Venues

Nonna Lina Italian Restaurant

Nonna Lina Italian Restaurant
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Cost
R80 avg main meal
Ambience
Comfy & casual
Food
Italian
Payment
Mastercard, Visa

Critic's review

Sandiso Ngubane

Food
Nonna Lina first opened its doors in 2003, as chef Antenello Scamuzzi’s way of keeping the memory of his late grandmother Lina’s memory alive. Since then it has become a local favourite, serving up authentic Italian dishes in a comfortable, casual and unpretentious environment.

If you like your pizza with a thin base, few come close to Nonna Lina’s, which come piping hot from their wood-fired oven. The menu offers everything one would except from an Italian establishment and more, from traditional margherita to Sardinian specialties like Pane Guttiau (a snack of thin bread, warmed in extra-virgin olive oil and salt). There’s an extensive salad offering, which includes the delicious Selvaggia – smoked venison carparccio, nectarine or sweet melon, fresh mint, mozzarella, fior di latte, with a tangy citrus vinaigrette.

There is no shortage of vegetarian options, with pasta dishes that include arrabiatta, creamy tomato and very cheesy options like the Quattro, a mix of mascarpone, mozzarella, gorgonzola, and pecorino.

Drinks
An extensive wine list that includes Italian varietals, craft beer and more.

Service
Welcoming and attentive, but not intrusive.

Ambience
Casual, comfortable and unpretentious – a typical Italian trattoria.

And…
Kids can create their own pizzas.

(September 2016)

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  • Katharine Jacobs

    Food
    Antonello Scamuzzi’s neighbourhood Italian spot has been around since 2003 is still going strong. Expect decent Italian cuisine with a Sardinian lilt. Pizzas are baked in the wood-fired oven and come out thin bases bubbling, piping hot and generally looking like something you’d propose to. Toppings are fairly authentic – think prosciutto, anchovies or capers – although there is the occasional concession to the South African palate visible in the appearance of ingredients like peppadews, pineapple and smoked chicken. The butternut and sage panzerotti are moreish – especially if you choose to pair them, somewhat irresponsibly, with the quattro sauce containing mascarpone, mozzarella, Gorgonzola and pecorino. There’s also wheat-free pasta – so even the wheat-fearing can tuck into pasta with creamy tomato sauce and prawns or a classic Bolognese. For dessert, there are nonna’s brownies; Sardinian honey-soaked pastries filled with mozzarella, figs and macadamias; or a scoop of gelato – which can be supplemented by a silver jug of chocolate sauce if you ask nicely.

    Drinks
    A four-page list includes a section for Italian varietals made by Fairview. The rest of the list is composed of classic names like Thelema, Rickety Bridge, Kanonkop and Springfield. There are also several craft beers (&Union, CBC, and Boston Breweries).

    Service
    Swift and unobtrusive.

    Ambience
    White tablecloths and a smattering of blue highlights: this is an unpretentious Italian trattoria. Outdoor tables and a little breakfast bar overlooking Orange Street are the place to be in summer. In winter, scoop a table near the pizza oven.

    And…
    Get in the mood, drink-wise, with that classic Italian drink, a spritzer made with the orange Italian spirit Aperol.

    (September 2015)

  • Katharine Jacobs

    Food
    Antonello Scamuzzi’s neighbourhood Italian spot has been around since 2003 is still going strong. Expect decent Italian cuisine with a Sardinian lilt. Pizzas are baked in the wood-fired oven and come out thin bases bubbling, piping hot and generally looking like something you’d propose to. Toppings are fairly authentic – think prosciutto, anchovies or capers – although there is the occasional concession to the South African palate visible in the appearance of ingredients like peppadews, pineapple and smoked chicken. The butternut and sage panzerotti are moreish – especially if you choose to pair them, somewhat irresponsibly, with the quattro sauce containing mascarpone, mozzarella, Gorgonzola and pecorino. There’s also wheat-free pasta – so even the wheat-fearing can tuck into pasta with creamy tomato sauce and prawns or a classic Bolognese. For dessert, there are nonna’s brownies; Sardinian honey-soaked pastries filled with mozzarella, figs and macadamias; or a scoop of gelato – which can be supplemented by a silver jug of chocolate sauce if you ask nicely.

