Venues

Massimo’s

Massimo’s
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Cost
R100 avg main meal
Ambience
Comfy & casual, Family friendly
Food
Italian, Mediterranean, Pizzas
Payment
Mastercard, Visa
500

Critic's review

Graham Howe

Food
Husband-and-wife owners Massimo (from Piedmont) and Tracey (from Liverpool) offer warm, hands-on hospitality at this local landmark for authentic Italian cuisine. Fine ingredients – imported charcuterie, parmesan, mozzarella, pasta and stone-ground flour to make their legendary wood-fired pizza – show in the quality and flavour of homemade fare.

To start, share a selection of cold and hot spuntini (tapas), an A-Z of bruschetta, Italian meatballs, deep-fried baby artichokes, pan-fried chorizo and polenta bites. The regulars cannot resist the temptation of one of 30 or so divine thin-crust pizzas on offer, topped with bresaola, pancetta, coppa, Parma ham and Massimo’s homemade artisanal sausage and meatballs, including a special bambino-size pizza range.

An extensive pasta menu tempts with short or long pasta, and signature butternut, sage and butter ravioli, which all come in half and full portions. Hearty sauces range from classic arrabbiata, carbonara and puttanesca to roasted artichokes, peppers and tomatoes for vegetarians. Don’t miss the signature dessert: a boozy trio of three chocolate cups filled with homemade chocolate liqueur. These are generous portions at reasonable prices.

Drinks
Try local Constantia wines, craft beers as well as Massimo’s homemade sangria, limoncello and ciocommio (a chocolate liqueur infused with different flavours).

Service
Attentive and warm, with informed advice on daily specials and signature dishes.

Ambience
Busy and bustling. A warm family spirit infuses this comfort zone with light and laughter.

And…
Make up a party of friends and family and take advantage of the specials like the pasta and pizza feast and Italian feast for six or more adults.

(September 2016)

Eat Out critics dine anonymously and pay for their meals in full. Read our editorial policy here.

  • Ambience
  • Service
  • Food
  • Linda Scarborough

    Food
    The antipasti selection will have you weak at the knees, with everything from seared beef carpaccio and polenta-and-parmesan bites with truffle salt to fried mozzarella balls with creamy pesto. You could move on to serious Italian fare like artichoke soup with a Parma ham crisp, duck-filled ravioli with wild mushrooms, a T-bone with Dijon mustard sauce, or spicy beef and lamb meatballs, but the famous pizza is probably why you’re here. If you skipped the starters to head straight for the pizza oven, start with the fun focaccia, Between the Sheets, stuffed with cream cheese and Gorgonzola. The Pancetta pizza with pan-fried mushrooms is a simple classic. You could shake things up a bit with the Afrikana, which comes with boerewors and caramelised onions; the Capo Tonno, with capers, fresh rocket and tuna carpaccio; or beautiful vegetarian options like the Tricolore with roasted garlic, cacio, ribbons of zucchini and fresh tomato; or the Zucca with roasted butternut, feta, chilli and garlic. All come with a thin base with just the right amount of chew, slightly blackened at the bottom by the wood-fired oven. If you’re avoiding gluten, try their homemade chickpea base, or the one made with Glutagon flour for an extra R18. Pasta options are numerous and varied enough to keep everybody happy, with all the Italian ingredients your heart could desire, including Parma ham, basil pesto, roasted garlic, pine nuts, anchovies, bacon and artichoke truffle cream. Finish off the meal with one of a handful of reliable options, including sticky toffee pudding, tiramisu, a chocolate brownie with ice cream and chocolate sauce, crème brûlée or Italian kisses. There are sweet pizzas too, topped with chocolate spread, bananas and caramel sauce.

    Drinks
    They’re in the process of obtaining a new liquor license, so while they can’t sell you any alcohol, they can serve you a ‘free’ carafe, glass of wine or draught beer along with small focaccia breads. The neat vino selection keeps it local with a couple of Hout Bay brands amongst some interesting offerings. Updated info available?

    Service
    A warm greeting from Tracy at the door makes us feel very welcome and we spy Massimo himself talking to regulars and checking on things at the pizza-making station. It’s great that the restaurant hires and upskills youngsters from disadvantaged communities in Hout Bay. Our waiter isn’t the chirpiest, but maybe it’s just an off day for him, as the other staff seem to be all smiles.

