GF Guides | The best and worst pizza in Brighton and Hove

by - February 10, 2015

pizza in brighton the best and worst

Another post banging on about pizza. Oh yes! And this one is going to be the growing mamma of all Brighton pizza reviews, so get comfortable. Many of you know my feelings on the bad pizza around here and really I don't care if I've been labelled a #pizzasnob or #pizzapolizia. And to all the people who torment me by tweeting pictures of their terrible #bakersdroop, well, that amuses and irritates me in equal measure. Keep them coming to @graphic_foodie!

There are plenty of pizzerias now in Brighton and Hove, but it's normally a case of the dough lows instead of the pizza pie highs. And all the local "best of" pizza reviews I've read so far seem to focus on what is on the pizza which is less than half the story. After all, the dough should be paramount before the novelty of toppings, so here we are with, hopefully, a more comprehensive list of where's good.  

I'm also only visiting pizzerias, with just handful of "takeaways" and even then I'm eating them on-site (often in my car!) to get them at their best. Unless you are in dire straits, please do not order a pizza in a box to your home. Pizza should be eaten scorching hot from the oven, even a five minute journey in some sweaty insulated bag loses all the qualities that make pizza great. And anyway, eating anything out of a cardboard box on a sofa is frankly barbaric in my book. Put on a decent pair of shoes and a comb through your hair and get down to the pizzeria itself. I jest (I don't).

This is a working list which will be updated as I go. Although I think I've covered the main pizzerias, is there anywhere else I should get to? Let me know!

I've graded the pizzas in set categories. Geeky, yes, but condenses reviews. There are a few terms that you may not have come across so they are explained below. Basically, what I want to see in terms of dough, cooking and topping amount is shown in the picture at the top of the post. Only ONE pizzeria in Brighton managed this!

Cornicone: The raised rim around the pizza. If the base is formed by hand, it should have a nice raised edge. If the dough is good, you'll want to eat the airy, chewy goodness of this. Flat pizzas often mean they have been pressed through rollers, or worse, are pre-prepared and the edge is dry and tough. The dough should be cooked through and never raw in the core.
Underside/upskirt: The underside of the pizza. Should be nicely cooked with a little char ideally. This tasty char would only come from wood-fired pizza though.
Leoparding: The black spots/blisters on the cornicone rim. A few of these are very desirable and adds to the taste.

Italy even has an association which outlines set regulaulations as to what makes a true Neapolitan style pizza from the ingredients, recipe, production, temperature and formation of the pizza. It even specifies the exact weight of toppings. I doubt anyone on this list has read this document. 

8 King's Esplanade, Hove, BN3 2WA

What they say: "Since 1969 we’ve been serving hand made pizza"
What I say: "Authentic environment, less authentic pizza"

marrocco's pizza brighton review

I really wanted to like Marrocco's. I love the fact that it's Italian run and has stood the test of time since 1969. The atmosphere is great, like a proper wood booth trattoria with families sitting cheek to jowl under a huge mural of a loved family member, no doubt. People can also sit outside under the glow of neon where they are in a prime spot for evening gelato and an evening passeggiata Hove style. Marrocco's are known for their seafood, classic dishes and they make all their own pasta (which I have to return for) but this is a pizza review so here goes: it blew. It sad sadly between mediocre and poor which is a real shame for a restaurant with such a rich Italian heritage.

Pizza ordered: Napoletana, Capers, olives and anchovies, £8.25.
Oven: Electric.
Cornicone: Not clearly formed with one.
Dough: Under proved shown by the holes blown open on the crust, well seasoned dough though.
Cooked underside/upskirt?: It was raw.
Any char on underside/upskirt: None.
Leoparding: A couple of blisters.
Bakers droop: Absolutely.
Topping quality: Cheap black dyed green olives, poor quality grated mozzarella. Capers and anchovies were ok. Sauce was too thin and wet.
Topping amount: Not bad, but too much sauce and a little too much cheese.
Speed of order: Very quick.
Environment: Lovely, friendly and family run. An authentic Italian trattoria.

