THE BEST PLACES FOR PIZZA IN KENT
Ah, pizza. Is there any food more perfect? From its crispy base to its tangy tomato sauce, from its creamy mozzarella to its infinite variety of toppings, a pizza is the food that can be both comforting and high end; it can be both familiar and unexpected. From its humble origins in Naples in the 18th century, the pizza is now one of the most popular types of food in the world (and in 2015, it was the most Instagrammed!). So where in Kent can you find the most delicious, the most exciting, the most social-media-worthy pizza? Here are some of insideKENT’s favourites.
GB Pizza Co, Margate
The pizza bases at GB Pizza Co in Margate are made to a special, unique recipe. It’s secret, and it’s utterly delicious, causing Zoe Williams of the Sunday Telegraph to proclaim that it was ‘the best pizza’ she had ever eaten. As if that isn’t enough, one of the most appealing things about this pizza place is that they don’t go overboard on the toppings – instead of being thrown onto the base willy nilly (as is the case with some pizzas, the ones that don’t taste so great and end up dropping their toppings all over your lap), they are carefully selected and allowed to speak for themselves in exactly the right quantities. As the name suggests, the pizza might be Italian, but the ingredients are British and include slow-cooked tomato sauce, British cured meats and local cheeses.
Follies, Folkestone & Hythe
Follies doesn’t like to think of itself as just another pizzeria, and that’s fair enough when you consider that this particular pizza restaurant is modern, exciting, authentic and – very importantly – it produces some truly exquisite pizzas. Every morning the chefs go about making the fresh pizza bases and getting the toppings ready for their customers. They do this using traditional methods and real Italian ingredients, and this combined create a thin, crisp artisan pizza. There are traditional flavours such as the Four Seasons (mozzarella, artichoke, ham, mushrooms and olives) as well as more modern takes like the Moroccan (mozzarella, Lebanese ground lamb, sheeps’ cheese, tomato, coriander and pine nuts). As a bonus, you can sip a cocktail as you eat your handmade pizza.
Il Padrino, Gravesend
Il Padrino has an auspicious claim to fame – it is the only restaurant in the Gravesend area that has a traditional wood-fired pizza oven, and therefore the only restaurant in the Gravesend area that can produce authentic pizzas the way they are meant to be made. The owners and chef are committed to using only the best, freshest ingredients, and this, they say, is yet another reason why these pizzas taste so good.
Located in a prime spot in the lovely seaside town of Sandwich – right on the quayside – Luigi’s is what most people’s image of an Italian restaurant and pizzeria would be. Rustic and intimate, relaxed and friendly, yet surprisingly spacious so everyone feels comfortable, Luigi’s has it all. That ‘all’ includes some pretty fine pizzas. The Fiorentina (spinach, parmesan, free range egg, black olives, mozzarella, tomato and garlic oil), Frutti di mare (tomato, garlic, clams, mussels, calamari and king prawns) and the queen of pizzas, the Margherita, all feature on this exciting menu.
The Chapter, Canterbury
If you’re looking for pizza that has been brought right up to date, then look no further than The Chapter on Burgate, Canterbury. With a wonderful sourdough base, the toppings used here are the finest Italian ingredients, picked to complement the crust. You can watch as the experts create your pizza from scratch – it’s a mesmerising process – and don’t forget to ask about the cocktails; there will be something that goes perfectly with whatever pizza it is you have chosen, whether that is the Zucca (pumpkin, crispy kale, walnuts and goat’s curd), the American (pepperoni, tomato and fior di latte) or the Salsiccia e Friarielli (fennel sausage, fior di latte, wild broccoli, chilli and parmesan). Fine wines and a carefully chosen range of craft beers can also be ordered.
Everyone at Luben is passionate about their pizzas, and it shows. Located within Folkestone’s exciting Creative Quarter, this impressive pizzeria serves authentic wood-fired pizza, created using a special sourdough recipe unique to Luben. As an intimate place to wine and dine, Luben is lovely indeed – or if you prefer to eat this amazing pizza (including flavours such as Kentish fennel sausage with wild broccoli on a buffalo ricotta and tomato base; and chicken, pancetta, roast peppers and red onion) in the comfort of your own home, you can have a takeaway version, which is just as good as the eat-in kind.