Pizza places fall into one of three categories for me. 1) Chain restaurant (a dirty, abhorrent term here at Great Food Club). 2) Old-school and ramshackle (think red and white checked table cloths and a flirtatious waiter). 3) Artisan and earnest. Rudy’s Pizza falls firmly into the latter. It’s smart, stylish and super serious about pizza, and all the better for it.
A labour of love for its coupled-up owners, Jim Morgan and Kate Wilson, you can safely say that Rudy’s is run by a pair of pizza obsessives pushing for perfection. They opened Rudy’s doors in Ancoats, Manchester’s former Little Italy, in 2015, followed by a second Rudy’s at St Peter’s Square in March 2018.
The secret to Rudy’s success may well be in its dough. It’s double fermented for a minimum of 20 hours and the pizzas stay in the oven for a mere 60 seconds, giving you a soft, light and floppy base – just like the traditional pizzas you’ll find in Naples, the birthplace of this wonder food.
Industrial chic with exposed pizza kilns, the kitchens blend into the dining areas, making for a relaxed community vibe. Rudy’s has a firm fan base and cult following in Mancunia, and when you’re eating here you can’t help but feel like you’ve joined the the cool kids who are in the know.
Italian cocktails, craft ale and Sicilian wines were flowing at our table – in cute little tumblers, as stemmed wine glasses are so passé – and amongst the pizzas we had: Portobello – tomato, fior di latte mozzarella, portobello mushroom, basil, oregano, sea salt, Parmesan and garlic oil; Calabrese – tomato, mozarella, basil and spicy n’duja sausage; Marininara – tomato, garlic, oregano, basil and olive oil (which, being without the usual melted cheese, made this a top vegan option).
It’s time to join the cool kids and get to Rudy’s.
By Louise Henderson, Manchester editor