Review of 'L'Antica Pizzeria da Michele'

I have to say I read with great excitement a few month's ago about the arrival of what some say is the best pizza in the world to London: L'Antica Pizzeria da Michele. So, on a Saturday with nothing to do we made the pilgrimage to Stoke Newington to try it but, taking a clue from what we had read, we made sure to be quite early to avoid the queues of often more than 30 minutes in arriving as we did just after 4:00 pm.

It is a bit of a trick to get to but we ended up driving and parking on a side street. The restaurant is rather humble in appearance in a fairly quiet side street of this area of London with only the queues outside making it stand out. Thankfully at this time of the day there was no queue at all as we arrived. The ground floor of the restaurant has only a few tables with the stone pizza oven in the elevated kitchen at the back.

Ground Floor Interior

Ground Floor Interior and Sign

Oven

The plain interior with wood floors and simple tables with walls decorated with a few historical pictures from the business and several murals of poetry or, near the oven, their story written (in English) on the wall.

The ground floor was busy when we arrived so we were asked by the waitress whether upstairs would be acceptable - We agreed and were directed up the side stairs. It was like walking through someone's flat as we ascended the wood stair case to the first floor which was decorated much like the ground floor with only one other table occupied.

Staircase

First Floor

We were left to chose our own table so we picked a small one beside an open window at the front. A short time later the waitress assigned to the floor came over to give us a copy of the single-page menu. There are only two items on the food menu: “Pizza Margherita” and “Pizza Marinara”. The “Margherita” comes in regular (£7.90) and “double mozzarella” (£9) sizes/flavours and the “Marinara” comes in regular (£6.90) or large (£7.90). It makes ordering pretty simple…for the two of us, in order to cover the entire menu, we ordered the double mozzarella margherita and the regular marinara as well as a couple of soft drinks.

Sign

We did not have to wait long as a few minutes later our piping hot margherita arrived at the table. Spilling over the sides of the plate it was a simple vision of loveliness: With only tomato, fior di latte cheese (mozzarella made with cow's milk rather than buffalo) and basil toppings. The pizza arrived uncut but this did not really slow us down all that much as we tucked in with our table knives and slid slices onto our plates. The crust is the star here: Perfectly cooked with the right amount of char and chewiness. The toppings were very good quality but did not provide a lot of flavour.

Pizza Margherita - Double mozzarella

A few minutes later we had to make room on our small table for our second pizza: The marinara. With only tomato, garlic and heaps of oregano this saucy number made up in flavour for what the margherita lacked. Delicious but very sloppy to eat with the tomatoes particularly tasty. I enjoyed the strong flavour of oregano but my companion was not so keen.

Pizza Marinara

As we proceeded to devour our dinner we were able to look around our surroundings. On the wall nearest was written a poem, in Italian, to the Margherita and on the wall opposite one for the Marinara. A bit of nostalgic fun.

Marinara Poetry

The service was serviceable and helpful but not fantastic (we did have advise on ordering). The bill came to an incredibly reasonable £20.40 which did not include a tip (they do accept cards). As we left we dropped in on the kitchen to have a look and the chefs grinned widely as we gave them our thumbs up. Certain the ground floor has much more of a buzz and a feeling of a family run business than the quiet and, frankly, boring upstairs.

There was a queue for the evening just beginning to form as we left…

Really good pizza. Best in the world? Well, I can't say I can fault it in any way. Delicious crust and simple but tasty toppings make this one of my all time favourites…

Rating:

Review Date: 2017-08-12


Cuisine: Italian

Address: 125, Stoke Newington Church Street N16 0UH London, United Kingdom

Public Transport: NRLOGO Stoke Newington

Location: London (England) - Stoke Newington

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Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7687 0009

URL: https://www.facebook.com/damichelelondon/