In the run-up to the Beijinger’s 2015 Pizza Cup (mark your calendars for the launch party on Oct 17-18), we’ve asked Beijingers to tell us about their favorite pizza places. Today we hear from Sandra Wong, 26, a project manager who hails from Boston and would do almost anything to get her pizza fix. The Dongzhimen resident dines on pizza five or six times per month when not on “pizza probation.”
Here’s Sandra’s picks for Beijing’s best pies:
For a date with a significant other:
“Nothing beats a nice Sunday afternoon brunch date! Green Cow Cafe has one of my all-time favorite pizzas in Beijing. It’s a bit of a trek to get out to this quaint cafe, but their pizzas are what dreams are made of.
I recommend the organic porchetta pizza topped with fresh arugula and humbly-flavored toppings that blend perfectly in your mouth. As for the all-important crust, the owner, Mr. Shanen, makes his pizza crusts with filtered water directly from his cafe that gives the crust a perfectly airy and crispy texture. Bonus: they have frozen bagel pizzas you can take home so you can have pizza for breakfast every day!”
For an important business meeting where money is no object:
“Bottega’s Neopolitan-style pizza is at the higher end of the budget but the pizza certainly does not disappoint. The super spicy calzone offers a doughy, brick-oven crust, stringy cheese that stretches as far as you can reach and a light tomato sauce packed with a whole lot of flavor. For a more creative twist on the typical pizza, try the baci roma. Melty, doughy pizza balls stuffed with ham, mushroom, and all that cheesy goodness.
Bottega offers smaller 13″ pizzas. If you have a small group of friends or co-workers you can order a few and sample them all!”
For a pint out with the gang:
“Pizza and beer: is there a more perfect combination than this? For grabbing quality pizza and a cold beer, Great Leap #45 Brewpub in Liangmaqiao will hit all the spots. The large 18″ American-style pizzas here are great for accommodating big groups or just going by yourself. My top pick is the Green Machine, a veggie pizza loaded with kale, zucchini, peppers, WHOLE cloves of roasted garlic and a sturdy (yet light) crust that holds in the moisture of the veggie. It’s pure magic!“
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Image: Sandra Wong