Jozi Pizza Wars: Episode 3

Most of you probably know about the JoziPizzaWars by now but if you don’t, read here. The war rages on.

Today’s post includes reviews of four diverse pizzerias. My co-conspirator Tim reviewed most of these places in his first JoziPizzaWars post, so check that out if you’d like to compare our opinions.

Here we go:

86 Public
The Grove, Melle and Juta Streets, Braamfontein

86 Public is, as far as I know, the only legit pizza place in trendy Braamfontein. It’s in a good location, off a courtyard in a popular student square called the Grove. 86 Public offers crazy topping combinations — bacon, dark chocolate, feta, and pear is just one example — sized medium or large, ranging in price from R60 ($5.00) to R100 ($8.50). The prices are comparatively high but you’re paying for the nice location and atmosphere.

86 Public’s pizza crust is light and crispy and I love the variety of toppings. But I think the sauce could use a few more herbs and spices. The veggie pizza I ordered was a bit bland, especially later on when eaten cold.

On a positive note, 86 Public has good, free wifi and plays great music.

Ratings:
Base/crust: 4
Flavor/sauce: 2.5
Cold factor: 3
Atmosphere/service: 5

Overall rating: 14.5/20

86 Public

I really dig the vibe at 86 Public. The pizza is good but not great, in my opinion.

Picola Pizza and Pasta
Linden Square Shopping Centre, Linden

Picola is a locals-only joint and I only know about it because my boyfriend used to live in Linden. Picola’s pizza is, in my opinion, among the very best in Joburg. The crust is the perfect thickness and consistency, the cheese is plentiful, the sauce is well seasoned, and the toppings are fresh and generously distributed. Picola also has good service.

However, Picola’s atmosphere is a major problem — cramped, smokey, and just not conducive to eating. So I can only recommend Picola for take-away. The good news is that take-aways are prepared amazingly fast at Picola, usually within 5-10 minutes of placing the order.

Ratings:
Base/crust: 5
Flavor/sauce: 5
Cold factor: 4.5
Atmosphere/service: 1

Overall rating: 15.5/20

Picola pizza closeup

The cheese is the best thing about Picola’s pizza. It’s perfect pizza cheese.

Picola outside

Picola’s location leaves a bit to be desired.

Toni’s Fully Furnished Pizza Co.
101 Lancaster Ave, Craighall Park

Toni’s Pizza is a Pretoria institution that opened a location in Joburg two years ago. The greatest thing about Toni’s in my opinion, is that they offer small, 15-centimeter-wide pizzas that cost less than half the price (usually between R30 and R40) of their full-size pizzas. The adorable 15-centimeter pizzas are perfect for one person. I can easily eat a whole one without feeling like I pigged out, and walk out of the restaurant spending less than R50 (about $4.25).

Toni’s pizza is also delicious. My only complaints are: 1) The pizzas need more sauce (a common problem with South African pizza); and 2) You have to pay extra for chiles. (WTF?)

Ratings:
Base/crust: 4.5
Flavor/sauce: 3.0
Cold factor: 4.5
Atmosphere/service: 4.5

Overall rating: 16.5/20

Toni's

My adorable little pizza from Toni’s. I wish I’d put something next to it for scale.

Andiccio24
Multiple locations

Tim and I made an exception to our rules in reviewing Andiccio, as it’s a chain with several locations around Gauteng province. (I guess Toni’s is technically a chain too, as it has three locations in Pretoria.) We decided to review Andiccio because: 1) It’s a relatively small chain, nothing like the big national/international brands; 2) We’d heard good things about their pizza (actually Tim had already tried it); and 3) Andiccio asked us to review them and we are easily flattered.

Andiccio is very different from most other Joburg pizza places in that its menu does not offer any set topping combinations. Instead, the customer chooses from a dizzyingly wide array of bases, cheeses, and toppings, creating his or her own unique pizza.

I chose the intriguing chakalaka base (chakalaka is a South African spicy tomato relish) with cheese, avocado, and brinjals (eggplant). I liked my pizza, especially the spicy base, but I was overwhelmed by all the choices — I would rather have at least a few set combinations to choose from. Also the open-ended topping selection process can jack up the price of your pizza very quickly if you’re not careful.

