The best pizzeria in Madrid doesn’t call itself one. In fact, it doesn’t even have tables or chairs. At first glance it’s a small, charming gourmet Italian shop, which it is. But it’s also so much more than that.
Italian Gourmet at a pizzeria in madrid
If you’re lucky enough to stumble upon Lauricca, you’ll first see the window front arrayed with vintage illustrations of famous Italian brands. You’ll probably miss the small menu taped to the window altogether. Large cuts of meats and cheese sit on display. Enter to find an Italian gastro haven with the charm of a “ma and pa” shop. Every sauce, pasta, and pastry that hails from Italy is stacked on wooden shelves that go from floor to high ceiling. In the charming one-room store you can find artisan panettone, fresh Italian cheeses and pepperoni. Dried pastas of every color and jars on jars of sauces, creams and spreads fill every corner. Besides a small paper menu on the window, there’s very little to suggest that you’ve found a secret pizzeria in Madrid.
There is just enough room for a handful of people to stand. There’s no need to move around, you can do all your shopping just by spinning 360 degrees on your heels. The store has not only imported Italian products, but also the essential flavors and gastro nuances that make Italian food so delicious. I once made stuffed chicken using jarred sun-dried tomatoes from Lauricca. Buying sun- dried tomatoes from anywhere else now feels substandard. Here, the unspoken message is that quality ingredients make quality food. It comes at a premium but it can take your dish from good to exceptional.
What we tried
Their pizza exemplifies the same principle of quality ingredients. I would have never found the best pizzeria in Madrid had a friend not invited me. You can barely spot the kitchen from behind the piles of imported goods, and if you hang around long enough you’ll hear a man speaking Italian back there. There are twenty-one different pizza combinations but we tried two. The first is called Sfincione; it has a tomato sauce base, goat cheese, onion and anchovies. The second pizza we tried, Borgotaro Andria, is also based with tomato sauce and topped with mozzarella, wild mushrooms and burrata (an Italian cheese made of a mozzarella and cream blend). The smell alone is intoxicating.
One bite and I knew this was pizza as it should be, made with tradition and quality. The magic is in the tomato sauce. I’ve been to Italy but I cannot recall a pizza sauce as noteworthy. It’s the perfect balance of savory tomato and sweet. The anchovies give a salty touch and the cheese rounds the flavors. Just as tasty was the Borgotaro Andria. The burrata cheese providing a smooth, mild flavor. The crust is thin yet soft and doughy. That’s the beauty of it. Lauricca’s is all no- nonsense pizza. Nothing is overdone and no ingredients are overplayed. All the flavors are well balanced. The toppings complement the quality and simple base of the pizza: the crust, the sauce, and the cheese. For the full experience, we tried the pre-prepared tiramisu. It has a strong coffee flavor (Italians know their espresso) but is well balanced with a greater ratio of crème to ladyfingers.
The proprietor is warm and friendly Italian woman who chats with you as if you’re an old friend. She’s happy to tell you about all the goods, the Italian region they come from and how its made and eaten. Your pizza will be ready in about 15 minutes. You can chat in the meantime about life, politics, food, just about anything with the owner. There’s nothing transactional about ordering food here. Stop by for the gourmet food shopping experience. Stay for the friendly chat. Leave with exceptional food and pizza in tow.
In a city brimming with a plethora of food and dining options from across the globe, Lauricca is the most understated pizzeria in Madrid. Pastas, risotto and meatballs are additional take away options. The good news is it’s near the center, close to metro Quevedo and Bilbao. The better news is they deliver. Buon Apetito!
Need to Know
Where: Calle Trafalgar, 5
Metro Quevedo (Line 2-Red) or Bilbao (Line 1 -light blue, Line 4-brown and Line 10-dark blue)
When: Tuesday –Sunday (varying hours) Closed in August
Cost: 9-15 euro
+34 917 72 91 08
Take-away and Delivery Only