Escondite

The best Montevideo pizzas

This is a Guru’Guay Top Pick

Guru’Guay only recommends businesses and service providers in Uruguay that we absolutely love, who love what they do and demonstrate constant quality.

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Behind an antique door in a charming colonial home in the Old City lie the most original Montevideo pizzas. Together with spicy weekly specials, unique cocktails and a 100% Uruguay wine list.

John and Jon—friends call them ‘the Johns’—moved to Uruguay from Seattle five years ago. They opened Escondite or ‘hideaway’ in April 2023, after years of wow-ing their Uruguayan friends—all Old City chefs—with their unorthodox takes on traditional Uruguayan cuisine, particularly pizza.

The kitchen is focused on a woodfired oven producing Neapolitan style pizzas—the anchor of the menu. I nearly died and went to heaven as I sank my teeth into the salty, lemony sweetbread pizza (pizza de molleja). They’ve also invented a gaucho pizza with slices of tender beef condimented with chimichurri.

Weekly specials allow Jon—whose grandmother ran a successful restaurant in LA—to bring spices, heat and world flavours to the table. Something seriously lacking on the majority of Uruguayan menus till now. The week that I visited the focus was Thai and Southeast Asian.

I’m impressed by the wine list. 100% Uruguay wines selected by John for price point and growing region (I don’t recall seeing region feature so squarely on a winelist here before). Try different styles by the glass. For instance, ask John to take you through different styles of local Chardonnay—such as steel tank versus oak-matured. Also in a nod to their origins, check out the whiskey-based cocktails including whiskeys from Ireland, Scotland, the US and Japan.

What you should know

The menu changes throughout the seasons to choose the freshest and the best.

Ample portions The Caesar salad was massive and could easily be a starter for two.

Notable options for carnivores The t-bone steak (costilla con lomo) is a favorite, finished in a cast iron skillet inside the 500°C wood oven with butter, garlic & thyme. John’s favourite is a juicy chicken milanesa.

Vegans and vegetarians are most welcome The pappardelle pasta is handmade.

Artisanal ice cream Many of us in the old city got to experience Jon’s handmade ice cream long before the restaurant opened up, as those gastronome friends mentioned above were serving it in their restaurants. It’s incredible.

Other surprises include the pizza being served with scissors! And very original desserts. There’s no overreliance here on chocolate and dulce de leche. My dining partner feasted on a buttery fried plantain with icecream.

Reservations recommended particularly on Fridays and Saturdays and for the open-air patio.

Contact

Escondite
Pérez Castellano 1411, Montevideo, Uruguay
esconditemontevideo.com

Email reservas@escondite.com.uy

Phone & WhatsApp +598 98 436 325

Opening hours

Dinner Thu-Sat | 7 pm to 11:30pm
Lunch Sat-Sun | 12pm to 4pm

Special events on demand.

Free validated parking.

Photos: Escondite

7 Responses

  1. How do I get on John´s mailing list. I am not keen on night driving any longer so evening openings do not work for us living in Atlántida. However, we are keen on hearing they will open one day for lunch. I would like to keep up-to-date.

    1. Hey Syd, contact John on his WhatsApp and I’m sure he’ll be delighted to let you know when they start weekend lunches. Best best — Karen

  2. I really like the restaurant. Relaxed and sophisticated and never pretentious. I felt very welcome and the diversity of the customers added to the ambiance.
    I love the pizzas and the special entrees. The selection of Uruguayan vinos is the best. John and Jon have selected a professional, pesonsble staff that let you know that they will take good care of you. I felt like I was important and that I was a guest.
    I had a Caesar salad with anchovies, the mojella pizza with a red wine recommended by John. Muy lleno,
    but I adored the helado by Jon and finished with my favorite of things Italian – grappa along with espresso decafeinado. Tomorrow is a work day! I may be late. But. I want to go back soon. Someone said that the
    Osso bucco is to die for.
    Nos vemos. Econdite.

    1. You ordered exactly the same as me, Ivan! I’m literally dreaming of the molleja (sweetmeats) pizza… I can’t get it off my tastebuds… sooo delicious… — Karen

    2. Thank you Ivan, the next time you have the molleja pizza, try it with an Albariño. Normally recommended for seafood, I discovered that Uruguayan Albariño is absolute magic with the mollejas, parsely, and lemon of the pizza. We look forward to seeing you again soon!
      Saludos,
      John & Jon

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