Emily Green suggests: Six very good pizzerias

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LADBROKE GROVE Epifani 78 Tavistock Road, W11 (071-243 8518) started as a delicatessen doing pizzas on the side. Then the pizzas took over. The dough is thickish, pleasantly savoury and chewy, and the toppings hearty: artichoke heart, spicy salami, peppers and so on. Also a reliable source for decent parmesan, good mortadella and a few Italian wines, be it the almost fruitlessly dry white Corvo or a big, tannic Piedmontese red. The owner, Franco, is charm itself, and, to judge by a poster over the pizza oven, a De Niro fan. Back from holiday in a week - worth the wait.

Pizzas pounds 1.50/slice. Open 10am-6pm Mon-Sat.

CHELSEA La Delizia 63-65 Chelsea Manor Street, SW3 (071-376 4111), down towards the river, is the perfect escape from Kings Road tat.

It is tiny, but the pizzas are very decent. The waiters could not be more charming - or discreet. To them, Daniel Day Lewis is just another punter in biker's leathers.

Approx pounds 10. Open daily noon-midnight. It has two sister restaurants, at 246 Old Brompton Road, SW5, and in the Chelsea Farmer's Market in Sydney Street, SW3.

CLAPHAM Eco 162 Clapham High Street, (071-978 1108), is a sleek modern playpen.

Those who compare it to places in Umbria have not been to Umbria: it is about London glamour, not Italian food. Music, mainly the thumping of a drum machine, pounds. Young groovies smoke and drink Coke from cans, wine from tumblers. A brooding sheik type in a flak jacket patrols young waitresses who could not be better at their jobs. Cooking? Hmmm. A fiorentina pizza might be big, the dough thin and respectably light, but the topping might be underseasoned and the egg may well be hardboiled. Green salads are English in style. Open Mon-Thur 11am-3pm, 6.30-11pm (closed Wed lunch), Fri-Sat 11.30-4pm; 6.30-11.30pm, Sun noon-4.30pm, 6.30-10.30pm. Mastercard, Visa, Switch.

Its sister is Pizzeria Franco 4 Market Row, Brixton Market, Electric Lane SW9 (071 738 3021) Bloomsbury Everyone has their favourite Pizza Express (the company that still, for my money, serves the best pizzas and worst salads in London). The branches in Notting Hill Gate, Hyde Park, Westbourne Grove are good, but the best is the one plugged into a converted dairy near the British Museum at 30 Coptic Street, WC1 (071-636 3232). The Peroni (pounds 1.95) tastes the same, the American Hot (pounds 5.30) tastes the same, but the place has character.

Natch, staff are wonderful.

Open noon-midnight daily. Major credit cards except Diner's, Switch, Delta.

ELEPHANT & CASTLE Ever wonder who rented shopfronts in the oppressive modern buildings edging one of Europe's worst roundabouts?

One is a gem worth navigating all the concrete and dangerous railings town planners can throw at you: Pizzeria Castello 20 Walworth Road, SE1 (071-703 2556). Past the pizza ovens, in the back, is a family restaurant of exceptional warmth. House red is a light and good Valpol. Pizza crust is unusually light and spongy, the Four Seasons topping spicy, pungent and good. Salads? Nobody's perfect.

Approx pounds 7-pounds 10. Open Mon-Fri noon-11pm, Sat 5-11pm, closed Sun.

Visa, Access, Amex, Switch.

MARYLEBONE As pizza ovens go, the Garland is meant to be the bee's knees.

A spanking new restaurant, The Union Cafe 96 Marylebone Lane, W1 (071-486-4860) ordered their Garland months before opening in advance.

Starting this week, it plans incorporating what should be the classiest pizzas in London topped with, say, caramelised red onions, gorgonzola and rosemary or mozzarella, ricotta, chilli and garlic.

Approx pounds 10 all in. Open 10am-10pm Mon-Fri. Switch, Delta.

(Photographs omitted)

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