One of our favorite parts of curating this small space on the web is being able to have conversations with other locals about what is considered “the best” of Lausanne. You may remember our “best croissant” video, where we crowd-sourced from all of you, then trekked across town sampling the buttery flakey goodness that this town had to offer.
And in a similar vein, we wanted to take a stab at (or bite out of) the pizza scene here in Lausanne; we are neighbors with Italy, after all. But this time, we wanted to up the ante and do things with a bit more professionalism and panache.
*and one of them was even a mozzarella salesperson in a former job (cue choir of angels)
Now we know that pizza is kind of a big deal to those of Italian origin. We know that opinions vary based on region, on cultural upbringing, or the secret ingredient or recipe that is stashed away in someone’s grandmother’s kitchen junk drawer. So this is why we asked three different Italians, from three different regions of Italy, to accompany us on our tasting journey.
So who were our special guests? Steeve (Venice) and Davide (Naples) from Ça Passe Crème as well as our intern Valentina (Milan) were our guides for our taste buds during the evening.
Similar to the croissant search, we first asked all of you to tell us where you thought we could find the best pizza in Lausanne. We narrowed down the results to restaurants (and not take away), and then narrowed them down further based on the number of times each place was recommended. The top 5 recommended places (in no particular order) were:
The mission was simple: sit down at each of these establishments with our fellow Italians, order one pizza Margherita to share amongst the 5 of us, and study, analyze, dissect each one to understand its quality. We would do this exact thing 5 times in each of the 5 restaurants (the same pizza each time to have ‘a control’…but also, THE Margherita is THE original pizza, so if the pizzeria can master this one, it’s a good indication for the rest).
We made our way to each of the five restaurants, but unfortunately Cut was closing when we arrived (shame!). So we will be sharing our results for the four others we sampled.
FOR THE CHEESE LOVER: Chez Mario
Eat your cheese and leave your mark (on the walls, that is!). The ambiance at Chez Mario is unlike any other in Lausanne. Sharpie messages litter the walls, the servers are familiar and laid-back, and it’s a Lausanne institution. Our consensus was that the texture was on the chewier side, but they were very generous with the cheesy topping.
FOR THE HOMESICK AMERICAN: Slice
We were really impressed with Slice pizza–and not just us Americans. The space screamed late-night vibes, with hefty long wooden tables encouraging friends and strangers to gather together and dine. You can even order different sized pizzas based on the number in your group (or the size of your stomach), which we found fun. The pizza itself was also generous with its cheese–and felt more like a high-quality American cheese pizza rather than an authentic pizza Margherita, but it was delicious all the same.
BEST SURPRISE: Da Carlo
Our Italian crew had reservations about Da Carlo from previous experiences, but with news of a new pizzaiolo, they were willing to give it another shot. The verdict? We were genuinely blown away. The texture of the crust was soft in the middle but not chewy (which is apparently very important), it wasn’t super doughy, the char from the wood oven was perfect, and they were very generous with the basil. Overall, Da Carlo gave us a run for our money and we will be back.
BEST OVERALL: Luigia
It may be no surprise for most of you–with products flown in from Naples, the birthplace of pizza, and the extra-long fermentation period for the crust, our Italian experts dissected the pizza and drew attention to every element: from the consistency of the crust to the flavor of the tomato sauce (there needs to be a balance of acidity, salt, and fruit) and to the quality of the mozzarella (did you know that the quality of the cheese can be determined by whether the cheese gets darkened during its time in the oven? Mozzarella browns when there is too much glucose in it–meaning it’s lower in quality). Luigia hit the target on all fronts, and thus, took the crown for best Margherita pizza in town.
The great news about the evening is that we are spoiled for choice here in Lausanne when it comes to pizza! Thanks to our wonderful guest experts, and to all of you who commented and contributed. We know there were plenty of other locations, so we will list the other recommendations for you here:
Did you see the video footage from that night? Get a chance to meet our experts and find out which one of us likes pineapple on pizza: