LunchNicli Antica Pizzeria


Gastown gains a new resident in Nicli Antica Pizzeria, an attempt to expand Vancouver’s pizza palette with Neapolitan style pizzas that boasts ridiculously thin crusts baked for a mere 90 seconds and topped with simple, yet quality ingredients you can count on the digits of a single hand.

Nicli’s spacious, modern interior belies the rough around the edges Cordova neighbourhood it occupies. The restaurant’s modest entrance is camouflaged into the building, but opens up to a sizeable bar, bright dining room, and anchored by the towering centerpiece — a wood fired oven enclosed in a column running to the ceiling.

(Above: Nicli’s wood fired oven burns at 900°F. Wouldn’t want to be Santa shimmying down this chimney.)

Case and I were greeted by an unsmiling host who didn’t appear to know where to seat us, even though 3/4 of the restaurant was empty. We were eventually seated with a front row view of the wood fired oven and the pizza makers doing their thing.

(Top to bottom: 1. Lime Rickey Soda, 2. Chilli and Thyme infused olive oil.)

The menu was refreshingly simple, unsurprisingly dominated by pizzas (less than a dozen varieties) and half a dozen starters. Nicli’s attempt at authenticity extends from its pizza making method and simple ingredients to the language on the menu. For our Funghi: pomodoro instead of tomato sauce; fior de latte, not mozzarella; funghi rather than mushrooms; and basil is… well, basil.

Our Funghi was supplemented by a Napoletena: oregano, fragrant roasted chunks of garlic melting, and beautifully pungent anchovy. The pizza crusts were indeed paper thin, bubbling with crispy burnt hot spots from being licked by the unforgiving flames of the oven.

(Above: Funghi, Nicli’s take on mushroom pizza.)

Two pizzas, a glass of house red, and lime rickey soda with taxes and tip came to $48. The service was pretty mediocre and sluggish — nothing impressive at all. The pizza, however, was certainly tasty. So if you don’t mind your pizza with a side of apathy, you’re in for a treat.

Perfect for: simple, tasty pizza.

The Details

62 East Cordova Street, Vancouver

Nicli Antica Pizzeria on Urbanspoon

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