On a sunny, late Sunday afternoon after working up an appetite kayaking in Brunnsviken, my friend and I stop by Magari for lunch.
Walking in, we are warmly greeted by the host who speaks to us in English. In the front corner of the restaurant sits a group of six men animatedly gesturing and speaking in Italian. They have drinks and no food, giving an impression they have been sitting and enjoying each other’s company since their lunch, hours before.
We opt for a table outside under the colourful, patterned ceramic tile and start rifling through the menu which explains the name of the restaurant as well as the origin.
Nicolas and Giuseppe are the pizza chefs who hail from Irpinia, the birthplace of pizza. Their goal is to bring innovation and fresh ideas to classic pizza, and the well-organised menu reflects this as it’s split into classic and contemporary pizza.
In addition to pizza, they have starters, snacks, calzones, and dessert. Saying magari is an enthusiastic way to stress how much you desire something. Our waiter helpfully answers our questions about some ingredients we’ve never heard of, helping us narrow down our pizza choices.
The eponymous Magari lager, served in a wine glass, is the perfect antidote to my thirst on this humid afternoon; it’s cold, crisp and tastes faintly of tropical fruit. Magari has a concise drink menu with sparkling, red and white wine by the glass or bottle, plus classic cocktails.
Soon after the drinks arrive, our pizza is whisked out. We’ve opted for the classic Margherita Irpina and a vegetarian Nerano, with plans to split them half and half.
Chock full of cheese on top of fresh pureed tomatoes, with scattered basil leaves and olive oil drizzled on top, the margherita does not disappoint. It’s paper thin everywhere except for the blistered, ballooned, chewy crust on the edges. I cut a piece off for myself with the crimson Tramontina fork and knife, and then I greedily pick it up to eat it instead of continuing to use the silverware.
It’s absolutely delicious, and I eat two pieces before remembering that I am supposed to share, and I offer to cut a slice for my friend.
She hands me a slice of the Nerano. It has fior di latte, fried zucchini and round slices of caciocavallo, a nutty cheese from Southern Italy placed on top. Instead of tomato sauce, it has a zucchini cream for the sauce so the pizza is a lovely green and white. It lacks a little salt; we imagine the zucchini has soaked up most of the oil and salt during the cooking, and it doesn’t compare to the margherita, but it’s still delightful.
We finish both pizzas and remain chatting as another group of Italian men spreads out over the table next to us with bubbling flutes of bollicine.
As a late lunch, it’s a lagom amount, although we are both eyeing the larger than life cannoli that a family of three orders for dessert. I make a mental note to order that the next time.
Magari may be the best pizza in Stockholm, and the quality food is heightened by the family feeling evoked the second you walk through the door. Going for a weekday lunch gets you a ton of value, 125 kronor for pizza or pasta, plus salad and coffee.
If you want to go on a Friday or Saturday night, I recommend booking a table in advance or planning to take it away. The best seat in the house is at the bar where you can watch the chefs expertly topping and firing the pizzas in the wood fired oven that takes up the majority of the kitchen.
Rating: Five stars
Location: Sankt Eriksgatan 110, 113 31 Stockholm
Price: Starters and snacks: 40 to 250 kronor; pizza: 130 to 199 kronor; desserts: 95 to 150 kronor
Details: Monday through Thursday from 11am to 10pm. Friday 11am to 10.30pm. Saturday noon to 10.30pm. Sunday noon to 10pm.
This review is the writer’s own opinion. Lauren Abston moved to Stockholm two years ago from San Francisco. She loves exploring all the city has to offer, trying out new restaurants and bars with friends, picking up new Swedish words and learning how to dress for four distinct seasons.