Pizzeria Prima Strada pays homage to Italian roots with a commitment to simple and fresh ingredients on traditional, wood-fired, thin crust pizzas. Great pizza served in a fun and welcoming environment.
Maybe the best we've had is over in Vancouver. But maybe now this should be the best, if not, it's close. At least until we head over to Naples. No, they don't just claim to be Neapolitan style pizza, apparently certified member of Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana. (Not that it means that much, we've been to a similar place and the pizza was significantly inferior).
We managed to beat the lunchtime rush by a few minutes, so maybe that explains the good service. Pizza took slightly longer than expected given, but it's not just baking time, they were working the dough for each one on order I think. Oh, by the way, quite kid-friendly. They were set up to take little ones and both servers and chefs were glad to see them.
The crust was quite flavourful, maybe not quite the best, but very good. On the other hand, it was a bit thicker and didn't serve as a pile of soggy mess, so overall, excellent job. The toppings were first-rate (well, we did have the local buffalo mozzarella and their own pepperoni), perfectly balanced and flavoured. No really complaints, it was really, really good.
Aaah, but we also sprang for some gelato and tiramisu. Gelato good, perhaps a touch too sweet, but at least it didn't leave a sticky sensation from inferior sweeteners or other additives that are usually in cheapy ice cream. Tiramisu was completely awesome, some of the best ever. Heck, I would go back just for that!
Highly recommended for a special trip out here if you live on the Island. If not, well, look hard and you can find just as good on the Mainland.
I will start by saying that this ranks among the best pizza you can get in Victoria. I will give them that.
However, their stature is marginal when you factor in what they charge. I am sure they're paying premium rates for the space their in, and there's not really any other options for the Cook St. Village clientele, who are for the most part affluent and wouldn't think about how much they're paying for dinner. $45 for two people to dine on pizza and have sleeves of local beer is steep in my books.
The funghi was great, fantastic carmelized onions approaching a confit merges with two types of mushroom and a delectable cream sauce. That pizza stood on its own. I ordered the Romana and the whole time was comparing it with a similar pizza at Fifth St which goes for $5 less. There's more care in the ingredients, particularly the crust at Prima Strada, but ultimately I am still wondering if it's worth it given the rest of the package that came with our meal.
Upon arriving, there was a large line-up and it was unclear what system they were using to fill the tables. There were about 4 empty tables and no one in line had their name in for them. Clearly what they are doing is a courtesy call and folks are walking back from other parts of the Cook St village shopping area - or perhaps even Beacon Hill Park given the length some of these tables sat empty. We didn't quite get what was going on and the hostess, who was also playing server (bad move for a place this busy), seemed impatient that it was our first time there and we didn't know the drill. We were told 15 minutes and were seated 20 minutes later. Forgivable given how slammed they were.
The two pizzas came 7 minutes apart from each other, and getting the bill taken care of required the guy who appeared to be the owner/manager coming to our table after waiting for about 5-10 minutes. He took the cheque to our waitress who brought our change. None of the staff acknowledged us after we had requested our bill. There seemed to be an air of knowing they are the best pizza place in town and that it didn't matter what type of service we had because they'd continue being the best.
Pizza to me is proletariat food, and I think a more down-to-earth approach is a better way to go. Pizzeria Prima Strada has managed to make the best pizza in Victoria, but they need to work on creating a better atmosphere. Better service and restaurant management would go a long way towards this. The atmosphere at the best pizza places I've been to are created by the people who work there. This experience was disappointing (not to mention after paying $23 for a pizza and beer, it wasn't the most filling meal either) but they are new and worth giving another chance. If they get their act together, they'll undoubtedly rule the pizza scene here indefinitely. It is unbecoming to carry an air of premature arrogance with respect to that title in the present however.
