Six of the best pizzas in Abu Dhabi: from Freedom to Khafayef Pastry

We've tried and tested the best offerings of cheesy pie in the capital, from a classic margherita to macaroni and cheese-laden slices

The Mother Earth pizza from Freedom Pizza. Courtesy Freedom Pizza
The Mother Earth pizza from Freedom Pizza. Courtesy Freedom Pizza

Finding the right pizza can be tricky.

Once, all you needed to make was a decision between fairly run-of-the-mill offerings from a few small institutions. Now, the ever-burgeoning Abu Dhabi food scene means finding a slice of pie is no longer just a matter of a trip to Pizza Hut.

We've already set out our picks for the best slices of pizza in Dubai, so what about the capital?

Thankfully, you don't have to look far for a wood-fired pizza base or an authentic margherita in Abu Dhabi, either.

Whether you're after a tried-and-tested favourite (the pepperoni, the meat lovers or the Hawaiian) or something a bit different (a cauliflower base, vegan cheese or a dessert pie), we've got you covered.

Here are our six favourite places in Abu Dhabi to grab a slice.

Sopranos

For wood-fired, handcrafted pizzas, Sopranos is a must-visit. Located in Mushrif, this place is known for its metre-long pizza, but it also has an entire menu of ordinary-sized pies that are just as delicious, thanks to their deliciously tangy tomato bases and generously laden toppings. The Mac – creamy macaroni cheese topped with flaming hot Cheetos – is a delicious (if decadent) addition to any order, as is the seriously indulgent Nutella pizza for dessert.

What to order: The vegetarian (Dh38), with onions, capsicums, mushrooms, tomatoes, black olives, garlic and Italian herbs, is a good pick for veggies looking to mix it up from a standard margherita.

Details: Airport Road, Mushrif, Abu Dhabi; 02 641 8182, www.sopranos.pizza

Pizza di Rocco

For fast delivery and a fantastic range of toppings, this Etihad Plaza restaurant (which also has an outlet on Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Street or Salam Street) does some of the best authentic Italian pizzas in Abu Dhabi.

Choose from white or wholewheat dough – with no additional charges. There's also pasta, salads and antipasti, if you want to mix things up a little. Feeling indulgent? Opt for the paneer tikka pizza, which is like having an Indian takeaway on top of a slice of pie. Vegans will love the specialised menu with no fewer than seven different options, some with vegan cheese and other cheese-less pies.

What to order: The Fattoria (Dh58) with mozzarella, caramelised onions, sundried tomatoes, roast pine nuts and goats' cheese is a must-try.

Details: Etihad Plaza and Salam Street, Abu Dhabi; 02 885 3222, www.pizzadirocco.com

Khafayef Pastry

Cheap and cheerful never tasted so good. Like its straightforward name, this small Khalidiya joint delivers quick and delicious pizzas with minimal fuss. If you are looking for something fancy, this is not the place for you.

The ingredients used here are simple, tasty and old-school, such as mortadella, hot dog bits, tuna and minced beef. But, my goodness, can they take these simple items and make them sing on a pizza pan. A perfect accompaniment to a Netflix session.

What to order: The mortadella pizza (Dh20 to Dh30)

Details: Opposite Prince Palace Mobile, Near Fathima Supermarket, Al Khalidiya, Abu Dhabi, 02 633 3877

Jazz@PizzaExpress

Who doesn't love pizza with a side of live entertainment? Even though it's off-limits for now, with government restrictions in place due to the coronavirus, Jazz@PizzaExpress in The Mall at World Trade Centre is worth a visit once it reopens. For pizza lovers, the restaurant offers many options worth trying, including ones for vegans, meat lovers or health nuts (pies under 600 calories).

What to order: American Hottest (Dh76) is a great spicy option, which includes chilli, spicy turkey chorizo, and hot green and roquito peppers, the pizza lives up to its name.

Details: The Mall at World Trade Centre, Abu Dhabi, 02 444 7752 and Arc Tower, Abu Dhabi, 02 666 0068; www.pizzaexpress.ae

Pinza

This is best for the calorie-conscious dough lover. Pinza isn't quite pizza, but also isn't a flatbread: the dough is made with more water than your average crust, and so promises fewer calories. It's crispy and crunchy with bubbles of air in the middle. Sure, it's not authentic Naples-style, but it is its own, delicious, sourdough-laced creation. It's probably the pizza we'd choose at lunch if we had a hankering.

What to order: there are five vegan options, which is uncommon on a pizza menu. The OMV (Dh60) comes with vegan chipotle sausage. Points for difference.

Details: Umm Al Emarat Park; 800 Pinza (74692); pinza.com

Freedom

This is arguably the best pizza house for people with specialty diets. While there are plenty of meat and dairy-filled pies on the menu, there are also options for plant-based and gluten-free diners.

Opt for the cauliflower crust, for example, or choose to top it with vegan cheese or even the animal-free product Beyond Meat. These options come alongside a range of other gourmet toppings, such as truffle oil, goats' cheese, fennel seeds and beef chorizo. Get a regular pizza or go for Detroit-style, and add any of the myriad side dishes to that – from the healthy quinoa power salad to all-natural chicken tenders. There are a range of gluten-free and vegan desserts up for grabs, too.

What to order: The Free-gan (from Dh39). It's topped with orange bell peppers, caramelised onions, jalapenos, onions, cherry tomatoes, coriander, vegan cheese and red sauce.

Details: Khalidiya, Abu Dhabi, 02 641 0029; www.freedompizza.ae

Updated: May 26, 2020 04:58 PM

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