Fact: Pizza Hut have opened, on average, one new restaurant every 37 hours since 1958.*
L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele, on the other hand, have opened one new restaurant every 1.5 centuries. On average.
And as a reward for being the slowest-growing franchise in history, they’ve been routinely lauded as the world’s best pizza place; no surprise given that they essentially invented Neapolitan pizza when they opened there in 1870. Most recently, they famously made up the “Eat” portion of “Eat, Pray, Love” in which Julia Roberts literally falls in love with their Margherita.
This new venue is in Stoke Newington (“the Naples of Great Britain” – no-one, ever), and comes with an unassuming pastel blue shop front, and a bright interior sporting smooth whitewashed walls, exposed bricks and wine stacked on shelves. So you, know, pretty simple. Apart from the 2300kg custom-built, mosaic-tiled, wood-fired oven heated up to 450˚C that can cook pizzas in literally a minute.
About those: they’re made according to recipes and techniques that have been used in the family business for the past 150 years, and the chefs here are sticking faithfully to the original simple menu of Margherita or Marinara (although they’re bucking the trend here juuust a little in offering two additional specials on rotation). The youngest generation of the family, Marco Condurro, even came over pre-launch to make sure everything was ship-shape – or as they prefer their pizzas, “wheel-cart shaped” – and the four pizzaioli heading up the kitchen here have all been trained in the original branch. Long story short, this is the real deal – one of these guys even cooked the pizza famously shown in the film.
As for booze, you’re drinking whatever’s on the wall – which is generally wine from Campania, and the same classic Italian beers they’re offering in Naples, perfectly designed to have with your pizza.
Because it’s only polite to share on a date.
NOTE: L’Antica Pizzeria is open Tuesday to Saturday from 12-11pm, and Sundays 12-10.30pm. They are currently walk-in only.
*OTHER NOTE: Seriously, we did the maths on this. Pizza Hut currently have approximately 14,000 restaurants worldwide which have opened over the course of the 21,500 days since they opened in 1958. Which comes out to one new venue every 37 hours. Give or take.
125 Stoke Newington Church Street, N16 0UH
Sounds like you might be the kind of person to enjoy Panzo…