The pepperoni pizza from Leonardos Pizza Palace in Melbourne. Picture: Nicki Connolly
The pepperoni pizza from Leonardos Pizza Palace in Melbourne. Picture: Nicki Connolly

Best pizza restaurants revealed

FINDING great pizza is practically a national sport in this country.

Thick, thin, traditional or with an Aussie twist, and that's before anyone even mentions the divisive issue of pineapple.

To mark the launch of delicious. magazine's national restaurant guide, the delicious. 100, its expert review team have offered their picks of the best pizza joints in each state.

SOUTH AUSTRALIA

Madre

Here’s one I made earlier. Ettore Bertonati spinning pizza dough at his Madre restaurant in Adelaide. Picture Matt Turner
Here’s one I made earlier. Ettore Bertonati spinning pizza dough at his Madre restaurant in Adelaide. Picture Matt Turner

 

Ettore Bertonati has been behind the success of a number of Adelaide's better pizzerias since moving from Italy five years ago. This time, for his own restaurant Madre, he has gone next level, importing seawater from his home town of Naples and using it as the only salt in his sourdough mix. Judging by that char-freckled crust and light, tender base, there really must be something in the water. Try it loaded with a simple margherita or the "Pina", a topping of fried zucchini, buffalo mozzarella and peppered pecorino.

What's your favourite pizza place? Join the conversation in the comments below.

 

The finished product. Madre pizza. Picture: Supplied
The finished product. Madre pizza. Picture: Supplied

 

NEW SOUTH WALES

Bella Brutta

 

Bella Brutta in Sydney.
Bella Brutta in Sydney.

 

From the team behind that smoked meat madhouse LP's Quality Meats, in Sydney's inner-city suburb of Chippendale, comes a pizza joint that exemplifies the less is more when you're talking pizza toppings.

The charred, smoky, malleable pizza dough is lighter than a traditional Neapolitan pizza and serves as the perfect vehicle for bed-in-class ingredients such as large rounds of pepperoni made by LP's Quality Meats, a rich umami-laden tomato sauce and topped with roasted fennel seeds. All killer, no filler.

ACT

Italian and Sons + Bacaro

 

Where the pizza magic happens at Italian and Sons in Canberra. Picture: Supplied
Where the pizza magic happens at Italian and Sons in Canberra. Picture: Supplied

 

When it comes to pizza in the nation's capital, there's Italian and Sons first and daylight second. Served in the restaurant proper or the wine bar Bacaro at the rear, it's a fluffy, charry, slice of joy. The potato, taleggio, pancetta and rosemary will alter your perceptions of spuds on a pizza, while the Puttanesca is hands down the best iteration we've seen down under that lets olives, capers, anchovy, oregano and reggiano sing. Bellissimo!

VICTORIA

Leonardo's Pizza Palace

 

The pepperoni pizza at Leonardo’s Pizza Palace. Picture: Nicki Connolly
The pepperoni pizza at Leonardo’s Pizza Palace. Picture: Nicki Connolly

 

Two words: ranch sauce. As if we weren't already hooked on the massive American-style pies at this new-wave, old school pizza joint in Carlton - the cool-for-school pepperoni with its tiny sausage discs that are all the rage in New York right now; the Sichuan-tingly Chinese bolognese and posh-not-posh ham and pineapple - but add in a jug of ranch sauce on the side for dipping your crusts in? That's all sorts of wipe-your-chin-dry joy right there.

TASMANIA

Ti Ama

 

Are you hungry yet? Picture: Mathew Farrell
Are you hungry yet? Picture: Mathew Farrell

 

Ti Ama is the CBD iteration of long-time Hobart favourite Local Pizza (in the suburb of Berriedale). With more room to move at the city location, the menu has the works, including antipasto (the focaccia is to die for), classic Italian pasta dishes, contorni, dolce and of course the ridiculously good sourdough-base wood-fired pizzas that owners Isabella and Joel are famous for. A feel-good party vibe permeates the venue with an eclectic playlist featuring everything from '70s disco, Stevie Wonder and MJ. The pizza oven is even spangled with silver squares that you might otherwise find on a disco ball, and neon signs line the walls. Staff are attentive and efficient, and drink options range from the extensive cocktail list to an array of predominantly Australian beer and wine. It's impossible to go wrong when ordering a pizza here, so don't leave without trying at least one. All pizzas are also available as gluten- and dairy-free.

QUEENSLAND

Tartufo

 

Tony Percuoco has been turning out great pizzas for years. Picture: David Kelly
Tony Percuoco has been turning out great pizzas for years. Picture: David Kelly

Take a seat at the bar of this swish Italian eatery and let chef Tony Percuoco's team turn you out a traditional Neapolitan pizza. With Tartufo an internationally registered member of the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana, the restaurant serves up beautifully bubbly, crispy crusts topped with only the freshest of ingredients.

WEST AUSTRALIA

Pizzica

Ivan Zecca's journey as a pizzaiolo started at the age of 14 in his native Italy. Owner of Pizzica, his rustic Margaret River restaurant has won the hearts of locals, who'd prefer not to share it with visitors to the famed wine region. Booking is essential, unless you're ordering take away. Wood-fired classics from simple margherita to salty cesarina with capers and anchovy is the go to. The not-so-secret ingredient: a passionate crew of Italians.

The delicious. 100 national restaurant guide is available exclusively with the November issue of delicious. on sale Thursday October 17
The delicious. 100 national restaurant guide is available exclusively with the November issue of delicious. on sale Thursday October 17

 

Find the list of the top 100 restaurants in each State at delicious.com.au and vote for your favourite spot.


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