It's Spring. There are brilliant blue skies overhead and it's time to enjoy pizza and a passagiatta. Here are four of the best places to enjoy pizza in the Shire.
Not every pizza is created equal in the Shire especially when it’s made by an AVPN-approved pizzaiolo with something to, ahem, prove. Pizza is a thing of artisanal beauty at Queen Margherita of Savoy thanks to Lee Carroll, the chef with such an obsession for creating the purist Napoli-style pizza that he spent a few months in Naples perfecting the art. The certificate from the Associazione Vera Pizza Napoletana is a dead giveaway that the family-run business has form. Order the eponymously named Margherita, which arrives swirled with San Marzano tomatoes and topped with basil and melted circles of fior di latte. To eat pizza here is an epiphany.
Shop 9, 2-8 Surf Road, Cronulla.
TWO: Salt Meats Cheese
Stefano de Blasi and his cousin Eduardo Perlo are from Italy, the country that invented the pizza. And we're grateful that the pair have rolled out their brand in Cronulla. The restaurant has opened up a pizzeria that invites residents in Sydney's southern beaches to enjoy pizzas with a modern Milano accent. While the pizzaoili stick to the strict principles of proving the dough, the toppings are a bit more contemporary. Nab a table by the large glass window and enjoy watching the huge wood-fired pizza oven fire up to make signature pies such as the quattro carni, pescatora or calzone. Enjoy a leisurely passeggiatta (stroll through the streets) post-pizza. Vegans are also catered for with the option of dairy-free mozzarella.
Shop 1 / 66-70 Cronulla Street, Cronulla.
THREE: Cape Solander
Find executive chef David Clarke (ex-Jamie's Italian) toiling over the dough at Cape Solander Pizza Co., which he leaves to rise for 36 hours before stretching into submission. Located in the centre of one of Cronulla's longest-standing establishments, the Cape Solander Pizza Co. also favours pizza with the colours of the Italian flag: white (fior di latte), green (basil) and rosso (a swirl of san Marzano tomatoes). The prosciutto and rocket is particularly pleasing and, if you excavate around the tomatoes and mozzarella on the New York pepperoni you will unearth rounds and rounds of salty goodness. Yeah, yeah, blah blah, we know not everyone's a fan of ham and pineapple on a pizza. But if you are, this may well be your new place of worship.
Cnr Kingsway & Elourera Road, Cronulla.
FOUR: Ugly Pizza
The pizzaioli at Ugly Pizza are also a little bit experimental with their toppings. Located down a side street in Caringbah, just a few blocks from the train station, is where you will find this pizzeria so packed with locals there is sometimes a wait. Again, some of the interpretations of pizza are a little bit out-there and yes, even downright ugly. But tell that to the group of tradies ploughing through triangles like it's an Olympic sport. According to Ugly Pizza staff, the Carnivore with glistening fatty slices of chorizo and Italian sausage, pepperoni and shaved ham is one of the most popular pizzas on the menu. Discover the hidden charms of Caringbah by pushing through the freezer door into Huxley's, which is patronised by men with beards and trucker caps and women with tatts who are more Sporty Spice than Housewives of South Cronulla.
32 Banksia Road, Caringbah.
Carla Grossetti is the digital editor of vacationsmag.com. Follow her food and travel adventures around the globe at @carlagrossetti on Twitter and @food.travel.stories on Instagram. Visit www.carlagrossetti.com
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522 Kingsway (Corner of Jackson Avenue), Miranda
T: 1800 004 321
Gerrale Street, Cronulla
Old Princes Highway, Engadine
20-38 Gerrale Street, Cronulla
T: 02 9710 0333
20 - 26 The Kingsway, Cronulla
T: 02 9527 3100
1 Kingsway, Cronulla
T: 02 8536 3600
Bonnie Vale Picnic Grounds Off Sea Breeze Lane, Bundeena
T: 0419 254 981
104 President Avenue, Caringbah
T: 02 9710 0333
Corner Rawson Avenue (Old Princes Highway) and Pitt Street Adjacent to Loftus Railway Station, Loftus
T: 02 9542 3646
1 Tonkin Street, Cronulla
T: 02 9523 2990