Updated: Feb 18, 2019
Coming as I do from Naples – the home of the original Italian pizza – I was determined to seek out the very best place in Hong Kong for eating some good and authentic pizza.
It is true that Hong Kong may not be the place that first springs to mind when you think of ‘good pizza’ – but sometimes you just miss something from back home.
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Hong Kong certainly has no shortage of Italian restaurants, but as one might expect some are more authentic than others – and I wasn’t ready to sacrifice quality or pay well over-the-odds for something I can buy frozen in a supermarket.
Since I am Italian and write guidebooks for a living, people often ask me where they can get a good pizza in Hong Kong, so I decided to share my thoughts here. These are Hong Kong’s top five hot pizza hotspots.
Website: www.kytaly.hk Address: 77 Wyndham Street Central Opening hours: Mon-Sat: 12noon to 2:30pm & 7pm to 10:30pm (times here are for pizza, drinks are possible at other times, closes at 2am) Telephone: 2808 1961
If you are looking for both a tasty pizza and homely décor, Kytaly, the latest addition to Hong Kong’s pizza scene, fits the brief. The interior is like a lounge bar and there is a pleasant outdoor wooden patio – great for those delightfully warm summer evenings.
The place is located in the heart of Central and the head pizza-chef, Antonio Cecere, is 100% Neapolitan. He arrived here directly from Naples with one idea in his head: to recreate the creations of the renowned Franco Pepe, who, just in case you haven’t heard of him, is ranked as one of the best pizza-makers in Italy.
The downside to the place is the price, which, even by Hong Kong’s exactly standards, is pretty high. Be prepared to spend at least 300 HKD for many of the pizzas. Some of the simpler ones are less. A margarita or filetto, for example, costs between 120 and 180 HKD. But for anything less ‘classic’ the costs increases considerably.
The place does get fairly busy, but you can only book in advance if there are at least six of you in your group.
Website: www.ciaochow.com.hk Address: G/F, California Tower, 30-32 D’Aguilar Street Opening hours: Mon-Thu & Sun: 11am to 2am, Fri-Sat: 11am to 4am Telephone: 2344 0005
Despite the rather questionable name – when I first heard it I imagined an Asian imitation of an Italian pizzaria – the pizzas on offer as authentic as they come.
This restaurant is located on the ground floor of a tower block in the middle of a busy and crowded area of Lan Kwai Fong, perfectly positioned to capture the lunchtime crowd as well as those heading out in the evening. It is the kind of area where restaurants can survive on casual walk-ins alone, and don’t have to try all that hard to be very good.
Which is why it is nice to have a restaurant such as Ciao Chow in the area, serving authentic Italian pizzas with a quality-to-price ratio that is very hard to beat.
The restaurant is fairly large – at least by Hong Kong standards – and so you are unlikely to have to wait very long (if at all) for a table. If you are a particularly large group you may want to book in advance.
Ciao Chow offers traditional pizzas such as margarita and quattro formaggi, but also a few less conventional ones. You can also make your own pizza by choosing your own combination of topics.
Another plus of the place is that it stays open quite late – handy for that quick bite on the way back from pizzas with friends.
A pizza cost between 119 and 160 HKD. The most expensive pizza is 219 HKD.
Ciao Chow has recently opened a branch in Kowloon Tong’s shopping Mall, Festival Walk, just next to the ice-skating rink there. Pizzas at this branch are slightly smaller, but they are also cheaper and the quality is still very good. This branch is slightly smaller and so at peak hours you are likely to have to wait to be seated – unfortunately you cannot reserve a table in advance. Whilst eating at the main Ciao Chow restaurant in Lan Kwai Fong, having a branch in Kowloon Tong is handy for people like me that live on the Kowloon side of Hong Kong and don’t want to travel all the time to Hong Kong Island for a good pizza.
208 Duecento Otto
Website: www.208.com.hk Address: 208 Hollywood Road Opening hours: Mon-Fri: 12noon to 10pm, Sat-Sun: 12noon to 12 midnight Telephone: 2549 0208
208 Duecento Otto serves great pizzas but doesn’t really have the look of an Italian pizzeria. From the outside it looks a lot like a cozy bar with pleasing décor.
Downstairs is more casual whilst upstairs seems a lot more like a proper restaurants. Pizza are tasty, authentic and use fresh ingredients. They cost between 178 and 208 HKD.
Service could be a little friendlier, but that is only a minor blemish on what is otherwise a great pizza place to try.
The quality of other dishes that the restaurant serves, especially the steak, is also very high.
Mother of Pizzas
Website: www.motherofpizzas.com Address: Ground Shop, 13-19 Leighton Road, Causeway Bay Opening hours: 11.30am to 9.30pm Telephone: 2891 2221
This is the only pizzeria in my list that isn’t run or owned by Italians.
Nevertheless it deserves a place in the top five due to its authentic taste. This is because the proprietors have chosen to faithfully rely on Italian ingredients, such as San Marzano tomatoes and Mulino Caputo flour.
The base of the pizzas is slightly thinner and a bit crunchier than in other popular pizzarias. Prices are reasonable.
Unlike the places mentioned above, Mother of Pizzas is not located in Central but in Causeway Bay, about a five-minute walk from Times Square. The place is been recently renovated and is now a decent size. Eat in or order to go. They also do home delivery.
This is also one of the few places in Hong Kong where you can purchase good-quality pizza by the slice – great for grabbing a quick bite to eat on-the-fly. (Other sliced pizza places in Hong Kong are very disappointing).
A slight oddity of the place is that, if you choose to order slices of ready-made pizza, this will actually be cheaper than ordering a whole pizza and slicing the pizza up yourself. But of course you will then loose the freshness of a pizza that has just come out of the oven.
There is no table service. Order at the cashier and your pizza will then be delivered to your table when ready.
The restaurant is a bit dark. Before the renovation the place didn’t have any windows and the only light came from the entrance. Things are a little better now and many of the tables do enjoy natural light.
Website: lapiola.com.hk Address: 62 Johnston Road, Wan Chai Opening hours: Mon-Thu & Sun: 12noon to 1am, Fri-Sat: 12noon to 2am Telephone: 2806 1028
And then we come on to La Piola.
Housed in one of Hong Kong Island’s most iconic buildings – a beautiful historical tong lau shop building, which dates back to 1888 and stands out in stark contrast to all the chaos and noise of downtown Wan Chai – this is a fancy place to come for dinner.
La Piola doesn’t just serve pizza. There are also ver good main courses, all based on the food of Piedmont in northern Italy.
The pizzas, though, are very good and as authentically-Italian as the ones in any of the other pizzarias that I have mentioned. There is not a huge choice of pizzas – mostly the classic ones such as margherita, capricciosa and quattro formaggi – but the ones that they do have are defintely worth trying.
The dining area is casual and laid back. There is also a bar area if you just want to come for a drink.
Consider coming for La Piola’s happy hour as a ‘warm-up’ to your pizza (weekdays between 5 and 8pm). Order a drink at the bar and enjoy the complimentary bar snacks from northern Italy to go with it.