Let’s kick this off in the same rational way I approach most things in life – I’m a firm believer that if you don’t like pizza there must be something seriously wrong with you.
I’m not kidding. If carbs and cheese can’t make you happy then we have nothing in common. Pizza is great to eat regardless of the season, it’s welcome and comforting after a night on the pop, it’s adaptable and it can literally be tarted up to suit everyone. Yes, even those pesky vegans.
But pizza is also so much more than a hungover Dominoes (shudder) – it’s great to share with friends and it’s an affordable way to have a tasty meal. If it’s good, that is. You’d think it would be easy to find great pizza in Birmingham city centre, but until recently that hasn’t been the case.
Thankfully we now have some truly excellent independents offering up top notch pizza, with new shops to open very soon, and I’ve picked my current favourites for you. They’re each special in a different way and they’re (mostly) within walking distance of New Street Station, meaning your next pizza fix is nearer than you might think.
Step away from Strada and Zizzi’s and give one of these five fantastic local pizza providers a go. Don’t forget, the cult hit Franco Manca is opening on Bennett’s Hill next month too, and you WANT to try that sourdough out. Trust me..
Baked in Brick
The opening of Baked in Brick’s first restaurant was hotly anticipated, to say the least. Thankfully the hype was all well deserved and the multi award-winning street food giant now has a permanent home in Digbeth. This place is serving up some of the best pizza in the city: end of. The crusts are charred to perfection and the toppings and variety showcase the creativity of Lee, the guy who sails this ship. The stripped back venue is relaxed but welcoming and the signature red mini poking through the wall is a familiar sight to regular Digbeth Dining Club fans. It’s cool, it’s casual, and it’s serving up some seriously brilliant pizzas. Big fan of the blanco base offerings, although there’s plenty of excellent options. Don’t forget to check out the sides menu too, as there’s some seriously sexy stuff (smoked burrata salad anyone?) to be had alongside your pizza.
Situated opposite Bloc Hotel between Jewellery Quarter and St Paul’s, Otto is run by the same folk behind the 8ft Grocer. Offering 8-10 wood fired pizzas (plus changeable specials) and a selection of sharing boards, it’s a small but perfectly formed independent set up. I loved the exposed brick and local artist artwork dotted across the walls, and the place feels quite homely. At my last visit I tried the ‘Nduja and Mushroom’ which was banging. Great crust for dipping in the divine chilli oil found on the tables, and an excellent single portion size that leaves you satisfied not stuffed. People rave about this place for good reason.
My love for Laghi’s Deli is deep and it’s real. I’ve eaten here numerous times, and despite loving the homemade pasta it’s the pizza that keeps me coming back. Firstly, this is the nearest dough/crust I’ve found to the pizzas I ate in Rome. Secondly, they are absolutely huge and have so many topping combinations you’ll struggle to choose what to order, but I’m a big fan of the ‘Capricciosa’ with artichokes and spicy sausage. The restaurant is small and run by a lovely family who live and breathe Italian food. On a side note, everything is made fresh and they giveaway any left over food to local charities ensuring minimal waste.
Alicia’s Micro Bakehouse
I really don’t visit this place enough, but it’s a must-try if you love your pizzas. If you like a crispy, bubbly crust you can’t get much better than Alicia’s. The Noci with walnuts and Gorgonzola is insanely good, and the service is always warm and friendly. It’s always very busy though, so make sure you book in advance. It’s open Tue-Sat.
This canal-side pub has a small but perfectly formed pizza menu, serving up some pretty good toppings. I enjoy the Funghi, with wild mushrooms, fior di latte, garlic, oregano and parmesan. If you like a bargain, hit up The Distillery on a Monday when they offer 2 4 1 on all pizzas. I’ve written about this deal before, if you fancy a read click here.
This is without doubt the best addition to the city centre in 2019. A thin flame-licked crust at the base awaits, with dough that puffs up around the sides and provides an airy, soft crust. The blushing sauce base is light and fresh, relying on nothing but tomatoes and salt, and cheese comes one of two ways: fior di latte or buffalo mozzarella. Great cocktails and desserts too.
Next to the neon lights of Nocturnal Animals, the restaurant sits at the lower end of Bennetts Hill. Inside you’ll find high ceilings, a large bright space and a simple sourdough pizza menu. Crusts come well judged, with the char marks you hope to see from a bubbling base. The base itself is thin, letting the toppings do the talking. There’s a specials board with daily offers and extra nibbles you won’t see on the main menu, too, so keep an eye out for that.
Disclosure: This isn’t a sponsored post and I am not affiliated to the places mentioned in this post – I just really like taking myself for pizza. I paid for any food mentioned above and all opinions, photos and words are mine as always