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Ugh! Can't get a good pizza in London, Ont

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OK, we moved here from Vancouver 4 months ago and we are starving! Can't find a decent restaurant. I know we're spoiled as Vancouver has some of the best restaurants in the world. There are 4 outstanding pizza joints in Burnaby alone. We have tried just about every pizza place in North London and we're done with the pizza here! Pizza Pizza sucks and they can never find our house. Ceasar's is no good. Pizza Hut is only good if you eat in (and sometimes not even then). Frank & Gus is too greasy. Bertoldi's was awful and soggy. This evening we tried Capri Pizza. We have ordered it before and it was OK. The only reason we tried it again is because they dont have a problem finding our house. All the other pizza chains can never find our house. This evening's pizza from Capri had a crust that was so hard you could not even chew it. Plus Capri Pizza is SO expensive! I dont know how they stay in business when their pizza prices are almost double every other pizza place. A medium 3 topping is over $24! New Orleans is about $14 and their pizza is fairly good but they couldn't find our house the last two times. Rant over. PS. If you ever go to Vancouver, try the pizza at Me & Ed's or Bella.

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  1. I am sure you are familiar with Panago! They are in the north end and from BC. Everything about the West is better. ;)

    1. You mean to tell me you don't like little Caesars??? @ 25 Oxford W (LOL) I lived on that for 4 years when I was attending UWO

      1. I agree with you about the restaurants in London. However, London folks can get a little testy about our evaluation.
        I think it's about the opportunity to taste really good food which sets an expectation. I go to Toronto as often as I can manage, partly for the food.
        Hang fast. Don't lose your taste buds.

        1. What about Muldoon's Pizza? I think it's the best in london. But they don't deliver. Only take out and eat in.

          It's on Wonderland in a little stripmall. Not far north of Southdale.

          1. So, Pangolin's sister has lived in London for over 30 years, and has a a good palate, so I asked her. Below is her reply, edited to protect everyone concerned:

            "Personally, Frank and Gus is greasy but it's because everything is buried in a vat of cheese. In my world - good. Stobey's greasy and GOOD. Try Papa's - been around forever and good. It's [...] Melina's place. She makes it and it's all homemade. The crust is a focaccia type so traditional. They also do a good panzerotti. Tony's is also good - been around forever. I actually LOVE their pizza and panzerotti and they do a damn fine lunch special menu. Both Papa's and Tony's look like someone who paints houses is going to walk in and let loose with some automatic weaponry on you. I don't think either one has been redecorated since the day they opened their respective doors. La Fiamma is good period. It is a thin crust wood fire pizza that they do and it is awesome. And obviously this [Vancouverite] did not know about East Town Pizza. It was not my fave but they did win the North American pizza contest thingy more than once. They had a great Italian lunch buffet they ran on Fridays. I am not a big buffet person but it was damn fine eatin' with an excellent representation of different Italian food in addition to the pizza. The guy lost the whole show."

            1 Reply
            1. re: hungry_pangolin

              Thanks to everyone for the suggestions!

            2. OK so we tried a couple of more places and still looking! Tony's pizza was no good. Toppings OK and had a very hard crust but panzarotti was good. Cousin Vinnys had a nice crust but not enough cheese! Isnt that what most people want when they go for pizza? CHEESE! Next stop Bondi's.

              1 Reply
              1. re: foodsnobz

                Actually, No. I'm not advocating one place over another for this post, but pizza is a highly subjective thing. Too much cheese kills the other ingredients. To my mind, anyone who orders extra/double cheese has no interest in the other ingredients. Others will say that I'm an idiot for not wanting my sliced tomato, peperoni, etc, smothered under extra milk fat.

              2. i remember liking Joe Kool's Kitchen Sink Pizza when I was a student. My tastes are more high-brow now though so I'm not sure if it is good but I know it was one of the only ways I got my veggies! Definitely not "traditional italian" pizza.

