Whether it’s outdoor dining, eating inside or taking it away to eat at home or in the park, pizza is always a classic option, as well as easily transportable. The rise of gourmet Italian style pizza in Berlin may once have seemed like a trend, but it looks like it’s truly here to stay. Here are some of the top-tier pizzas you need to taste test.
When you think of the word standard, you may think basic, but not here. At Standard – Serious Pizza, the focus is on simplicity, minimalism, and getting the foundations right. Here it’s all about the Neapolitan style pizza, with a thick doughy crust. While the original venue is in Prenzlauer Berg, Standard also has locations in Mitte and Charlottenburg.
The menu is on the smaller side, again keeping things simple.
If you’re dining in, the simplicity also extends to the interiors which are sleek with industrial touches. If this is the standard, it may be hard to others to keep up!
Located in the heart of Kreuzkölln, Gazzo is popular with the locals as well as others who travel from other areas of Berlin to devour these sourdough pizzas. Fermenting the dough gives the pizza a slightly tangy and overall satisfying base, which is then quickly baked at 400 degrees.
Toppings are a mix of local produce from Berlin and Brandenburg, and authentic Italian staples such as tomato sauce and olive oil. The menu also namedrops iconic local suppliers such as The Sausage Man Never Sleeps and Katie’s Blue Cat. The ultimate result is a style that is Italian-inspired but truly Berlin – as the menu states, “It’s not a traditional style – just a style we love”. There’s also vegan cheese available if you’re so inclined.
If you’re not too full from your main course, you’ll have to try their Buffalo Soft Serve, made with fresh buffalo milk from Brandenburg. Play it safe with sweet toppings, or if you’re more daring try the option drizzled with olive oil.
From the iconic neon signage outside to the sophisticated yet homey interiors, this is a great place to soak up the vibes as you eat. It can get very busy at peak times, but the canal is only a short walk away if you’d prefer to eat by the water.
Zola is a mainstay of Paul-Lincke-Ufer, having opened back in 2015. The prime canal-side location in Kreuzberg is a popular spot for diners, and the restaurants on this strip are often busy. After the relocation of Cocolo Ramen, Zola expanded into the empty space, turning a small but cozy pizza spot into the large restaurant it is now, complete with a large canal-side deck for outdoor dining. However, you still may need to queue on busy evenings!
Here, it’s all about authenticity. The thin Neapolitan base is thicker at the crust and topped with ingredients imported from Italy. It’s then baked in a wood-fired oven at 485 degrees for only 60 to 90 seconds. The oven itself is truly a piece of art. It’s a beautifully black-tiled Stefano Ferrara oven from Naples. The owners call it the heart of the restaurant and it’s easy to see why.
The menu ranges from the classics such as the Margherita with tomato, fior di latte, and basil, to the more unique such as the Zola, with pears, walnuts, and gorgonzola. There is often a special on offer as well, just in case you’ve tried everything on the menu already.
The atmosphere is still homey but also very lively. If you’re looking for a more relaxed experience it may be best to come at non-peak times or to visit Zola at its other locations at East Side Gallery or Funkhaus Berlin.
If you’re vegetarian or vegan, sometimes the joy of going for pizza can be dampened when your only choice is between a Margherita or a generic veggie option. However, vegetarian and vegan options are abundant in Berlin, especially if you know where to look. Sotto in Wedding offers only vegetarian and vegan pizzas, and there’s plenty to choose from.
Here the pizzas are crispy, with a seasonal menu and accompanying wine list. The ingredients here are particularly inventive. If you’ve never had smoky carrot, lemon or mint on a pizza now might be the time to venture out. Many of the vegan pizzas also feature an almond-based cream cheese. With so many options, even your meat-eating friend won’t feel like they’re missing out. Not only that but there are also offer gluten-free bases available so everyone truly is included here.
The venue is small and cozy and very popular with the locals. Humboldthain Park is also very close by if you’d like to have a pizza picnic.
With so many pizzerias in Berlin, do you ever get a bit stressed deciding which to pick? If so, let me suggest Zerostress Pizza. Jokes aside, these guys know what they’re doing. Zerostress originally started as a DIY food truck serving pizzas at markets as well as festivals throughout Europe.
Since 2015 they’ve been settled in Friedrichshain in a small street just off Frankfurter Allee, placing them right between the Boxhagener Kiez and the Samaritan Quarter. The decor is bold with a punk feel, and yes that’s a skull in their logo. It almost seems contradictory to the name, but the service and delicious eats will definitely melt your stress away.
Pizzas range from the more indulgent with lots of cheeses and Italian meats to simpler but still satisfying classics such as the Bufalina with tomato sauce, buffalo mozzarella, and basil. There is also a selection of vegan pizzas with vegan cheese available.
More recently they’ve expanded to an additional location in Lausitzer Platz in Kreuzberg, this one being a Pizza & Winery venue. The addition of an extensive wine list and slightly less punk-influenced interiors gives this location a more grown-up feel, while still keeping the essence of Zerostress.