Overall rating: 3/10

La Cucina
4A Montpelier Place, Hove, Brighton, East Sussex BN1 3BF

What they say: "Brighton's very best real pizza"
What I say: "Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha....weep"

la cucina brighton pizza review

Well here it is people. The worst pizza in Brighton and Hove, possibly the world. What pains me most about this is how many people rated this to us on Twitter, the reviews on TripAdvisor "The best pizza I've ever had!" and their own claim "Brighton's very best real pizza".

I'm not even going to bother properly rating this, as they clearly cant be bothered to attempt to make pizza. We even had to go back in and ask if the bases were bought in, but they proudly showed off a dough press. A 90 degree angle "cornicone", punctured base and machined edge was more like a pastry case than a pizza. This was the only one I could not manage more than a single mouthful of.

As one Twitter follower described, who funnily enough also ordered the same night, "my pizza might as well have been made out of an oversized rich tea biscuit."

An insult to Italian heritage and food, this is fit only for the very, very drunk post 3am.

4 Victoria TerraceHove BN3 2WB

What they say: Nothing on their site!
What I say: "Decent pizza, served up with a hefty slice of romance"

franco's brighton pizza review

Walking through the doors of Franco's is like stepping into a Disney version of Italy. In a good way. It's classic, perfect first date material. I imagine they have weekly reenactments of that spaghetti lady and the Tramp scene. Although the menu spans Italian classics like hare ragu, seafood linguine and lasagna, they also turn out a decent pizza too. But Franco being a typical Italian is thinking of ditching them off the menu as the water in Brighton is too hard which affects the dough. True, but this would be a shame as the quality of ingredients and care they put into all their food outshines most in Brighton. If only their venue was appropriate for a wood oven, I'd think they'd hit the nail on the head. It was clear that many of the diners were well looked after regulars. It's an absolutely charming neighbourhood restaurant.

Pizza ordered: Classic Italian Pizza Buffalo Mozzarella, Fresh Basil And Cherry Tomato £9.95
Oven: Electric
Cornicone: A beautiful cornicone!
Dough: Well seasoned and well made
Cooked underside/upskirt?: Yes
Any char on underside/upskirt: A little.
Leoparding: Nope.
Bakers droop: Only a little due to being slightly too thin in the middle and the buffalo mozzarella which is higher in water content
Topping quality: Real produce. Rich tomato sauce with a full flavour. Fresh, fragrant basil leaves.
Topping amount: Ideal
Speed of order: No complaints
Environment: Checked table cloths, candle light and ridiculously charming staff.

Overall rating: 8/10 (I'm sure they would hit the 9-9.5 with a wood oven)

CLOSED Kindlewood
Brighton Station (forecourt), Queen's Road, Brighton BN1 3XP

What they say: "Wood fired pizza served from a beautifully restored 1969 Citroen H Van at Brighton Train Station."
What I say: "The best grab-and-go pizza in Brighton"

 kindlewood brighton pizza review

Brighton's only permanent mobile pizzeria outside Brighton station. Probably the only pizzeria in the city to use the quantity of cheese to my preference.

Pizza ordered: Margarita, £5.50. Cheese and tomato.

Oven: Wood.
Cornicone: A slight cornicone, from the natural rise of the dough but the base is not formed by hand.
Dough: Not bad, but suffers as I believe it has been rolled through a machine instead of being opened by hand so a lot of air has been forced out.
Cooked underside/upskirt?: Yes.
Any char on underside/upskirt: Very nice char.
Leoparding: None.
Bakers droop: Not at all.
Topping quality: Very good, simple but pure ingredients.
Topping amount: Perfect.
Speed of order: "Ready in 90 seconds".
Environment: Really good fun and a lovely 1969 Citroen H van vehicle to pull up a stool to and tuck into your pizza.

