Best Italian Pizza Places in Sydney

I know that I complained a lot when I was living in Italy. I tried to keep it in, but I’ll indulge you with a little piece of shear honesty here, Italy is NOT perfect. Under the Tuscan Sun may be a true story but remember how frustrated she got in it, remember the faucets that didn’t work and the walls that crumbled down? It’s a lot of that. Plus, there’s the whole government and immigration system and not to mention the Italians that only speak to you in English regardless of which language you speak to them in and regardless of the fact that they don’t actually know English. Sure, I made plenty of mistakes and was ignorant. I’m human. But this post isn’t about life in Italy, that is just a preface to what I’m about to say.

I freaking miss Italian pizza.

I’ve written about it a few times, and I’m sure L is tired of hearing me talk about it. But seriously, I could use a bit of O’ Scugnizzo in my life. See, we were really spoiled because there was the best pizza place in all of Florence literally around the corner from our flat. I could eat there every single night, no problem. It’s been tough going living without my beloved Naplitano pizzamen (they even spoke Italian with me!) but I’ve had to make do here in Sydney. I’ve done my research fair and square and I’ve discovered some great and some mediocre.

La vera pizza Napolitana

A real Italian Pizza: photo credit

It’s the crust that has been getting me. It’s not that I can’t appreciate non-Italian pizza, see Hugo’s for example, lovely pizza, flavours and in no way do they seem to claim that they are authentic. And to be honest the pizza is good, for all different reasons.


As for flavor, Hugo’s gets my 100% approval. For authenticity, I won’t go there. It’s too good to compare it to something it’s not. Plus, to add to the lure, the Kings Cross (original) location is a popular spot to start an evening out.


Photo Credit: tacit requiem

The pizza won’t disappoint as long as you aren’t expected to be transported to Italy.

Hugo’s has locations at 33 Bayswater Rd, Kings Cross & Manly Wharf East Esplanade. 

Mad Pizza

My unplanned visit to Mad Pizza and my blasé French waiter were probably what intrigued me to go on the search for real Italian pizza in Sydney. The {relaxed, chilled out and friendly} attitude of the waitstaff reminded me of ‘home’ and the pizza held a hint of Italian charm. The large, thin slices of Italian salami were the first indication that I may have stumbled on something good here. The crust was too thin and crunchy for my liking but, if I’m honest, it is not to be considered non-Italian (maybe just non-Napolitano). It was my visit to this hole-in-the-wall location that sparked my memory of just what I was missing from Italy.

Mad Pizza has locations in 312 Victoria St. Darlinghurst, 23 Darlinghurst Rd Potts Point and 241 Crown St  Surry Hills (with a new location at Bondi Beach coming soon…). 


An old favorite this was one of the first places L and I went out on a date (I know, awww… right?). This is the place I used to compare American pizza to when I wanted to pretend I understood what authentic Italian was. The choices aren’t vast in number, but the pizza is tasty and although it is not an exact match, it’s definitely comparable to Italian standards. Besides, Gigi sells Menebrea, an Italian craft-style beer and it’s hard enough to come by in Italy, let alone abroad.

Homemade Pizza - Italian Pizza

Gigi is located at 379 King St Newtown. 

Pizza e Birra

This is probably the winner, of all things Italian. Even the waiters are all 100% Italian, I mean like I wasn’t allowed to speak English, even though I wasn’t Italian.

The crust is almost as perfectly soft and floury as in Italy. The perfect combination of running mozzarella and herb-filled tomato sauce. Only not quite. Just close enough that my Italian told me we can’t visit too often if we want to stay around Sydney. As in he would get too homesick for the real Italy and want to return. Don’t even get my started on the Olive Ascolana, huge green olives stuffed with mince and then perfectly fried. Absolutely amazing. The best thing was that after living in Italy for 1.5 years, I thought I had discovered something new with these olives when Lorenzo informed me that Olive all’ Ascolana is actually quite a popular snack in Italy, but he doesn’t really fancy them. So of course, I’ve never tried them. Italians think they know everything! 

Pizza e Birra is located at 1/500 Crown St Surry Hills. 

I’m convinced that my twice postponed trip to Criniti’s will answer all my prayers. I visited the Paramatta location a few weeks ago and opted for grilled, stuffed portobello mushrooms before I knew what was good for me. Now, don’t get me wrong, the mushrooms were fantastic but when we put in a last minute order for a garlic pizza starter my mission was born. This was the spitting image of the real, Italian, brick-oven, soft and floury pizza crust. Now I just need to convince my friend Winnie to finally stop cancelling on me so I can find out if the starter stands alone of if the entire pizza menu will be the end-all of this mad search for the real Napolitano pizza.

What about you Sydney-siders, what is the best pizza place you have eaten at in the city?