From Margate to market | GB Pizza Co, 50 Exmouth Market, London EC1R 4QE
** THIS RESTAURANT HAS NOW CLOSED BUT YOU CAN STILL FIND THEM AT MARGATE**
The GB Pizza Co has been on our radar for a while, the original branch in Margate sounded like a massive hit and a magnet for seaside-goers. Unfortunately we haven’t been able to find the time for a jaunt to the coast, despite the lure of a room for the night at The Reading Rooms, but luckily GB Pizza have come to us.
Like many successful and heartwarming restaurant stories, the GB Pizza Co started life on the road. Set up by Rachel Seed, an award-winning chef and Lisa Richards, a former food writer, the girls travelled around serving pizzas out the back of their campervan at food festivals and such, falling in love with Margate they settled on the coastline with a permanent set up.
Their second branch is on one of our favourite streets – Exmouth Market, Clerkenwell, we love it mostly because it is full of memories from the day after our wedding party, we reminisced about the night before over a hungover brunch at Caravan. If you’re looking for a restaurant you can’t go wrong around here, there’s Moro, Morito, Gail’s bakery, Blackfoot and newby Bonnie Gull just opposite.
GB Pizza Co is small and welcoming, rustic and simple with a slight industrial feel – wooden tables and metal chairs, deep grey walls to match the huge grey dog who appears to live upstairs, finished off with a splash of pink neon (the walls, not the dog). There’s Proscecco on tap, which was tempting but I went for a glass of Organic house red which comes straight from their bespoke, temperature-controlled barrels for a reasonable £3.50. Ordering is done at the counter with the food bought to you, bit of a pain getting up and down but worse things have happened to me.
There’s several pizzas to choose from, all cooked in a wood-fired oven. My veggie friend opted for the cleverly named Margate-Rita £6 – I thought she’d have gone for the weekly veggie special – Leek, peas and spring onion £8. I chose the ‘meat’ special – Nduja chorizo, fresh sweetcorn and coriander £10, I can’t remember the last time I had sweetcorn on my pizza, probably against some pizza rules somewhere. I loved the fiery nduja, nothing perks you up like the kick of spice burning the back of your throat.
These pizzas aren’t like the fluffy doughy ones we’re accustomed to, the base is super light like flatbread with a very crunchy fragile crust that flakes off like filo pastry. The benefit of this is you still have plenty of room for the sides – crispy and addictive Chilli fried broad beans £2.50, plump Green olives £2.90 and the weirdest looking Garlic bread £3.50 I’ve ever seen in my life. Pale and naked with not even a sprinkling of black pepper, it didn’t look like the most appetising thing but actually tasted really good.
Dessert was good old Gelupto Gelato ice cream £3.75 with a Salted Caramel tart (homemade in Margate by Never Mind The Cupcakes) £3, which like the pizza was delicate and easy for one person to manage. I succeeded in polishing it off despite the fact I was meant to be sharing with my friend. Sharing such a dessert with someone other than a partner can be a little bit weird, especially when both parties have mild OCD tendencies regarding germs.
GB Pizza is lovely with a real sense of passion and care for what they do, although they could do with improving their website as the prices are missing from the menu, which is the one thing you need to know the most. It’s quick and friendly making it an ideal lunch stop, if only that was an option for us out of towners. Oh, and get down there on the worst day of the week, pizzas are just £5 on Mondays.
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Opening hours: Sunday to Thursday, 12 to 10pm (last orders on the oven at 10pm);
Friday & Saturday, 12 to 10.30pm (last orders on the oven at 10.30pm)
Nearest station: Angel (10 min walk), Farringdon (12 mins walk)
We ate as guests of GB Pizza Co, this does not affect our review in any way. We always write with complete honesty.