A search for somewhere serving decent pizza that was actually open on New Year’s Day brought us yesterday to La Perla in the Jordaan (Tweede Tuindwarsstraat 14) where they do indeed serve good pizza. The ingredients are all organic, a wood oven is used and the menu includes quite a few interesting selections. But, good and all as it is, it doesn’t get my vote for Amsterdam’s best. I find their pizzas to be a bit salty, and the base a little too dry. They’re also expensive at around €13 on average (and not particularly big).
My absolute favourite place to eat pizza in Amsterdam is Fuoco Vivo at De Clercqstraat 12, just a block from Marnixstraat. It is staffed exclusively by Italians and a good portion of the clientele also seems to come from the home of the pizza. As with La Perla they have a wood oven and use organic ingredients imported from Italy. Their menu is slightly more varied but also more authentically Italian; for example, they have a proper Marinara pizza with just tomato sauce, garlic and oregano. Their base is thin and has the perfect texture. Most of their pizzas come in at €11.50 and, unlike La Perla where seating is limited to one large table and some barstools, they can seat about 40 people in the restaurant.
There are plenty of other places that are worth a visit including: Yam Yam (Frederik Hendrikstraat 90) where they also serve pasta and other dishes; De Pizzabakkers (Haarlemmerdijk 128 and Overtoom 501) where the pizzas are almost as good as Fuoco Vivo and they specialise in prosecco as an accompaniment; and Da Portare Via (Leliegracht 34 – take-away only, but with restaurants at two other locations) where you’ll certainly find a tasty wood oven pizza, if nothing spectacular.
I should also give an honourable mention to the €5 pizzas near Leidseplein. For sure there’s a world of difference between those mentioned above and, say, Porto Carrara, one of a few places offering mostly tourists about thirty different pizzas all at €5, but given the price they are surprisingly good. They’ll certainly do the job if you’re looking for a quick bite to eat before a gig in the nearby Paradiso. Keep an eye out for the non-English-speaking but very friendly Italian owner who’s clearly very proud of his business.
But after 18 months of careful research – a tough but necessary task – I’m confident that Amsterdam’s* best pizza is to be found at Fuoco Vivo. Unfortunately it’s closed for an extended break over the New Year period so we couldn’t take my sister and her husband there yesterday. But La Perla was a very able substitute under the circumstances.
*Or at least the best pizza in Centrum/Jordaan/Westerpark/Oud West. I haven’t really explored the options in Oost, de Pijp or Zuid.