Full review link: 

Overall rating: 8/10

Pronto in Tavola
43 Waterloo Street, Hove, BN3 1AY

What they say: "We have decided not to do something new, we've decided to do something right"
What I say: "Would be my go-to if the bases were crafted a bit better"

pronto in tavola brighton pizza review

I wish I could tell you this is the best pizza in Brighton. Owner Nino is a sweetheart and the small pizzeria is cosy, rustic and authentic. Nice to see they have a menu of other food too as he made me a lovely aqua pazza once and his wife's homemade Italian cakes are on sale. Big points too for the Chinotto on offer as not many sell this. I think the pizza topping we chose was quite heavy, but the centre of the pizza was pancake thin and wouldn't have supported the sauce even. Dough was tasty and the ingredients good but I think the forming of the pizza, as well as the undercooking, made for a very mediocre show.

Pizza ordered: Homemade sausage (spicy) £8
Oven: Electric
Cornicone: Not defined
Dough: Tasty but rolled or stretched painfully thin in the centre
Cooked underside/upskirt?: Yes
Any char on underside/upskirt: Yes
Leoparding: None
Bakers droop: The biggest droop
Topping quality: Not bad. The sausages were homemadapparently but could have been cookd a little more to render the fat (Italian sausages are authentically coarse and fatty). Sauce was a little thin.
Topping amount: Too much of the sausage which added too much weight.
Speed of order: Perfect
Environment: Lovely, informal, friendly and charming.

Overall rating: 5/10

Al Duomo
7 Pavilion Buildings Brighton East Sussex, BN1 1EE

What they say: "Our comprehensive, restaurants (sic) menu offer a wide ranging array of food...."
What I say: "The consumer demand for budget Italian food is the fault of this pizza"

al duomo brighton pizza review

Ah, al Duomo! One of the Italian heavyweight restaurants in town. They have a huge, crowd pleasing laminated menu where fish and chips, garlic bread and spaghetti carbonara (with cream) sit awkwardly alongside Italian classics like saltimbocca and risotto. This sort of Anglo Italian food makes my heart hurt. But I'm here for their state of the art wood oven, which so few Brighton restaurants have, so it had to be included. The good - the dough is made in-house and the pizzaioli working behind the counter know how to form a good pizza. The bad - The oven temperature was too high. Difficult to get control with wood, but too high means the dough dries out to cardboard which is what happened here. The toppings are also cheap. Catering dyed black tinned olives, dried herbs, poor quality's such a shame as an upgrade to quality produce would produce a decent pizza here, certainly pipping it in the top five at the moment. They would have to increase the prices for that to work but I think they know their target market well, who want large portions of stodge at a bargain cost.

Pizza ordered: Napoletana £7.90
Oven: Wood
Cornicone: Defined
Dough: Made in-house and not bad, but terribly dried out due to over cooking and too high heat
Cooked underside/upskirt?: Yes, a little too much
Any char on underside/upskirt: Yes but gained a burnt taste.
Leoparding: Yes
Bakers droop: No
Topping quality: Budget toppings but well made and seasoned sauce.
Topping amount: Slightly heavy on the cheese but overall not bad. One single cherry tomato half!
Speed of order: Perfect
Environment: Modern, pre-theatre, smart/casual Italian restaurant

Overall rating: 5/10

Morelli Zorelli
40 Western Road, Hove, Bn3 1JD

What they say: "Morelli Zorelli offers the finest Sourdough Pizzas in the heart of Hove"
What I say: "Would add serious points if they laid off the cheap cheddar/mozzarella mix"

This is a "new" pizzeria. And by new I mean it is in the former Gourmet Pizza Kitchen space, with some of the same staff and allegedly the same ownership. But this feels like a proper pizzeria with the oven pride of place. The quirky restaurant space below is something like a cross between Titanic and a room in Miss Havishams' Satis House and I like it. The pizza actually wasn't bad at all, not perfect by any means, but there are a few touches that could take it from ok to quite good. Basically it was ruined by the baby-sick smelling processed cheddar/mozzarella mix that blights pizza in the UK, without it they would be turning out half decent pizzas I think.

