East London Food & Culture

Bocca Bocca

So you’ve never been to…Bocca Bocca Leytonstone

Sure, it's taken a while, but we finally popped by the acclaimed pizzeria for lunch

Where exactly is it? Right there on Leytonstone High Road, seconds from the mighty Panda and almost opposite its pioneering main rival, Yard Sale.

So what goes on there? Bocca Bocca is the culmination of a “years-long dream of bringing the beauty of Naples and the Amalfi Coast to our neighbourhood,” say its owners. So there’s pizza. Of course. But also pasta. We can vouch for the negronis, too. And the pizza options are more imaginative and comprehensive than in many joints.

What should I eat? We shared two pizzas before the madness of this month’s Shake The High Road festival. Best was the white-base Terra Mia (£14.5, pictured below right), with smoked provola, fior di latte, nice meaty chunks of pork sausage, garlic-sauteed friarelli (healthy Italian greens) and chilli flakes. This one my partner and I fought over.


And while we enjoyed the flavours of our other choice, the Capricciosa (£15, pictured below left), a tomato base with chestnut mushrooms, ham, fior di latte, artichokes, black olives, and basil – it quite literally collapsed when scooped up by hand, making an unseemly mess on the plate which then had to be rescued with knife and fork. Thankfully, it was a very tasty mess.

Bocca Bocca
Terra Mia, pictured right, was our favourite. Photos: SE

Our friend, meanwhile, ordered the classic handmade ravioli (pictured above right) filled with with ricotta and spinach, in a brown butter sauce with pumpkin and topped with aromatic crispy sage. She raved about it, so I’ll be back to try that – and the slow-cooked beef ragu tagliatelle, for sure.

The interior: discuss. It’s lovely, contemporary and airy, with pale blue stylings, blond wood and dangling lights. Sit in the window for people-watching or a banquette for a more private tryst.

Donate just £2 to Leytonstoner
And what do I drink? Wine is priced as you’d expect for the area: the fruity but dry organic Spanish Bobal Rose made a good choice on a warm lunchtime (£6 a glass).

What’s the vibe like? It was quiet at 2pm on a Saturday, gently filling up before we left. And of course the same owners run the relaxed Unity Cafe on Grove Green Road, a regular haunt of ours for a coffee on the terrace. Both are worth supporting.

Find Bocca Bocca at 781 High Rd Leytonstone, E11 4QS @boccaboccalondon

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