Not so long ago, we took the time to rank everything on the Nando’s menu (we know it’s a hard job, but somebody had to do it). So we thought it would be only right to do the same with another of our restaurant chain obsessions: Pizza Express.
For fairness, we’ve ranked all 49 dishes according to the different sections of the menu (think starters, pizzas, pastas, salads and desserts), because how can you compare the Superfood Salad to a Sloppy Giuseppe? You just can’t.
There isn’t anything on the menu we particularly dislike, so consider this handy list a way to decipher between the good and the blow-your-mind amazing dishes you should order every time…
The starters & sides
14. Mixed Salad (side)
It’s not the most exciting side on the menu, but if you’re after something a bit healthier, then this is a great option. But, pizza…
13. Roasted Tomatoes
These are a really tasty way to whet your appetite, the slow-roasted tomatoes are juicy and bursting with flavour. But if you’re starving, you’ll need to order three.
12. Caesar Salad
If you fancy a lighter option before you commit carb-icide on the mains (whatever helps you sleep at night), the caesar salad, with its rich and creamy dressing isn’t half bad. It also isn’t dough balls, though…
11. Coleslaw (side)
Coleslaw makes everything better – fact. Pizza Express’ coleslaw is crunchy and creamy and has an added chipotle kick. It’s perfect with pizza or delicious on its own.
10. Polenta Chips (side)
These aren’t your average chips – they’re made with polenta (hence the name), oven-baked for crispiness and served with a tasty honey mustard dip. These are really tasty, but if you’re comparing them to normal chips, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment.
9. Marinated Olives
These were big and juicy and came with delicious garlic cloves drizzled in olive oil. Great at filling a small hole while you wait for the real food to come out.
8. Garlic Bread with Mozzarella
What could possibly make garlic bread better? Mozzarella, of course. This is definitely more generous on the cheesy side, than the garlic side, but it’s tasty all the same.
7. Classic Italian Antipasto
Served as a selection of Italian meats, mozzarella, honeydew peppers, olives, roasted tomatoes, artichokes, bread and dips. Think of this as the greatest Italian hits on one plate – perfect for sharing (or not).
6. Mozzarella & Tomato Salad
Creamy buffalo mozzarella, juicy tomatoes and pesto – a classic combination that you can’t go wrong with ordering. It’s light, so you might as well order double portions.
Expect crispy, perfectly-seasoned batter and a delicious caesar dip. Very nice.
4. Bruschetta Originale ‘PizzaExpress’
Pizza Express’ famous dough, brushed with garlic butter and topped with tomatoes, onion, basil and pesto *drools*. Always a winner.
3. Cod Crochette
If you want to try something new, we highly recommend ordering this. Think fish cakes, but waybetter, creamy cod and mozzarella with a jalapeno kick rolled in breadcrumbs. What’s not to love?
2. Dough Balls ‘PizzaExpress’
If you went to Pizza Express and didn’t order dough balls, did you even go to Pizza Express? The combination of hot dough and garlic butter is sheer perfection; plus, they come in a gluten-free version, which is also delicious. Nuff’ said.
1. Dough Balls Doppio
It turns out there’s a Doppio version of the infamous Dough Balls, which are served with two sexy new dips – a pesto dip and a harissa-spiced tomato dip – plus, garlic butter. Yep, there’s a reason this is our number one starter. It is, quite frankly, life-changing.
Let’s face it: we didn’t come to Pizza Express to eat a salad. Having said that, if you’re after a lighter option, then the salads are pretty good. The pollo salad has added goats cheese and dough sticks, and is served with their signature house dressing.
A classic, but delicious salad option; tuna and egg on a crunchy salad base, served with house dressing and dough sticks.
3. Grand Chicken Caesar
The Pizza Express version of the classic chicken caeser salad doesn’t disappoint. This is a bigger version of the starter, with added chicken and dough sticks.
2. Pollo Milanese
We loved this twist on a traditional salad; it’s made up of warm, breaded chicken with pesto dressing, and served with a rocket and tomato salad. Seriously tasty.
1. Leggera Superfood Salad
For an explosion of colour and flavour, we highly recommend the superfood salad. This one had the most flavour out of all the salads; plus, it’s under 500 calories. That means you can order pizza too, right?!
5. Seafood Rigatoni
Delicious creamy sauce with a hint of lemon and plenty of seafood. Plus, it’s gluten-free.
4. Lasagna Classica
Loaded with cheese, tomato and bechamel sauce, this is a great take one the classic lasagne dish. Order a side of garlic bread with mozzarella and you’re winning at life.
3. Risotto Primavera
As well as being another great gluten-free option, the risotto is also suitable for vegetarians. It’s super tasty and has a lovely creamy texture; definitely worth trying.
Think lasagne, but without the meat; the pasta is filled with ricotta and spinach, and topped with bechamel and mozzarella. Another great veggie option.
1. Pollo Pesto
Hands down, the best pasta dish on the menu. The combination of creamy sauce with pesto, chicken and cheese is a winner – and the portion size is really generous. Yum.
