La Favorita, my favourite Italian

La Favorita is my favourite Italian restaurant in Edinburgh. It’s got great service, good aesthetics and truly excellent food. The restaurant has made Leith Walk something of a Mecca for pizzas, which are renowned the city over. La Favorita and their owner, Tony Crolla, were formally honoured in the 2005 Pizza, Pasta and Italian Food association awards.

Garlic bread with mozzarella at La Favorita, Edinburgh

I’ve never booked a table at La Favorita, although the restaurant does get busy, so if dining on a Friday or Saturday night I would recommend giving them a call. A few outdoor tables grace the pavement of Leith Walk, although it’s hardly a setting to rival Milan. Inside the interior is modern chic. To enter the restaurant you pass by the well stocked ice cream stand (that’s open for passing trade) and the pizza chef and oven. So friendly are the Italian staff here that it’s not uncommon for everyone you pass to greet you with hello and mark your visit with a goodbye, perhaps even a wave if you’re lucky. On Sundays a clown with a penchant for creating head-ware from balloons entertains the crowds. Birthday parties are welcome and staff will happily dim the lights and sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to the lucky person. And you receive a complementary birthday cake. La Favorita is a restaurant for the whole family where children and adults, couples and groups, are well catered for.

Hawaiian Pizza with Chicken at La Favorita, Edinburgh Calzone Amalfitano pizza at La Favorita, Edinburgh

I’ve been numerous times to La Favorita now and am slowly working my way through their extensive pizza collection. The only pity is I’ve never tried their excellent looking pasta, fish or meat dishes. Whilst this is a testament to the awesome appeal of their pizzas, it’s a stranglehold I will need to break for future visits. Anyhow here’s my take on a few of their pizzas:-

Hawaiian with chicken:£8.95 + £1.50
Tomato, mozzarella, ham, pineapple and chicken
You can choose any of the Italian named pizzas from the menu, including meat, fish and vegetarian options , design your own from scratch or add/remove toppings from the menu choices. Here I added chicken for £1.50 and enjoyed a delicious pizza with thin slices of fine ham and delectably fresh pineapple. My only request would be the pizza would benefit from more pineapple.

Tirolese: £9.50.
Buffalo mozzarella, ricotta cheese, Italian sausage, baby spinach.
The sausage was absolutely divine and this pizza was great for a few mouthfuls. However unless you’re seriously in love with ricotta cheese I would steer clear of a full sized Tirolese - by the end of the evening my stomach felt like a milk churn.

Calzone: £9.50.
Folded and filled with tomato, mozzarella, ham, mushrooms, spicy sausage
The size of La Favorita’s pizzas really hit home here, with the calzone resembling a small artillery shell on the plate. Thankfully it’s taste is explosive for all the right reasons. I would be curious if any pizza in Edinburgh, Scotland or Britain could better this effort!?

Although all pizzas come in around the £10 mark the quality of craftsmanship, taste, quality of ingredients and size justify this. Infact several of my friends thought the pizzas were too large and this deterred them from ordering dessert.

My visits to La Favorita have become synonymous with Tiramisu for dessert. At £5.50 this isn’t cheap, but is large enough to share with someone else. It really is brilliant - the best Tiramisu I have tasted in any Edinburgh restaurant. It’s just delectable - the flavour, the texture, the way it melts in my mouth. Please leave room for this. You will not be disappointed.

I’ve only tried starters on one occasion, where we feasted on a selection of breads. These were all very good including the garlic bread and mozzarella (£3.95). Beer is available in the form of Peroni (£2.80 for a small glass) and La Favorita also offer a decent wine selection, with their house white available at £4.95 for 250ml.

In conclusion I’ve eaten pizzas all over Edinburgh and none can beat the quality, size and taste of La Favorita’s pizzas. They really are that good. However, next time I must try their risotto or pasta, providing someone else in my group orders a pizza that I can nibble on. Highly recommended.

La Favorita is located at 325-331 Leith Walk. It’s location may be seen on Google Maps.

11 Responses to “La Favorita, my favourite Italian”

  1. Have your tried the pizza at the Jolly Pizzeria, on Elm Row. Best I have had in Edinburgh!

  2. This is fast becoming one of my favourite restaurants in Edinburgh! I went there on Friday night with my boyfriend and his parents. The place was bustling with all the tables full, there was a really great atmosphere – definitely much better than having to whisper at your table like some posh restaurants!
    I feasted on the fillet steak which was cooked to perfection and had the mango and mascarpone cheesecake which was delicious – better than the Tiramisu which I have had before!
    One of the best things about this place is definitely the service; all the staff are so friendly it really makes the difference.

  3. I’ve been to La Favorita twice now; both times just my girlfriend and I. The first time was around May 2007, and the second just last week, and the experiences couldn’t have been more different.

