Like all right thinking Londoners, I view Oxford Circus with an air of suspicion and fear. On a bank holiday weekend you can barely move for poncho clad tourists posing for pictures and getting very lost. Finding myself stranded there one evening and in need of a quick dinner I smugly strolled past the gawping visitors and grabbed some of the best ‘fast’ food in Town.
A few minutes walk from Oxford Street, Pizza Pilgrims second location is in the lovely surroundings of Kingly Court, nestled between Carnaby Street and Regents Street. I’ve been a fan of their product since before they had bricks and mortar and the quality of their product hasn’t changed. This is pizza that would make even a hardened Neapolitan mafioso sob and think of the Amalfi coast. Light, chewy dough with a wonderful charry kiss from the red-hot oven. The toppings are simple and focussed – there’s no hot-dog stuffed crust or salad-in-the-middle options here.
The new location has given them scope to explore more of the italian street food repertoire – I had some stunning little arancini – deep fried risotto balls with gooey mozzarella in the middle. The pizza was their special – a bianca (no tomato sauce) with porchetta (thinly sliced cooked pork). Heavenly stuff, they really do make the best in London.
For dessert, rather than try to make their own gelato they’ve made the eminently sensible decision to team up with the seminal Gelupo (sister to Bocca Di Lupo). Their sour cherry and ricotta flavour is just wonderful.
I was in and out in under 30 minutes, had a fantastic meal and drinks for less than £20 and what should be a foodie landmark. Just don’t tell the Japanese.