Destinations

The 10 best pizza joints down under

Gabriella Warden

Everybody loves pizza, and just this month TripAdvisor has released a list of Australia’s top ten pizza joints.

The shortlist was compiled according to customer experience ratings and reviews, and proves that you don’t have to fork out for a holiday on the other side of the world to sample the bellissimo flavours of Italy – in fact, you don’t even need a fork.

From sunburnt Coober Pedy to the seaside hippy paradise of Byron Bay, here’s everything you need to know about getting your hands on your own little slice of Italian heaven…

1. Il Buco, Byron Bay, NSW

This Byron Bay pizzeria goes by the mantra, “simple, honest food made with love,” specialising in beautifully authentic Italian artisan pizza, with locally sourced produce from Bangalow Sweet Pork, Salumi, and locally farmed Cooper Shoot Tomatoes.

A TripAdvisor reviewer commented, “Delicious pizza that is authentically Italian. We had the salami inferno which certainly lived up to its name and the special truffle paste pizza which was amazing. Definitely recommend this place if you’re looking for a casual dining experience with great food.”

Il Buco

2. Lucio Pizzeria, Sydney, NSW

Founded by Italian native Chef, Lucio De Falco, Lucio Pizzeria brings the traditional taste of Naples to a casual dining spot smack bang in the centre of town.  A must-try is ‘The Lucio’; half margherita, half calzone with ricotta, mozzarella and ham –the ultimate half-and-half pizza.

A TripAdvisor reviewer raved, “After living in Sydney & Rome most of my life I found genuine, fresh flavours of Italy in the entree and the delicious pizza melted in my mouth. A must for pizza lovers who are after the real thing.”

3. D.O.C. Pizza & Mozzarella Bar, Melbourne, VIC

Treat your taste buds to Melbourne’s best artisan pizzas, found at D.O.C. Pizza & Mozzarella Bar. They are said to have crafted over 1.3 million pizzas, a feat in itself! Need a break from pizza? Try the parmesan gelato with aged vincotto, it’s to die for.

“The best pizza outside Napoli! It captures the essence of Italy with its Italian staff and delicious antipasti and pizzas.”

4. The Forge Pizzeria, Ballarat, VIC

A favourite with locals and travellers alike, The Forge Pizzeria, founded by brothers Chris and Tim Matthews, creates delicious wood-fire pizzas made with fresh local ingredients. Be sure to try local favourite ‘Blacksmith’, named after their grandfather, Frank, a well-known tradesman in the Ballarat region.

A TripAdvisor reviewer commented, “Great food and wonderful atmosphere. Had one of the best pizzas I ever had and the rest of the family were equally impressed. Also, the choice of local beers and wines was fantastic.”

5. John’s Pizza Bar & Restaurant, Coober Pedy, SA

Located in the opal mining town of Coober Pedy, this family owned pizzeria serves up a variety of delicious, generously-sized pizzas, including spinach and ricotta, and the popular ‘Coat of Arms’ pizza.

One customer couldn’t get enough, “Huge pizzas, a really excellent selection & great tasting food. I ate there four times on our four day trip.”

John's Pizza Bar & Restaurant

6. Sassafras, Yamba, NSW

In the northern coastal town of New South Wales, this small yet inviting eatery serves up some of the best pizzas in the nation. Known for keeping it local, the restaurant uses locally sourced premium produce for all its pizza creations.

A TripAdvisor reviewer remarked, “Without a doubt the Yamba prawn pizza was the best prawn pizza that I have ever had…Highly recommend!”

7. +39 Pizzeria, Melbourne, VIC

Strolling down Little Bourke St, you are instantly drawn to a neat ‘+39’ sign swinging in the breeze. The restaurant gets its name from its Italian roots, dreamt up by Remo Nicolini after one too many calls home punching in the Italian international prefix of ‘+39’.

The perfect puff pizza curst provides the perfect base for favourites like the ‘Tirolese’, with its gooey mozzarella, mascarpone, caramelised leek and speck.

“Great food, fabulous, friendly waiting staff, there is nothing negative to say about this great Melbourne experience,” said one very satisfied TripAdvisor reviewer.

8. Chilly’s Pizza & Trattoria, Port Douglas, QLD

Having previously lived in Italy, Chilly’s owners learnt the fine art of pizza making from the local pizzaioli, using fresh and traditional ingredients made in true Italian style. After sampling and making thousands of pizzas, they imported their expertise to Port Douglas, for the locals to enjoy.

One visitor summed up the experience eloquently, “Lovely outdoor atmosphere! We ordered a couple of pizzas, that were delicious and the live music was great.”

9. Station Bar & Wood Fired Pizza, Katoomba, NSW

Station Bar is nestled in the heart of the Blue Mountains. A must-see destination for an irresistible cheesy slice, you can’t go wrong with a classic ‘Lapstone’ or the slightly-less-conventional ‘Bullaburra’, with saltwater crocodile, wild lime & ginger marinade, coconut Cream, baby spinach and roasted capsicum.

As one TripAdvisor reviewer proclaimed, “Great atmosphere friendly staff and bloody lovely pizzas!!! Great selection of beer and wines.”

Station Bar & Wood Fired Pizza

10. Sam’s Pizzeria on the Waterfront, Batemans Bay, NSW

Sam’s is a must stop for traditional Italian fare. Located on the waterfront, it’s hard to resist the waft of garlic, fresh basil and coffeeas you walk by this local gem. Try Sam’s Margherita,or treat the sweet tooth with a calzone dolce (dessert pizza).

“This is a busy little restaurant on the waterfront – the pizzas are great, the service is cheerful and quick, and it deserves its popularity.”

Photos: Il Buco, Byron Bay


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