Peter's Yard might be the capital's premier Swedish bakery, but look past the knäckebröd and the real star attraction here at the Stockbridge outpost is, however incongruously, the pizza. Made with sourdough flour, this is the best crust in town; all at once crispy and chewy, stretchy and firm, and full of flavour.
The menu is simple and the choice small, restricted to a vegetarian option, a meat feast of parma ham and salami, or anchovy – we'd go for the latter, every time. Despite being next door to a branch of not-to-be-sniffed-at and always-able-to-accommodate-you Pizza Express, it's still entirely worth queuing for Peter's pizza.
The pizza found at La Favorita on Leith Walk (or delivered to any Edinburgh postcode from its various takeaway outposts) is quite likely the best in the city. Wood-fired to robust yet yielding perfection, this is pizza as you'll find it in Italy (or New York, depending on the provenance of your pizza-based fantasies).
The menu is sizeable, and highlights include the pork and apple with pecorino and tenderstem broccoli; diavolina with spicy sausage, mushrooms and plenty of finely chopped red chillies and the tri colore of chicken breast, rosemary potatoes, pancetta and pesto – although the DOP (“Protected Designation of Origin”) Margherita is pretty hard to beat for purists.
Relative newcomer Dough on Rose Street is all about authenticity. This small but perfectly formed pizzeria is a labour of love inspired by the owner's travels around Italy, using products imported weekly from Italy, cooked by Italian chefs – but with the odd Scottish touch like Aberdeen Angus meatballs, mozzarella supplied by a buffalo farm in Fife, and a pizza called the Scozia topped with haggis, red onion, cherry tomato, pancetta and a fried egg (basically a fry-up on a pizza, not that they've bowed to stereotypes).
Hand-made and wood-fired, whether it's take out or delivery, by the pie or by the slice or even in miniature at lunchtime, avail yourself of some as soon as possible.
Mamma's on the Grassmarket is an Edinburgh institution, and has previously been named best
pizzeria in the UK. The restaurant has been around since 1985 and current husband-and-wife owners Paul and Cait met while working there – as did apparently five other married couples.
Branding themselves as traditional American pizza purveyors, rather than Italian, this is where to head for the properly cheering pizzeria experience; one that will see you leave with a smile on your face, if not perhaps a new spouse.
The pizzas are stonebaked and the menu boasts more than 40 toppings, including apple, avocado, banana, cactus, calamari, marshmallow and chocolate. Or go for one of the house specials such as Gusto del Papa (red onion marmalade, goats cheese and basil), The Cash (Aka Ring of Fire) with spicy beef, jalapeños, roquito peppers, onions and salsa, or even The Scotsman – haggis, potato, onion, mushroom.
Buzzy and cosy Origano on Leith Walk (apparently quite the hot spot for pizza – Origano is oft-cited as La Favorita's main competition) boasts giant bases handmade using only Italian 00 flour and piled high inside their puffy crusts with fresh and inventive combos of toppings including mascarpone, 'nduja (Italian spreadable spicy sausage), mini mozzarella balls, santos tomatoes, spinach, truffle oil, Gorgonzola and artichokes alongside the usual suspects, all generously littered with fresh rocket or parsley.
The Del Mare – with fresh lemon squeezed over anchovies, tuna, prawns, garlic and parsley – is a menu highlight.