Friday, March 21, 2008

revisited/pizza: i strongly recommend ALLEYCATS at Zhong Xiao

2, Lane 248, Zhong Xiao E. Road, Sec. 4
(02) 2731-5225
(updating in 2019. moved and branched out since this post so long ago. should do a new post)


hours: 12noon - 10 PM

$ - $$

Kid friendliness: to-go location with only 1 table.

Visit reviewed:3/18/2008
Original visit: 5/3/2006 at Li Shui location. Read review here

Lately I've been craving deep dish pizza. Specifically, the spinach and mushroom stuffed pizza from Zachary's in Berkeley/Oakland. Chunky tomatoes, lots of spinach and mushrooms, crispy crust to hold everything together and CHEESE. It's quite painful to crave something you can't have since it's impossible to find anything like that here- I crave it even when I'm in LA since I haven't found a good deep dish pizza place there either that can compare.

So to fufilll my tomato sauce crust-cheese-fix, I decided to get 2 small pizzas from the new-ish location of Alleycats. They've expanded from their original Li Shui location to four other places, each with their own unique menus. This location in a little alley off of Zhong Xiao is tiny, basically the kitchen with the stone ovens and one patio table to sit down, so most of the customers order their pizzas to go. Sometimes they sell pizza by the slice, but I recommend calling ahead and ordering so you can pick up the pizza and eat it hot at home (or on the way home). You can check out their online menu, but the pricing is slightly different at the Zhong Xiao location for smaller pizzas and they only offer pizzas and calzones. The prices range NT$85 for a small 8" Marghertia pizza to NT$200-$400+ range for 10"-12" pizzas.

I ended up trying the Napoletana (NT$150) which has fresh tomatoes, goat cheese, anchovies, olives and spinach (and successfully requested to have the anchovies swapped for mushrooms) and the Maialona (NT$150) which has Italian sausage, pepperoni, chorizo and salami (I think they are 8 inch). This Alleycats is right across from Chili House and actually not too far from Pizza Hut. They said the pizzas would be ready in 15 minutes to pick up.

It hit the spot.. though it was more CPK (the Neopolitan versions) than Zachary's, it was full of flavor, had the amount right cheese and mix of toppings and the crust balanced everything perfectly. You can also customize your pizza with the number of toppings such as anchovies, artichokes, fresh tomatoes, goat cheese or pineapple, though it might be cheaper to get their pre-set combos since each topping would add up at NT$15-50 each.

My last visit to Alleycats was quite awhile ago, before they expanded and I discovered this location. I'm happy to have this quick and closer location to get my pizza fixes. Much faster than trying to make pizza myself and much closer than to pizza in the states than practically any other pizza place in Taipei. As much as I like the occasional personal pan pizza from the nearby Pizza Hut, Alleycats is much fresher, healthier and, yes, yummier - although you wish they'd deliver!

Where do you guys get your pizza cravings satisfied and does Alleycats serve one of the best pizzas in town?

PS- Right to the right of this Alleycats, there seems to be a new place (competitor for your cheese fixes) called Toasteria serving all sorts of grilled cheese sandwiches, panini style.

Mmm.. will have to go back and try it sometime, although I will probably default to making my own. Anyone tried it yet?


B1, No. 6, Li Shui Street
(02) 2321-8948
Sunday-Thur: 5pm-11pm
Fri-Sat: 5pm to 2am

(02) 8780-5421
Mon- Thu 5 pm- 11 PM
Fri/Sat 12 pm- Late
Sun 12 pm - 11 PM

31, Lane 35, Zhongshan N. Rd Sec. 6
(02) 2835-6491
near ZhiShan MRT Station
Mo ~ Fr 5pm- 11pm
Sa/Su 12noon ~ late

67-1 Cheng Gong Road, Sec 5
Mon-Fri: 12pm - 2pm, 5pm - 11pm
Weekends: 12pm - 11pm


Pam said...

Man, now you're making ME miss Zachary's. :( It's been so long since I had a slice of the spinach...mmmmm, 2 months til I go home! The Alleycats pizza looks delish too, though

Anonymous said...

Hello hungry girl!

The number for the Li-Shui Alleycats is 02.2321.8949

I myself recently have a craving for good pizza.

Thanks for the post!

Princezz T said...


This is totally unrelated to ur post but I read your blog with interest but have difficulties in deciding where I should go eat because there are just too many recomendations!! I will be visiting Taipei for a week and I hope you can recommend me where I should go for good and delicious Taiwanese food that I absolutely must try while I am there!! What I have gathered so far, the popular places that I must go are Ah Tzung Mien Sian, DTF Xiao Long Bao, Ice Monster, Shinlin. Can you tell me where is the best beef noodles, stinky taufu, oyster omelets, ma la hot pot, ai-yu bing, dou hua and etc...
Would really appreciate your expert guidance in this!!
Thanks in advance...

Anonymous said...

Is the crust paper thin or thick? While I think Pizza Hut crust is a sweet slice of heaven "smile" I really don't need it for healthy purposes, so I am often in search of paper thin type crust.


joanh said...

foodhobo girl: aww.. send me some when you get home. SIGH

james: thanks.. i will have to fix that.

princezz tracia: you mentioned a lot of the popular spots.. best beef noodle soup- that's debatable! you can try hitting up Breeze food court which has a whole section for beef noodle soup or yong kang jie (near ice monster). i like the one at san xi dao shao mein (that i reviewed). you can also get the good street food- oyster omelette, stinky tofu, aiyu bing- at shih lin. i like the do hwa at little south gate.. hope that helps!

joanh said...

trei: hey! the crust is thin and totally opposite of pizza hut! so you should totally check it out.

nesiote said...

Good to hear that their pizzas are up to Alleycats' standards. When they first opened that branch they were definitely lacking.

Toasteria gets my vote, hands down. All the paninis that I tried were brilliant, and left me hungry for more. Don't miss out on the aioli that comes with the fries!

joanh said...

nesiote: yeah.. i think they've gotten better than when they first opened.. i will have to check out toasteria..

Sera said...

it was extremely unremarkable
like eating crackers with cheese

Ken said...

Hahaha - Jihea's trollin' comment is hilarious - IMHO, this is much better than cheese and crackers! Pizza spots must be the hardest to evaluate because people go in with their own expectations of what pizza should be like, but there are so many different variations and styles of pizza...

Well, I went in on a MON around 12:30 in the afternoon and there were two tables of foreigners, but no locals. I ordered the Napoletana take-out for NT$150. I thought the mini 8" pie was EXCELLENT! This type of thin, crispy crust is much closer to California Pizza Kitchen or European-style pizza than NY or Chicago style pizza. The ingredients were very fresh and the service was quick - 20min. The anchovies made it saltier than I expected, but other than that, the rest of the ingredients balanced out just fine. Since I am on a diet, one mini-pie was just enough, but if I were hungry, I could easily devour two mini-pies. Definitely repeatable - next time I get a craving, I will take joanh's suggestion and order by phone before I leave.