Pizza ordered: Bresaola, £11.95. Bresaola, buffalo mozzarella, Parmesan Reggiano, fresh rocket.
Oven: Electric.
Cornicone: Very small, no air inside.
Dough: Well seasoned but could have been airier. This was too dense but very well cooked.
Cooked underside/upskirt?: Cooked.
Any char on underside/upskirt: Good amount.
Leoparding: Good, there were a few.
Bakers droop: Yes, due to the large pieces of mozzarella that released their milk. Very soggy.
Topping quality: Bresaola, buffalo mozzarella, rocket and Parmesan was fine but there was a copious amount of cheap processed cheddar/mozzarella mix added which cooled to a solid orange coating across the base.
Topping amount: Too much of the processed cheese mix, which irritatingly was not mentioned on the menu or in fact needed on this pizza. Shame. Mozzarealla should have been in smaller chunks.
Speed of order: Fine.
Environment: Two experiences, the upstairs is a basic pizzeria and downstairs something else altogether. It's interesting.

Overall rating: 5/10

Jamie's Italian
11 Black Lion Street, Brighton, East Sussex BN1 1ND

What they say: "Jamie’s Italian is inspired by Jamie’s passion for the Italian way of life"
What I say: "Pleasantly surprised (and sad) that a chain restaurant is up there with the best Brighton pizza"

jamies italian brighton pizza review

Again, one of the few wood ovens in Brighton. I really like the space here and have had half decent feed each time. But this was my first pizza here and to be fair, it wasn't half bad. In the wasteland of poor pizza that is Brighton, this stands quite high up in the rankings. The pizza was cooked well and ingredients decent quality. Topping was about right. I don't know what smart arse decided watercress was a suitable garnish to put on this pizza though. They certainly have never seen Italy.

Pizza ordered: Italian Hot - San Marzano tomato base, mozzarella, spicy salami, meatballs and chilli £12
Oven: Wood
Cornicone: Good example of one, nice and airy.
Dough: Tasty, slight chew and
Cooked underside/upskirt?: Perfect.
Any char on underside/upskirt: Good amount, delicious taste.
Leoparding: "Spot" on.
Bakers droop: No
Topping quality: No issue with the quality at all. Bonus for the fennel seed which go so well with Italian sausages.
Topping amount: Ideal, a lot of ingredients but just enough to cover without too much weight
Speed of order: Perfect, lovely staff.
Environment: Branded up to the hilt, but very nice environment to dine in.

Overall rating: 8.5/10

Venues in Hove (eat in and takeaway) and Brighton (takeaway only)

What they say: "It’s hard to find a good pizza. But good pizza isn’t hard to do. With great ingredients, a proper oven, and a bit of practice, it’s actually pretty simple."
What I say: "Agree with their ethos. Not sure why they don't practice this."

pizzaface brighton pizza review

I'm including this takeaway as this is, for most, almost the benchmark of good pizza in Brighton. People rave about it. But benchmark it isn't. Whilst the toppings are probably some of the best quality on offer and they don't seem to use that weird cheap cheddar/mozzarella mix, the base and dough is far from perfect or authentic. It's as flat as a pancake, bland and I would say these are rolled as they contain no air. The pizza here isn't terrible but I can only imagine that people are comparing it to Domino's or haven't been anywhere near Italy in their lives. In that case it's brilliant, rock on.

Pizza(s) ordered: 
Holy Cheeses, Sussex blue, mascarpone, Parmesan and mozzarella with caramelised onions £9
Albore, Pork and wild boar salami, pancetta (Italian cured bacon) and fresh rosemary £9
Vesuvius, Pepperoni, chorizo, red onions and fresh and dried chillies, £9
Fresh oregano, basil and
 cherry tomatoes £6
Oven: Electric.
Cornicone: Not really, just the natural rise of the dough, some air in places.
Dough: This is their downfall. It just lacks any real flavour or vibrancy.
Cooked underside/upskirt?: Yes.
Any char on underside/upskirt: No.
Leoparding: None.
Bakers droop: Slight as the bases are rolled too thin, but not bad as topping is sensible.
Topping quality: Can't fault the quality of toppings. Real ingredients.
Topping amount: Good but recently seem to have been going in hard with the cheese. I hate marscapone on pizza so much and this seems really popular here.
Speed of order: Depends on the direction of the wind. People complain of the wait time for takeaway, sometimes not getting through at all on the phone.
Environment: Shops have nice branding and I like the fit out. Feels modern and not too hipster.