    Drinks
    A four-page list includes a section for Italian varietals made by Fairview. The rest of the list is composed of classic names like Thelema, Rickety Bridge, Kanonkop and Springfield. There are also several craft beers (&Union, CBC, and Boston Breweries).

    Service
    Swift and unobtrusive.

    Ambience
    White tablecloths and a smattering of blue highlights: this is an unpretentious Italian trattoria. Outdoor tables and a little breakfast bar overlooking Orange Street are the place to be in summer. In winter, scoop a table near the pizza oven.

    And …
    Get in the mood, drink-wise, with that classic Italian drink, a spritzer made with the orange Italian spirit Aperol.

  • Lentswe Bhengu

    Food
    Over the years this pizzeria has become a firm favourite among locals, especially because their kitchen stays open quite late. Nonna Lina pizzas are baked in traditional wood-fired ovens, and they never fail to deliver with crispy edges and stay true to their Italian heritage by not going overboard with the toppings.

    The menu is extensive. Cheese lovers will appreciate the Quattro, which boasts ricotta, mozzarella, gorgonzola and pecorino. Then there’s The Godfather, which brings rosa tomatoes, mozzarella, prawns and chilli oil – simple, straight to the point and delicious.

    If you ask nicely enough, the kitchen can whip up a combination of your favorite sauces and extras for your own pasta sauce.

    Wine 
    A very well-rounded list of wines is served by the glass or bottle in a price range from R115 to R200.

    Ambience 
    This above-average Italian restaurant offers comfortable and cosy seating, though it does tend to feel crowded when the place is full. Set within the city bowl, if draws both locals and tourists.

    Service 
    When the weather’s great – meaning that outside seating also fills up – and the restaurant is packed, service can become a bit hard to secure. Nevertheless, the feeling of being in a family style eatery – and the portion sizes they dole out – will make up for that.

    And… 
    They also offer a short but sweet kids’ menu for any bambinos at the table.

    (August 2014)

  • Food
    A nice neighbourhood Italian joint with an extensive menu on which excellent crisp wood-fired pizza with unusual toppings is the hero. Stand-out dishes include a heavenly artichoke salad with pine nuts and caramelised red onion, and simple flavoursome pastas such as fresh ravioli stuffed with shrimp in a tomato sauce or fresh summer tomatoes and ricotta. Unfortunately ingredients are not always seasonal, which compromises on the flavour.

    Wine
    A decent-sized list of expected favourites, suiting most budgets.

    Service
    At times attentive and informative and at other times lacking, to say the least, depending on who happens to serve you.

    Ambience
    It is easy to relax and have a good time here. Casual tables are closely packed, creating a very cosy and buzzing atmosphere for which many loyal fans return.

    And...
    Try the coffee with fresh orange rind. (AL, September 2010)

User reviews

  • Please, do not visit the branch at the Waterfront. The Pizza is a huge rip off and not worth R100+ and if in doubt, a trial will convince you.
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  • Its a great pity that the Italians who used to own this place are not there. This nonna Lina has lost what it had. The food is mediocre and way over priced. R100 for a ham and pineapple pizza R115 for a small salad with one piece of articoke. The Dom Pedro was less than half a glass and the tiramisu was sour while the beer R58 for craft beer ? we felt ripped off and disappointed . Nonna Lina is not recommended.
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  • I am utterly applauded not only with the take away pizza quality but with the way in which the manager handle it this evening when I phoned to tell him about it. I order two takeaway pizzas, 1 vegetarian and one ifungi with extra salami, The vegetarian had anchovies all over it. When I told the manager he said the vegetarian always has anchovies on it, on their menu this does not state anchovies and every time I have order from their restaurant it has never had anchovies on. I would definitely not order this pizza then because anchovies are very pungent. What if I had been allergic to anchovies? My boyfriend had to phone a second time and the manager did not seem to know what the difference between anchovies and artichokes were until we said there was fish all over a vegetarian pizza. The ifungi was dry and awfully my boyfriend could not even finish a slice. This has been by far the worst pizza we have ever ordered and this is not the first time we have had trouble with a take away from Nona Lina. In fact we threw our pizzas straight in the bin and wasted our money. When I told your manager he said sorry there is nothing he can do
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  • Consistently excellent. Having eaten throughout Italy, I find Nonna Lina to be the most authentic.
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  • Mediocre food - the meatball pasta is nothing special, but the biggest disappointment is the 'wicked drunken chocolate' dessert, which is just a R45 scoop of not particularly special chocolate ice cream. A complete rip-off.
    Service is also very slow.

