La Favorita – the favourite Pizzeria in Edinburgh .. and the best in the UK.
Who doesn’t like pizza? The original, classic fast food created in Naples from the late 19th century, transferred across Europe to America and is still a perpetual favourite dish around the world. Baked in a variety of thick or thin methods, with a myriad of toppings, the modern concept of pizza is largely inspired by the Neapolitan version: the base should be soft and pliable, yet charred and chewy around the edge.
The city’s famous Da Michele pizzeria opened in 1870, with just one choice, Pizza Marinara – tomatoes, garlic and herbs. After Queen Margherita visited the region, the chefs invented a new recipe– tomatoes, mozzarella and basil – the popular Margherita of today. The best pizza should have the perfect balance between a soft chewy dough and crispy crust and eaten within five minutes of coming out the oven, or it will become soggy and spoilt.
Since 1970 the Crolla family has built a reputation for Italian food at their group of restaurants – Vittoria, Divino Enoteca and also La Favorita which opened in 2005. As a third-generation Italian family restaurant, their motto is all about preparing and serving the finest pizza and pasta fish and meat dishes, as well as delicious ice-cream and desserts.
The multi award winning La Favorita, located half way down Leith Walk, is a well established Pizzeria. The warm and welcoming ristorante featuring several small dining rooms, is colourfully decorated with painterly murals, pictures of sunflowers, artwork, with seating for two or large booths for families and friends.
The ‘master pizzaioli’ uses the freshest, authentic ingredients – the ham comes from Brescia, parmesan from Bologna, tomatoes from Campania and flour from Padova. Chicken is corn-fed. The dough is handmade daily, with no additives and left to mature for 48 hours. The log fired oven has a temperature of 300 degree centigrade to give the pizzas a special crispiness, soft base and rustic smoky flavour.
My partner Ken and I visited La Favorita a couple of weeks ago. The menu is so extensive to suit all tastes, appetites and ideal for children too. An extraordinary selection of Pizzas take centre stage, not surprisingly – under titles such as Classic, Sfiozse (Specials), La Blanche (no tomatoes), and Cambiare – (something different), with highlighted “Recommended” varieties. For special diets, the chefs can prepare vegetarian, gluten/ nut/ lactose-free food including Vegan cheese pizza.
As we sipped a glass of Prosecco and studied the menu, we nibbled fat oily olives and deep fried pizza balls. For starters we shared a fishy feast of delicious, tender Calamari Fritti and a dish of Crocchette di Merluzzo – Salt cod fish cakes. These were both superb in quality, texture and taste.
Then I ordered a softly baked Pizza Genovese (prawns, peppers, sun dried tomatoes) while Ken selected the Puttanesca pizza, (anchovies, olives, capers). There is a choice of a 10 or 14 inch pizza, but chatting to the couple beside us, they advised that a 10 inch was perfect unless you were very, very hungry. After appetising gourmet Starters and (10 inch) Pizzas, no room for dessert.
The Wine List is very informative with a map of Italy to show region and grape variety. We selected a bottle of Primitivo Salento from Puglia (juicy fruity plums). We ended our meal with a sharp tasting shot of Lemoncello, the perfect Digestif.
Definitely the best Pizza in town in our opinion but also voted the best in the UK according to PAPA (Pizza & Pasta & Italian Food Association) at their annual industry awards. In 2014, 2015 and in 2016, La Favorita was presented with the Gold Award for Best Independent Pizza Restaurant in the UK.
Visit La Favorita soon for a fabulous meal with your lover, friends or family. The Restaurant is also a perfect place for a private dinner party, up to 25 guests. Alternatively the fleet of cute little Fiat yellow cars will deliver your favorite La Favorita pizza to your home. Ciao!
Happy Diners, April 2017
I’m a sucker for a good Italian restaurant and I would have stayed in La Favorita all night if they hadn’t needed the table back. My pizza was the nicest I’ve ever had and my partner’s pasta was delicious. If you’re in Edinburgh, go – you will not be disappointed.
Happy friends – Happy Kids, April 2017
Our group of 10 – 6 adults and 4 children – had the best service. Our waiter was great, patient, helpful and attentive. Everyone enjoyed their meal – the desserts were mouthwatering. Lovely & relaxed.
325 – 333 Leith Walk,
Edinburgh EH6 8SA
tel. 0131 555 5564