Overall rating: 5/10

VIP Pizza
9 Old Steine, Brighton BN1 1EL

What they say: "Very Italian Pizza – the strength of tradition"
What I say: "Not bad at all and a nice venue for a pizza in the city"

The pizzeria is a very environment, this has been done very well and feels right style-wise - a contemporary Italian pizzeria I would expect to see in the homeland. There is a deli counter for purchases of cheese and meats and some more authentic dishes on offer. Also they stock real Italian products like Crodini and Mulino Bianco biscuits. The wood oven here is a huge USP and you can taste the difference in the pizza. I think we were served very undercooked pizza on our visit, but pretty much everything else, apart from the amount of cheese, was pretty good. This was one of the better choices for pizza in the city before we got some serious contenders but I'd still eat here.

Pizza ordered: Margarita, £5.50. Cheese and tomato
Oven: Wood
Cornicone: Uneven but in places yes
Dough: Good dough, nicely seasoned and airy. They use a proper sourdough starter which you can taste.
Cooked underside/upskirt?: No, but think this was bad luck.
Any char on underside/upskirt: A little.
Leoparding: None but bet with longer cooking they'd get some
Bakers droop: Not too bad
Topping quality: Would have preferred just a few spots of bufflao mozzarella than the covering of grated mozarella. Sauce was well seasoned and fresh.
Topping amount: Far, far too much cheese for a Margherita, even after I asked for less cheese.
Speed of order: Not the fastest but acceptable.
Environment: Really like  the environment here. Authentic modern Italian not hipster in the slightest. Win.

Overall rating: 7/10

Full review link:

Pizza 500
83 Preston Road, Brighton BN1 4QG

What they say: "Here at Pizza 500 you can find only the real italian taste all over the world !!" (No I have no idea what this means either.)
What I say: "The queues out of the door speak volumes. Not bad and eclectically charming"

pizza 500 brighton pizza review

Well they feature my favourite car on the planet, the classic Fiat 500, so this place wins points already. The slightly grotty looking exterior of a former garage is less than glamorous but pizzerias shouldn't really be glossy so I'll go with it.  Inside is a typical Italian trattoria in style so feels right. In addition to pizza here is a nice selection of real Italian food on offer; arancini, affettati, carpaccio, peperonata and homemade sausages.  There are classic pasta dishes (Carbonara made with eggs not cream - tick) and homemade gnocchi, cannoli and gelato is made on-site too. The place was so packed we had to eat outside in the car and even wait 30 minutes for the privilege. Guess people have found out they can turn out a decent pizza here!

Pizza ordered: "Barrocciaia" Tomato, mozzarella and their homemade sausages (spicy) £7.
Oven: Electric
Cornicone: A little from the natural rise
Dough: Ok if a little dry
Cooked underside/upskirt?: Yes
Any char on underside/upskirt: Yes
Leoparding: A few blisters but not true leoparding
Bakers droop: None
Topping quality: The coarse homemade sausages were very authentic in texture and seasoning with fennel. A good amount of spice.
Topping amount: Perfect. The cheese was grated mozzarella but a good ratio.
Speed of order: They were so busy so we had a 30 minute wait.
Environment: Oddly charming, and felt like a true back street Italian pizzeria.

Overall rating: 7/10

Pizza Express
Jubilee Street, Brighton, BN1 1GE

What they say: "What floats our boat? Four simple things. Beautiful music. Stunning design. Unique experiences. Exceptional food."
What I say: I have no words.

pizza express brighton pizza review

Yes, the people that serve Anglo-Italian pizza, some even come with a hole in the centre. You are thinking I've gone mental listing this one but so many people unashamedly love this chain restaurant (you know you do) and damn it, I'm going whole hog for this review.

Now with a name like Pizza Express I imagine I'm getting a pizza and quick. After 45 minutes of waiting, a flaccid, almost omelette base arrived, so thin it could not support air, let alone the truck-load of topping; Spicy Calabrese sausage D.O.P, hot soft 'nduja sausage, finely chopped red chillies, roquito peppers, red and yellow peppers, mozzarella, rocket, pesto, oregano, Gran Moravia cheese. Dear God. This apparently was created by chef Francesco Mazzei, inspired by his hometown of Calabria. Snigger. I ended up fleeing the restaurant with the soggy pizza in a box. The overworked staff were absolute diamond though and actually took the pizza off the bill completely to be fair. Still, it doesn't take away the fact the pizza here is horror show.

