Pizza Pilgrims Brighton mixes traditional with modern in a fun, lively venue

Pizza Pilgrims is a buzzing new Brighton venue which moves beyond the basics into previously unknown realms of leavened loveliness.

Pizza Pilgrims Double Pepperoni & Spicy Honey
Pizza Pilgrims Double Pepperoni & Spicy Honey

The small but growing chain has set up in Ship Street at the old Steamer Trading Cookshop opposite the Ivy and has enjoyed a busy old few weeks since opening earlier this month.

Everyone loves a new joint but there's plenty to suggest it could become a long-term success in the city.

The vibe inside is lively but it's surprisingly comfortable for a big North Lane pizzeria.

Dave Pop art at Pizza Pilgrims Brighton

It's a Neapolitan/New York mash-up complete with a washing line full of clothes suspended from the ceiling, bright street food-style graphics above the open kitchen and a genuinely relaxed courtyard/garden effect dining area.

There's ferns and fairy lights aplenty, lanterns, gingham table cloths and a little bit of neon (you can't beat a bit of neon).

And the three-storey building is also decorated with some rather fetching commissions from Brighton artists including Minty, Skatin Chinchilla, and Dave Pop.

It looks good and creates an easy, informal atmosphere where you'd happily hang out and knock back a cocktail or two.

Salsiccia e Friarielli at Pizz Pilgrims

Some of the tasteful neon, proclaimed, quite sensibly, A Negroni is a perfect drink, and if was good enough for James Bond (who was known to partake when he didn't fancy a Martini), it was good enough for my dining partner, who was quite taken with both the Campari, Vermouth and gin-based classic, and the aforementioned ambience.

Your reviewer opted for a nice cold beer in the form of Birra Ichnusa non Filtrata, a crisp and hoppy Sardinian brew, which proved a good pairing with the pre-pizza artichokes fritti, some relatively light (all things considered) crispy fried artichoke hearts.

The main event soon followed with the introduction of two slow-proved Neapolitan pizzas.

Pizza Pilgrims prove every base for a whopping 48 hours to create their signature hefty crusts.

Drinks at Pizza Pilgrims

The double-fermented dough is baked at 500c in the PP's busy open-kitchen and creates a light, charred Naples-style crust.

Both pizzas we tried were exceptional in very different ways.

Although the salsiccia e friarielli pizza isn't necessarily a standard choice in English pizzerias, it is something of Naples classic.

The tomato-free pizza was festooned with roasted Italian sausage, smoked mozzarella, just a smidgen of fresh chilli and plenty of wild broccoletti, which balanced out the creamy cheese and made for more greenery than you'll usually find in a pizza plate or box.

Nutellamisu and Limoncellos at Pizza Pigrims

Conversely, the recipie for double pepperoni and spicy honey isn't likely to have been passed down through countless generations of Neopolitan nonnas, but more fool them...

Basically a Margherita loaded with two smoky varieties of char-crisped pepperoni and finished with a flourish of chilli-infused honey.

It works brilliantly and you'll find yourself pining for the racy honey if you're ever faced with a standard pepperoni pizza again, and as with every good pizza the leftovers tasted even better the morning after for a slightly less-than atheletic breakfast.

Similarly Pizza Pilgrims offers an Eight-Cheese pizza which is another souped-up, hyper-indulgent spin on an established favourite.

There are a few interesting pudding options too, some traditional, others like the Nutella pizza ring, not-so traditional.

In attempt to bridge the gap we chose the Nutellamisu, an unholy but devilishly enjoyable melange of old and new, a house tiramisu with extra Kahlua and Nutella, which miraculously found itself back in a jar of Nutella and ready to share.

Artichokes Fritti at Pizza Pilgrims

We added two shots of ice-cold Limoncello to the table and proceeded to fight over the pud, and left very little evidence of anything in the Nutella jar.

One more cocktail (a Ferrero Rocher Espresso Martini no less) followed for my friend who seemed in no rush to leave.

But after a quick look around the rest of venue, a bright and airy upstairs with a BIG skylight and a gorgeous bright Dave Pop mural, and a basement which, somewhat surprisingly, is home to a three-a-side indoor football pitch - plus table football and a big-screen FIFA station. we were on our way, out of the neo-Neopolitan New York comfort zone, with leftover pizzas in hand, obviously.

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The exterior of Pizza Pilgrims Brighton