While the ingredients are simple and the cooking process straight forward, pizza is hard to master. To excel at pizza making you have to obsess over each element of the cooking process; from the dough you prepare to the temperature and dynamics of the oven to balancing the acidity and sweetness of your base sauce - pizza nirvana can only be reached by respecting every minute detail. 

There are very few places in Bristol that can actually lay claim to making a perfect pizza - but a very small number are genuinely the best you're going to have this side of Naples. We've folded, sliced and chomped our way around the best in Bristol to create this magical list of pizzerias that are worthy of your time. 

Berthas Pizza

Since opening, Bertha's has stirred up a sourdough dust storm. The Guardian named them as one of the best pizza providers outside of London in a widely shared article, which quickly led to an even bigger increase of diners desperate for a table. The founders also have a great story, that began with a back garden with a Sheffield steel wood fired oven called Bertha. The guys behind the name were looking for a vocation not a chore. They sat there sharing the food they’d cooked with friends and the answer stared back - pizza. Great pizza is simple. Good ingredients on good bread. It’s accessible; the best pizza in the world is affordable to the masses. We love that. It’s a showcase for ingredients. They want to be part of the community, to partner with local suppliers. This isn’t about buzzwords or trends. It matters. Provenance matters. Quality matters. Our sanity matters. They found the best way to keep the fire in their bellies and passion for their work is to team up with the best local producers and change the menu with the seasons.

Read more about Bertha's.

Pi Shop

Pi Shop has seen esteemed culinary dynasty the Sanchez-Iglesias family of Casamia fame return to their roots (Casamia used to be a Pizzeria I’ll have you know). Opened in 2016 in The General complex where the Sanchez-Iglesias’ have also relocated Casamia and opened Paco Tapas, they are bringing something truly wonderful to the world of Pizza. Feel free to sit outside on the sun-trap terrace as they cook each pizza in a copper, wood-fired oven, leaving a smoky taste on the light and crispy sourdough base. The toppings used are decadent and subversive, take their ‘Meat Feast’, a name that evokes the image of drunken protein and carb loading, but in reality boasts quality sourced artisan cured meats. For more adventurous eaters there’s a Pizza with Slow Roasted Lamb, Pickled Cucumber and Mint Yoghurt or for ultimate luxury there’s the £30 Australian truffle, 36 month aged parmesan (no tomato) with flavours so strong you’ll want to take them on in an arm wrestle. For dessert they make creamy soft-serve ice creams with freeze-dried strawberries and tarragon, while their beer selection is all you’d hope for from an establishment of their caliber.

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Flour & Ash

Flour and Ash was started by Steve Gale, a former finance worker who left the trade to focus on his true passion, good quality cooking. After earning his Chef’s stripes at the City of Bristol college he teamed up with fellow chef Joe Wilkin, a trained butcher and baker, and together they make a red hot sourdough pizza making team. They were officially named Bristol’s best Pizza in the Good Food Awards 2015, and on account of their sourdough made from locally milled flour, salt and water, superb ingredients that make for homely mouth watering toppings such as the ox cheek simmered in red wine to become a ragu and then spread out across the pizza base and roasted with béchamel, grana padano and basil. Be sure to try one of their amazing ice creams and sorbets too as they venture into flavours such as popcorn, pumpkin, or green tea. The Flour and Ash experience has proved so great that they recently opened up a second location in the old Casamia site in Westbury on Trym. Best of all, if you order any pizza before 6:30, it’s £9!

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Ray's Pizza @ The Crofters Rights

Smartly, the guys at Crofters Rights have got Ray's Pizza in permanent residence, providing excellent Neapolitan pizzas as the perfect accompaniment to a few jars. Adeel is the chief pizza-maker (and pizza connoisseur). He uses only authentic Italian and locally-sourced ingredients to create handmade pizzas with character. The pizzas look a picture, too - big crusts erupting like Mount Vesuvius, with a beautifully soggy tomato'ey centre, which is the Neapolitan way. Options include the the New York Hot (buffalo mozzarella, pepperoni, roasted red peppers, jalapenos and basil), Goats Cheese (buffalo mozzarella, goats cheese, red onion, marinated olives, basil, balsamic glaze), the Vegan (red onion, roasted artichoke, red pepper, olives, fresh basil, marinated glaze) and a Margherita or Marinara.

Read more about Ray's Pizza @ The Crofters Rights.

Bosco Pizzeria

Wine, beers and freshly baked focaccia. Oh, and expansive pizzas with big fat crusts and melting middles. Bosco Pizzeria has mastered the details of good pizza favoured by the majority of us - a wide span, medium-thick base and pools of cheese. The kitchen team stick to truly traditional Italian toppings, yet ensure interesting combinations with tons of flavour. Get a dose of pure umami deliciousness from the salted Calabria anchovy, clams, marinara sauce and caper pizza, or for something simple yet flavoursome, choose the Queen Green topped with spinach, soft herbs, pine nuts, pesto, ricotta and rocket.

Read more about Bosco Pizzeria.

Romanesca PIzzeria

This unassuming artisan pizzeria on Gloucester Road has been described by Mark Taylor as one of the best pizza joints in town – but you'll find that they're doing something a little different to the others. Romanesca are inspired by Pizza al Taglio from Rome – but instead of being served by the slice, they are cooked at the perfect point of fermentation; an extremely skilful and labour intensive method . Unlike the on-trend Neapolitan variety of pizza, the Al Taglio is baked slower and longer in rectangular trays, so it gets a perfectly crispy bottom. It has a slightly thicker crust and a wonderfully chewy crumb with big, open bubbles.