Pizza ordered: Francesco Mazzei Calabrese
Oven: Electric and pizza cooked in a pan
Cornicone: None
Dough: Nothing like any pizza I've had before. Omelette-like and I bet that the dough is from pre-frozen balls.
Cooked underside/upskirt?: Undercooked
Any char on underside/upskirt: None
Leoparding: As if
Bakers droop: The wost
Topping quality: Not bad at all and would happily have eaten it as an antipasto without the base.
Topping amount: Far too much
Speed of order: They lied about the "Express" bit in the branding.
Environment: A concerto of screaming children and wipe clean surfaces but pleasant enough.

Overall rating: 2/10 (and both of those to the staff)

ASK Italian
58 Ship Street, Brighton BN1 1AF

What they say: "Everything we do here is inspired by Italy"
What I say: "...through corporate spectacles"

ask italian brighton pizza review

To be fair to ASK, they saw I was conducting a pizza review and invited me down. Again, I say with heavy heat that ASK pizza surprisingly fared quite well, even above some of the local independents. I particularly liked the really grassy olive oil drizzled on top, which I thought tasted very good quality. The bases, in the longer format were really well cooked, crisp and well seasoned. I still prefer my pizza with a proper hand shaped cornicone and a little more body than this fashion for rolled out, super thin bases but at least at ASK they were not soggy.

Pizza ordered: Margherita with Buffalo mozzarella, £10.55
Oven: Electric, "stone baked"
Cornicone: None
Dough: Reasonably tasty but rolled thin which left little to get your teeth stuck into
Cooked underside/upskirt?: Well cooked
Any char on underside/upskirt: A little
Leoparding: None
Bakers droop: Just due to the thinness
Topping quality: Actually very good with distinguishable flavours.
Topping amount: Could have gone slightly easier on the mozzarella if I were being picky
Speed of order: Ideal.
Environment: Italy as designed by a committee of corporates. Not unpleasant but someone went to town on the moodboards.

Overall rating: 6/10 

Pizza Me
The Kiosk, Elm Grove, Brighton, BN2 3DD

What they say: " PizzaME is about fresh ingredients, lovingly put together."
What I say: "Bad quality toppings let them down"

pizza me brighton pizza review

The only Brighton pizzeria housed in a former public lavatory. Although there is a small bench and seating outside in the summer, this really is a take-away so the interior isn't much to write home about. Whilst they were clearly very busy and the pizza isn't all bad, the quality of the topping, particularly that horrid cheddar/mozzarella mix let them down. Pecorino is my favourite cheese on Earth and the grating I had on my pizza wasn't good either. I like the quirky style menu where they have named the pizza in accordance to their branding (TeaseME, ForgetMENot, InsaltME) although I think there was far too much choice and some of the options were a bit bonkers.

Pizza ordered: "BiteME" Tomato, Mozzarella, Roasted Ham, Sardinian Pecorino, Cherry Tomatoes and Rocket, £9.50
Oven: Electric
Cornicone: Not really
Dough: Underseasoned but not bad
Cooked underside/upskirt?: Good
Any char on underside/upskirt: A little.
Leoparding: None
Bakers droop: Absolutely, due to the cheese quantity
Topping quality: Poor cheese, basic ham and under seasoned sauce but very fresh rocket and tomatoes.
Topping amount: Far too much cheese
Speed of order: 30 minute wait but they were super busy and the two pizzaioli were working lightening fast.
Environment: Basic

Overall rating: 5/10

Nu Posto
4 West Street, Brighton, BN1 2RE
What they say: "A Neapolitan style Pizzeria in the heart of Brighton serving up authentic pizza"
What I say: "A Neapolitan style Pizzeria in the heart of Brighton serving up authentic pizza!!"

no posto brighton pizza review

Dang, I kissed a lot of toads to get to Nu Posto. This place didn't exist when this pizza post started and I almost cried sinking my teeth into the pizza here. It's good! It's in Brighton! Proper Neapolitan style pizza created by people who know dough. The owners have family run restaurants in Naples, they don't try and do too much, keeping the focus on good pizza and ingredients are good quality. Ovens are gas but they use them to their best, other than the slight smoke taste from wood fired ovens, you would never know it's gas fired. Only negative? It's on West Street, but I'll get over it.

