Ray's Pizza12 Jan 2016
A little while back, D and I went to Ray’s Pizza for dinner. You’ll find it at The Lanes bowling alley just off Nelson Street: keep walking down from Broadmead/The Galleries, past the old H&M store and it’s straight in front of you. Having tried it once before on a birthday night out with friends, I had to go back again as they do some of the best pizza I’ve ever had.
To be fair, it’s not the best looking place to eat. It’s got a ‘hipster grunge’ vibe going for it, and not in a good way. However, if you don’t mind that, you’ll be in for a treat, because this is where you will find Bristol’s most delicious slice*.
Unfortunately, they don’t sell it by the slice, but you couldn’t get away with just eating one, anyway ;).
I guess this is quite a big claim, as there are many good places to eat pizza in Bristol. Amongst my friends who live near Bedminster (and even further afield), the one to beat is The Hen & Chicken, especially with their two-for-one deal on a Monday. At the risk of bucking the trend a bit, I didn’t actually think they were that great - the base was far too thin; my toppings and sauce ended up soaking through it and running down my hand as I tried to eat. Most pizzas that are this thin also tend to be ridiculously crispy, which isn’t my thing either.
Ray’s pizza on the other hand had just the right balance of being thin, whilst remaining soft and chewy, and still thick enough to hold its structure. The tomato sauce is really good - simple tomato flavour, but not overpowering. And to top it all off, they do a buy one get one half price deal on a Monday, too. If you’re a bit strapped for cash, but still want to go out, it’s a great place to try.
Order a drink and a 12” pepperoni, my personal favourite, and take a seat in the lobby area. It’ll come out to you steaming hot and delicious, served on a thin metal pie plate. You can see the bowlers and hear them whoop and holler with every strike, so you’ll definitely get to experience the atmosphere.
Ephemera from yesteryear is dotted throughout the alley. The music is usually soulful, motown beats, which just adds to the vintage vibe. It’s a shame that the Ray’s part of the establishment isn’t busier. The restaurant/seating area just up the stairs has a foozball table, juke box and a Mario arcade machine at the back, and a Longfox mural adorns the wall overlooking the lanes. It could do with a clean/tidy-up, if I’m being completely honest. Give it some elbow grease and some good advertising, and I reckon it’d be buzzing. More people just need to hear about it - Ray (or whomever owns the Lanes), if you want some marketing done, give me a shout. I’d totally be up for it.
If you want a good night out with some friends, this is the place to come. Get a couple of lanes and order some 18” pizzas to share (or if like me, you don’t want to share yours, get a 12” - they’re pretty big, but worth it). I do recommend booking if you want to bowl, as it gets pretty busy. They also hold club nights and open mic nights, which is pretty cool.
I discovered recently Ray’s actually deliver to the local area or you can take away. If you’re not that into bowling, but still want some amazing pizza, then I’d recommend doing that. We’ll certainly be doing so in the near future.