Tim and I ate at Andiccios’ Greenside location, which is pleasant enough albeit a bit fast-food-like. Andiccio offers free delivery and is open 24 hours a day — two perks that are relatively rare in Joburg.

Ratings:
Base/crust: 4.5
Flavor/sauce: 3.5
Cold factor: 4.5
Atmosphere/service: 2.5

Overall rating: 15.0/20

AndiccioPizza2

My Andiccio creation was very tasty, but I second-guessed my ingredient choices afterward.

End of round three. Here’s where we stand so far:

1) The Ant Café: 17.5/20
2) Chalkboard: 17/20
3) Modo Mio: 17/20
4) Toni’s Fully Furnished Pizza Co.: 16.5/20
5) YOLO: 16/20
6) Nonna Mia’s Kitchen: 16/20
7) Picola Pizza and Pasta: 15.5/20
8) Picobella: 15/20
9) Andiccio24: 15/20
10) 86 Public: 14.5/20
11) Gema Trattoria: 13.5/20

Click here to read all of my JoziPizzaWars posts. You can also follow the war on Twitter at #JoziPizzaWars.

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10 Comments

  • Reply JoziPizzaWars: Episode 3 | all-TIM-ate February 11, 2015 at 4:27 pm

    […] Heather and I are still on our quest to find the best pizza in Jozi. We met up two Sundays ago at Andiccio24 to catch up, regroup and get back on track with our mission. Heather has written about our time there and you can read about it here. […]

  • Reply Tumtum February 11, 2015 at 4:37 pm

    Recently had amazing pizza from Pizza Luna in Rivonia. My friend had a vegetarian pizza and she loved it too.

    I must say I feel the same about Andiccio. Their pizzas are great if you choose the right combo.I wish they had some set pizzas too. It’s confusing enough in a normal pizzeria trying to decide what to order. Now try navigating through a minefield of bases, sauces and toppings. Exhausting!

    And it can get pricey if you’re not careful with what you pick.

    • Reply 2summers February 11, 2015 at 4:40 pm

      Ha! I’m glad you agree. It’s a nice change of pace but I would definitely prefer a slightly similar menu.

  • Reply namrata February 11, 2015 at 6:43 pm

    Loving all the pizza reviews! Aren’t you both pizza’ed out yet??! Must say, I ate at Modo Mio a few months back and sadly wasn’t much impressed. Might have been a bad day! Btw, have you tried Osteria Rossa in Bedfordview? That one I really like.

    • Reply 2summers February 11, 2015 at 7:29 pm

      Actually yes, I am pizza’d out. But I need to see this through to the end.

      This is the problem with restaurant reviews — I feel like you really need to go several times to get a really firm picture of a place. But if I did that I would weigh 1000 pounds 🙂

    • Reply 2summers February 11, 2015 at 7:29 pm

      And no, I haven’t been to that place in Bedfordview but I think I’ve heard others rave about it.

  • Reply Mila March 2, 2015 at 9:07 pm

    How about Trabella in Illovo? Thin base & excellent veggie options
    Also, our round-the-corner go-to place is Piza e Vino in Melville (of course!)

    Yum! Enjoy 🙂

    • Reply 2summers March 3, 2015 at 9:40 am

      Hi Mila, I’ve considered adding Trabella but for some reason I didn’t love it the one time I went…Need to give it another try though. And yes, Piza e Vino is great but we’ll probably leave that one out since it’s such a big chain. Anyway thanks for the comment!

  • Reply Lisa Lorenz March 11, 2015 at 10:13 am

    Interesting! I am a big pizza fan, usually. My hometown Montreal makes some of the best ever! I honestly am not a big fan of much pizza here in joburg…I have had so many. I usually always make my own. I cant find pepperoni any where and that is very frustrating and I always have to use salami and it just NOT the same. Overall the best pizza I have had was near my home in Bedfordview in Kensington at Gema and Ottimo. I need to try Osteria Rosso in Bedfordview. In Norwood, I love the pizza at Giovanni, had it about 1 year ago, their Gorgonzola gnocchi was also very good.

    • Reply 2summers March 12, 2015 at 11:46 am

      Thanks so much for the comment, Lisa. I totally agree with you about the lack of pepperoni in SA. Many pizza places have chorizo and I find that to be the next-best substitute. But you’re right, it’s absolutely not the same. So frustrating.

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