In a city where local cuisine has hogged the spotlight for centuries, things are finally a-changin’. Along with a number of other “simple” staples, such as burgers and bagels, pizza has flourished in Paris over the past decade. As the dish gains culinary cred among Paris restaurants, Parisians find it harder and harder to resist the allure of a good old slice. Like the other foodstuffs that this city has embraced, glamorization of pizza appeared imminent. As a result, gourmet pizzerias have set up shop across town, appealing to aficionados and guileless stomachs alike. To bring you up to date on this delicious affair, we’re divulging our top three gourmet pizzerias, each exhibiting a slightly different esprit.
The Masterpiece Pizza
26, rue Bellan, in the 2nd Arrondissement. 01 42 36 40 28.
Open Mon–Wed, noon– 2:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.–11 p.m.; Thurs, noon– 2:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.–11:30 p.m.; Fri–Sat, noon– 2:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.–midnight; Sun, noon–3 p.m. and 7 p.m.–11 p.m.
At Il Campionissimo, creativity, quality and perfection reign. Since their second-place victory at the annual worldwide pizza championships, owners Arlette and Gino have expanded the restaurant as well as founded a pizza-making academy to train the next generation of pizzaïoli. The new dining room epitomizes taste, fusing chic and simple decor with a generous terrace. A sleek open kitchen allows the savvy clientele to admire the chefs as they traipse around a euphoria-inducing oven. The wide selection of delicacies ranges from 12 to 40 euros—something for every budget and craving. Treat yourself to the prize-winning Arlecchino, with foie gras, Montagna ham and Parmesan served on a bed of fig chutney, fresh pears and mozzarella. It’s an expertly crafted pleasure well worth the splurge! Consider ordering a superior wine or dessert, but skip the overpriced salads.
The Bashful Pizza
La Focacceria des Vitelloni
12, rue Dupetit-Thouars, in the 3rd Arrondissement. 01 42 77 00 49.
Open Tues–Sat, 12:30 p.m.–2:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.–11:30 p.m.
Sometimes (especially at Paris restaurants) simple is best. While we can’t guarantee that every slice at la Foccaceria des Vitelloni amounts to a masterpiece, the relaxed atmosphere and friendly service certainly go a long way. Tucked away in the bundle of streets by Temple, this inviting dining rooms and teeny terrace at this pizzeria du quartier tend to be packed with groups of Parisians sharing a convivial moment over a good pizza. Before you know it, you’ll find yourself swapping late-night cigarettes with the friendly, at times even cheeky, waiters. The truffle pizza turned out to be lip-smackingly satisfying, and the chocolate cake was quite lovely. The wines, on the other hand, fluctuate from good to half decent. The pricing is comparable to that at the bulk of Paris restaurants, so figure 20–30 euros per person with dessert and wine.
The Pizza with Pomp
91, boulevard Beaumarchais, in the 3rd Arrondissement.
01 42 78 11 96. Open Mon–Fri, 12:30 p.m.–2:30 p.m. and
5:30 p.m.–11 p.m.; Sat–Sun, service continu.
Brace yourself for Julien Cohen’s bobo-tastic wonderland. In this New York–esque playground teeming with the glitterati of Paris, the food seemingly emerges as a by-product of a trendy, if somewhat over-the-top, concept: beauty is as beauty bakes. Sneering aside, the cocktails really are beautifully prepared by the talented Oscar, who masterfully blends fresh herbs, quality liqueurs and gentle aromas behind the bar. The (heavily Italian) staff works the crowd with ease, and the pizza isn’t awful either—in fact, it’s pretty good, but nothing revolutionary. The Bambini topped with tomatoes, Parmesan and a zesty dose of spices satisfied us, while the Chianti even impressed. If you’ve saved room, try a dessert pizza topped with a Nutella-like nutty chocolate cream just for grins. Pizzas start at 15 euros, and cocktails don’t ring in for much less.