Pizza Religion Hawthorn East
It goes without saying that Italian is a much-loved cuisine in Melbourne. As such, Pizza Religion has quickly become a crowd pleaser. An open kitchen format gives diners a behind-the-scenes view into the pizza making process. “We weren’t classically trained in Italy but wanted to do something a bit different,” says co-owner Matt Hunter. A simple formula of traditional Italian flavours with a twist, partnered with fresh produce is the key to Pizza Religion’s success, so much so that there a plans afoot to expand their dining space and add a wine bar in the near future.
Pizza Religion was recently awarded Best Pizza in Australia during the Global Pizza Challenge for their 18-hour braised beef cheek, celeriac and truffle finish, which is a permanent fixture on their small menu among favourites like the roast lamb shoulder (braised for 12–14 hours), which is one of their biggest sellers. Get in early as this small pizza bar seats just under 30, with takeaway and delivery options all available if there is no seating left, plus a courtyard out the back that caters for large groups and functions.