Reviews for Dantes Pizzeria
by Sophie Munro
14 days ago
Dantes Pizza is amazing!! I went to Italy midway through last year, and since I have been back I struggled to find pizza similar to what we had there. At Dantes they make pizza like they do in Napoli! It's amazing. The pizza is simple, but the dough is insane and they use awesome Italian products like FRESH mozzarella and procuitto.
I hope they remain awesome. Great work Dantes!
by Johnine D
23 days ago
Dante’s is known for having the best pizza in New Zealand having been an awardee of Metro magazine for four years straight from 2008 – 2011, and again in 2014. When an Italian colleague of my fiancé affirmed that this indeed is a good pizzeria, we knew we had to try it ASAP. The opportunity popped up when we invited our friends for a celebration of some sort for a small milestone in my fiancé’s graduate school life.
“So, what’s your winning pizza?” my friend asked the staff when he came to give us the menu. It was the Regina Margherita but he said his favourite was the Con Prosciutto – we ordered both.
I’ve tried wood fired pizza before but they were nothing as good as Dante’s. The first bite tells you why they have received membership into Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana. The crust was thin, crisp but chewy, and had that slightly burnt taste for having been cooked in a wood fired oven at 450 degrees. I loved how it was so simple but packed a lot of flavour. Every thing was just right – the tomato sauce had just the right balance of sourness and sweetness, the mozzarella was not overwhelming, the basil tasted fresh and the amount of olive oil it had was spot on, it had enough for me to mop up the plate with the last bit of crust I had. This is how pizza’s supposed to be like.
by Lizzie R
one month ago
Ah, pizza. To be quite fair with you, my love for pizza has slowly diminished over the years (shh, I know, I know) and what I mean by that is that I no longer crave it every day of the week nor do I call it my favourite dish in the whole world (sorry). However, when I do feel like a pizza, it has to be a GOOD one. And Dante's pizzas are just that: crispy yet chewy, with a charred and bubbly base, fresh, flavoursome tomato sauce and minimal toppings. I shared a chorizo pizza with a friend and it was great! Chorizo was plentiful and the size of the pizza itself was perfect for two people, although I will not judge you if you eat it all by yourself - I can imagine it is entirely possible because the pizza does not feel greasy or heavy at all!
The service had its ups and downs: when I just arrived, the staff were all friendly and bubbly, yet something a little weird happened when me and my friend were finishing our meal. By the time we were almost done, the tiny place that Dante's is has pretty much filled up (there was no one there when we arrived). As I was finishing my last slice I could hear the owner say to the incoming customers who were looking for a table that "these two are going to leave in 5 minutes" (pointing to me and my friend). I'm not sure if he meant that, or whether it was simply an accent/miscommunication issue, but it sounded a little rude to me, like he just wanted us out. What if we were planning to order more drinks and chill for longer? Oh well.
All in all, come here if you want to enjoy proper, truly great pizza in a nice setting, although I would personally recommend avoiding busy times as the place itself can only accommodate a handful of people. Oh, and there's always takeaway! :)
by Eduardo Dias
one month ago
I called these guys to place an order and they were very rude on the phone. We arrived on time they said our order would be ready and for our surprise they didn't even take it.
We waited for 10 minutes when finally we had our pizza. Last but not least, pizza had too much tomato sauce on a rough burned doughy base. It was horrible and dry.
Terrible service and horrible pizza. We are putting 1 star because there's no negative scores, otherwise we certainly would do it.
by David B
one month ago
The Marinara pizza is my new favourite. I have cravings for it. I can see why they get voted the best pizza all the time and I can also see how people are disappointed when they get something that is quite different to pizza you get elsewhere (even wood fired ones). This is the place that has ruined pizza from anywhere else for me. The staff were really good and even took our 4 yr old into the kitchen to 'help' make the pizza. He loved it.
by Monique R
one month ago
Good pizza - a shame about the service. I stopped by Ponsonby Central on my weekend stroll through Ponsonby and decided to sample Dante's after hearing rave reviews. The margarita was very nice - thin crust, tasty sauce and toppings - what one would wish for in a good pizza. However, I couldn't abide by the bizarre and patronising attitude of the server. Upon arrival, I was told this was not Dominoes and when I sat down, I was questioned on whether I knew how to eat this type of pizza. After receiving my pizza, he continued to lurk by my table until he saw that I could competently eat their authentic Napoletana pizza. Whew! I passed 'the test'! A shame though - take away the bizarre treatment and this would have been a 5/5 experience.