Pizza ordered: Margherita £6.50 and Vietri with mozzarella, rocket, tomatoes and capocollo £8.50
Oven: Gas
Cornicone: Perfect. Classic soft, airy Neapolitan style. A beaut!
Dough: Soft, well fermented.
Cooked underside/upskirt?: Perfect.
Any char on underside/upskirt: Good amount, delicious taste.
Leoparding: "Spot" on.
Bakers droop: A little due to the nature of the style, true Neapolitan should be slightly "soupy" in the middle.
Topping quality: The most authentic salume in the city, lovely mozzarella, good olives.
Topping amount: Perfect and the Italian cheese ratio, not stupidly overloaded as often seen.
Speed of order: Really fast. Pizzas cooked in seconds. Friendly, accommodating staff.
Environment: Shiny new, very bright, light and modern. But very pleasant to dine in.

Overall rating: 10/10

Full review link:

Fatto a Mano
77 London Road, Brighton, BN1 4JF
What they say: "Neighbourhood pizzeria with a wood-fired oven at its heart"
What I say: "Authentic, good quality, Neapolitan pizza"

fatto a mano brighton pizza review

Pizza ordered: Margherita (£6) and Napoletana (£8) 
Oven: Wood
Cornicone: Well formed but a little messy, caught in the oven on turning.
Dough: Good dough, well seasoned, nice chew and airy cornicone.
Cooked underside/upskirt?: Perfectly.
Any char on underside/upskirt: An ideal amount.
Leoparding: A few blisters and light leoparding.
Bakers droop: No.
Topping quality: No complaints at all, everything tasted great.
Topping amount: Ideal.
Speed of order: Quick.
Environment: Modern, simple and informal as a contemporary pizzeria should be. 

Overall rating: 9.5/10

Franco Manca
Regent Street, Brighton, BN1 1UL

What they say: "The home of sourdough pizza"
What I say: "Can I move in?"

My first taste of great pizza in the UK was in Franco Manca in their Brixton market home. Despite a big buyout and huge expansion plans, the pizza is still as good (and cheap) as it always was. I am so pleased they chose Brighton as one of their locations. Go, go, go!

Pizza ordered: Tomato, garlic, oregano, capers, olives, anchovies and mozarealla £6.70 (a Napoli to you and me) and a Tomato, cured chorizo and mozzarealla (£6.95)
Oven: Wood
Cornicone: The cornicione of dreams - chewy, pillowy, heavenly.
Dough: Soft, well fermented, with great sourdough flavour.
Cooked underside/upskirt?: Perfect.
Any char on underside/upskirt: Good amount, delicious taste.
Leoparding: "Spot" on.
Bakers droop: A little due to the nature of the style, true Neapolitan should be soft in the middle but this was not too droopy.
Topping quality: Superb ingredient credentials you can taste.
Topping amount: Perfect.
Speed of order: Speedy enough.
Environment: Industrial chic with some lovely traditional touches in the tiling and beautiful oven. Best location for pizza in Brighton.

Overall rating: 10/10

Full review link:

In summary

So basically if you want a decent pizza, a really decent pizza, there is only three places I would confidently recommend and they are Franco Manca, Nu Posto and Fatto a Mano. Before they arrived you had to head to Lewes to the fabulous Hearth. They are still very much worth a visit as they hero the dough and have the skill and expertise to back that up. Plus their bus station location is unique and inimitable. London is your next bet with some great places (check out Young and Foodish's listing: and failing that, there are plenty of cheap flights to Naples.


Big shout out to my pizza partner, Rosie. This was no easy task, often doing four restaurants in one night. But hilarious, if at times emotional. Here is her post to see how our thoughts compare:

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