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photo credit: Aimee Rizzo

Two Neopolitan pizza pies and two bowls of pasta at a wooden table

Strega Pizzeria

ItalianPizza

Ballard

$$$$Perfect For:Eating At The BarBig GroupsPeople WatchingFirst/Early in the Game DatesWalk-Ins
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Strega is an Italian restaurant in Ballard whose owners also sell homemade pasta at the Ballard Farmers Market. Ironically (and in fact quite sadly) the pasta here is precisely what to avoid, like saltless kale-filled pansoti in flat walnut cream or bell pepper-dominated trofie. Instead, direct your attention to their pizzas, complete with a fluffy Neopolitan chew and a bit of crackle throughout the bottom preventing things from getting soggy. In particular, we have to hype the nuvola—a simple, smoky, stunning little cheese pie covered in tangy-sweet san marzanos and an Avengers-like combination of fresh mozzarella, smoked scamorza, and silky stracchino. Sit at the airy bar with an anatomically perfect aperol spritz for optimal people-watching, or linger with a friend snacking on crust bits until closing. It’s an effortless plan even on a Friday night, which is no small feat in a neighborhood full of hard-to-get-into dinner spots.

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