Pizza Religion is far from your average pizzeria

The brand is a far cry from the traditional Italian trattorias and ristorantes found in the likes of Lygon Street.

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There’s no doubt that Melbourne is awash with fine pizza purveyors, yet there’s one brand making sure that everyone knows their name by keeping one step ahead of the pack. Taking delight in doing things differently, Pizza Religion are determined to make sure that they are always bringing new things to the table, literally.

According to Pizza Religion’s co-owner and manager Matt Hunter, being different and making your own way is the key to thriving as a restaurant in the saturated space of Melbourne. So much so, Hunter says that the menu at Pizza Religion isn’t even Italian.

The brand is a far cry from the traditional Italian trattorias and ristorantes found in the likes of Lygon Street. The dishes at Pizza Religion are like nothing you’ve ever seen or tasted. Of course, the stock-standard Margherita, pepperoni, and garlic-and-herb options are still all up for grabs, and the kids’ menu consists of the classic Hawaiian pizza and cheese pizza; but the real goldmine is in the more unique menu items: braised beef cheek pizza, pulled lamb shoulder pizza, spiced chicken with Pico di Gallo pizza – the list goes on. According to Hunter, the inspiration for new pizza creations comes from “whatever tastes good; if I’m having a meal at a restaurant and I like it, I chuck it on a pizza to see how it works”.

The most popular pizza on the menu is the braised beef cheek. The beef is braised for 18 hours before being paired with truffle oil, cauliflower purée, caramelised onion, and gremolata on top of the most delicious pizza base you’ll ever taste. Try this beauty after downing a starter of lamb ribs in a chilli glaze and then wash it all down with an Aperol spritz – there's a little Italian influence on the menu, after all.

The restaurant itself is open, spacious, and filled with light. It’s got nooks and crannies cosy enough for date night, while still having enough space for big groups, so you can bring your nonna and the rest of the famiglia along. With Pizza Religion locations in Malvern, Elsternwick, and Hawthorn, no matter where you are, you’re never too far from a prosciutto pizza with roasted pear, gorgonzola, basil, and truffle oil. That sounds like a win to us.

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Pulled Lamb Shoulder, Olive Tapenade, Oregano, Tomato, Feta

Find Pizza Religion at 12-18 Claremont Ave, Malvern.