“Bloody hell!” said James 1, my flatmate and dinner companion, as he glanced down at the menu. We were at Pizza Union, a new pizza bar off Liverpool Street that offers ‘superfast’ oven-baked pizzas at suspiciously low prices. I looked down myself and, yes, bloody hell, the numbers on it really were very small indeed. The most expensive thing was £6.50, a freshly-made 12″ ‘Carne’ pizza with beef, chicken and pepperoni.
I mean, that’s about the price of a McDonalds in London nowadays. And Liverpool Street is one of the worst places for crap food at high prices. We could barely believe it.
Pizza Union works with a sort of sexed-up counter service. You order at the bar, get a buzzy thing and take a seat at one of the long tables. When your buzzer goes off, you collect your food, and somebody comes to collect your empties. It’s like a more civilised, sexed up fast food chain, but feels like a proper restaurant.
But, of course, this counts for aught if the food is shit. Which, fortunately, it isn’t. In fact, it’s rather good.
They claim they can make a pizza in three minutes flat. Now, I wasn’t using my stopwatch, but the wait can’t have been much longer than that. It was fast. I chose the Calabria, which came topped with mozzarella, mascarpone, n’duja spicy sausage and rocket. The sausage was more like a sweet ‘n spicy porky jam than the usual sausagy pizza toppings, but it was delicious nonetheless, generously spattered across my pizza in great gobs of sticky meat.
James 1 opted for the Manzo, with beef, green chilis, garlic and rocket. Which I appreciate looks basically identical to mine.
The pizzas are 12″ across but thin and crispy, so they’re just the right size to fill you up without feeling like you’ve got a bowling ball working its way through your intestines. Obviously, this makes it the perfect pre-drinking food. Especially when it’s so cheap. Leaves more cash for booze, not that you’ll need a lot, because somehow this place is selling whole bottles of prosecco for £15 a pop.
If you do have room after your pizza though, there is pudding available…
And this monster, which is a pizza base rolled up, stuffed with mascarpone and Nutella and shoved in the oven.
By the end we were full, but not stupid full. The food is fresh and made to order, and you can be in and out inside twenty minutes – it’s the perfect pit-stop on a night out, especially as it stays open until 11pm. Beats a kebab, that’s for sure.
We visited Pizza Union on a Wednesday night at around 7pm, when it was buzzing but not packed out. A pizza, pudding and alcoholic drink cost about £10 each, and they also now do takeaway! More information and the full menu are available on their website.
Author: Emily Gibson
Emily is an urban adventurer, blogger and
glutton foodie on an epic quest to uncover the best things to eat, drink and do in London. She lives in Islington and loves ceviche, cycling and magic shows. Lifelong nemeses include beetroot, beards and wine served in tumblers.