REVIEW: Pizza Punks

Anarchy has broken out across the Cathedral Quarter in Belfast. A new wave of disregard for traditional methods and ideals has entered the hearts and minds of a fanatical team of young people and is threatening to run rampage all over the establishment of outdated pizza providers.

Pizza Punks; remember the name because you will hear it a lot over the summer. It is hard to miss. As I was walking along Waring Street, listening to Lois my daughter rave about this new pizzeria and its central venue, I saw the sign. Jutting out from the tired old-style buildings of the Cathedral Quarter, was an anarchist, A. Emblazoned over the door, in shocking pink and blue neon vulgarity, wonderful.

The venue has a fresh neon feel with mixed and matched seating, great lighting and colour schemes giving a very urban feel. For those who can remember, Pizza Punks feels like a cleaner, brighter Harp Bar, which was the beating heart of the Punk scene in Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter during the late seventies and early eighties.

The music in Pizza Punks sets the mood for the beginning of a great night out. Indeed, I truly feel that Pizza Punks will become the set-off point for all nights out and will be a great place to finish the night out as well.

The menu is varied yet easy to navigate. Pizza is in the name and Pizza is what you get, and you get it exactly how you want it. You start with a choice of two bases; gluten free or sour-dough. Then you begin to create the taste you desire. Red, white or BBQ sauces, a perfect array of seven cheeses including a vegan option. With a myriad of toppings, the combinations are as unlimited as the number of toppings and you can have unlimited toppings on the pizza. I know, it’s insane.

They have pre-set pizzas as well if you feel overwhelmed by the selection. Ranging from ‘go-to’ known pizzas, to some weird and unconventional pizzas, like the ‘Ulster Fry’ pizza, the ‘Philly Cheesesteak Calzone’, and for me right out there, for all those who love a level of spice that will have you spitting fire, is the ‘Messy Mexican’. All prepared in a wood-fired oven.

Lois and I ordered a ‘Messy Mexican’ and a ‘Goats Cheese’ off the pre-set options. They also have a perfect selection of sides to accompany the pizza, we went for a rosemary and sea salt garlic bread and candied bacon.

There is a licenced bar, so again choice: soft drinks (including two house crafted sodas, of which the Cherry Pop is terrifically refreshing and sweet), gin cocktails, beers and a crisp light and snappy pilsner, called Pravha.

We could watch our pizzas being assembled by the artists in the kitchen. I say artists because what Pizza Punks produce is not the off-the shelf ‘mud-pie’ sloppy flop, that the detestable duo offer; but rather a crisp based, aromatically arousing, taste revolution. Fresh, each topping could be tasted individually yet complimented the whole wonderfully.

The ‘Messy Mexican’ was a clash of Italy and Mexico. Applewood cheddar, fajita chicken red onions and peppers. Finished off with tortilla chips, sour cream, guacamole and laced with fiery jalapenos. Itt was pumped full of flavour and the tortilla chips made the whole pizza deceptively filling. This was the best pizza I have ever had, and I have had them all.

The ‘Goats Cheese’ pizza was excellent. Pungent and earthy flavours with the mellow balance of spinach. The slice Lois gave me was thin to say the least, she was so reluctant to share and saw it off in minutes.

The star of the sides for me was the candied bacon. Described as being; sweet, salty and smoky yes it was, but I would also add; sticky, addictive and succulently divine.

With the Cloth Ear, Merchant and many more within a two minute walk its placed perfectly. This is exactly what the Cathedral Quarters night scene has been waiting for. Pizza Punks is stunning, a venue like no other, very modern and like nowhere else in town, and pizza like you have NEVER had in Northern Ireland.

The Ramones sang ‘We need a change and we need it fast’, well for me Pizza Punks is exactly the change we have been waiting for. So ‘hey ho, let’s go’.

Paul McMath

Pizza Punks is on Waring Street in Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter. It is open from midday every day, closing at 10pm Sunday to Thursday and midnight on Friday and Saturday. Find them online at and @pizzapunkbelffast on Facebook.

Recent Restaurants Reviews