2018 - What a fuckin’ delicious year.
This year we’ve devoured dozens of pies. We’ve tried the very best Edinburgh has to offer, and travelled to some of the UK’s most hyped pizza spots - from Paesano Pizza in Glasgow, Crazy Pedro’s in Manchester and Voodoo Rays in London. As 2018 comes to a close, it’s time for the inaugural Slice or Die Pizza Club Awards.
Just to make this clear, we aren’t gonna fuck about with the small things. We appreciate some places have better service, some better drinks, while others have better value or wider appeal. This is all about the pie. Before we dive into this, we just want to make a point that despite trying pizza from all over the UK, no outsiders made it into our top three. For a wee city like Edinburgh, we’ve got class pizza and proud to call this home! Without further ado, here are the best three pies of 2018:
3rd. Agrodolce - Dough Pizzeria, Rose Street.
On a sunny April afternoon, we sat at Dough’s outdoor terrace and ate one of the best pies we’ve ever encountered. The Agrodolce is a white base (no tomato), and as a style of pizza we have a particular affinity for, we can confirm this is one of the best examples around. As with any Dough pizza, the dough and the bake are particularly great - this is where they excel. Take this initial greatness, and top it with a bold combination of fig, prosciutto and gorgonzola and you get a one-way ticket to flavour town. The pizza had us reminiscing of time spent in Catalunya, watching beautiful Spanish sunsets. It’s so delicious in fact, you forget about the controversy of fruit on pizza. The Agrodolce is the Hawaiian’s suave European cousin and is here to break hearts. Then why is it no higher on our list? Well just like a holiday romance, the Agrodolce pie has jumped on his zesper and driven off into the sunset. With a new menu, the pie is no longer available.
2nd. Civerinos - Civerinos Slice, Forrest Road.
If you’re gonna name a pie after your place - it better be fucking good. After a number of disappointing house specials, we met the Civerinos pie with trepidation. Relief turned to joy, as we realised this was truly something special. A house pie should not only be delicious, but it should be unique, it should characterise everything you do. Civerinos sacked off tradition for this pie, spurning the traditional mozzarella for little dollops of burrata, that delightfully wobble in little piles atop of marinara sauce, pepperoni, Sicilian sausage and rosemary. The result is more than a unique looking pie: every ingredient has a job to do and everything works in harmony. The Sicilian sausage and rosemary in particular stand out as making this pie something special. If you know good pizza, you know the Civerinos. It’s perhaps the most famous slice in Edinburgh, and when we tried it we described it as ‘fucking iconic’ - a statement, after having it several more times, we still attest to.
1st. Number 7 - East Pizzas, Commercial Street.
Such an understated name for a magnificent pie. The ‘Number 7’ is our pizza of the year for one simple reason - it’s the best god damn pizza we’ve ever eaten, and we don’t mean this year, we mean ever - not even a pizza tour of NYC produced a pie we swooned over so badly. Before we get into the toppings, we just want to highlight East Pizzas’ great dough. The crust is monumental, big and thick and billows with delicious aromas as you pull it apart. We haven’t seen anywhere else offer a style of crust like this, and it really is fantastic. The pies are always baked to perfection, with this beauty of a crust guaranteed to be flecked in char. The Number 7 takes this great dough and tops it with a tomato sauce, lamb salami, salsa verde, goat’s cheese and anchovies. This combination sounds wild, not willing to be defined by a particular style or nationality, but the Number 7 is instead defined by absolute fucking deliciousness. The best pie of the year should be one that surprised us and delighted us in equal measure, and this is exactly what happened with this pizza. We do want to make particular mention of the lamb salami, or as one of our more witty pals retorted - salambi, that was produced by local heroes East Coast Cured. The salambi was so impactful, so different yet so familiar and was truly the crown jewel of this pie.
So that’s our top three pies this year. We look forward to another year of eating great pizza and seeing who makes it into the Slice or Die Pizza Club Awards in 2019. Finally, a quick shout out to say a massive thank you to everyone who has read our reviews, followed us on instagram or bought Slice or Die merchandise. You’re all heroes and thanks for taking interest in a couple of pizza nerds. We love you.