    Ambience
    The spacious restaurant has big tables for family gatherings (which are popular here) and some smaller ones dotted in the corners for more intimate meals. The pizza oven and fireplace keep things warm in winter, with the doors spilling onto a little garden with a jungle gym for the kids. Black-and-white family photos add to the homey atmosphere.

    And…
    Massimo’s generously supports various charities. Order the Luna pizza and R10 will go to DARG and Hout Bay PETS; if you have the Sunflower pizza or pasta, R10 goes to The Sunflower Fund to support bone-marrow donors; and the Happy Valley calzone supports Hout Bay Neighbourhood watch with R10 per order. You can also #payitforward by purchasing a virtual slice of pizza for R10. For every six slices sold, Massimo’s will deliver one pizza to that month’s chosen charity or organisation.

  • Linda Scarborough

    Food
    The antipasti selection will have you weak at the knees, with everything from seared beef carpaccio and polenta-and-parmesan bites with truffle salt to fried mozzarella balls with creamy pesto.

    You could move on to serious Italian fare like artichoke soup with a Parma ham crisp, duck-filled ravioli with wild mushrooms, a T-bone with Dijon mustard sauce, or spicy beef and lamb meatballs, but the famous pizza is probably why you’re here.

    If you skipped the starters to head straight for the pizza oven, start with the fun focaccia, Between the Sheets, stuffed with cream cheese and gorgonzola. The Pancetta pizza with pan-fired mushrooms is a simple classic, but you could shake things up a bit with the Afrikana, which comes with boerewors and caramelised onions; the Capo Tonno, with capers, fresh rocket and tuna carpaccio; or beautiful vegetarian options like the Tricolore with roasted garlic, cacio, ribbons of zucchini and fresh tomato; or the Zucca with roasted butternut, feta, chilli and garlic. All come with a thin but just chewy enough base, slightly blackened at the bottom by the wood-fired oven. If you’re avoiding gluten, try their homemade chickpea base, or the one made with Glutagon flour for an extra R18.

    Pasta options are numerous and varied enough to keep everybody happy, with all the Italian ingredients your heart could desire, including Parma ham, basil pesto, roasted garlic, pine nuts, anchovies, bacon and artichoke truffle cream.

    Finish off the meal with one of a handful of reliable options, including sticky toffee pudding, tiramisu, a chocolate brownie with ice cream and chocolate sauce, crème brûlée or Italian kisses. There are sweet pizzas too, topped with chocolate spread, bananas and caramel sauce.

    Drinks
    They’re in the process of obtaining a new liquor licence, so while they can’t sell you any alcohol, they can serve you a ‘free’ carafe, glass of wine or draught beer along with small focaccia breads. The neat vino selection keeps it local with a couple of Hout Bay brands amongst some interesting offerings.

    Service 

    A warm greeting from Tracy at the door makes us feel very welcome and we spy Massimo himself talking to regulars and checking on things at the pizza-making station. It’s great that the restaurant hires and upskills youngsters from disadvantaged communities in Hout Bay. Our waiter isn’t the chirpiest, but maybe it’s just an off day for him, as the other staff seem to be all smiles.

    Ambience
    The spacious restaurant has big tables for family gatherings (which are popular here) and some smaller ones dotted in the corners for more intimate meals. The pizza oven and fireplace keep things warm in winter, with the doors spilling onto a little garden with a jungle gym for the kids. Black-and-white family photos add to the homey atmosphere.

    And… 

    Massimo’s generously supports various charities. Order the Luna pizza and R10 will go to DARG and Hout Bay PETS; if you have the Sunflower pizza or pasta, R10 goes to The Sunflower Fund to support bone-marrow donors; and the Happy Valley calzone supports Hout Bay Neighbourhood watch with R10 per order. You can also #payitforward by purchasing a virtual slice of pizza for R10. For every six slices sold, Massimo’s will deliver one pizza to that month’s chosen charity or organisation.

    (June 2015)

  • Bernadette le Roux

    Food 
    Start with authentic Italian antipasti, including fried polenta dusted with truffle salt, marinated baby artichokes, pan-fried chorizo and much, much more.

