It has been almost six years since I moved to Vancouver and, in that time, one of the biggest changes in the food scene that I’ve noticed is with the city’s pizza options. When I moved here, the pizza offerings were Megabite, Panago, Dominos, and Pizza Hut. Yes, they all still exist, but thankfully we have seen an introduction of, dare I say, far superior pizza offerings. Don’t get me wrong, after copious amounts of booze and hours of throat-destroying karaoke, a slice of Megabite pizza will hit the spot. But if you are looking for a place were you will actually sit down and enjoy your pizza, slice after slice, and anticipate returning, then I have a list for you!
This blink-and-you’ll-miss-it pizzeria, located at Main Street and Prior Street, serves up Neapolitan-style pizza, without pomp and circumstance. They only make a certain amount of dough for the day and when it’s done, it’s done. Pizza, and the occasional fresh loaf of bread, are all that are available and that is enough. Make sure to get there early as they are usually sold out by about 9pm. Because of the relaxed atmosphere and the perfect-every-time pizza, I am going to declare Pizzeria Farina as my favourite pizza restaurant in the city. Yeah, I said it.
Nicli is Gastown’s upscale Neapolitan pizza restaurant. Exposed brick meets gleaming, crisp white features, such as the floor-to-ceiling oven, to create a stylish and modern restaurant. The menu is mostly pizza (duh!) but the pizza is complimented by a few salads and antipasti. My one complaint? It can be very difficult to cut your own pizza on their slippery plates/tables. I highly recommend Nicli but be prepared to wait; this place is popular, particularly on weekends.
Pizzeria Barbarella’s pizzas are delicious and their menu has quite a lot of variety in regards to toppings (for example, the funghi is finished with white truffle oil – yum!). They also have a few salads and some antipasti, if you’d prefer some veggies on the side of your pizza. With such a big, almost bare-bones space, the ambiance is slightly lacking so they could make some improvements there, but they are definitely filling a void in an area with limited good food options.
Via Tevere arrived on the scene with quite a bang and it has certainly proven itself to be very popular, with rumours of hour-long waits at the door. It comes as no surprise that when you are serving up delicious, slightly charred, Neapolitan pizza, people will line-up. The menu also offers a daily pasta special, a few salads, and some antipasti. Via Tevere has a friendly, relaxed neighborhood vibe going on.
I’ve made it no secret that Nook is one of my favourite restaurants in the city. The ambiance, the menu, the food quality, the service – it all just works at Nook. Unlike the other pizzas on my list, Nook’s pizza is not Neapolitan but I think that is part of the reason why I like it. Yes, I love the flame-licked base of a Neapolitan pizza that has few toppings and is delicious in its minimalist approach, but Nook’s thicker crust and heavy toppings are still wonderful in a different way. As an added bonus, Nook offers many other dishes, including crostini, pasta, salads, and antipasti. My only complaint about my beloved Nook is that it can be difficult to secure a table for four people or more.
Other notable restaurants where I’ve eaten decent pizza:
Campagnolo – Strathcona
Verace Pizzeria – Chinatown
Novo Pizzeria – Kitsilano