Written by Colin Fraser
Deep pan, thin crust, stonebaked, woodfired, stuffed crust, no crust – however they come, pizza is forever my soulmate. Even those pizzas with no centre base and salad in its place. Actually thinking of it, no – they can go.
Pizza Night is every Friday on my dinner calendar – but it doesn’t take much to persuade me to eat pizza more than once a week. You can imagine how much pizza I can get through in a year but rather than disgracing myself with accountability of my gluttony, let’s detour straight into my perfect pizza pointers.
Let’s start off with some history and you may be surprised to learn that Aberdeen is home to the oldest Italian restaurant in the UK. La Lombarda has sat on its corner of Castlegate since 1922 seeing itself through World War II, the demise of the city’s fishing industry and a fair few oil industry crashes. If only restaurants could talk.
Turning 100 this year, I’d say its secret to longevity is down to its authentic and classic Italian pizzas. With an extensive list of pizza toppings using its signature light and crisp golden base, you’ll need every last gram of concentration to pin down your choice.
Either sit in or take-away but I’d strongly suggest booking a table to take in the full La Lombarda experience. Get a slice of Italy in its cosy restaurant with exposed brick work and a hut style bar that looks like it’s been plucked straight from an idyllic Italian town.
Taking the faff out of pizza night, Mike’s Pizza Gaff removes the hard work with its pre-made dough, sauces and essentials to create epic pizza at home. And if you really can’t be fudged cooking, its restaurant The Gaff does the graft for you, firing out various pizza base styles all waiting to be finished with your choice of toppings. I spied its New York 16 inch pizza with pancetta, anchovies, olives and shallot on Instagram and it’s definitely getting hammered when I visit.
I’ve always been envious watching any American sitcom where the characters gather in a bustling pizzeria pulling apart a gigantic pizza enormous slice by enormous slice. Staring out my window like an exhaling damsel, the large shaped pizza slice sized void in my heart was left unfilled – that was until Big Mannys’ Pizza slid straight to my rescue.
I mean, the name is a give away but these pizzas are colossal in size. I’m talking ‘angle the box to get through a doorway’ sized pizzas. Astonished with my first encounter, once I levelled up on both hands to manoeuvre a slice to my mouth, astonishment soon turned to bewonderment.
Must orders from here has to be The Tilly Cheesesteak (its local collab pizza with the Tilly Butcher) and for the veggies, The Grazing Squad is the bomb. The Lil’ Twist pizza bites and mini NYC style cookies from Cookie Cult need to make it onto your order too and if you manage to eat all that in a night – I salute you!
Taking the city by storm, Big Mannys’ fed demand from its beginnings in The Adams to now opening up its first shop front on Pittodrie Street.
No stranger to food markets and events around the North-east, Haydn’s Woodfired Pizza is still to be ticked off my list as I’m normally hands full (and face full) with foodie purchases.
With fresh pizzas bubbling cheese, toppings galore and plenty of sides, there’s lots to love about this brand. Its take on the crowd splitter of the pizza world (the Hawaiian pizza) is right at the top of my list when I finally order.
I love Aberdeen Beach and I love pizza, so you can imagine my elation when Project Pizza parked up its pizza van on the beachfront. Featuring experimental pizza creations (known as its projects) alongside its staple options, diners can expect globe trotting adventures with tastes of Italy with its Bawz Oot meatball pizza, Asia with its Korean Fried Chicken pizza and the spices of India with the Chicken Pizza Masala – the list goes on.
Back in 2019, excitement hit the city as two new restaurants took up residency in the prestigious Esslemont & MacIntosh building. The once prized department store was transformed into a double-decker food stop with The Esslemont on the ground floor and Mac’s Pizzeria firing out traditional Neapolitan pizzas above.
This spot makes a perfect location to grab a quick work lunch or after work pizza and drinks with super chill and no-fuss atmosphere. My recommended order for you has to be the Mac’s Signature oozing with mozzarella and white Scottish cheddar cheeses, red onion and blaggis (black pudding and haggis) with extra toppings of sunblush tomatoes and prosciutto added for good measure.
Part of the Granite City food powerhouse that is the McGuinty’s Group, Mac’s Pizzeria is the youngest of its growing list of sister eateries, but won’t be the youngest for long…