Nicli Antica Pizzeria is located in Gastown (on E Cordova St) and has been acclaimed as the best Neapolitan pizza restaurant in Vancouver. They are known for using fresh ingredients and baking pizzas in their very own wood fired oven, made from the stone of Mt. Vesuvius.
For Tea’s birthday dinner, I recommended Nicli Antica Pizzeria because I have eaten here once before and I really liked the authentic Neapolitan pizza that they serve. It is completely different from the normal pizza you get from Panago or Pizza Hut in that the crust is thin and floppy, their toppings are scarce, and they use exceptionally fresh ingredients. I am not one to judge because I have never tasted real Italian pizza from Italy, but I’d say this is as close as it gets in Vancouver.
By the way, because they do not take reservations, I’d suggest you come before 6pm on a Friday night or weekend because apparently the line ups can be up to an hour long! I knew this coming in so we purposely went earlier (around 5:30pm) to avoid the lineup.
The decor is very modern, and the bright white furnishings gave the overall restaurant a really clean look which I appreciated. My friends and I also all loved the stone wall as it gave the modern decor a rustic home style feel.
Their pizzas range from $9 to $20 and they sometimes have daily specials as well.
Here is a peek of what we got. Nomnomnom… looks delicious doesn’t it?!?!
They provide you with Rosemary Infused Olive Oil and Chili Infused Olive Oil to go with your pizza. I personally love mixing the oils together on my plate and dipping the crust into them as it both moistens and flavours the crust in one. The chili oil has quite a kick so if you like spicy, I’d imagine you would like this oil 🙂
We ordered four pizzas to share between five people (Myself, Tea, Cupcake, Dirtygirl, and Totoro). This one is the Pizza Special ($12.00) and it contains no tomato sauce. Instead, it is first rubbed with Parmesan and olive oil, then topped with grape tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, and basil leaves. This pizza was truly unique and I enjoyed it a lot. I especially liked how the balsamic vinegar gave the quite savory pizza a bit of sweetness and tang. However, if I had to finish the whole pizza by myself, I would get sick of it easily as it can get a bit overwhelming.
This pizza is called Pesto ($15.00) and it is prepared with basil pesto, pine nuts, fior di latte, garlic, and locally sourced tomato. This was the overall winner of the night for Tea, Dirtygirl, Totoro, and Cupcake. I actually enjoyed the funghi pizza (below) the most but that’s just me. 😛 The basil pesto was so incredibly fragrant and the roasted cloves of garlic were full of smokey flavour. Yummm..
The Margherita ($12.00) is a traditional simple Neapolitan pizza that contains pomodoro, fior di latte, and basil. In regular people terms, that is fresh tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, and basil. Everyone thought it was nothing special especially when compared to the other pizzas we ordered but I liked it a lot. The simplicity of the pizza really allowed me to taste each ingredient carefully and I could definitely tell they use the freshest ingredients possible. However, I would have preferred more basil leaves because I do think it adds a certain dimension to the pizza.
Funghi ($14.00) was essentially the same as Margherita except this has mushrooms. I cannot pinpoint what kind of mushrooms they used (Crimini perhaps?) but nevertheless it was AWESOME! I am a mushroom lover so I am a little biased here, but if you are also a mushroom lover, you will like this pizza. 😀 My only complaint here is that the mushrooms were too scarce.
We ended off the night with a Tiramisu ($9.00) for Tea. It was heavily soaked in coffee liquor so every bite gave you a kick. It was also quite dense and did not have a lot of mascarpone cheese which I generally prefer in my Tiramisu. Although, now that I think of it.. maybe authentic Italian Tiramisu is made like this, and I have just been eating the “fake” kind all this time? 😛
Based on these reasons:
- Quite affordable prices
- Exceptional service (our waitress was so attentive!)
- You can eat great “authentic” Italian Neapolitan pizza (without going to Italy hehe)
- They use only fresh and high quality ingredients
Overall Rating: 4.5/5