When I first moved near to Canary Wharf, my one complaint was that a lot of the food places there were food chain giants and the place lacked any real soul or diversity for food. Sure, there was the odd place but there never felt like that much choice or much atmosphere at the weekends. However with the opening of Crossrail inching closer, lots of well-loved restaurants and street food venues are opening up in Canary Wharf and West India Quay (a smaller area linked by a main footbridge to Canary Wharf).
Pizza Pilgrims opened up in West India Quay at the end of April. I didn’t make it to the launch but as it’s so close to our flat, I’ve been itching to get down there on a nice evening to try it since.
Luckily when we visited the sun was shining and with the heaters on and its position on the water, it made a lovely spot to sit outside on their picnic benches. Despite my love of pizza, I hadn’t actually been to Pizza Pilgrims before, despite this being their 7th site.
We started with the tomato, pea and mozzarella arancini which I loved. Arancini is one of those things that if it’s on the menu, I will pretty much always order and this one was perfectly crispy on the outside and gooey (and hot!) in the middle with just the right amount of bite to it.
We decided to share a pizza because we wanted to save room for dessert and weren’t sure exactly how big they’d be but I think one each would probably be a good portion, especially if you order a few different ones for the group and share. We went for the nduja pizza and it was just delicious. The tomato sauce was so fresh and the nduja was spicy and packed with flavour. Needless to say we demolished it pretty quickly. The crusts are quite big as with any true Neopolitan pizza so we also ordered a pot of their creamy gorgonzola and garlic dip which went perfectly with the fluffy, chewy crusts.
I’d heard great things about the Nutella stuffed pizza ring so we chose that for dessert, again to share. It was lovely with warm Nutella and ricotta oozing out of a ring of pizza dough and dusted with icing sugar but for me it could have done with more filling or a pot of warm nutella served with it as there were a couple of thick bits that were just plain dough with nothing sweet to give them flavour. Overall I liked it and would order it again – although the tiramisu did catch my eye too… We did also squeeze in a shot of their own brand limoncello before we left, which was really nice and refreshing.
Service was very friendly and laid back, which was good apart from they didn’t seem to have any system in place for the tables outdoors so none of the servers had any idea which table any food or drink that came out should go to. It ended up being almost comical and if you saw your food go past to a different table, frantic waving was required. I’m not sure if they were having a technical issue though because both of our servers apologised for it. It really wasn’t a big deal as we weren’t in a rush.
As we shared a starter, main and dessert, our meal was so cheap and I still left feeling full, result! The food was all really reasonably priced, pizzas were under £10, desserts and starters were around £4-£5 and although we opted for soft drinks (the blood orange San Pellegrino is so refreshing), their wine was really reasonably priced too, with a litre for under £25.
The price and the atmosphere makes it the perfect location for a casual and cheap Summer date (especially if you sit outside by the water), or if you’re going with a group of friends apparently there’s games like Mario Kart and Pinball downstairs (it was closed as we went late on a Sunday evening). We will definitely be returning!
Nearest tube: West India Quay DLR, Westferry DLR or Canary Wharf DLR/Jubilee – all are within easy walking distance.