17. Soho 65
A fancy veggie option for meat-free pizza-lovers, it has rocket, olives, and all the parmesan – what’s not to love? We recommend ordering this on a romana base for a thinner, crispier pizza.
16. Margherita Bufala
This is essentially a classic margherita, but with added extras – including fresh basil leaves, fresh tomato and garlic oil. This wasn’t our favourite pizza on the menu, but we polished it off pretty quickly all the same.
15. Vegan Giardiniera
Even if you’re the biggest meat-lover around, we guarantee you’ll enjoy this vegan take on a pizza. It’s packed with flavour and even has vegan mozzarella. Very nice.
Another great vegan option: no cheese alternatives on this one, but it makes up for it by loading up the delicious veggie toppings. The chilli kick is also a nice touch.
Pizza Express’ vegetarian offering is seriously strong, and the Veneziana option is no exception to the rule. At first glance, the combination of sultanas, pine kernels, olives and onions might be unsettling, but we can confirm it’s actually pretty good.
Served on a slightly thicker classic base, this is a fail-safe option, but doesn’t have the same excitement factor that its spicier sibling – The American Hot – comes with.
11. Pollo Forza
For chilli-lovers, this is another winner; this time, with the addition of chicken and peppers. We especially loved the smoky flavours on this pizza.
One of the more unusual pizzas on the menu, but it doesn’t disappoint. Instead of a classic tomato base, this one has a creamed corn sauce, topped with chicken, sausage, mozzarella and chilli ‘pearls’. Those chilli pearls really make it.
If you’re a bit of a spice-phobe, this is one to steer clear of. The Diavolo pizza has a serious kick to it, thanks to spicy beef, pepperoni, tabasco and jalapenos. It’s delicious, but pass the water please.
8. Sloppy Giuseppe
If you live for spice and beef, then you’ll love this pizza; a classic flavour combination with an added kick. Extra points for sloppiness.
7. Pollo ad Astra
Chicken, sweet Peppadew peppers, red onion, mozzarella, tomato, Cajun spices and garlic oil. Everything about this pizza is perfection. It’s also available as a Leggera pizza, which replaces the centre of the pizza with a lightly dressed salad – all for under 600 calories.
6. La Reine
The combination of prosciutto, cheese and mushrooms, along with black olives make for a deceivingly simple and subtle flavour. Nothing is too overpowering and it all just works together. Delicious.
5. Margherita (classic)
Although we loved the margherita bufala, we just felt that you simply cannot improve on the classic margherita – no explanation needed.
Egg on a pizza? Trust us, this works and the results are delicious. We also had no idea spinach leaves on pizza could taste so good. It’s basically healthy.
3. American Hot
If you want a pepperoni pizza with an added chilli kick, opt for the American Hot with jalapenos. It packs a punch in the flavour department (but it isn’t for the faint hearted); plus, it also comes as a leggera pizza – think all the heat, but half the calories.
This was a firm favourite across our panel of testers. Goat’s cheese, caramelised onions, spinach and more make up a delicious combination. Top tip: meat-lovers should add pepperoni for a spicy, meaty hit. The Padana is also available in the Leggera style, for a less calorific pizza fix.
Pizza Express once decided to remove this pizza from their menu, and their was a huge backlash on social media to get it back. We can see what all the fuss is about: smothered in mozzarella, ‘njuja sausage, chilli, peppers and pesto, this is a worthy winner of our coveted number one pizza spot. If you haven’t tried this yet, you absolutely must.
8. Summer Tiramisu
A summery twist on the classic tiramisu; this is light, fluffy and fruity – but, not a hint of coffee in sight. It’s no match for the classic tiramisu, but worth a try if you’re after something a bit different.
7. Vanilla Cheesecake
Classic, simple and delicious – we particularly enjoyed how creamy the filling was and the yummy fruit coulis on the side.
6. Chocolate Brownie
Has anyone ever said no to a brownie? Probably not. This indulgent chocolate brownie had a crunchy outside and a perfectly soft centre, plus it’s gluten-free.
5. Chocolate Fudge Cake
All of our chocolate wishes came true with this cake. We felt a bit like Bruce Bogtrotter from Matilda eating it, but it was so worth it – moist, rich and super chocolatey. Delish.
4. Honeycomb Cream Slice
Honeycomb, salted caramel and crunchy biscuit = a match made in dessert heaven. If you’re not a fan of really sweet desserts, this might be one to steer clear of, but for anyone with a sweet tooth, this is the perfect sweet treat to end a meal.
3. Salted Caramel Profiteroles
Think classic profiteroles, but with a twist – they’re filled with a salted caramel cream, coated in caramel and served with a delicious caramel dipping sauce. Just. Amazing.
What better way to finish an Italian meal, than with the classic Italian dessert? Layers of ladyfinger sponge, mascarpone cream, cocoa and, of course, coffee – it has the perfect balance of coffee and cream. Delicious.
1. Chocolate Fondant ‘PizzaExpress’
Let’s face it; the number one dessert was always going to be something chocolatey. The chocolate fondant is quite possibly the most indulgent dessert on the menu. Warm chocolate cake, filled with a warm liquid chocolate centre, is served with vanilla ice cream. A clear winner.