                1. The only good pizza in London is made at home. I'm from the NY City area, my wife is from Southern Italy and nothing in London remotely compares to either. A great pizza starts with a great crust which even on its own, if salted properly, is delicious. No London restaurant comes even close. A great pizza, like any great Italian food, features the best ingredients - home grown tomatoes bursting with flavour, fresh basil leaves, flavourful olive oil, freshly made buffalo mozzerella. Each ingredient should be so flavorful that it doesn't have to be layeyed thickly. Three inches of the crap that passes for mozzerella cheese doesn't deliver as much taste or texture as a thin slice of fresh bocconcini or a light sprinkling of freshly-grated parmesan reggiano. What you'll get instead in London is a flavourless crust, either too hard or soggy topped by a thick tomato sauce lacking real tomato flavour and a thick coating of cheese with little taste and the cheapest possible topping layered thick to mask the lack of quality. London pizza is so thick with bad stuff, one bite often will cause everything to slide right off. So if you want a quality pizza, make it yourself, using a pizza stone and a high temperature for a proper crust and buying/using quality ingredients. If you don't want to make dough, you can but dough at the three Angelo's locations (their pizza is nothing special but they sell regular and whole wheat dough, fresh or frozen).

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: CookatHomeinLondon

                    Kitchen Sink Pizza at Kools, man been a while since I've heard those words strung together. Loved it!! Of course, this was after a few pitchers, and those little Jello shooters with whipped cream the cute waitresses used to sling.

                    Eastown Pizza used to have good 'za, but they went belly up, I believe. The Palasad, if it is still around, at Oxford and Adelaide did a credible job -- they have a wood burning over, thin crust.

                    London's dining scene is good, but definitely not comparable to big cities like Van, and T.O. and Montreal when it comes to takeout, gourmet food takeout, deli, bagels stuff like that. Think pizza is hard, try finding good Pho in London... Or a decent bagel. hahahahaha! And I love London.

                    1. re: antifoodie

                      Which Vietnamese places have you triede for Pho? There's a hole-in-the-walll place in a time strip plaza on the south sidde of Huron Street west of Highbury (there's also two other places on Huron) whose Pho is pretty good.

                      I'm from NY. Forget bagels here. ( Ilike Montreal bagels too though entirely different than NY).

                      As for Pizza, Eastown stopped being good years before they closed. Their entire focus was on toppings, neglecting the crust. The Palasad is still around and at least they exercise some restraint on toppings but no place here gets thin-crust right. A proper thin crust has some elasticity to it - it's neither soft nor crisp. Thin crust at the Palasad is cracker-like.

                  2. Try Byron Pizza. It's at Commissioners and Boler and their thin crust is fantastic. Their other crusts are good too, I'm just partial to thin crust.

                    1. I agree with the Boss. I think your best bet for take-out/delivery in London right now is the Panago at Wonderland and Fanshawe. Nice crust & fresh toppings.

                      For thin crust pizzas, Palasad aka La Fiamma is supposed to be the best. You can find a link to their menu pdf here:
                      http://www.palasad.com/menus/

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: phoenikia

                        I don't have anything to contribute to the pizza plea - I used to live in New Haven and boy, do I still miss those pies - but on the subject of decent nosh in London, some of the best pupusas I have ever had are available at this little Salvadorian place just down on Richmond after Dundas, a door or so away from Jewel of India. An unpretentious little place, not really a restaurant, but you can see the proprietor rolling dough and such right in front of you and it was tasty - be warned since she does it all herself it might take a little bit of time esp with other customers around but it is worth it.

                        1. re: js288uk

                          js288uk - Good suggestion for pupusas. Also available if you go to the Trails End market on Saturdays on Highway 2 east of London. And New Haven is a haven for pizza. I share your pizza withdrawl. What else do you like in London? Massey's on King was initially head and heels above any Indian in the city; it's not as consistent now but every other Indian in town makes me want to cook at home. In general, I find that even good ethnic restaurants in London tend to go downhill quicly catering to the tastes of Londoners. Barakat on Richmond has good Shwarma and other Lebanese fare. For fish and chips I like London Pride and Kalamata in Old South. Most Chinese restaurants I've tried are just awful. Some like Hong Ping but I find their sauces taste like someone OD'd with corn syrup - gloppy and artificial tasting. Some also like Kambie, and while their vegetables seem fresher than other Chinese in London, I find most of their dishes bland. El Amanecer was excellent when it opened on Viscount but since they've gone more upscale and opened in Wortley Village they seem to be catering more to Anglo tastes.

