Your guide to eating gluten free pizza out

Pizza Hut. Dominos. Bella Italia. Pizza Express. Prezzo.

They all offer gluten free pizzas, but which one is best? (Scroll down to vote for your favourite!!)

As regular readers of my blog will know, I am slightly* obsessed with pizza. Finding the ultimate gluten free pizza has been my mission for the last few months and finding out so many restaurants were offering gluten free options was like I’d died and gone to heaven.

So it was only fair really that I used my obsession to your advantage to bring you the lowdown on what’s on offer. You may have seen my previous posts on Dominos, Bella Italia and Pizza Hut, but here’s a nice roundup (in no particular order) to make things simple…

*Ok, slightly may be an understatement.

Prezzo

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Prezzo seem to have done gluten free pizzas for some time now, and it’s clearly marked on the menu that a classic gluten free base is on offer. However, the menu doesn’t seem to mark which toppings are gluten free to you have to ask the waiter.

I’d wanted to try this base for some time and an extremely hungover train journey from Kings Cross meant only one option – pizza for breakfast. Ok, so it was a slightly late breakfast, more like brunch, but when you’re stomach is crying out for food after a night on the vino there’s nothing better than one big fat pizza to make you feel better.

I went for a simple pepperoni option with sweet roquito peppers. I wasn’t expecting anything flamboyant but compared to PT Steve’s giant, topping laden pizza, my poor little gluten free one looked rather pitiful. That being said, I like my pizza drowning in cheese so perhaps this would suit most (see the photo to judge for yourself!)

The base had a nice texture, bread-like and reasonably thin. I really enjoyed this though I found the tomato topping a bit sweet and would have preferred a bit more topping – perhaps I shall try a different option next time.

Scores at a glance…

Base: 6.5/10

Toppings: 5/10

Overall experience: 7/10

Dominos

Tiny but delicious...

Many of you will know from some of my earlier posts that I had a bit of a campaign against Dominos due to the fact they only offer a small-sized gluten free pizza.

Out of all the pizzas, this provides the best base if you like a deep crust pizza. Most of the gluten free offerings are thin and crispy (my personal favourite) but this base is a deeper pan.

The toppings for these are pretty generous, and I quite liked the tomato sauce which wasn’t too sweet. However I do think for the price – considering you’re not even eating in – they are too small.

Scores at a glance…

Base: 7/10

Toppings: 8/10

Overall experience: 7/10

Pizza Express

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The newest kid on the block, Pizza Express seems to have but the most effort into its gluten free offerings. The menu is quite clearly marked, although you still (againbhave to ask your waiter which toppings are gluten free. They also do a gluten free brownie which scores them brownie points in my eyes!

The first time I went here I ordered an American Hot, thinking, oh, it can’t be THAT hot. Spice lovers take note – this is the pizza for you. I found it hard to review that visit after scorching my taste buds so it was only fair I go back again…

I was really impressed with the base here – it was a thin and crispy base but had a great texture and wasn’t stodgy at all. The toppings were quite generous the first time I went, but the second time (see photo) I felt they skimped out a little. I only went for a simple pepperoni option but considering that was meant to be ‘double’ pepperoni it didn’t seem a lot.

Overall though, combining the two visits I was really impressed with this pizza and will certainly visit again!

Scores at a glance…

Base: 9/10

Toppings: 7/10

Overall experience: 8/10

Bella Italia

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The first couple of times I tried Bella Italia’s gluten free pizza it was a bit crispy and difficult to cut, but I have to say in recent times they have improved…a lot. This weekend when I opted for a pizza there, I asked them to cut it for me instead of leaving me to struggle with a knife and fork and was pleased with the outcome!

I found the toppings on this pizza much more generous than the others, and really enjoyed the whole package! The base was perfect – similar to the Dietary Specials Bella Italia pizza which is still my absolute favourite!! It’s kind of floppy, like proper pizza should be, yet crispy around the edges.

