Wood-fire oven pizzas, cakes, paninis, pastries, and coffee — casual yet scrumptious Italian fare by Italian’s Centre’s little Spinelli’s Bar Italia.
If you’re looking for a place to enjoy affordable coffee and have lunch with friends/family, I highly recommend this place. Spinelli was named after the Italian Centre’s founder — Frank Spinelli. Even though my first visit here is recent, this place has actually been around Edmonton for a long time; chances are your grandparents knew about this place way before you did! Walking in on a Saturday afternoon, the place was jam packed with locals and families. It’s filled with warm and lively conversations.
Disclaimer: I’m not Italian, nor have I ever been to Italy. This is just my own opinion and what I make of it from what we have in YEG.
The managers Mercy and Joe were very kind in showing me around and describing their proudly made dishes. I even had the opportunity to meet the pizza chef and master barista.
The space is small with only a couple tables— hence why they were originally named ‘Little Italia’ before changing the name. Despite that, it does not feel crowded. The cafe connects straight to the grocery store, and a separate door leading outside.
Menu almost resembled the grocery store itself, dividing into: coffees, desserts, beverages, panini, baked goods, soups, specials, focaccia, pizzas, etc. There’s also a ‘grab and go’ section for pre-made desserts and sandwiches.
Spinelli also offers special items for each holiday. We sampled the raspberry mousse cake and chocolate covered strawberry (not pictured), in light of Valentine’s Day.
First thoughts — W.O.W. That looks gorgeous! Not only does it look beautiful, it tastes just as great. Light in flavour, with raspberries bringing a sweet yet tart profile, all sandwiched between a flakey cream puff.
You simply cannot go to a cafe and leave without trying their coffee. I tried the latte for myself, and some of my friend’s cappuccino. It tastes exactly like regular coffees you could get at a hipster coffee shop, but for a fraction of the price! $3.25 for a large latte/cappuccino? Yes please!
Cheap and devine. Focaccia is an Italian staple. Bread that’s crispy on the outside, perfectly soft on the inside, and topped with herbs or other ingredients. You can make a sandwich with these or eat it on its own as a snack.
As with pizza, we chose their most popular — the prosciutto arugula made with fresh, local ingredients. Olive oil, bocconcini, arugula, prosciutto di parma, cherry tomatoes, and balsamic glaze drizzle. We loved loved LOVED our pizza! Still dreaming about it till this day…
After having a poor Famoso experience, I’m glad to say our pizza was loaded with ingredients and did not skimp out on any of the prosciutto. They also used my favourite prosciutto which is conveniently sold in the Italian Centre– the same ones I use for my charcuterie nights. It’s not your usual roll-it-up and eat it type of pizza either, but you can eat it however you like (I won’t judge!)
I’ve tried pizzas from numerous restaurants before, and although it may be just a poor first experience, I wouldn’t plan on going back when I know Spinelli would be perfect and lower in cost.
Overall, my friend and I fell in love with this place. If there is one (VERY minor) problem with Spinelli, it would have to be the difficulty in deciding what to order since there are tons of options. The atmosphere was family-friendly and cozy. Expect top-notch food quality and friendly customer service. Pizzas are fantastic with generous toppings, decent in size, and lower in cost most places. I can’t wait for my next visit here… probably won’t be too long from now. My mouth was salivating as I was writing this post!
Read my blog post about Italian Centre Shop, and enter my giveaway on Instagram for a chance to win a $50 to Spinelli, and/or Italian Centre!