    The thin-based pizzas are known far and wide and are all made using stone-ground Eureka flour and fior di latte mozzarella. You’ll find only fresh toppings like parma ham, figs and gorgonzola. And if pizza or pasta is not your thing, the daily chalkboard is always filled with tempting options like steak with café de Paris butter, cassoulet, fresh mussels and innovative salads. On ‘Fat Tuesdays’ you can eat all the pizza you want for R99 (served by the slice and includes a shared green salad).

    Drinks 
    A carefully crafted wine list includes wines from some lesser-known boutique estates, most of which are available by the glass. An exceptional Italian Prosecco (lighter than MCC, with a fine, very vivacious mousse) is also available and reasonably priced by the glass or the bottle.

    Service 
    Service over the weekends can be a little on the slow side, but with a restaurant bursting at the seams and lots of little people around, this is easily forgiven. Chef and owners Massimo and Tracy are very much a part of the furniture.

    Ambience 
    Massimo’s (aka ‘Pizza Club’) has become a Hout Bay institution. It’s a great place for families and has a jungle gym outside for small children. In the daytime it has a casual café feel which warms up at night.

    And… 
    The Italian Feast, at R165 per person, is a must for groups of six or more adults. It starts with a selection of antipasti and salad, followed by the chance to try all the pizza on the menu! The pizza keeps coming till you’ve had your fill.

    (July 2014)

  • Food
    Many claim that Massimo's pizzas are the best in Cape Town. If you like your crust thin yet chewy, and your toppings classic yet inventive (real Italian sausage with roasted peppers and cacio cheese), you just may agree. In addition to the stellar pies, delicious pastas and a list of excellent starters (think sausages roasted on a rosemary skewer) tempt.

    Wine
    A well-selected list dominated by locals, with almost everything by the glass, as well as some Italian options, craft beer and Peroni.

    Service
    Extremely knowledgeable and friendly staff members are overseen by affable owners Massimo and Tracy.

    Ambience
    The large farmhouse space is casual and comfy, with the wood-fired oven raging in the corner, lending the feel of being in someone's (slightly cavernous) kitchen. Great for groups.

    And...
    Order and collect takeaways before 7pm for a 15% discount. Groups of six or more should try the Italian Feast: a family-style array of antipasti, salads and endless pizza for R145 per person. (LM, October 2012)

User reviews

  • What a lovely spot! When the craving for real good pizza hits, there is no better! So happy to have found this place, better late then never! Thanks so much for a fantastic lunch! and such friendly staff :)
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  • Good food in a awesome place. Staff is very kind and service good. I appreciated very much antipasti and pizza. Next time I will in Cape Town I definitely come back to Massimo's.
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  • Every time I visited Massimo’s, I tasted dishes that combine quality and a very original presentation. The ambience is cosy, cured, casual with pleasant pictures on the walls. The atmosphere is warm and friendly. The staff for service is wisely managed by Tracy, who doesn't lose sight for a moment its customers to meet their requests. I know Massimo and Tracy for a long time and I admire their enthusiasm, professionalism and dedication to their job. I had diner many times at Massimo’s tasting both the pizzas that traditional Italian dishes: all is great! Pizza made on Wood burning oven is simply fantastic, especially Pere and Gorgonzola. And, at the end of dinner, I have never forgotten to order the tiramisu and the homemade frozen limoncello! An important aspect to point out is also the generous support that Massimo gives to various organizations, first of all The Sunflower Fund to support bone-marrow donors.
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  • I visit Massimos very regularly, at least twice a month, mostly because of the great staff, lovely ambiance and excellent pizzas. To borrow the words from a friend 'I didn't know what REAL pizza was until I visited Massimos'. Moreover, on the day I got promoted I visited Massimos and the owners Tracy and Massimo Orione sent me a complimentary glass of champagne. Massimos treats you like family!
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  • What can I say about Massimo's except they are great! All around service and food. The owners greet you at the door and make you feel at home! I am a Hout Bay local so visit there at least once per month. Not only do they have the BEST pizza but also great main dishes and a tiramisu to die for. Plus an added bonus, two outdoor kiddies play areas.
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Facilities

  • Accepts credit cards
  • Dinner
  • Fireplace
  • Food
  • Licensed
  • Lunch
  • Parking
  • Serves food
  • Takeaways
  • Wheelchair
  • WiFi

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