Soho is a hot bed for great lunch locations however the not-so subtle smattering of a certain pizza chain has made it quite hard to find some decent dough here. Step up Pizza Pilgrims. Stuck on the corner of Carlisle Street and Dean Street is their fresh pizzeria, a considerable step up from their famed and humble street food van often food down Berwick Street. We walked on down one Tuesday lunch time to give it a try.
The Joint: Pizza Pilgrim, 11 Dean Street, Soho, London, W1D 3RP. You can see their snazzy website up over here.
The Vibe: We strolled into Pizza Pilgrim’s rustic and relatively new two levelled joint shortly after opening time, early enough to bag a quiet spot by the window. After ordering the guest pizza for the week, the Carbonara, we settle down and watch the diverse world of Soho unfold around us. Dean Street is one of the main walkways through this cosmopolitan area of town and it’s a great place for a spot of people watching. Inside though the atmosphere is relaxed, the staff are talkative, and you can easily switch off from the constant stream of hungry visitors through the door. It really is an ideal way to spend time away from your desk in the Summer.
Pizza Pilgrim was born from humble beginnings. Two brothers who simply wanted an alternative from their desk jobs travelled to Italy to bring home an authentic Piaggio Ape van and turn it into a food truck. It’s gone rather well since and this Soho joint is the culmination of their great work selling pizza to the crowds in street markets, festivals, and fairs. It’s simple too and that’s part of the charm – no nonsense pizzas with fresh toppings and a touch of class.
We’ve ordered the Carbonara pizza – their guest pizza for the week, and it arrives complete with roasted pancetta, fior di latte (Mozzarella made with cow’s milk instead of buffalo), egg yolk, pecorino cheese, and sprinkled with black pepper. The dough is soft yet well cooked, the cheese is strong and tasty, and the pancetta is just the right side of crispy. The lack of a tomato base is an authentic choice and one that’s covered well by the runny egg yolk and natural moisture from the cheese. It’s not often we’ll get a pizza without that classic tomato layer and you don’t really miss it. It’s a good size too, with Pizza Pilgrims opting for a one size fits all approach, and competitively priced at £10 for the eat in version.
Opening a restaurant is always a brave move but with pizza this good it’s one that’s starting to pay off for the Pizza Pilgrim brothers. Next time you’re in Soho and you fancy a slice…cross over the road from the obvious chain you know so well and sample a far more authentic taste of Italian.
The Price: Between £7 and £10 for a decent sized pizza, and a fairly standard £2 for a soft drink.
Pizza Pilgrims was visited by Tom in July 2014