2 months ago
I walked past this cute joint in my fav, Ponsonby Central and noticed the alluring 'Metro Magazine best pizza winner' sign for the past few years for their margherita pizza and knew I had to taste. The pizzas, each $24 are a good size and very filling, though I can't quite agree with Metro's rating. The margherita was appetising but nothing outstanding. The dough was the best bit - soft, smooth and substantial, however I found the pizza over-oiled. I did enjoy the con prosciutto pizza. The place is small, but made up for with the quick arrival of pizza and (over)friendly service.
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by A Food Awakening
4 months ago
Dantes is the one and only pizza joint in Ponsonby Central. Originally based in Huapai in West Auckland, it’s had a modern upgrade with the possibility of sitting in, not just a takeaway option.
Tbh I am not a huge fan of pizza because I think it’s uninteresting to eat a lot of the same one thing, but Dantes knows pizza. Serving true Italian toppings and cooked in a wood fire oven. The menu is limited with only 5 pizzas but I think this is smart. They whip them up quickly and you aren’t left waiting a long time for something so delish.
The dough is nice and thin but has a great crispy crust. If you’re not a huge pizza fan like myself you will like dantes and should make the exception. The only change I would like to see is a more extended wine and beer list, just because it’s situated in Ponsonby Central where the atmosphere is boisterous and happening and a cider would go down nicely.
Value for Money: Good
4 months ago
Definitely the best pizza in New Zealand! Their Isle of Capri is my favorite. :) glad they moved to ponsonby. But we were willing to drive to kumue before just to have dante's pizza coz eezzoo good! :)
by Wolfie W
5 months ago
Why does this place keep getting the accolades it does? Best pizza in Auckland? Nope. We have tried it three times, once takeaway and twice eat in, the second time to establish if we had just been unlucky with the first dine-in experience. On all occasions the pizza was really soggy, only the edge of the crust was crisp - the rest hung down like a sad wet sock when held in the fingers... and given that all one has to eat it with are one's fingers (no cutlery offered) it made for a pretty messy experience. I get that the toppings are true Italia style, and marks for that - the buffalo mozarella is yum, and I definitely agree that less is more when it comes to pizza combo's but the undercooked bases are not pleasant and make for a case of indigestion every time. Nice enough people and service but the pizza is pretty darned expensive at just under $30 each. Best pizza in town is still to be found in my kitchen, methinks.
by Greg Holder
6 months ago
Great little place and will definitely return as it’s head and shoulders above any other pizza joint I’ve tried in NZ. The guys at Dante’s have obviously paid serious attention to pizza making in Naples and it shows here. It was refreshing to find somewhere to get a genuine, proper pizza; if, like most Kiwis ;-) you like your pizza piled high with every kind of topping known to man (Meat Lovers????) then this is not the place for you. If you like a pizza done properly in the original Naples style, this is the place.
Afraid there’s a bit of a negative though, which is about the cheese. The Margherita says on the menu that it’s made with fresh buffalo mozzarella. Anyone who’s had this in Naples will know that this kind of mozz is very white, creamy and not especially stretchy. The mozzeralla on my Margherita was waxy yellow, firm and stretchy. It tasted fine, but I’m afraid it was the standard mozz that goes onto the other pizzas. Look at the main picture on the website; the white cheese on the pizza there is buffalo mozz; the cheese on my pizza was nothing like this I’m afraid.
Will eat there again, but next time I will ask for my Margherita to be made with the same cheese used on the pizza from the website!
6 months ago
Dantes pizza is good old fashioned authentic pizza made with love. You won't find meat lovers or stuffed crust on this list! All ingredients are fresh and the dough is soft and crispy on the crust with a slightly charred flavour. My personal favourite would have to be the con prosciutto (in the photo) since I am a huge prosciutto fan. Service is quick and before you've eaten, the prices may seem a bit high, but afterwards you can see how much love is put in it, Not to mention the beautiful flavour and great service.
by Greg Quinn
6 months ago
After hearing this place had New Zealand's "Best Pizza" award I had to go and try it out.
I ordered a Margherita. The dough was of really good quality, but I found anywhere near the middle the pizza too soggy and doughey for my liking. The cheese was wonderful, but not enough of it, the tomato sauce was ok.
I had a piece of my friend's pizza with the meat on, and had a similar experience.
While the pizza is fairly good, and may be considered authentic Italian Style Pizza, it certainly for me, isn't anywhere near the best in NZ.
7 months ago
Dantes is seriously the cutest pizza bar around! This place was recommended to me by my parents who had been and absolutely loved it. I visited Dantes about two weeks ago on a Sunday night. A friend and I were going to an event in Ponsonby, so we thought Dantes would be the perfect place for dinner beforehand. Plus, who doesn't love wood fired pizza?!?
