Ciao Bella! Finding The Best Pizza in The City
Pizza, pasta, preggo! Be it a slice, a square, a rectangle or the familiar circular shape we all know and love, there is absolutely no shortage of pizza in this city. But it must be said, there is pizza and there is pizza. I am not interested in any old 1.99€ pizza where the paper plate it’s served on looks more tempting than the cardboard pizza base itself (unless, perhaps my moral pizza compass has been horribly skewered by a mixture of alcoholic beverages, maybe). I am after the real McCoy. Unless I hear the sing-song of Italian voices coming from behind the counter, I am not interested. To me, the vital ingredients stop and start with mozzarella, tomato and fresh basil. If you’re a real pizzeria, you can work wonders with these mere but magnificent ingredients.
To kick start your carb loading in preparation for the Berlin winter, (or perhaps the hibernation season) here are the Italian restaurants (Ok, best place for pizza, let’s be honest) that should be at the very top of your list for a slice of the bel paese.
MASANIALLO: Neukoelln, Hasenheide 20Book a table and jump on the U-Bahn to Hermannplatz as fast as you can. This is undoubtedly the most delicious place. You are greeted warmly by Italians the moment you step foot in the restaurant and once more from every member of staff you pass and again from the chefs flipping dough for the Holzsteinofen in the open kitchen as you are taken to your seats. For an all-Italian evening this is the place to go. Not to mention the best Napoli buffalo mozzarella and tomato pizza in Berlin.
A MAGICA: Prenzlauerberg, Greifenhagener Str 54The magic is all in the pizza. Service is not guaranteed to come with a smile but the Margherita La Regina (6€) sure will put a smile on your face. Perfect for a lunchtime treat to share or save your appetite for the evening and savour one slice at a time. La Regina hits the spot and even had me questioning my loyalty to Masaniallo with every other mouthful.
NINI E PETTIROSSO: Neukoelln, Selkestrasse 27Amongst the kleinaberfein of pizza restaurants but still as strong in competition. No matter what time of day, there will always be happy smiling people chowing down on their pizza or pizze (we’re multilingual here at Berlin Logs, don’t you know) of choice. Served on classic wooden boards, you can sample a variety of different pizzas as they are served in small square corners at 2€ each – it’s the pic’n’mix of pizzas. Hearty salads, pastas and traditional tasty Italian pastries or tiramisu also await those with a sweet tooth.
PAPA PANE: Mitte, Ackerstrasse 23A sophisticated affair for fine dining, this place has an upmarket feel to it. While the restaurant cannot hide its Mitte postcode, it manages to create a warm and friendly Italian atmosphere nonetheless. The delightful dollops of buffalo mozzarella on my Pizza Papa Pane were to die for. There was a heavenly helping of both cheese and tomato sauce which soon filled a whole. Next time I might even go astray and order the spinach and ricotta pizza which a friend sampled. Again, nothing fancy just simple, yet stunning flavours.
CENTRO ITALIA: Charlottenburg/Prenzlauer Berg/MarienfeldeThe home of Italy lies within these four walls. Restaurant, wine bar and supermarket all in one. Everything and anything Italian can be found here in this mysterious, magical place. A specialist concept store serving focaccia sandwiches larger than your face will always be in my good books. Whether you’re hunting down ingredients for an Italian recipe or looking for a lunch spot, this is where you should take your hunger. There may not be any pizza, but their Italian charm more than makes up for it, especially when free espressos are known to be a regular thing if you remember your grazie mille!
Berlin and I wish you Buon appetito!
By Alice Higgins