Eat & Drink
Newcastle

Bella Italia

Is this Newcastle's most authentic Italian restaurant?

Well, according to the Italian Taste Certification Body it certainly is.

For two years in a row, Bella Italia has been certified by the Italian Taste body and is not only the only Italian venue in Newcastle to be certified, but the only Italian venue across Australia to receive the award.

bella italia italian restaurant newcastle

“They certify us as being true Italian for our ingredients. We thought it was good for us and for our customers,” Nico said.

The certification, ITA 0039, was born from the intention to contribute to the defence, promotion, and enhancement of the true ‘Italianity’ abroad in the food and beverage industry, and for us, that just means that we have an authentic Italian venue right in the heart of Newcastle.

bella italia italian restaurant newcastle

2024 has seen the authentic Italian restaurant, Bella Italia, celebrate its fifth year in business. Meeting with owners, Andrea Dazzi and Nico Gentile, we caught up on all things Bella including their fresh menu offerings and their soon-to-launch food truck, available for events and catering.

bella italia italian restaurant newcastle
Bella Italia Owners – Nico Gentile & Andrea Dazzi

Andrea, hailing from Sicily, has worked managing popular restaurants across both Italy and here on Australian soil in Sydney prior to coming to Newcastle. Nico is from the beautiful Lago di Como where he trained professionally in pastry and baking, eventually starting his own business in Milan before he came to Australia where he retrained as a pizza chef and head chef.

bella italia italian restaurant newcastle

Heading along to Bella Italia isn’t just a meal out, it’s a whole experience! Walk through the doors and you’ll be instantly transported to a little Italy. From the exposed brick walls, the scent of freshly baked pizzas to the friendly nature of the staff; you’ll be skipping out saying, Bellissimo!

“We’re becoming one of the most respected Italian restaurants here in Newcastle.”

The menu itself is jam-packed with all of your favourite Italian meals. Choose from a grand selection of breads, entrees, mains, gnocchi, pasta, pizza, and, of course, dessert.

bella italia italian restaurant newcastle

“You can taste the pride and tradition of our families and homeland in every bite taken at Bella Italia.”

With over 30 different pizza toppings, five gnocchi mixes, 11 pasta dishes, and traditional Italian mains – there’s something new to try every visit. To get a real taste of the core of Bella Italia, we sat down to sample the Roman trio; Nico’s cacio e pepe, Spaghetti real carbonara, and Spaghetti my amatriciana.

bella italia italian restaurant newcastle

“With a lot of cacio e pepes, they have cream and butter, but they should be just cheese and pepper. I’ve spent a long time and lots of study, not only with cooking but with the mechanics of the ingredients to create this dish that finds the balance of flavour.

“The carbonara is the only dish on our menu that we do not allow any changes to be made, and our amatriciana has onion in it, which you wouldn’t usually see.”

bella italia italian restaurant newcastle

If we’re talking about the venue’s extensive menu, it would be amiss to not mention that Bella Italia has one of the most extensive vegan menus in Newcastle, so tell your vegan friends they won’t be missing out on Italian deliciousness here!

“Our fully dedicated vegan is still here and we’re just about to add on a vegan tiramisu. From when we first opened, we didn’t ever just want to have a vegan option, but instead, a vegan menu, from entrée to dessert.”

bella italia italian restaurant newcastle

After five years of feeding Newcastle with their authentic Italian eats and hospitality, Andrea and Nico are soon to expand the Bella Italia offering with the launch of their food truck; available to book for your next big event.  

“We’ve reached a really good point here at Bella Italia and the food truck is our next big step.”

If you’re thinking about a visit to what may just be Newcastle’s most authentic Italian restaurant, make sure to book ahead as it's become known for having a constantly bustling dining space. For long-time lovers of Bella Italia, Andrea and Nico invite you to vote for them in this year’s Local Business Awards.

bella italia italian restaurant newcastle

“One of our biggest things here is that we want people to feel at home. Maybe it’s a crazy Italian restaurant but everyone should feel at home.”

Bella Italia

545 Hunter Street, Newcastle, NSW, 2300

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