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  • Welcome! My name is Kelly, and I am a picky eater. On this blog I share recipes, new (to me) foods, restaurants, and products that I try in an effort to expand my tastes. You might also find me talking about my pug Olive, Miss Kitty, Project Life, my journey with running, and more! Feel free to contact me: [email protected]

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Restaurant Review: Cafe Porta Alba

Full Disclosure: I paid for this meal with my own money, the opinions are completely my own and I am not being compensated for this post.

Last week when we went to see a few movies at the Wisconsin Film Festival at Sundance Cinema, we decided to stick around the area a bit longer and grab some lunch.  After trying a couple of other places that ended up being too long of a wait, we landed at Cafe Porta Alba.  Now, how that was written it sounds like we had to settle with Cafe Porta Alba, and that was really not the case.  It only wasn’t our first choice because I eat there more than I care to admit, so we were trying to go somewhere different first. I haven’t done a full review of Cafe Porta Alba yet because it is generally eaten out of a cardboard pizza box at my desk at work – that doesn’t exactly make for the best photos. I was actually kind of excited that we ended up here so that I could finally share it with you!


My go-to choice there is the Margherita Pizza. (It is pretty hard for me to resist fresh mozzarella and basil.) That is what I went with this particular time as well. Cafe Porta Alba is one of only thirty or so locations in the United States recognized by the “Verace Pizza Napoletana” Association of Italy, and the only one in Madison. Essentially: This is legit Neapolitan style pizza.  The pizza oven is actually made from lava stone from Mount Vesuvius! The crust is thin bottomed, with a soft almost chewy crust.  The toppings taste fresh, and simple, but delicious – I especially love that fresh tomato taste!


I should also note that they have MANY more exciting pizza toppings than my mozzarella and basil. The people that I was with had the Massa, Alifana, and Fritta Cotto and they all liked their meals as well.  They also have some fun desserts including a Nutella pizza, and sorbet that is served in the skin of the fruit, to name a couple.   The staff there is always friendly, and the space is small but quite cozy. (In the warmer months they have outdoor seating as well!) It does get busy there during dinner times and they are sometimes not super speedy bringing out food, but it never is too ridiculous, and as long as you anticipate being in and out quickly and enjoy the company that you are with, I’d rather have delicious. fresh, food at a little slower pace.

Taste: A, delicious.
Cost: A, my pizza was $9.50, which I don’t think is bad at all especially considering that it can definitely be two servings worth!

Would I go there again? Definitely. Not only because of the convenience, but also because it is very fresh and tasty!

Cafe Porta Alba on Urbanspoon

6 Responses

  1. Great blog, and that pizza looks to DIE for. It’s great to find other Wisconsin bloggers!

  2. One of our favorite Madison pizza places! Pizza Brutta is great, too–when you’re in the downtown/campus area.

  3. I’m all about funky pizzas, but nothing beats an authentic margherita! And now I’m really wishing I wasn’t eating salad for dinner…

  4. I used to live right by Cafe Porta Alba and never went, but always wanted to try it. Now I’ll have to, glad to hear it’s good! 🙂

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