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THE CITY’S BEST PIZ­ZAS AS VOTED BY YOU

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Gold Coast Eye - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

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