Upon walking in, we were warmly greeted by the waiter and the owner. Possibly the best welcoming I have ever received. Before we took our seats, we got shown how they cook their pizzas and were able to take lots of photos of ourselves in front of the pizza oven. What an amazing oven! No wonder the pizza crust is delicious!
We ordered Chianti wine and a San Pellegrino drink. Both were delicious and perfect drinks to accompany pizza! We were torn between what pizza to order, because my parents recommended the Regina Margherita pizza ($24) with tomato, fresh buffalo mozzarella and basil. However, we wanted some meat on our pizza too. When we asked the waiter for advice, he told us that he would add chorizo to our pizza, free of charge. He also gave us some chorizo samples to taste. Delicious! We were really looking forward to it!!!
So, out came the pizza. It did not take long and smelt heavenly. However, no chorizo! I asked the waiter if he was adding chorizo. He replied that he forgot, which is probably due to the fact that we were up and down taking photos of the restaurant and he was taking photos of us in front of the pizza oven. He then said he would make us a Chorizo Reale pizza (tomato, mozzarella and chorizo) for us, free of charge because he got our order mixed up! Another pizza that would have cost us $24 was now going to be free. Two for the price of one! We were happy!
As for the pizzas, well, the fresh buffalo mozzarella was amazing. It was stringy and tasted delicious. I would happily order both pizzas again. While there are few ingredients on the pizzas, they are all quality, fresh and taste wonderful. They are truly cooked Neapolitan style. But, the best party about the pizza was the thin crust. Being cooked in a wood fired oven gave it a nice crisp base on the outside, but it was still chewy in the middle. Yum!
I think Dantes Pizzeria is one of the best eating places in Ponsonby Central. I recommend coming here for a quick bite to eat or on the weekend for a casual family dinner. I cannot wait to go back!
by Eat Pray Love
8 months ago
My sister dragged me to Dantes Pizza when she had heard it was the "best pizza in Auckland" and since I am a die hard pizza fan, I just had to go and check it out.
Dantes menu was not very extensive so it was not a difficult to choose which pizza to go with when ordering. We ordered the Magherita and the Chorizo Reale. The base was thin and crispy and the toppings had good, real flavours, which is all a plus! BUT there was a lack of cheeeeese which is the best part about a pizza for me! I have never been to Italy so maybe real authentic Italian pizza does not have intense cheese but pizza without much cheese , pizza is so disappointing for me (personal preference!). The margherita had really good quality and flavoursome white mozarella on it which was delicious! I just wish there was more of it. I found the base sauce to be quite bitter as well, but I did not mind it as much as the lack of cheese (lol wow i love cheese). But then again as I mentioned, this is probably how authentic Italian pizza tastes like since im no expert :)
Dantes does definitely have the correct flavour combinations, and pizza bases baked to perfection but I wouldnt say I'd go back! I know a lot of people who like pizza with less cheese and more emphasis on the toppings and sauces so I would definitely recommend this place for people who prefer that! But for people who love cheesy pizza, maybe not!
The service was great as the person cooking the pizza and the girl at the checkout both gave recommendations and were very friendly overall. Also it is a super cute and intimate place to eat and in my opinion its an awesome place for date night (mood lighting and all ;) )
8 months ago
Love the pizza here, so authentic. Don't go here if you think you are getting a franchise style pizza with overloaded toppings. This is basic italian style pizza with few but excellent toppings. Basic seating as its inside Ponsonby Central so great casual dining.
by Emma Wilson
11 months ago
If you like your pizza to have a thin base with minimal, simple toppings then you will enjoy it.
The large pieces are awkward to share without additional plates but it is a nice casual dining experience.
by Liza Shieff
11 months ago
Had pizza twice there. It is better then fast food places but not the best. The first time I was there pizza sauce was bitter.
Mar 12, 2014
Before we ordered the pizza maker told us about how they obtained a special pizza certificate and that their bread takes 4 days to make. So I thought this should be great and it will save me from going all the way to Italy to taste what a genuine pizza tastes like. Ordered the Con Prosciutto which had cured ham, rocket leaf and Parmesan cheese. The bread had a crispy bite with a soft inner and was very airy. The flavours of the toppings all tied in nicely. But I still found it very bland and basic. After years of eating franchise style pizzas which have lashings of toppings and flavour, eating this just didn't cut the mustard. If this is genuine Italian pizza that the Italians are so proud of their simplicity in their cooking of natural flavours. Then they can keep it to themselves as I for one will be buying pizza that has lots more toppings and toppings that go near the edge. Instead of this pizza which had toppings scattered with a stingy hand leaving large patches of plain bread exposed.
by David Boshier
Mar 09, 2014
There was a group of us, so we ordered the complete selection of pizza on the menu. They were all ok, but nothing really stood out as an amazing must have.
