I love pizza and I don’t care who knows it. It doesn’t matter if it’s piping hot, fresh out of the oven, or cold leftovers from the night before, I just can’t get enough. It’s the ultimate comfort food.
Lately, lots of restaurants seem to be trying to outdo each other when it comes to their pizzas, seeing who can offer up the most outrageous toppings. I’ve seen (and sampled) everything from fried chicken and waffles to cheeseburger and chips topped pizzas. But with all these toppings, sometimes the pizza itself can get lost.
The guys at Rudy’s Pizza don’t buy into this trend. Instead, they keep things simple, making classic Neapolitan style pizza very well. So well, in fact, that the venue was one of only two restaurants in the North West to be included in Where to Eat Pizza, an international guidebook that lists the best places for pizza across 48 countries.
Based on Cutting Room Square in Ancoats, Rudy’s has built quite the reputation for itself since opening a couple of years ago. A combination of its no bookings policy and legion of loyal fans means it’s always busy, so don’t turn up expecting to be seated straight away. We had to wait around 45 minutes when we visited earlier this week, but just gave our name and number and headed across to Second City for a drink.
Once we ventured back over, we were seated on a table overlooking the kitchen, meaning we got to witness the pizza-making magic up close and personal. The chefs, who Roxy described as looking like ‘every schoolgirl’s first summer romance’, work at an impressive rate, helped by their huge stone oven which can cook a pizza in just 60 seconds.
Rudy’s dough, which they make and prove for 24 hours on site, is what sets it apart from the crowd. Stretched thin and cooked quickly, it manages to stay soft and floppy, without becoming soggy. Sauce, cheese and toppings are added with care – just the right amount so that all the flavours come through equally, including the dough.
I went for the Calabrese, which came topped with fresh basil and dollops of soft, spicy n’duja sausage. So soft it practically melted away into the creamy mozzarella. I threw a bit of extra chilli oil and cracked black pepper on top as well, because why not eh.
Roxy went for the Tarantina, which came with olives, capers and anchovies – not really my thing, but apparently it was also delicious. I helped out at the end by finishing off her crusts, because I’m a gentleman.
The total for our 2 pizzas and a couple of bottles of Birra Moretti came to just under £30. Pizza Express can suck it.
Everything about Rudy’s feels authentic, and the passion the staff have for pizza shines through. They’ve managed to bring a little slice of Naples to the heart of Ancoats.