Dinner, Restaurants
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When pizza’s good it’s very good, but when it’s DOPE it’s better

Pizzeria DOPE became my go-to pizza place soon after opening in 2019. When lockdown forced many restaurants to shut indefinitely, and they posted a Facebook message with the words, “Beautiful people, after 18 months starting DOPE…” my heart sank. Was this the breakup text?

Thankfully, there was more to read and the second sentence was markedly more upbeat. In fact, the news was so good it spread tomato sauce over my sunken heart, sprinkled it with mozzarella and ‘Nduja, baked it in a wood-fired oven, then topped it with burrata for good measure. Pizzeria DOPE was not closing – it was relocating. I wasn’t being broken up with; I was being asked to move in. 

It’s now September and last weekend marked my first trip to the reopened restaurant. What’s different? Well, thankfully not too much, except for the increased potential to sit down and get served pizza fresh from the oven. Its previous location – just a few doors away from its new home on de Pijp‘s Eerste van der Helstraat – could only seat a few people and those seats were invariably taken. As a result I only ordered takeaway.

The new spot is far more spacious, and although (at the time of writing) social-distancing measures mean tables inside are limited, the relaxed zoning rules in Amsterdam allow diners to spill onto the pedestrianised street. We’ve endured a lockdown, but we’ve also had a fair spring and summer. So now we’re allowed out, we can actually stay out.And the pizza? Well, it’s still excellent. 

“Earthy wild vegetables, the sweet heat of ‘Nduja, and milky burrata… I’m happy every time.”

Let’s not debate if it’s the tomato sauce or toppings that makes a great pizza. Because DOPE knows it’s the sauce and the toppings… and the crust too. I’m not sure what their secret is, but their dough is a masterpiece. Offering traditional, spelt or wholewheat varieties, each pizza arrives with a blackened, blistering crust that’s light, chewy and full of flavour that others – even from the very best pizzerias in town – are not.

I tend to opt for the Gentle Dream, which combines earthy wild vegetables, the sweet heat of ‘Nduja and milky burrata. I also tick the spelt option, and I’m happy every time. For those intrigued by that name, there’s the Sweet Earth, New Moon and Flower Power to tickle your fancy amongst familiars like Calzone and Marinara. 

DOPE’s other trump card is the eight-strong list of vegan options. They’re delicious and stand confidently next to the veggie and omnivorous alternatives. This is not the only pizzeria catering for the vegan crowd but I’ll wager that DOPE’s vegan pizzas – just like its mainstream ones – are right at the top. 

Find out for yourself and then share your pizza experience in the comments below.

Buon appetito!

WhatPizzeria Dope
WhereEerste van der Helstraat 66 | Instagram | Facebook
SpecialitiesCalabrian pizzas (exceptionally good ones)
BookingsRecommended to avoid disappointment, but they’ll seat you if they can
GroupsFour or less from the same household (whilst social-distancing)

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