Do you have a favourite pizza place in Edinburgh? After living here for ten years, I can honestly say I’ve tried a lot of different places! But as a family we always come back to Pizza Express; with it’s family-friendly menu, seasonal variation, and helpful staff it is no surprise that it’s a firm favourite here in Edinburgh. The Autumn menu has brought some amazing flavours – like, the Romana Caponata which has fried aubergine cooked with green olives, tomatoes, onion, capers, oil and vinegar with buffalo mozzarella and tomato and is finished with Gran Milano cheese and fresh basil. That should be enough on it’s own but there’s lots of other reasons to appreciate Pizza Express too…

Last weekend we headed to Pizza Express on Queensferry Street. It’s recently been renovated and there is no doubt that the designers have been inspired by the city around us. Aside from the tartan upholstering, much of the artwork and decor reflects the inventor of the telephone, Alexander Graham Bell. Retro telephones adorn the walls, and even the new lighting conjures visions of telephone wires and machinery. There is no doubt that the ‘new-look’ is welcoming as the restaurant was filled with families opting to dine in the early evening.

As always, the Pizza Express staff were ready to greet us with activity sheets for the kids and were quick to take and deliver our drinks order. I love the stickers that accompany the colouring sheets as it makes it a little more suited to younger children. Thomas isn’t really that interested in colouring yet but can happily play with stickers. It was lovely to see staff interacting with him as they went past, even accepting ‘gifts’ of stickers that he was enthusiastically proffering!

We all started with our family favourite of Dough Balls. The kids always wolf these alongside the selection of veg that comes with the kids portions. Whilst I often think other Starters sound good, it would be hard to beat Dough Balls in my book!

The other plus for kids is that the kitchens are so open at Pizza Express. It’s great fun (even as an adult) to watch the pizzas being stretched out and tossed up in the air. Our Dough Balls arrived so quickly that the kids weren’t grouchy or hungry so were more than happy to watch their main course being created. It also reinforces just how fresh all the food is and it’s nice to guess if it’s your pizza being made!

For our main course, Mike and I both decided to order Seasonal Specials which were actually incredible. I ordered the afore mentioned Caponta whereas Mike went for the meatier Campana – Crumbled pork & fennel sausage, friarielli, tomato, garlic oil and mozzarella, finished with Gran Milano cheese and parsley. Both pizzas just had so much depth of flavour and were incredibly filling. Although I went for the thinner Romana base I still struggled to finish it. Thomas was happy to help out so it disappeared eventually but I was impressed at how substantial they both were without being too heavy.

By the time we had finished our main course – although the desert menu had some very tempting offers – Thomas was beginning to get tired and I know from experience it’s better to leave whilst we’re head! I’m still a little sad I didn’t just grab a piece of the Lotus Biscoff Cheesecake to go but it gives me a good excuse to visit again before the Autumn Specials disappear!

P.S. We were gifted this meal but all words and opinions are my own. Thanks to Pizza Express for supporting Edinburgh Life with Kids!

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