Goccia, Mermaid Beach: This is the real deal – if you haven’t had an authentic Italian experience at Goccia, you need to rectify the situation immediately. Order a glass of Italian chianti (or birra) then settle in as your white or red-based pizza is fired in the oven. Hot tip – the Bosco with mozzarella, porcini mushroom, blue cheese and prosciutto is pretty life changing.
Francie’s, Coolangatta: Francie’s is a quaint (and super cute) pizzeria located in the heart of Coolangatta, which specialises in neo-Neopolitan pizzas. The dough goes through long fermentation process before being hand-stretched, topped with glorious combinations like Pears Brosnan (pear, gorgonzola, speck, thyme and fior di latte) and Fennel Countdown (housemade fennel sausage, red onion, parmigiano reggiano, tomato and garlic crumb). By the way, there’s a separate vegan menu here too and it’s primo.
Jafa, Southport: Is there anything better in life than pizza and wine? This dreamy combination forms the core of Jafa, with owner (ex-Nobu Melbourne chef) Michael Hopkinson keeping the pizzas to the simplest form. The hand-stretched bases are dressed with combinations like pepperoni, tomato and mozzarella, truffled mushrooms on a ricotta base with peas and thyme, and wagyu meatballs with mozzarella and zucchini, before being fired to perfection.
Justin Lane, Burleigh Heads: This is the coast’s OG pizza joint – you’re guaranteed a good munch here, with sourdough pizzas in delightful combinations like pork belly, potato, caramelised onion, fior di latte and chives. The cabbage, mint, peas, chilli, aioli, radish and ricotta salad is a great vibe on the side.
Pepé Italia Deli, Palm Beach: This deli-meets-restaurant concept is a haven for traditional, soul-warming Italian food. The pizzas here are simple and authentic, topped with freshly sliced cured meats and cheeses straight from the deli cabinet, before being fired in the traditional Italian wood-fired oven. Pair your pizza with an Italian red, and a rocket and pear salad, and you’re all set.
Arlo’s Pizzeria, Chevron Island: For a casual bite or a takeaway pizza pie, Arlo’s is a no-brainer. The perfectly crisp bases are handcrafted and topped with a range of flavours from traditional Italian to more modern combinations, with a bunch of weekly specials thrown in to keep you guessing. Bring your own bottle of vino, kick back and let the masters do their thing.
Belvedere Stonemill, Burleigh Heads: Located beneath Swell Resort in Burleigh Heads, the authentic Italian eatery is the handiwork of Italian-born Fabio Rocco Ricciardi, who was previously the chef for the Ferrari team in the Formula 1 racing circuit – so you know it’s the goods. The pizzas here are very traditional – the dough is made from house-milled sustainable grains before being topped with simple combinations and fired to perfection. Our pick – the Meridionale with grilled eggplant, hot salami and ricotta.
Burleigh Pavilion, Burleigh Heads: Fact – pizzas are best enjoyed with beachfront views. If you’re yet to taste The Pav’s woodfired pizzas, then get it on your list of to-dos. We generally go straight for the mortadella, fior di latte, stracciatella, spiced pistachio and basil variety (because mortadella is life) and there’s also the must-try woodfired-pig calzone jammed with preserved veggies, zucchini and fermented chilli sauce.
Salt Meats Cheese, Surfers Paradise: If you’re into all-things cheese and have a genuine love for pizza (and pasta) then Salt Meats Cheese will be your nirvana. Choose from a decent selection of classic pizzas or get a little bit exotic with the signature range featuring combinations like the Black Lobster with an eye-catching squid-ink base, fior di latte, lobster, provolone, garlic oil and thyme.
Gemellini, Gemelli and Roy’s by Gemelli: The pizza ethos extends throughout the Carney brother’s three Italian venues. All of the pizzas are handmade and woodfired with delicious authentic combinations. We’re partial to a few slices of the Che Stupido, with fior di latte, salami, fennel sausage and chilli.
Balboa Italian, Palm Beach: Of an evening, Palm Beach locals are often met with the mesmerising aroma of delicious hand-rolled dough bases dressed with cheeses, garlic and cured meats all bubbling away in the woodfired oven. The pizzas here are rustic, authentic and best consumed with a bold red (or three).
Double Zero, Broadbeach: Tucked away behind the hustle and bustle of Broadbeach, Double Zero offers an authentic Italian experience with mouth-watering woodfired pizzas that are the deal deal. Plus, it’s cosy and warmly lit, making it the perfect winter hang.
Osteria del Mare, Burleigh Heads: This seaside hub in Burleigh slings delicious woodfired Italian pizzas. The combinations are kept simple and delicious – think tomato, mozzarella and hot salami – are there gluten-free and vegan options galore.
Honourable mentions: Friends, that is just the tip of it – there are plenty of top-notch pizzas being thrown around all corners of the Gold Coast. Once you’ve eaten through this list, be sure to check out local faves like Lambar Pizza, the newly opened Stoked Wood Fired Pizza, Mario’s Italian, Rivea Italian and JFK Woodfired – then explore our Stumble Guide for more.