I’m not sure what they are doing overseas, but European pizza trumps the oily, thick crust, over cheesed pizza we eat here. Pizza should be easy to make; there are only a few ingredients. Unfortunately I haven’t tasted good pizza since I was in Europe over five years ago. Naturally I was intrigued (not excited) when I found out that an authentic Pizzeria was opening in my neighbourhood. Maybe I would have the chance to taste authentic pizza again, but I doubt it.
I was hoping to just pop in and get a quick slice, but unlike other pizza joints this was not an option. They only serve full, personal pizzas, just like the Euros.
The small paper menu that I held in my hand was filled with words that I would stumble over if I tried to pronounce. Fortunately, the server also stumbled over the pronunciations as he described the antipasti of the day. Nevertheless he pointed to the table next to us as they we enjoying the dish he was trying to explain. It looked good, so we ordered it. The drink selection on the menu offered a few domestic beers and wine for the unadventurous, and a few choices from the old world. We both ordered beers that we remembered drinking in Europe. My choice of pizza was going to be the true test for this restaurant. I chose the same pizza I ordered at every pizza joint I visited in Italy; The Napoletana. This bare bones pizza has only a few ingredients: Tomato, garlic, anchovies and oregano. Although simple enough, I had very high expectations to meet.
Our Antipasti arrived within a few minutes. The plate looked great, thinly sliced aged ham, freshly baked pizza bread, gorgonzola cheese, pickles, olives and a compote. The variety and mix of flavours were a great start to the meal. I was excited knowing that my pizza was being cooked in the 850° oven as I finished off the starter. Soon our Pizzas arrived. Both my Napoletana and her Funghi pizza looked amazing. I dove in and got a taste of that flavour that I had been waiting so long for. The only thing I would have wished for are: more anchovies and a bottle of Extra Virgin olive oil for the top and crust. The Funghi pizza on the other hand was anything but skimpy on the toppings. Porcini cream, roasted mushrooms, onions, thyme, mozzarella and pecorino cheese combined to make me very envious of her pizza choice, luckily I got to try a few pieces. It was amazing.
The pizza is as authentic as you are going to get without buying a plane ticket to Europe. With modest prices and great food I would recommend this restaurant to all of my friends.
I was so excited to see this restaurant arrive in my neighborhood I kept asking them when they were going to open! My first visit was incredibly great - excellent pizza made from terrific ingredients. My next few visits still had great food but the service was uneven depending on the server. Then on about my fourth visit my order was forgotten, a couple of visits later I had to ask three times for a server to take my order at the bar, on one of my last visits the cooks kept passing over my order for the take-out line orders. I had recommended the place to co-workers - all of them complained about the service. This place is busy (good food) but over-staffed and disorganized. Some nights there are over 10 people working in the front of a 40+ seat pizza restaurant I wonder how sustainable that kind of staffing ratio is) making it feel crowded even when it's empty!! Instead of this being a once-a-week place for me, I now only go when I don't feel like one of the other Cook Street Village eating options.
For all you people who have been waiting for authentic thin crust pizza your wait is over. Yesterday with slight trepidation I ventured into Prima Strada on Cook Street. After many disappointing attempts to find traditional thin crust pizza on the island I was weary but curious. I skipped the antipasti and went straight for the Margherita pizza. It was in a word 'outstanding'. The crust was chewy, flavorful and cooked to perfection. The tomato sauce was fresh and not spiced to cover up inferior tomatoes. My dining companion had the special pizza of the day and ate in silence as she enjoyed every bite. Our server was sweet and attentive and the owner passionate about his food. The atmosphere was pleasant and the cappuccino creamy and flawless. These people know what they are doing. Next time I will try the antipasti and of course have a pizza. A regular is born!
Some friends and I just tried the Prima Strada Pizzeria. While the restaurant was busy, the host offered to take down our cell number and give us a call when we could get in. Didn't take long at all. The service was friendly and quite prompt considering how busy the restaurant was. We ordered some thin crust pizzas (the only option on the menu apart from appies and desserts). The sauce was definitely fresh! This place has a nicely decorated interior, with big wood fired oven where they cook the pizzas on view. Definitely a cool spot for dinner with friends, or even a date! Great place to have in the neighbourhood.
