Eastridge
Helmed by the talented Enis Bacova (who recently took home third place at the prestigious Caputo Cup in Naples — the world’s most renowned pizza championship) Dante’s has long been cemented as one of Auckland’s best pizza spots, and it has the global recognition to prove it. In fact, Dante’s was also recently given the seventh spot on the ’50 Top Pizza’ list of the best pizzerias in the Asia Pacific region for 2023. Pretty impressive. Serving up traditional Neapolitan pizza that combines a meticulously crafted, Italian sourdough base, with a light, chewy crust, San Marzano tomatoes and a range of mouthwatering toppings, Dante’s has been stamped by Italy’s prestigious Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana (VPN), and has become so renowned that you really can’t call yourself a pizza connoisseur until you’ve tried the offering here.
Toto Pizza, CBD
When the occasion calls for a metre-long pizza (and more do than you would think), there’s no one else we would turn to but the doughy dab hands, known fondly as Toto’s. Whether you go for a half-and-half or a full metre of one flavour, you can dine-in at the Hardinge St premises or take the big box away. We like the never-fail Boscaiola, with truffle and mushroom, or the Parma, with prosciutto, mozzarella, tomato, parmesan and basil.
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.
The Master and Margarita, Grey Lynn
Chef Ivan Janic specialises in perfectly wood-fired, Roman-style pizza at his Surrey Crescent spot The Master and Margarita. Thinner and wider in diameter than their Neapolitan counterparts, these 15-inch sourdough beauties have a pillowy crust without being super doughy, which lends a welcome lightness to the classic treat. As far as toppings go, there is a comprehensive array on offer here, but we love the current summer special of ‘nduja pizza with mushrooms, gorgonzola, mozzarella and red onions. Delicious.
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 inclusive menu, there’s really no going wrong. In our humble opinion, the Napoli hits the mark, every time.