Pizza East is one of those places that everyone raves about – supposedly the best pizza in East London. Now that’s a bold statement and it was quickly added to the list as somewhere I needed to try.
Based in a converted tea warehouse known as “The Tea Building” opposite Boxpark, Shoreditch, Pizza East isn’t far from the the City of London, a short walk from Liverpool Street Station. It’s currently owned by the Soho House Group and in 2019 I wasn’t hugely impressed when I visited Cecconi’s in Instanbul at the Soho House there so despite the rave reviews. You can book Pizza East – this is a big plus for me because so many of my favourite places in London you can’t book (such as Flat Iron, Le Relais De Venise or Flour & Grape).
I really love the character of the building when you’re inside, particularly the exposed brickwork and architecture with pipes exposed. The vibe is industrial but cool, making it perfect for East London’s edgy Shoreditch. It’s a large, open plan room without feeling cavernous. The bar was a focal point, it’s quite large right in the middle of the room with stools so it looked like you could have a drink or even eat up there.
The mixed furniture made me feel quite relaxed; everything was different but it all tied together. I loved the old school lunch benches and the vintage distressed leather seating. It was all very understated and simple but it went perfectly with the character of the building. Although the restaurant was quiet when we arrived, it didn’t lack atmosphere and didn’t feel empty either. The restaurant certainly filled out as we enjoyed our meal.
Pizza East – What We Ordered
We started by ordering a carafe of Merlot wine (£22) and some tap water; water glasses were already on the tables which is always a good sign and I love places where you can order a carafe – sometimes a glass isn’t enough and a bottle is too much.
The antipasti (starter) menu is decent – split up into cold, baked and fried sections. To start, we ordered the red pepper and scarmorza croquettes (£5) which were served with a chilli aioli from the fried section of the Antipasti menu. Scarmorza is a cheese and I have to say that these were delicious; crispy and golden on the inside that crunch when you bite into them with oozy cheesy goodness on the inside. The heat from the chilli aioli was just enough to give a neat heat without being overpoweringly spicy. There were four croquettes which I think would be a fairly large portion for one person but it works perfectly to share or mix and match with a couple of different starters if there’s a group of you. I’m normally a burrata kind of girl but even I have to admit that I enjoyed the croquettes.
The pizza is the main event at Pizza East and it was delicious; the base was thin and crispy base (no soggy bottom) with a nice thick crust. I ordered the pizza with veal meatballs, prosciutto, cream and lemon (£14) which was my first time trying a white pizza (it doesn’t have a traditional tomato base). What I didn’t realise when ordering was that this particular pizza doesn’t come with cheese but luckily the waitress pointed this out and asked if I wanted to add some Mozzarella (£1) to it which I happily added. I loved the fact that the waitress had a good knowledge of the menu and was able to make suggestions to me. The pizza had a really nice sage flavour, without being overpowering and the cheese was a great addition.
A lot of the pizzas on the menu are quite unique – there’s not many of the standard. pizzas that you might normally expect. At £14 the pizza was more expensive than other comparable such as Pizza Union, Franco Manca or Pizza Pilgrim but slightly more unusual. I’ve also had the Four Cheese and Black Truffle (£14) pizza before from Pizza East which was delicious although the truffle was too overpowering and that’s coming from me – a truffle lover. I think most people would find a whole pizza of this to be a bit too much for just one person as it’s quite rich.
For dessert, I chose the Cinnamon Doughnuts (£8) with chocolate sauce and these were everything I thought they would be. The doughnuts were like light and fluffy clouds covered in cinnamon sugar with a pot of chocolate sauce for dipping in the middle. It’s a big portion for one person but it would make a perfect sharer!
Pizza East – 8/10
A great pizza stop in East London but be prepared to pay a little bit more than other pizza joints.
Food – 7/10
Service – 7/10
Decor / Ambience – 9/10
The total cost for two people was £56.25 including service and drinks.
Have you visited Pizza East before? Feeling Inspired? Check out my London Restaurant Hit List!
Pizza East, Shoreditch
56 Shoreditch High St