Sotto Pizzeria | Being converted into a pizza lover

I have never really been a pizza lover, that is until I sat down at Sotto Pizzeria. Now I'm planning my return with more than one group of friends. 


I have a confession to make. I’m not a huge fan of pizza. That’s not to say that I don’t like it. I’ll eat it, I’ll even enjoy it if you put it in front of me (within reason of course) but I almost never crave it and while most of my friends lose their minds when pizza is taken off their list of approved meals - January is usually a case in point - I don’t miss it. Not even a little. 

Like with everything else, there are pizzas and there are pizzas. Some of them are worth it and some of them just aren’t (unless you’re on your way home after a night of drinking). Over the past few years Malta has really upped its game in the world of pizza with Italians opening up restaurants all over the island and bringing with them their expertise in both crust making and sourcing of quality toppings. 

One place I’ve heard a lot about but never actually managed to get myself down to is Sotto. As soon as we arrived we were seated by a friendly Italian lady who was only too happy to give us her recommendations. As anyone working in the restaurant business will tell you, finding good staff is the toughest part of running the business. People with passion for what they do are hard to come by, especially in service. The people at Sotto have this one sorted with staff that are genuinely excited about the food. 

The menu is what you’d expect from a good pizza house - a selection of pizza rosso (with tomato sauce), pizza bianco (without tomato sauce) and calzone (closed pizzas). The toppings are simple with an emphasis on flavour combinations that actually work rather than too many flavours on one pizza. 

Turns out we didn’t really need a menu and opted for the pizzas that our waitress recommended. I went for the pizza amatriciana, which is your traditional tomatoes and mozzarella pizza with added guanciale and a sprinkle of pecorino. My mother, who was dining with me, went for a pizza bianco topped with rocket, speck and truffle sauce. The idea was to share. 

The reason I’m not that keen on pizza is that you get about a third of the way in and then every bite after that hurts. Too much cheese. Too high a carb content. But because it is there you keep eating so that it hurts for a long time after you’ve left the table.

At Sotto the crust is so light you get through the entire pizza, only feeling really full right at the end. The topping combinations were just perfect – not too much cheese to make it too heavy for digestion and simple ingredients of the best quality.

Quite a few hours later and I’m still salivating at the thought of that guanciale on the pizza. This is quite possibly the best pizza I have ever had on the island. Good enough to have converted me into a pizza lover? Only time will tell but only a few hours have passed and I’ve already made plans to return with two groups of friends!

What I ate: Pizza amatriciana

Total: €10, excluding drinks

Address: 32, South Street, Valletta 

Tel: 21220077

Opening hours: Tuesday - Sunday 12:00 - 14:45; 18:30 - 23:00