Prima Strada is a limited-menu pizzeria serving thin crust pizza from a wood-burning oven. The pizzas are made with fresh top- quality ingredients and cook quickly in the special oven. Prices are fair value. Service is sometimes a little shaky. In conclusion, Prima Strada is the only place in Victoria for thin crust pizza.
The pizza at this place is amazing. The service isn't always the greatest, but it's decent and has much improved since they first opened last year. I have been to Italy, and I must say I prefer this pizza. Nothing beats the Margarita pizza. All their pizzas are baked in a wood fired oven fueled with Birch and are DELICIOUS!!! Their salads and olves are also outstanding. HIGHKY reccommended!!!!
My partner and I just spent a few days in beautiful Victoria. On one of our evenings we decided that instead of the abundant fish and seafood options which abound in Victoria, that rather we would choose to have a simpler fare. We decided on pizza. Neither of us like the standard chain pizza restaurants, so we decided to ask the Valet staff at our hotel (Delta Ocean Pointe) for suggestions. They suggested we try Pizzaria Prima Strada, although they had never been there, the said " it always smells so good when you walk by" So we decided to risk it and try the place out. From the moment we walked in we were treated like close friends. The reaturant is very warm and friendly. The wood fired oven is amazing. The food was astounding with superior attention to detail. Thin crust pizza, incredible antipasti and tiramisu like my grandmother used to make. The owner walked throughout the restaurant making sure that everything, including the food and service was up to her standard.. she runs a very tight ship! When she came over to our table she asked if everything was fine, of course we said yes. When we told her about how we had heard of her restaurant, she immediately got a card and asked that we give the card to the two valet attendents at the hotel.. offering them to come and have a free pizza. The owner is a smart marketer and with food of this standard and quality, will be around for many years.
I've certainly heard the buzz about Prima Strada, so when the opportunity came up last minute to go in for a quick dinner on a Monday night, I thought it would be the perfect place to go. For a Monday I was surprised to see how busy it was - a good sign. There was a line when arrived but we were willing to sit at the "bar" overlooking the cooks making the pizza, facing the oven. It was great to be able to watch the process from start to finish. Our service was quick and efficient although it was too busy for anything more. The room was quite loud and certainly not a place to linger over conversation. I ordered the Cannollini beans, which were very simple white beans with, olive oil and parmesan baked on top. I thought the flavor would shine through it's simplicity but it was very disappointing, uninspired and flavorless. The side bread sticks which came with the dish were fantastic. Next the Romano pizza came out. This time the flavors were incredibly strong, so much so that I could not finish but my husband loved it. Our waitress apologize several times for knocking my husband's elbow each time she passed to cover off her section, due to the close quarters. She promptly brought out bill but it was the wrong one. As she immediately walked away after dropping off the bill we had to flag down another server who then had to go find her.
Over all it was good - not great and if I lived in the neighborhood I think I would pop in to grab a pizza to go or a casual bite but it wouldn't cross my mind as a place to go for dinner.
My wife and my tween kid and I went for a meal around 1pm, service was good. My son wanted to try the buffalo mozzarela on the pizza. We ordered the margarita and a fungi pizza, a lovely salad and plate of olives.
The key to a good pizza, is crust, sauce, cheese and toppings, the sauce tasted like tomatoes and the cheese was subtle but flavourful. If you do not like thin crust, just stay home. The crust was solid enough to support the toppings, edge crispy enough to hear the crunch and the innards chewy. The funghi was lovely with the right amount of cheese and shrooms. Cheers to the chef.
The salad was a new creation using fresh local veggies, the olives for $5 were worth it, good to share and a good selection. The salad at $10 seemed pricy, the pizzas at around $15 were good value.
I rate at solid as we were there after the lunch rush and only once.