I moved from East to South London in the summer of last year. South London has been amazing, especially for food, but there’s one thing missing.
I live in Dulwich-ish, and this means I have access to a huge number of amazing local food places in Peckham and Camberwell. Here is a quick list of some of my favourites.
- Zeret Kitchen - incredible Ethiopian food, get the big sharing dish.
- Yada’s Green Kitchen - Kurdish, amazing with a group of people so you can try everything.
- Deserted Cactus - this has become a Saturday lunchtime staple.
- Made of Dough - wood fired pizza, maybe the best in the area.
It’s that last one that gives me pause. When I left Stepney I fully anticipated that I’d miss Efes and Tayyabs - both East End institutions that you must try! - but the thing I missed most was something of a surprise.
South London is an embarrassment of riches when it comes to pizza. We have, to name just a few, Made of Dough, Voodoo Ray’s, Yard Sale and Theo’s. All of these are excellent pizza. They’re made with fresh dough and ingredients, they’re not greasy, you don’t feel gross after you eat them. They are Good Pizza.
Mario’s Pizza does not make Good Pizza. Mario’s Pizza is not made with fresh, healthy ingredients. Mario’s makes pizzas that are inch-thick discuses of fat and carbohydrates. Your arteries go clang just from looking at them. You need a good lie down after eating one. They are Shit Pizza.
I miss them like hell.
Mario’s is the platonic example of Good Shit Pizza, a staple of my diet that I have been missing for far too long. I’ve now lived in each of London’s cardinal directions, and in each of them I’ve found a Good Shit Pizza place to call my own. In West London it was Pizza Pronto in West Kensington. In North, City Pizza on Holloway Road. In East, of course, it was Mario. From some cursory Googling all of these places are still open, so clearly there are others in London with the same discerning taste as myself.
I want to write a manifesto for Good Shit Pizza, to differentiate it from Good Pizza (as previously described), from Bad Shit Pizza (Tops, most kebab shop pizzas) and from plain old Bad Pizza, that which barely merits the name (Dominoes, Papa Johns, etc).
A Good Shit Pizza must:
- Have enough cheese to kill a small dog.
- Be a bit trashy but not mega greasy.
- Require a nap after consuming.
A Good Shit Pizza should:
- Be deep pan, or at least offer it as an option.
- Be reheatable the next day and taste perfectly fine.
- Come with a garlic and herb dip.
A Good Shit Pizza must not:
- Be anything a self-respecting Italian would put in their mouth.
- Include chicken. We still have standards.
- Have any tomato sauce visible; cheese coverage should be 100% at minimum.
I write this as a manifesto, as a statement, but also as a plea. South London, I beg you: provide me with this morsel, this one little thing. A Good Shit Pizza would make my life complete.