Some of Nanaimo’s best pizza is served at ManzaVino’s Pizzeria and Italian Cucina, 77 Skinner Street at the top of the hill just down from Gina’s Mexican Café. It’s only a short walk from the downtown theatres, nightclubs, and hotels. This location was formerly occupied by Drift Food Drink which failed partly because it was too upscale for Nanaimo. ManzaVino’s has retained the old elegance while providing a menu which is much more affordable for the local population. The seating along the interior dining room’s glass wall provides an interesting view of Mount Benson across Terminal Avenue, and the trendy soft music and designer cutlery sustain the mood. Outside facing the street there’s a large terrace draped with grape wines.
ManzaVino’s 13 specialty pizzas are the pick of the menu, particularly Roberto’s House Special Pizza (mushrooms, ham, pepperoni, onions, green peppers, pineapple). Of course, you can create your own pizza from the list of ingredients and the chef is generous. Also on the menu are pastas and sirloin steak. A choice of wraps and ciabatta burgers is also available. The beer is less expensive than the wine.
ManzaVino’s Pizzeria and Italian Cucina opens for lunch weekdays from 11:30 am to 4:30 pm and for dinner daily from 4:30 pm until late. It’s an ideal place to go after a show at one of the downtown venues and a small dance floor is available. And unlike many late night drinking places around downtown Nanaimo, the atmosphere here is refined. Call 250-754-7745 to reserve. There’s free parking.
UPDATE: ManzaVino’s has closed and The Cliff Restaurant and Bar is now at this location.