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  • Great authentic Sardinian/Italian food. Love the Nonna Lina pizza and for something different try the Quattro Mori. A definite must is the Spaghetti Pancetta e Asparagi (pasta special with asparagus, pancetta and egg) - delish! Service can be anything from fantastic to dismal depending on the night but the staff are always friendly and the atmosphere is warm and cosy. Makes for a great evening out with friends.

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  • Another nice evening at Nonna Lina. Great char-grilled chicken breast for me, fabulous pasta with prawn and creamy tomato sauce for the hubby. Never fails on taste, service and warm hospitality.

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  • Food great, service quick maybe a bit too rushed - like they wanted to turn the table again. Manager needs to brush up on his diplomacy or he may chase away customers.
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  • RESPONSE FROM RESTAURANT,Hello there. People actually dont know that the main problem restaurants have in Cape Town is in actual fact staying open! The rate in which restaurants open and close is quite laughable really and its generally down to poor finance management within the day to day operation. Pricing flucuations from suppliers is like a rollercoaster ride and all restaurants have to take this seriously. After more than 7 years of successful operation and awards to prove the quality of the product (in 2008 we were judged from eat out readers one of the 15 favourite places in the country), we are still considered one of the best pizza eateries in the country, we have now reached a happy medium and regular flow of customers! The product at Nonna Lina is a good product where we use lots of imported ingredients (mostly from italy), so I am not surprised when I hear of a complaint every blue moon. 95% of customers I have are return customers, and mostly locals, and always come back for the food or maybe just because they just like me, and the 5% just tourists and new customers (most of them always come back too), our complaint rate is close to 0.001% Most of the people generally have no idea about food costings and cannot begin to understand why a dish costs what it does. About the tacky, we never try to have a sexy and expensive look, it is more of a trattoria, a pizzeria in Sardegna where I come from, so if youre looking for an elegant and formal venue, I would not suggest my restaurant. I always aim to please and am always open to suggestions (I cannot say this is a constructive complaint) but in some cases, its better off just cutting your losses and suggesting to a person that this restaurant is just not for them. Fortunately there are plenty of good restaurants in Cape Town but I dont know about less expensive.REVIEW,A tacky place offering very expensive poor food. Seemingly popular though.
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  • Probably the most authentic Italian food in Cape Town. Went there for wedding anniversary and cant wait to return for my brother-in-laws birthday next month.
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  • For nearly two years now we have driven past this little corner restaurant and thinking, hmm...one day we must try it out. So, last Friday night we thought wed just stroll in for a bite. Turns out one should book (its that popular), but the owner made a plan and squeezed us in - and how very, very glad we were that he did. This is a little treasure of a place! The food was astoundingly good, I had a most wonderful salad and my husband a delicious pizza. Neither of us wanted to part with even one mouthful, which just means well have to go back for many, many more treats! The service, the vibe, the food, the wine - everything, down to the coffee - was all wonderful. Its not even a week later and Im already thinking its time to head back. There are so many dishes that still need to be tasted ,-)
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  • i have eaten here quite a few times. the service is very bad - staff dont pay attention to you and one always has to struggle getting their attention (even the managers attention). food is generally ok though, but dont order the side veg - too expensive for what it is.
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  • For a kick-back and casual evening with your friends, go to Nonna Lina. You have to have the strawberry salad from the specials; the berries combined with salmon and herbs is a taste sensation. Move onto the best pizzas this side of the equator, thin based with a variety of toppings, from Salmon and mascarpone to Parma ham with shaved pecorino. Service is friendly but unhurried, so relax, talk, eat, Repeat.
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  • For a kick-back and casual evening with your friends, go to Nonna Lina. You have to have the strawberry salad from the specials; the berries combined with salmon and herbs is a taste sensation. Move onto the best pizzas this side of the equator, thin based with a variety of toppings, from Salmon and mascarpone to Parma ham with shaved pecorino. Service is friendly but unhurried, so relax, talk, eat, Repeat.
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  • Fabulous!
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Facilities

  • Alfresco
  • Booking required
  • Child friendly
  • Eat Out reviewed
  • Functions
  • Licensed
  • Parking
  • Smoking
  • Takeaways
  • Vegetarian

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