    The first occasion we didn’t book, so had to sit on one of the ‘emergency’ tables restaurants typically have, right by the noisy kitchen. It was ace. The food was surprisingly good for the middling price range, we weren’t bothered at all by where we were seated, the waiters were attentive, and we left a nice big tip. To add to this all, we’d just got back from a 3 week trip to Venice and Florence, so were suprised with the authenticity of the food.

    The second time, last week, we booked, so expected the experience to be amazing, as everything from last time would be boosted by a good seat. Not so. The only credit I can really give the restaurant on this occasion would be that they serve fairly rapidly - a well-oiled machine of efficiency. My partner’s main course pizza was soggy, and not a patch on Julianos’, or even Mamma’s Pizza in the Grassmarket. My starter was awful; hardly a hanging offence, I know, but having left around two thirds of it, the waiter didn’t care to ask if I had enjoyed it, and if not, what did I not like etc; just scooped the plate up (right at the same moment he plonked my main course down - which was a first for me). That set the tone for our service for the rest of the night - awful. Plates were unceremoniously dumped on our table, the wrong wine was brought - it’s as if the waiters didn’t listen (or have time to). Finally, the dessert was clearly thawed-out frozen supermarket (or foodservice supplied) fare.

    The one saving grace was my main course. But that ain’t good enough.

    Now, the worst part.

    If you ever decide to complain to the owner of La Favorita about your experience, as we did (bucking the typical tendency of most Brits to just bite one’s tongue), then prepare yourself for some world-class sarcasm and a cheshire cat grin that’ll turn a saint into a murderer. The man’s head is up his…well, you get the idea.

    I’ve seen lots of good reviews for this place on the internets, but last week was one of the worst meals out I’ve ever had. It could just be one of those bad nights a restaurant has, but the owner’s inability to handle any criticism means I’d rather eat from the huge, overflowing bins on the pavement just outside the restaurant, than go there again.

  4. I am sorry IAN did not enjoy his visit to my restaurant

    I can only do or say what I think is right at the time

    possibly IAN would like to come and run my restaurant allowing me to take some time off and relax with my family

    I pay very well and have lots of customers for him to entertain

    Tony

  5. Ive had good and bad experiences at La Favorita, but I agree with the review above about having to send back the pizzas…happened to me too and the reaction from the staff was awful…shame!

  6. Never been doubt I will now on April 19th, 2009 at 4:38 pm

    Mr Crolla

    This is a really bad attitude you have to what I see as a legitimate grievance from Ian. Just remember it is the customers that make a good restaurant, no customers no restaurant!!!

  7. having recently moved to Edinburgh, we went to La Favorita after hearing it had received an award for its pizza’s, to be honest the Hawaiian pizza was a total disappointment, the ham on the pizza was cheap processed packet ham, the base was good though, and the other dishes were good for the price, however not even in the same league as Guidi’s in Coatbridge probably the best Italian in Scotland, their Hawaiian pizza is to die for,

  8. Tell me the reply by Antonio Crolla isn’t the person who owns this restaurant, perhaps you “should take some time off”, hire a chef from Guidi’s and leave cooking to people who know what they are doing,

    I can’t believe the total disregard for your customers,

  9. We’ve liked the food at La Favorita in the past, but had an absolutely terrible customer service experience last night. We ordered for delivery online, waited for two hours to receive our pizzas, and finally called the delivery number. It was continually busy, so we called the restaurant only to be transferred to a voice mail box. We left our number and name, but never got a call back. We called the restaurant again and were put in touch with the delivery manager who said he never reeceived our address, even though we got a check box saying our order had been successfully placed on their website. He then did something that blew me away. I asked how long it would be if they started the order then and there. he said they would not be able to deliver to us, as they were too busy! We had waited over two hours! Unbelievably rude! Anyway, I asked to speak with the general manager, he put me on hold, and no one ever came back to the phone. I hung up after 15 minutes and ordered from a place in Porty. We were disappointed to say the least. If I were the manager, I would have said, we’ll make the pizza right now and get it to you on the next delivery run. Had they done that, I would have been happy and ordered from then again. Oh well…

    I’d have to agree with Richard on Jolly on Elm Road. It is frickin’ great homestyle food (nothing fancy) and awesome for groups with kids. We’ll be sticking with them in the future.

  10. Giulianos is the worst restaurant in Edinburgh. The staff very bad, food is no good a they put it cold. Really bad experience for me.

  11. Every time I come to Leith I go to this place.

    FOOD, always quality and value.

    SERVICE. Proper, italian style, friendly, chivalrous and attentive

    This place is run by professionals.

    Relaxed, accommodating, basically a quality night out guaranteed.
    Recommended.

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