They say good things come in threes and that rings true for Rudy’s, as it fires up a third neighbourhood pizzeria in Leeds; this time in Headingley. Famous for mouthwatering flavour combos on freshly cooked dough at venues across our city centre, and other locations like Birmingham or Liverpool, the authentic Neapolitan favourite had plenty to brag about on my visit.
Arriving at Rudy’s Pizza Napoletana Headingley, there was an undeniable buzz with catchy music and low-level lighting - perfect for large groups of friends and intimate dinners. The open-plan layout and exposed industrial decor, with clear view of the kitchen, gave it a welcoming, laid-back feel. The outdoor seating area to the front was spacious too and I can already see it beckoning us back with cold drinks as the evenings heat up towards summer.
A refreshing Angioletti secco cider (£6.20) was my tipple of choice, while my dinner date went for a diet Pepsi (£3) to kick things off. Keen to get nibbling straight away too, we ordered the mozzarella and garlic bread (£7.90) and a caprese salad (£4.50) to start, which gave us our first taste of that delicious dough we’ve come to love from here. Word of warning: the garlic bread is huge, so best saved for snatching a slice with larger groups. But it was brilliant all the same, equally as soft and cheesy as it was crisp and light - making an ideal precursor to the main event. As for our other dish, the tomatoes and mozzarella were a fresh combination, although we probably didn't need a second starter given the size of our first.
Rudy’s has a main menu, but also a range of special pizzas to tempt those looking to try something new and exciting. I opted for the cinghiale (£11.50) from the regular list; a classic tomato and fior di latte base with wild boar salami, ‘nduja, Roquito peppers, parmesan and fresh chilli. It did have a slight kick to it, but that was balanced with the sweet veg and rich meat flavours. I was a big fan.
My other half's pick was the triple pepperoni (£13.90) from the specials board. You might think this sounds like a boring bet, but the sweet yet spicy addition of chilli honey really complemented the smoky flavours of the three types of salami (Napoli, British and Calabrian, for those who also didn’t know there were so many kinds) and charred dough. Unreal. Although both were mighty meaty choices, they weren’t heavy on the stomach - satisfying that pizza craving, without making us feel overly stuffed.
Dessert very nearly drew us in with freshly made tiramisu or double chocolate brownie, but instead we sipped a couple of amaretto sours (£7.50) to satisfy our sweet cravings and finish a delish meal.
The DesignMyNight Digest
I can already tell that living within walking distance of Rudy’s Pizza in Leeds is going to be dangerous for me. Whether it’s soaking up the last of the day’s sun alfresco-style or making an evening of it with cocktails and friends, this authentic Neapolitan spot is unmissable. Not only is it top notch on the slices front, but easy on the bank balance too. Buon appetito.
💰 The damage: £62 for a starter, pizza and two drinks each.
📍 The location: Arndale Centre, Otley Road, Headingley LS6 2UJ.
👌 Perfect for: Groups of friends and relaxed dinner dates alike.
⭐ Need to know: Grab a seat in front of the tall benches to watch the pizza masters at work.