Vancouver Island Restaurant Review(2); Urbana Pizzeria - Nanaimo

Photo: the delicious Greco (greek) individual pizza (10'')

Since I was able to snap up a great deal through West Coast Daily Deals, we decided to try what had been described to me as "the best dang pizza in Nanaimo and no one knows about it!". Well I must say, the pizza was indeed top-notch and I will explain why. This review is also our second on our quest to do 52 Restaurant Reviews in 365 Days.

There is a plethora of pizza joints in Nanaimo, some good, some great and some not so much. What makes a great pizza? Of course this is a subjective topic, as some people like thin crust, gluten-free crust or even a stuffed crust. There is something that makes Urbana Pizzeria stand out from the rest. Crude bread used to be baked on hot stones as early as the Italian Stone Age (not just a clever name! ha!) because stone can be heated to such high temperatures it allows the crust to cook evenly and develop the right balance of chew, crunch and char. We all know, perfecting the crust is what makes a superb pizza. Then comes the right toppings. Quality ingredients, fresh toppings and the perfect amount of sauce makes a perfected pizza.

Now I'll come back to the pizza in one moment, but first I must share something about this lovely pizzeria. I supposed there are some expectations when one goes into a pizzeria, you know what I mean, a little greasy looking, a few young high school students manning the cash register and you're crossing your fingers they wash their hands, you know what I mean. Urbana Pizzeria was a pleasant surprise.

Not only was the place immaculate, but we realized this was a full scale restaurant with ample other options on the menu. The name is deceiving, this is not just a pizzeria, this is a pizza and pasta and all great things Italians have brought to the palate kind of place. It's funky, fun and welcoming.

We were seated by a very polite and pleasant waiter who quickly served us some drinks and menus. We decided to pick a couple small pizzas, so we could try a couple different kinds. After scouring the menu in all it's deliciousness, we finally decided on the Greco (greek) with their house made (from scratch daily!) tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese and feta cheese, spinach, artichoke hearts, black olives and sun dried tomatoes. We also chose the Pollo Loco (chicken) which included tomato sauce with pesto, mozza cheese, grilled chicken, roasted red onion and fresh basil.

Photo: the Pollo Loco (chicken) individual pizza.

I love having options and at Urbana Pizzeria you can chose a whole wheat crust, traditional (white) or even gluten-free (for a little more $). It's nice to see more restaurants in Nanaimo catering to the wheat sensitive folk. They also offer daily specials (some pasta) and an Italian focused appetizer menu, like a basket of stone baked bread with olive oil, or the formaggi plate (cheese, olives, pizza bread). When we were visiting there was also a few pasta dishes on their specials menu. Next time I'll have to try their caesar salad with HOMEMADE butter croutons and in house dressing.

Urbana Pizzeria is a place you MUST CHECK OUT, if you like pizza, especially if you like high quality pizza in a hip and fun atmosphere.

Urbana Pizzeria is located at 63045 Dover Road, Nanaimo B.C
Open Tuesday - Saturday 11am-2pm & 4pm-9pm

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