                          1. re: CookatHomeinLondon

                            Sadly last week the pupusa lady at Rincon Latino (I checked the name) had hurt her wrist and was not cooking, altho she was sitting in the shop, but I hope she will be back soon.
                            Have heard good things about Massey's from friends who know good Indian food, and they agree with you that the rest are all mediocre curryhouses.

                      2. Check out Maria's Pizza at Huron and Adelaide. The best pizza in London as far as my wife and I are concerned. They have a pickup special, cheap...

                        1. Has anybody tried Rico's on Trafalgar, east of Highbury? I've heard good things...

                          1. I gotta put in my two cents here. I have to agree with the choice of Muldoon's Pizza. I live in western Canada and try to always make it there when i'm in the area. For starters, the food is homemade. The owner is actually from Italy. The place is not one of these national franchise types. The value is awesome. I have a theory on this place. The loyal customer base likes to keep this hidden jewel just that...hidden. When I was a student at western, I practically lived off of the pizzas and panzarottis from Muldoon's. And their pasta is homemade too if I remember correctly. And that was over twenty years ago. This man must be doing something right to stay in business all these years battling the big chains.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: oddful1

                              OK will have to try Muldoon's. Maria's has been good and consistent and cheap. They could up their price a bit and I would stll buy it. We had Frank & Gus delivery last night. Talk about disgusting. How does a place like this stay in business? It was all burnt around the edges and very very salty. Get this - $34 + tip for a large 4 topping pizza! Who do they think they are? That's even more then Pizza Hut. I would never give them my business again. Thank goodness we're moving back to Vancouver where we have a choice of so many great restaurants and many fantastic pizza places. Bella, Papa Daves, Me & Ed's, the list goes on. Pizza is not hard to make. Don't know why so many of them suck.

                              1. re: foodsnobz

                                I finally got around to trying Muldoon's. Ordered the large deluxe, a caesar salad and 2 slices of cheesecake. Pretty good! Nice people running the place. Good pizza if you're looking for old school London, Ontario type pizza- similar to what I remember Mother's and Tony's serving in the 70s and 80s. And it didn't have that commercial taste I detect in chain pizza.

                                Hope to try Maria's and Frank & Gus's pizzas over the next couple months.

                            2. Has anyone tried that new Pizza place on Richmond? Its Neopolitan style pizza.

                              1. I've tried P.za on Richmond twice now. The first time I met CookathomeinLondon for lunch. We shared two lunch size pizza( wild mushroom with brie) and a Margherita. I think the lunch size was 6.99 each. The pizza dough isnt made in house, Cookathome told me he heard it came from Marshall's Pasta place. Anyway, I didnt have high hopes, but I was pleasantly surprised. It was decent, the sauce was good( needed more garlic) and there was a lot of fresh basil. I highly doubt the mozzarella was buffalo as the menu stated. I went back again for dinner with my spouse. She had the cesear salad( I asked if the dressing was homemade and it isnt) and we shared two dinner pizzas. Margerhita again and a shrimp, asparagus, carmelized onion, smoked bacon( white sauce) pizza. That pizza seemed to be popular as a lot of people were ordering. I believe that pizza was 14.99 and the dinner size Margharita was 11 or 12.99. My only complaint was that the slices were cut very unevenly. The dinner pizzas were cooked a bit longer than my lunch pizza and there was more bubbling. Overall, it was a decent pizza, I prefer a thin crust and this was very thin. I would eat there again, but I would only have pizza. The pastas on the menu didnt thrill me.

                                 
                                 
                                 
                                1. As one respondent already mentioned, taste is a pretty personal thing. I've had friends tell me about "great pizza joints" and I've tried it only to be totally disgusted. And the reverse is true as well. However, Stobie's on Richmond Street is pretty good in my opinion. It's take-out only though.

                                  1. Though I don't live in London, ON anymore, my family and I use to love Everfresh Pizza on Wharncliffe Road. I am VERY particular myself about pizza...sometimes the pizza sauce is too sweet for my liking, or the cheese is rubbery. I found their pizza AND their wings really good. Just a suggestion. Hope you've found something since your original post three years ago, but if not, maybe give them a try.