ADDICTED TO BASE
THE CITY’S BEST PIZZAS AS VOTED BY YOU
CREATIVE PIZZA 7/145 Pappas Way, Carrara
As its website proudly proclaims, Creative Pizza has featured in our Best of the Gold Coast pizza poll for the past few years. This year, they’ve nabbed top spot. Co-owner Ron Rezuk says it’s because there’s always an eye on quality, quantity and friendliness. “We keep things as fresh as we can,” he says. “We prep all our meats and vegetables ourselves on-site — very little comes in cans.” The Creative moniker comes from the store motto: We don’t make it ... we create it! With that in mind, the menu regularly features the staff’s latest pizza masterpieces. Keep an eye out for the latest Reef ’n’ Beef, featuring pulled beef and prawns with mushroom, onion and Cajun spice, topped with aioli. Never fear traditionalists, all the old favourites are on the menu too.
MERLIN’S PIZZA 19th Ave Shopping Centre, Palm Beach
On the scene for 27 years, Merlin’s Pizza is obviously doing something right. Co-owner Scott Jelich started as a delivery driver at Merlin’s Palm Beach fresh out of school, working his way up to chef then store manager before buying into the business five years ago. He’s learned a thing or two about pizzas along the way and reckons the secret to a good pizza is freshly-made dough and super-fresh produce. “We’re committed to quality and flavour and being generous with our servings and toppings,” Scott says.
THREE KINGS PIZZA 310 Olsen Ave, Parkwood
The three Lleshi brothers launched Three Kings nine years ago with the supremely simple aim of producing great pizzas. One of their mantras has been never to scrimp on toppings and locals love them for it. Co-owner Nick says they’re fussy about their suppliers. “The fresh produce comes from a supplier who buys spray-free fruit and veg direct from farmers,” he says. “We aim for organic and free-range wherever we can.” Dough is made fresh twice a day with low salt, no sugar and no preservatives.
MERLIN’S PIZZA Christine Corner, Varsity Lakes
A second Merlin’s was on the cards for quite a while before the perfect location popped up at Christine Corner. Co-owner Scott Jelich launched the store in August last year, replicating the formula that had seen the flagship Palm Beach store powering since 1991. The menu is the same, a selection of traditional and more gourmet specialty pizzas. The good news is the Varsity Lakes store has widened its delivery area. Customers are advised to call even if they’re outside the advertised zone as it’s negotiable.
MANDALA COLLECTIVE 4/2558 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid
Even dedicated omnivores can’t get enough of this vegan eatery’s pizzas, which are flavoursome and filling despite not using meat or dairy. “Mandala is a plant-based restaurant and live music venue that offers a unique culinary experience with influences from many different cuisines around the world,” owner Lucas Mogaroto says. “Our pizza base is made with unbleached organic spelt flour and then topped with our famous cashew cheese. The creamy mushroom is definitely a favourite.”
NONNA’S Harbour Town Shopping Centre, Biggera Waters
After months tossing and kneading dough recipes, owner Damien Kanaghines says Nonna’s finally produced the perfect blend; a base that is light and crispy with the feel of an Italian pizza. “Although our Marana Forni oven imported directly from Naples, Italy came in at a hefty $70,000 it is the only one of its type on the Gold Coast.”
LAMBAR 4/37 Musgrave Ave, Chirn Park
Lambar’s pizzas are named after the owners’ children, nieces, parents and even faithful staff members. It’s that kind of place and owner Jaimie Lamb likes to spread the love to his food. “There are no tricks really, just hand-rolled bases with generous ingredients.” Customers who like extra spice know to ask for the free chilli tray.
SALT MEATS CHEESE 10 Beach Rd, Surfers Paradise
Salt Meats Cheese is an Italian restaurant, delicatessen and authentic wood-fired pizza specialist. Owner Korine Skinner says they’re all about food and atmosphere. “Our pizza is handcrafted from scratch by our Italian Pizzaiolo’s, using the finest quality ingredients, with the dough resting for 48 to 72 hours.”
JUSTIN LANE 1710 Gold Coast Hwy, Burleigh Heads
“Justin Lane has always had the philosophy to do things simply but exceptionally well,” owner Adam Haralampou says. “Our pizza bases are what sets us apart as they’re 100 per cent sourdough and are made through a 72-hour natural fermentation process.” The full menu is now also available on the Justin Lane rooftop.
NAPOLI ZERO81 PIZZA BAR 58 Brooke Ave, Chirn Park
Owners Justin and Sarah Palumbo made their mark on the local pizza scene with their mobile Wildfire Pizza, a popular fixture at Miami Marketta for many years, before setting up shop at Chirn Park in November. Both Justin and Sarah have Italian parents and admit they’re slightly obsessed by perfect Neapolitan-style pizzas.