Pizza Punks Belfast: Top-quality pizza or flash-in-the-pan gimmick?

Pizza Punks customers can put everything from pepperoni to roast potatoes on their pie. But does this Belfast restaurant offer top-quality pizza, or is it just a flash-in-the-pan gimmick?

Pizza Punks Belfast: Top-quality pizza or flash-in-the-pan gimmick?

Pizza Punks opened its Belfast branch on the peripheries of the Cathedral Quarter back in April 2018. Since then, it has stuck out on the city’s pizza scene thanks to its range of high-quality, albeit unconventional, pizza toppings.

They back up these offerings with some great traditional pizzas and sides, so that all visitors to Pizza Punks will find something they’ll like.

We visited Pizza Punks to sample some of the items on the menu, including this month’s spicy prawn special.

First impressions – a punk aesthetic

Shots of the interior of the restaurant.

We visited Pizza Punks on a Thursday afternoon, and while the restaurant wasn’t exactly busy, there were a few tables of diners waiting eagerly to sink their teeth into the chain’s famous pizzas.

Part of the reason for the lull, to be fair, may have been the weather. On the date of our visit, Belfast was experiencing one of its hottest days of the year to date.

Thankfully the Pizza Punks staff were on hand with cooling refreshments – more on that later – and had the foresight to prop open the front door of the restaurant, allowing a pleasant breeze to enter the dining room.

As the name suggests, Pizza Punks adopts a punk/post-punk aesthetic, and this is apparent through neon signs quoting Joy Division and the choice of music playing over the dining room speakers.

Given we visited during the day, the true effect of the neon lighting was lost. However, in the evening, a buzzing mixture of reds, blues, and pinks makes for brooding and moody visuals that are great for atmosphere.

Upon arrival, we were promptly led to our table in view of the open kitchen and the star of the show – the pizza oven.

The pizzas – what we came for

The Prawn Star Martini pizza at Pizza Punks Belfast.

The punk ethos extends into the kitchen at Pizza Punks, too. They believe in “freedom and expression”, which is why they have a create-your-own menu unlike any you’ve ever seen before.

Along with the usual suspects, like pepperoni, salami, and ‘nduja, you’ll find such unconventional ingredients as beef shin ragu, garlic and rosemary roast potatoes, and sriracha caramel pork belly.

For a very reasonable £13.95, customers can add unlimited ingredients.

The set-menu pizzas feature a similar divide, with Cheeseburger and Salt and Chilli pizzas rubbing shoulders with the classics. We opted for a mixture of both, ordering the Mexican and the Prosciutto pizzas.

The Mexican came loaded with chipotle pulled pork, peppers, jalapeños, roast corn salsa, sour cream, and guacamole. The Prosciutto, on the other hand, consisted of more traditional fare: prosciutto, mushroom, rocket, and parmesan.

We also plumped for the current monthly special – the Prawnstar Martini. The Prawnstar Martini derives its name from the use of vodka in its Sauce Shop buffalo hot sauce, which provides quite the kick to leave your lips tingling.

On top of this base, they pile on butterflied prawns, ranch cream cheese, chilli flakes, chives, and pickled celery.

RELATED READ: Top 10 best pizza places in Belfast, ranked

The extras – sides and drinks

Garlic bread (left) and mac 'n' cheese (right).
Credit: Facebook/ Pizza Punks Belfast

The sides on offer at Pizza Punks are quality, though limited. We had the Garlic Sourdough with sea salt and rosemary, the Mac ‘n’ Cheese, and some tasty Buffalo Chicken Wings. Though, to be fair, you might have little room for sides, thanks to the pizzas!

We visited during working hours, so unfortunately couldn’t avail of the Pizza Punks boozy brunch – any pizza and four drinks for £29.95 per person – or any of their house cocktails, including the appropriately-named-for-its-environs Blue Monday.

They also offer a selection of spirits and wines, as well as a wide range of beer cans and drafts available as a half-pint, pint, or two-pint jug.

Our verdict – what we thought of our visit to Pizza Punks

The Prosciutto pizza (left) and the Mexican pizza (right) at Pizza Punks.

With its use of high-quality ingredients, the value for money at Pizza Punks is undeniable, particularly if you opt to create your own pizza with unlimited toppings.

Its extensive create-your-own menu and its list of unconventional pizzas, though not to everyone’s taste, certainly set it apart in a saturated pizza market in Belfast, or in any of its other locations for that matter.

Meanwhile, a seven-item menu of familiar, more Italian-style pizzas allays the fears of traditionalists who may visit Pizza Punks with trepidation.

Address: 20-22 Waring St, Belfast BT1 2ES

READ NEXT: Top 10 best restaurants in Belfast Cathedral Quarter

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