It’s starting to feel a lot like summer

D.O.C. Pizza and Mozzarella Bar

295 Drummond St, Carlton

DOC coffee

He says:
The acronym D.O.C. , back in the motherland, stands for Denominazione di Origine Controllata, which translates into “controlled designation of origin”. It’s a label applied to food in Italy which has been certified by licensed inspectors to be authentically Italian. Dominos need not Apply. Regardless of how inefficient the Italian burucracry is, naming your restaurant after a government program is a rather bold statement about the quality of your food. Luckily D.O.C lives up to its bold claims of authenticity.

The menu makes you wish you hadn’t sold your soul to the corporate devil, and instead spent 6 months backpacking around Italy. It’s the little things, the imported Italian craft beer which the waiter spent an entire minute explaining, or the liberal application of buffalo mozarella across the pizza menu. The pizzas are whisper thin, with a delicate balance of sauce and just the right amount of topping. Just like Nonna makes them.

D.O.C is hectically Italian, with queues normally out the door, and clusters of second generation Italian families yelling at each other over arguably one of Melbourne’s best pizzerias. Actually, it sort of reminds me of home…

Micro-brewed beer, Italian style

She says:
A couple sundays ago now (the one on the first weekend when it wasn’t about 3 degrees and raining in Melbourne, you know the one) we headed to D.O.C. for lunch with M&S while S was on her lunchbreak. D.O.C. is nothing new but it is a bit of an institution. Probably the best pizza I’ve had in Melbourne and definitely the highest ratio of Italian to non-Italian wait staff i’ve comem across. We had lunch there with Gerard’s family a while ago and in the end had to rely on someone who spoke Italian to actually get the waitress to understand our orders. Not something that happens very often in Melbourne, also not necessarily a good thing.

Anyway, on our latest visit the restaurant was (as usual on weekends) completely packed and chaotic. The wait for a table inside was going to be substantial so instead we waited about 10 minutes before snaring one of the footpath tables. As it turned out this was a great move because the weather was amazing. Combine the sunshine with the food, the Italian beers and the wait staff’s accents and you could almost be in the currently more summery hemisphere. Great way to spend a (warm) spring afternoon.

We ate:
Gerard and I shared two dishes – the pizza san daniele with san marzano tomato, buffalo mozzarella and san daniele prosciutto ($22.50) and the antipasto D.O.C. ($24.50). We’ve made the mistake of ordering the antipasto to share and a pizza each at dinner before. I don’t think I ate pizza for months after that, it was a little traumatic. In hindsight it was also a pretty obvious mistake.

The pizza was delicious as always. I struggle to fault anything that involves buffalo mozzarella though.

San Daniele

The antipasto selection changes frequently, we’ve never had the same selection twice. This time we had (we weren’t told what there was so some of these are just my un-educated best guesses): bread sticks, olives, a salami-like cured meat, a hard cheese with honey, a baked (or maybe fried) cheese with olives set into it, artichoke, little crackers topped with anchovies and pesto and some sort of grain salad thing (barley?). For me the highlight were the cheeses. Always.


M had the calzone with mozzarella, fresh ricotta, spinach and double smoked leg ham ($19). M said he wasn’t planning to get anything with meat but then saw someone else’s calzone arrive and changed his mind. Ham barely counts as meat anyway. The calzone was enormous and looked pretty tasty too, it’s now officially on my hit-list for next time.


S had the pizza capricciosa nuova with tomato, mozzarella, leg ham, mushroom, artichoke and olive ($18.50).


D.O.C. is the place to go in Melbourne if you want authentic pizza (and sometimes Italian service). Simple, delicious and not too expensive. If you can get a table it’s always a win.

Price range:
Pizza’s from $14.50 to $22.50, salads etc around $14. 

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