I have to say out of all the pizzas so far, this was probably my favourite. It was tasty, generously topped and with a great selection of gluten free options all provided on your own gluten free menu (they do GF pasta too!)

Scores at a glance…

Base: 9/10

Toppings: 8/10

Overall experience: 9/10

Pizza Hut

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Finally, the one that caused the flurry among coeliac pizza lovers! Pizza Hut was the first place in my local town I ever managed to eat a gluten free pizza, and for that I will always be grateful.

But I have to admit, out of all the places I have been it was probably the most disappointing. The base was square shaped – great for telling it apart but it still made me feel like I wasn’t ‘normal’.

The base I found quite dry and the tomato sauce was extremely sweet for my taste buds. I think this would be a great place to take the kids but it just didn’t do it for me. I’d be intrigued to try it again, but in all honestly, I won’t be in a hurry.

However, I was pleased with the amount of topping and the fact it came with its own pizza cutter – a definite plus for me!

Scores at a glance…

Base: 5/10

Toppings: 6.5/10

Overall experience: 5/10

And the winner is….

To be honest, I’d probably say it’s a tie between Bella Italia and Pizza Express. The former had the best base by far for my taste and I liked the fact the menu was so clear to navigate. But Pizza Express was a strong contender and as it’s closer to me, I know I’ll certainly be visiting again!

I’d love to know which you favourite is – take part in the poll below or leave me a comment with your thoughts!

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16 Comments

  1. Apricot
    June 18, 2013 / 22:15

    Red Tomato at Doncaster…On the Waterfront at Exeter….plus several more I cant remember addresses for at this time of night…will give these guys more than a run for the money!! Tried and tested personally…..and good caring diligent people…go visit!!!

  2. Paul Atkinson
    June 18, 2013 / 22:16

    Hi I went to Blackpool and went to Belle italia and decided to have a pizza when it arrived I thought what topping did I ask for as I couldn’t see much or much cheese ! It reminded me of a the cheapest pizza I have probably bought (when money is tight) Never again. My favourite pizza base is Juvela (on prescription) most like normal pizza
    Paul

  3. matt
    June 18, 2013 / 22:26

    Dough in Manchester. Best pizza base ever. They make it themselves unlike the chain restaurants mentioned in the review!

  4. June 19, 2013 / 04:00

    In Toronto, Pizza Nova has a very healthy tasting g-free pizza. The crust has flax seeds and other goodness, so I don’t feel too badly about eating it. When I want a junky ‘typical’ deliciously greasy g-free pizza, I opt for Pizza Pizza. Both only carry one size, but the Pizza Nova pie comes in a medium, while the other is a small!

  5. Kelly
    June 19, 2013 / 15:08

    I have tried Domino’s but one problem…they don’t do lactose free/dairy free cheese, so I had to have it without any cheese…which really didn’t work. Do you know if any of these restaurants offer a dairy free cheese topping on their pizzas…I’m sure I’m not the only person who has lactose intolerance alongside the gluten intolerance!

  6. June 20, 2013 / 09:47

    Salvos in Leeds was one of the originals and I think on balance still the best.

    http://www.salvos.co.uk/main-restaurant/a-la-carte/

    However, I’m just happy there’s now so many more places with the option and Italians/pizza places have become one of the easier places to eat out!

  7. Laura
    August 22, 2013 / 17:00

    The Florist Arms in Bethnal Green/East London offers really good GF pizza for only £5 between 1-6 pm.

  8. September 10, 2013 / 16:16

    I’m not sure whether to be happy or annoyed.. I had no idea GF pizza’s were available in so many places and haven’t eaten pizza for 2 years. I look forward to putting on a couple of stone over the next few months trying these out.

    • September 11, 2013 / 18:05

      Hi Ray, Glad this could be of help, though sorry you have only just found out about the range on offer! Go and treat yourself, two years without pizza sounds like absolute hell!!

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