I found the bases a bit undercooked for my liking and not having side plates in a big group is a hassel when you want to share.
Service was ok.
Would not rush back as there are better options in the area.
by Auckland On My Plate
Jan 05, 2014
You might have heard someone say "Dante's serves the best pizzas in New Zealand". Well, I can't say anything about the original Dante's in Kumeu, but Dante's Ponsonby is nothing spectacular.
Dante's serves authentic Neapolitan pizzas (a rarity in Auckland). All the ingredients are freshly imported from Italy. All this makes for some pretty good traditional pizza - but it's definitely not the best. The menu is limited to simple classics - think thin crust Margheritas and Prosciuttos. One pizza at $20 is just about enough per person.
The toppings are scant, and yes, the crust is too much around the edges. The Italian ingredients are delicious, but you'll be tasting more dough than anything else. Best Neapolitan pizza? Maybe. Best pizza? Nope.
by Two Honest Truths
Dec 20, 2013
I’d been eyeing out this pizza stall ever since we sat across it when dining at The Dairy a few weeks ago. The pizzas were large and came at a special lunch price of $18. We were told that these were the best pizzas in town and if I hadn’t eaten here before, I hadn’t tasted real pizza. Bold statement right there. Service was great but as far as it goes to fulfilling that claim, I’m not too sold. The flavour was definitely good with the ingredients but by the time you ate your way to the edge you were left with quite a big chunk of base that was too thick and bland to have on its own. I didn't like the crust at all. Pizza is very personalised though, some prefer the deep dish, others the thin crust. You may just have to try it to see if it really is the ‘best pizza’ for you.
Read more on http://twohonesttruths.com/2013/09/20/a-week-long-food-journey/
by Pieter Smit
Dec 04, 2013
Best Pizza in NZ, Always stop here for a feed when coming to Auckland from Hamilton. In actual fact it is the only Pizza I will ever eat. Well done Kevin. Been follower of Dante`s since his Kumeu days. The real deal. Would be willing to eat this on the sidewalk who cares about tables for this quality.
Nov 24, 2013
We will never be back, pizza is good, but choice is very limited and the place is average.
Even the whole pizza is not sufficient for a single person, there are plenty of places in Auckland where you can find "woodfired pizza".
There are only 2 tables where you can have a seat, imagine this in such a busy place as Ponsonby.
by Pizza Snob
Sep 10, 2013
I'll start by saying I'm a pizza snob not easily pleased.
Carl E's review is spot on.
I'll go even further and so far as to give Dante's 5 stars. Kevin is really doing an outstanding job creating authentic Neapolitan pizza that is rare to find in New Zealand.
We ordered a Margherita, and Prosciutto and Rocket. I can only comment on the taste of the Margherita, which was well balanced, excellently cooked and hard to fault. If you're after genuine neapolitan pizza look no further, this is the real deal.
Great friendly and prompt service as others have mentioned.
Kevin (the proprietor & pizzaiolo) mentioned in conversation that the oven was perhaps not at its optimal temperature that night, which gives me all the more reason to believe that Kevin is completely tuned into the fine details that go into making a perfect pizza, and that when I return my next pizza might be even better than the one I had... which is frankly hard to imagine.
Dante's will be a regular stop for me when in AKL.
by Kim Wight
Aug 25, 2013
First time here and we will definitely be back. Fantastic friendly service and the pizza is unreal. We had the prosciutto pizza and were fighting over the last piece. Hands down best pizza in Auckland!
by Carl Eastwood
Jun 15, 2013
Dante's is one of the new Establishments in the buzzing Ponsonby Central. It's got room for about 6 people at high benches inside and another two large tables outside. The decor makes you think you're in Italy and there's no doubt about the quality of the ingredients that must go in to these pizzas.
This is the first time we visited Dante's and ordered the prosciutto and rocket pizza and the chorizo pizza. Both pizza's were topped with the highest quality ingredients and they tasted amazing. The chorizo was probably the most spicey I've ever had but we're both fans of chili so it was good for us. The only criticism that we had was that the base was thicker than we experienced at Italian pizzerias. However, the base was very tasty nonetheless.
We were really touched by the fact that Kevin visits each customer and asks them how their pizza is. It gives you an understanding of how it used to be in the age where many chefs did that.
by Joel L.
Feb 14, 2013
Dante's Pizza is an amazing Pizza place! Really love their pizzas - though they used to be out in Kumeu and the Pizza was a bit better there, which is a shame - because every bite was wow! Will definitely go back and hopefully once they settle it in returns to its absolutely, truly amazing performance. (only 4 stars until they do).
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