Address: 842 Corydon Ave
Aptly lodged in the bustling strip of Little Italy, Aurora Pizzeria and Café is the place to go for unpretentious, authentic Italian. The owners, a first-generation Roman family, have brought their unique touch (and crisp crusts!) to Winnipeg’s richly populated Italian community.
This pizzeria has arguably one of the best patios in the city; secluded but still close enough to the buzz of Corydon Avenue that passersby can enviously look on as guests snack on egg-shaped arancini. Break the golden-crisp exteriors of these Sicilian street eats to reveal a layer of risotto encircling gooey fior di latte cheese, bright peas and meat sauce.
Gracious servers encourage ordering like an Italiano—primi before pizza—and Aurora herself suggests the arista (thinly sliced Tuscan pork loin) with pasta. At first bite, it’s obvious why the restaurant’s namesake loves it. Luscious mushroom sauce—just briny enough to get taste buds watering—bathes chewy penne and tender pork in glistening cream. A vibrant shower of parsley adds freshness and colour to the plate.
Bitter rapini sautéed with Italian sausage, another pre-pizza offering, renders a creamy, craveable sauce that clings to the crannies of al denté orecchiette pasta. A heavy dose of Romano cheese sharpens it up.
Fragrant pizza Napoletana is up next. Pillowy dough retains a good amount of chew and char, perfect for carrying tastefully brackish toppings like tuna, white onions and a generous smattering of green olives. For a classic red sauce pie, go for the traditional pizza napoli, sauced with tangy San Marzano tomatoes and topped with salty anchovies.
Sit back, relax and linger over imported glasses of vino long after the sun goes down and plates are cleared at this laid-back neighbourhood spot.
Aurora Pizzeria and Café is open Tue-Sun 10 am-9 pm.