Flipping out: Time Out ranks 20 Beijing pizzas

Time Out magazine takes on a topic this month about which most people I know have strong opinions: What is the best pizza in Beijing? I’ve seen people flip out every time The Tree wins for “best pizza” at The Beijinger awards; heated debate about whether the pies at La Pizza (or Kro’s Nest or Hutong Pizza or wherever) are good or not, and inspired discussions about crusts, sauces, and toppings. Here is how Time Out ranked twenty pizzas:

  1. La Pizza
  2. Hutong Pizza
  3. Sureno
  4. The Tree
  5. Mao Mao Chong
  6. Gung Ho!
  7. Meeting Point
  8. Vineyard Café
  9. Kro’s Nest
  10. Tavola
  11. Annie’s
  12. O Sole Mio
  13. The Den
  14. Abella
  15. Pyro Pizza
  16. Danger Doyle’s
  17. Bang! Bang! Pizza
  18. Tube Station Pizza
  19. All-Star Sports Bar
  20. Pizza Buona

By and large, I can see the rationale behind these rankings, particularly those in the top ten. But they do inspire a few thoughts…

  • Time Out should have included Origus in its survey. Just so they could rank it number 50 out of 20.
  • The magazine is going to get complaints from fans of other pizza places, from Passby Bar to Nasca to L’Isola: one acquaintance swears by the pizza at the latter.
  • They missed half the point about The Den. Yes, it provides late night pizza but it also has a daily half-price pizza deal. Where else can you get a decent four cheese pizza for RMB30.
  • The thing about Pizza Buona is that I know chefs who love it. In fact, the chef at the former Louisiana restaurant in the Hilton first introduced it to me and I know other chefs who order it. I’m not saying that alone means it is the best, but last place? Though to be honest, I only like the pepperoni pizza from this place.
  • If you get the lunch special at Sureno, you can include the pizza. That turns a pricey pie into a good deal.
  • Does Nearby the Tree have a pizza oven? I did not know that…

16 thoughts on “Flipping out: Time Out ranks 20 Beijing pizzas”

  1. Best pizza I’ve had in Beijing was at Twilight – English breakfast pizza, delicious and great crust. Had La Pizza once, it was disappointing – bathed in oil, skimpy on toppings. Right, finally inspired to check out Hutong Pizza after two years…

  2. I used to be a pizza fan of The Tree, until recently introduced to La Pizza (two weeks ago). Both pizzas are DIFFERENT. I still like The Tree’s pepperoni, but La Pizza definitely has a new place in my heart of pizzas; I never knew what a Napoli pizza was. Gennaro Miele and Giuseppe make a strong and tasty argument for a best pizza, and I’d have to take their side. Straight out of the oven, I’m a new fan of La Pizza!

  3. @ Sarahplusone,

    That’s what I thought. Guess the authors didn’t go to Nearby the Tree. By the way, The Tree also delivers to 2F, or did about a year ago when I last tried to do it.

    Cheers, Boyce

  4. @ Owally,

    Yep, Add Twilight to the long list of spots people will cite as being worthy of the top 20 (see: L’Isola).

    Cheers, Boyce

  5. @ Shanti,

    La Pizza is a controversial pick as a good many people find it too oily (see Owally’s comment) but I think it ranks among a handful of places with a legit claim for number one.

    Cheers, Boyce

  6. Yikes, and you’re right: The online and the print pizza rankings differ. Not only for Bang! Bang! (6 spots higher) but also The Tree (1 higher) and Sureno, Annie’s, O Sole Mio, The Den, Abella, Pyro, and Danger Doyle’s (all 1 lower).

    Will see if I can get an explanation…

    Cheers, Boyce

  7. How I miss the beijing pizza debate. I agree with La Pizza at #1 as its made to a classic thin crust style. the problem with 90% of the places on the list are DIY and not consistent in quality and execution with what you would find in NYC or Melbourne.

    Having said that, pizza seems like religeon or politics, everyone has their own opinion on whats right. I wonder what the ‘criteria’ is that Time Out used.

  8. There is tons of delicious Chinese Food around in Beijing,what’s this hype about Pizza in Beijing??
    Understand that no one likes Chinese food everyday,but so many other options available.
    I lived in several other Asian cities,never read that much about Pizza like in Beijing.Not that long in town,though.

  9. I agree so much with Michael ,, I had to check for a second Iif I was in Rome or beijing , why the F,????? Does everyone in this city talk so much about pizza ( which ny the way is a type of food) why did u move to asia ??? For the Pizza of course ??? Really ??? Eat it , be full , then shut the F up , no need to write reviews the length of arm about it u sad people , or even dedicate a whole article to it , Chinese must be do
    Proud of their f”ing pizza banter , weirdos

  10. @ chunky,

    There are several places deserving consideration and La Pizza is definetly among them. These days, I’m mowing down on Nasca Cafe pizzas: tasty and they are new in my neighborhood.

    Cheers, Boyce

  11. @ Michael,

    Is it really a big deal if people like to talk about pizza? Lots of people will also go on about wine or about movies that have little or nothing to do with Beijing / China. Such is life…

    Anyway, I extend an open invitation for you to write re your five favorite Chinese restaurants in Beijing. Hao bu hao? If interested, simply email the story to beijingboyce (at) yahoo.com.

    Cheers, Boyce

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