Sydney has proven yet again it’s one of the world’s great dining cities, with these new pizza places hitting their stride in an already competitive market. Sure, you could fly to Naples or New York, but you really don’t need to these days – there are plenty of local players pumping out pizzas on par with the world’s best, including these stellar joints that opened in 2018.

In 2018 we also had some big-name pizza guys visit to cook their versions of the cheesy bread discs – including Joe Beddia, whose Pizzeria Beddia – once named America’s best – popped up in Bondi, and Brooklyn’s Roberta’s took over Firedoor for one night only.

Pizza is always a good idea – if you haven’t tried these yet, add them to your list.

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Bella Brutta
It feels so good when a ho-hum venue is replaced by an excellent one. It happened when the very strange Grill King carked it and fun-times bar Redfern Surf Club moved into its Alexandria space.

Then a very average pizza franchise in Newtown gave up its King Street address to a supergroup of LP’s Quality Meats and Porteno restaurateurs. And what an ugly-to-beautiful transformation it’s been.

Say hello to Bella Brutta, land of the clam pizza. That’s surf clams, fermented chilli, lemon juice, parsley and garlic oil, on a sourdough-ish base neither Neapolitan-style nor New York-style but crisp enough to withstand topping sag.

The changing pizza selection runs the gamut of familiar to creative: tomatoes, garlic and basil; mortadella, green olives and fior di latte; cavolo nero and confit garlic.

If you want anchovies on your pizza you can choose how fancy and how much to spend: Olasagasti are $18; Don Bocarte also $18; smoked Nardin is $28. Technically they’re not on the pizza, though – the house prefers to keep those salty suckers unheated, so they come on the side.

One Broadsheet staffer liked this place so much she visited twice in one night. If that’s not a ringing endorsement, we don’t know what is.

The one-person pizza fritta, or fried pizza – fried pizza! – at this venue within a venue is a crisp-on-the-outside, pillowy-on–the-inside delight. Plus at only $12 it’s a bargain.

Executive chef Monty Koludrovic – who looks after Bonnie’s, the colourful 50-seater wine bar that opened in September inside Bondi Beach Public Bar (as well as across Icebergs and The Dolphin) – says the crisp base is first fried, then toppings are added before it’s finished in the woodfire oven, so it’s crunchy, toasty and hot. And, oh boy, it is.

The toppings are changed regularly but there are always three pizzas available: red, white and green. “To make a nice little Italian flag when you buy all three of them,” he says.

A killer (predominantly Australian) natural-wine list and eclectic soundtrack enhances the tasty experience.

Mary’s Pizzeria
Mary’s Pizzeria is possibly the only Sydney joint where you can get a pizza topped with fancy fior di latte and “crap shit” mozzarella. Where the dough and tomato sauce take a few days to make, before being covered in no-name pepperoni. Where you can order a “Tropical Fucker” (translation: ham-and-pineapple pizza) alongside a natural vino from Gippsland’s Unkel wines.

The intimate 12-seat pizzeria (plus an additional private dining room where the pinball machines used to be) opened midway though this year inside Chippendale’s Lansdowne Hotel. Unlike the broader pub, it has table service, cloth napkins and candles. Cutlery is supplied should you choose to digress to the other menu offerings (pasta, salads, crudo), but the focus is the pizza – super thin New York rounds, or Detroit square style. The kitchen’s open till late, so we recommend consuming these handheld delights at midnight.

Our pick? The spicy pepperoni. It’s the king of the trash pizza, says co-owner Jake Smyth. It’s square, with a bready, crunchy base and topped with three cheeses: fior di latte, low-moisture mozzarella in the middle (to preserve structural integrity), and high-fat mozzarella on the edges to create a delightful singed-cheese crust. It’s liberally laden with salty pepperoni discs, curled up at the edges from the oven heat. “It’s fucking crap pepperoni but we add heaps of it on,” Smyth told us.

Matteo Downtown
There is a surprising lack of decent pizza in the heart of corporate CBD Sydney, especially ones that are made in the doppio lievitazione style, where the dough is proved twice and naturally risen for 48 hours so there’s no yeast, resulting in light, elastic and extremely smashable bases.

That’s what happens at the slick CBD outpost of Orazio D’Elia and co’s Double Bay eatery Matteo, which serves up an extensive list of Naples-style pizzas – everything from classics topped with San Marzano tomatoes, black olives, capers, anchovies, basil and fior di latte, to less traditional such as the one spread with pumpkin puree, and then crowned with cauliflower, oyster mushrooms and almonds.

This place is huge – 600 square metres, in fact – with two woodfire ovens pumping out those steamy pizzas. If you’re there during aperitivo hour (Monday Friday 4pm to 6pm), complimentary snacks come with any drink order.

Need more pizza in your life? Here’s Broadsheet’s guide to the best in town. Or want to try a specific regional pizza? Read this.