Read more about Romanesca.

Bocabar

The smell of freshly baked pizza fills Bocabar. If you're familiar with the sheer size of this place, you'll appreciate how impressive this is. Proper sourdough bases topped with an array of fragrant and colourful combinations, many taking inspiration from worldwide flavours. Bocabar place is rightly dedicated to sourcing foodstuff as ethically as possible, and the long menu lists loads of local ingredients. From fresh Severn Project spinach and Dorset watercress, to Bath blue cheese and smoked haddock from Newton Abbot, these toppings are top dolla.

Read more about Bocabar.

Pizzarova

Pizzarova’s logo is hand curled to make an ‘ok’ gesture, but one would assume it’s more coded towards being the gesture you make towards your mouth when you’ve eaten one of their Pizzas. Starting life as a Pizza oven in a Land Rover (hence “-rova”), Pizzarova was originally available to make its way over to festivals, parties and street markets alike bringing their delicious sourdough with them. Now a few years into their operation, they have two permanent homes, one at the top of Gloucester road and the other a tres chic shipping crate set up in the new Wapping Wharf district. Head to either and the minimalist set up with regards to decor and menu will wow you. There are three choices, The Lady-the classic margherita, Yours-where you have free reign on the choice of any toppings (Wriggle Pro-tip: Don’t do all of them) and Ours - the house suggestion you’re bound to fall in love with.

Read more about Pizzarova.

51 Stokes Croft

You probably fall into one camp with this one. Either you’ve had some seriously blurry nights out here, or you’ve sampled their excellent wood fired pizzas. Have it your way – but don’t rule the other 50 facets to this well-loved Stokes Croft joint: live DJs 5 nights of the week, an excellent beer-garden-sun-trap, a well stocked bar, super friendly service, an eccentric cocktail selection, killer burgers, pizzas and salads, a bizarre pub quiz, regular craft sessions, charity fundraisers, movie nights – to name but a few. What’s more, this is a local family affair. Mr Wolff (of Mr Wolff’s fame) is the top dog, and his family members are all at the helm.

Read more about 51 Stokes Croft.

Proven Pizza

Part of the Bagel Boy Franchise, Proven have got Pizza going on a Sicily via New York kind of hype, going by the slice. And we’re talking slices the size of your face. Head into the former Mr Wolf’s Baldwin Street site and pick any slice for £2 or £2.50, with the pay as you go approach allowing you more freedom in trying the incredible selection of toppings. These can include butternut squash, crispy sage, red onion, ricotta, thyme, tomato sauce, or capers, anchovy, black olive, cherry tomatoes, roasted garlic, mozzarella, rocket and tomato sauce. At Proven imagination is merited, considering the former toppings and that they have in the past made Banana and Chilli a topping. Under the left field toppings comes a thin and crispy base and an overriding sense that you’ve made the right choice for lunch.

Read more about Proven Pizza.

Romanesca PIzzeria

This unassuming artisan pizzeria on Gloucester Road has been described by Mark Taylor as one of the best pizza joints in town – but you'll find that they're doing something a little different to the others. Romanesca are inspired by Pizza al Taglio from Rome – but instead of being served by the slice, they are cooked at the perfect point of fermentation; an extremely skilful and labour intensive method . Unlike the on-trend Neapolitan variety of pizza, the Al Taglio is baked slower and longer in rectangular trays, so it gets a perfectly crispy bottom. It has a slightly thicker crust and a wonderfully chewy crumb with big, open bubbles.

Read more about Romanesca.

Pepenero

A family run Bristol institution, Pepenero can now be found in the beautifully vaulted cellars of the Beer Emporium, where Salv and his team continue to produce excellent organic Italian goodies. All their pizza bases, tomato sauce and vegetables are freshly prepared and entirely organic, and to ensure the whole range of ingredients (dairy, dairy free, any meat, or meat free) are suitable for all, they use different utensils to avoid any ​cross-contamination. Right on. But not for Salv the new glamour of sourdough – these are traditional pizza pies with a hearty, wholemeal base.

Read more about Pepenero @ Beer Emporium.

A capella

For Jennifer and Paul, artisan pizza dough is no new thing. These guys were using traditional fermentation techniques way before the basics of Neapolitan pizza became hip. They know better than most when it comes to stonebaking, and the Naples-trained chef has over 35 years experience in the trade. The ingredients are first class (the meats sourced from Sicily, the mozzarella from Naples) and the dough is proofed for 48 hours.

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The White Rabbit

Making the migration from Oxford (Oxodus) the White Rabbit has launched itself into the minds and hearts of the Clifton student faithful in the past year, opening in the old Richmond pub opposite the Bristol SU. The restaurant itself retains the classic pub feel of the Richmond with it’s oak walls and mantels but they have added a youthful spark to the place by decorating it with rabbit-strewn pizza boxes designed by artistic diners, which you are more than welcome to add to. The owners make an effort to give the diners an authentic Pizza experience as they import all their ingredients from Italy, honing in on the fine details such as high quality Italian Flour and finest DOP ham and Parmesan. For that Coeliac friend who has always been left out of your Pizza fun, reward their patience with one of the White Rabbit’s award winning Gluten-Free Pizzas- supposedly as good, if not better, than most normal pizzas.

Read more about The White Rabbit.