Manchester is filled to the brim with incredible places to enjoy a sensational slice of pizza, so of course we weren’t surprised to find two pizza restaurants making it to the finals of the National Pizza Awards 2022. However, after competing against pizza joints from across the country in a live cook-off in London this November, the legendary Rudy’s (who recently opened a Didsbury branch) managed scoop up the award for ‘Vegan Pizza of the Year’.
Unfortunately, Rudy’s and another of Manchester’s finest pizzerias Crazy Pedro’s sadly did not take home the crown of ‘National Pizza of the Year’ after battling it out against a very capital-heavy list of finalists. The vegan favourite Rudy’s Francesco Pizza and Crazy Pedro’s Fried Chicken and Waffle pizza featuring smoked bacon and maple syrup took on marvellous margheritas and other pizzas topped with tasty ingredients.
This year’s award went to London’s Bad Boy Pizza Society, which operates from three locations across the capital, after wowing industry judges at the UK-wide event with its signature Pepperoni Alla Vodka pizza, a recipe that features a Sicilian base, home-made vodka sauce, pepperoni, Stracciatella and fresh basil.
The vodka sauce is made by cooking down onions, fresh and dried chillies, oregano and butter before deglazing with vodka to add an extra kick. The vodka is left to slowly evaporate before cooking down again with tomatoes and then adding double cream and parmesan.
The 2022 National Pizza Awards finalists
Bad Boy Pizza Society, London Pepperoni Alla Vodka
Bath Pizza Co, Bath Tiger Margherita
Crust Bro’s, London Big Tonno!
Crazy Pedro’s, Manchester Fried Chicken & Waffle
Flat Earth Pizzas, London Cauli Cheese Zero to 100
Gusto Italian, National ’Nduja, Mascarpone and Honey
MozzaFella, Baildon The Peanist
Playhouse, Northampton Pitsford Bee Sting
Pizzaface, Brighton ’Nduja Wanna
Rudy’s Pizza, Manchester Francesco Pizza
Village Pizza Kitchen, Hassocks Game Changer
Zia Lucia, London Arianna Rivisitata
Zizzi, National Big Zuu’s Zillionaire Rustica
The National Pizza Awards also crowned a Pizza Chef of the Year, which went to Crust Bros’ Davide Parato, who impressed judges in the technical round, where contestants were challenged with creating their best pizza from a range of sponsor products. A Bloggers’ Choice Award, judged by hospitality influencers, was presented to Zia Lucia for its Arianna Rivisitata creation, which featured the brand’s signature vegetable charcoal dough.