High-quality, cheap and Central London…
These are three phrases that you won’t often hear used in the same sentence. London has many great restaurants serving up some of the best food in the world. However, making the most of the city’s culinary scene can often come at a pretty hefty price.
Now I’m not one to scrimp when it comes to food. Yes, I like to take advantage of deals and discounts, but for great quality food in a beautiful restaurant, I’m willing to pay what it’s worth. This does, however, mean that the rest of the time I do have to tighten my purse-strings a little and cook cheap meals at home.
But then there are those evenings when I really don’t feel like cooking, or I’m meeting friends for a quick bite and a catch-up, or I’m just really craving a certain type of food (you know what I’m talking about!). Next thing I know I’m spending £30 on a pizza, side of garlic bread and glass of wine in my local big-chain Italian restaurant.
Luckily, this week I discovered Pizza Union, four Italian pizza bars located in Spitalfields, Kings Cross, Aldgate and Dalston. The restaurants serve fire-baked Roman-style thin and crispy pizzas that will only set you back between £3.95 and £6.50.
When I first read this I thought that there had to be a catch. For such cheap prices in Central London, the pizzas had to be a bit crap, or the restaurants themselves were just those dodgy looking late-night joints drawing in drunken workers and broke students. Well, how wrong was I!?
On my first visit to Pizza Union Dalston, I was definitely taken aback by how effortlessly cool it was. Exposed brick walls, neon lettering and long plank tables gave it the feel of a chic Shoreditch bar, while the open kitchen and large igloo-like pizza oven hinted at the delicious meal to come.
As well as the 15 types of pizza (plus additional toppings), you can order garlic flatbread for just £2.95 and 3 different salads ranging between £2.50 and £3.95. There are also sauces including garlic & herb (my favourite!) and sweet chilli for 50p.
Plus the drinks menu is just as great value as the food, with bottles of wine for only £12.50 (glass £3.20), bottles of prosecco for £16 (glass £3.70), and bottles of beer from £3.
Once you’ve decided what you want, Pizza Union works on an order at the counter system. You pay at the tills and receive a small buzzer which will vibrate when your food is ready. We had barely been back at the table 5 minutes when ours went off. Definitely living up to their ‘superfast’ moto!
For dessert, Pizza Union offers tubs of ice cream supplied by London gelateria Gelupo, or a warm dough ring with Nutella and mascarpone. My advice would be to get both and combine them… a great combination!
Pizza Union is definitely my new go-to place for a cheap and tasty mid-week treat. Two 12-inch pizzas for as little as £8! What more could you want? Or for a full feast of pizza, garlic bread, dessert and drinks you’re looking at just £25-30 for 2 people. I left feeling full and happy, and content in the knowledge that I could afford to do it all over again tomorrow if I wanted to (someone stop me!).