Whenever a social get together is centred around the partaking of pizza, I cry a little inside. Okay. Perhaps not. But the slight overwhelm of wondering if there will be any gluten-free pizzas on the menu is slightly daunting (a salad just doesn't cut it sometimes), especially if it's going to be one of those occasions where the pies are shared.
Seriously. Let's just talk about pizza for a moment. The delicious, satisfying crust with as many (or as few) toppings as you like. Stringy cheese stretching an arm's length after you take a bite, and the fresh herbs and flavours that are authentic and alive with each bite. What else is better than pizza? So gather round gluten-free friends – for here is my pick of truly great gluten-free pizzas in Melbourne.
Pizza Religion is home to amazing gourmet pizza, and a seriously great gluten-free base. My favourite combinations are Pumpkin (roasted butternut pumpkin, pesto, goats cheese, toasted almonds), Potato (potato, streaky bacon, caramelised onion, sour cream and cheese), and Beef Cheek (braised beef cheek, celeriac puree, caramelised onions and gremolta). They also do a mean flourless chocolate pudding with vanilla bean ice cream for dessert! Dinner sorted.
Pizza Religion | 493 Tooronga Road in Hawthorn East
Open until 3am, and with $4 pizza at selected times (plus all day Sundays!), what's not to love? If you join their membership program (that'll make you a Very Important Bimbo), you can get $4 pizzas always! With gigs and events, a bar and a dancefloor, Bimbo's is perfect for your chilled, not-going-to-break-the-bank night out with friends. Try the Verano Aves, with Cajun chicken, mozzarella, tomato, and sweet and spicy mango chutney.
Bimbo Deluxe | 376 Brunswick Street in Fitzroy
At Pizza Farro, all pizzas are made with spelt (a low gluten grain with a higher protein content than wheat), but award-winning gluten-free bases are also available. As well as great gluten-free pizzas, their pastas, foccacias, and many desserts are all gluten-free, too. Open for dinner Wednesday-Sunday, check out the Funghi Pizza, with fior di latte mozzarella, taleggio D.O.P, sauteed buten, shitake and oyster mushrooms, fresh parsley and white truffle oil.
Pizza Farro | 608 High Street in Thornbury
With a location both north and south of the river, there's no excuse not to try Ladro's selection of gluten-free woodfired pizzas. The Gamberi Piselli pizza is topped with lemon garlic prawns, fior di latte (mozzarella, if you're not up to speed with your Italian and/or foodie terms), zucchini flowers, chilli, garlic and basil. Head there on a Monday night and BYO, and your $5 corkage fee will be donated to one of two local charities.
Ladro | 161 Greville Street in Prahran & 224 Gertrude Street in Fitzroy
Brought to Richmond by the name behind Chin Chin and with an executive chef all the way from Verona, Nicola Dusi, you know something good must be happening. Baby Pizza has over 20 artisan pizzas, made with quality, homemade ingredients. Gluten-free pizza and pasta are both available.
A sure stand out is the Pan Fried Burrata Pizza, with shredded fresh burrata, caramelised cherry tomatoes, fresh basil, extra virgin olive oil and sea salt. Simplicity and gluten-free perfection at its best! I'd recommend finishing off with a Calzone Dolce, with nutella, burrata, and cinnamon sugar, but only if you've been good this week!
Baby Pizza | 631-633 Church Street in Richmond
NOSTRALIS WHOLEMEAL VEGETARIAN & VEGAN PIZZA
If you're eating a gluten-free, vegan or vegetarian diet, I'd believe you if you told me your dining choices are quite limited! Fear not, however, because this gem in Caulfield North is for you. Even though 'Wholemeal' is in their title, they have a great range of gluten-free bases, as well as vegetarian and vegan cheese alternatives.
Nostralis Wholemeal Vegetarian & Vegan Pizza | 55 Hawthorn Road in Caulfield North
For the spice lovers, the Mexicana Pizza cannot be looked past, with tomato, cheese, borlotti beans, onion, capsicum and chilli. If a milder flavour is more your style, the Pumpkin Pizza is sure to please – topped with tomato, cheese, roast pumpkin, feta, onion, olives and sesame seeds. Open from Tuesday to Sunday, Nostralis has been delighting those at all ends of the vegan-carnivore spectrum for decades.
If you need a modern and relaxed venue that pleases everyone, you just can't go past Temperance. As well as several non-pizza gluten-free options on the menu, Mr Potato Head is just one combination that definitely delivers, with thyme, spinach and harissa on a gluten-free pizza base. A pub pizza dinner at Temperance is perfect for Friday night work drinks, a break from shopping on busy Chapel Street, or a Sunday Session with friends, enjoying the live music.
Temperance Hotel | 426 Chapel Street in South Yarra
Image Credit: remain simple