If You Haven’t Had Wood Stove Pizza You Haven’t Had Pizza

Our favourite part about dining at Prima Strada with the family is watching our pizza be made right in front of us and slid into a wood stove oven!

Written By Jay Kennedy, Traveling Islanders
Location: Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

The first time I had wood stove pizza I remember thinking to myself “if this is pizza… then I have no idea what I have been eating my whole life!”

The taste, the smell, the texture, the crust, the ingredients were all so very different and I LOVED it.

In a typical restaurant you sit down and have no idea what’s going on in the kitchen. But at Pizzeria Prima Strada all the preparation is happening right in front of you which made it a perfect choice for our family outing.

Wood stove pizza Victoria, Victoria restaurants, pizza in victoria, vancouver islandPhoto courtesy of Pizzeria Prima Strada 

Instead of having to keep my kids entertained at the table they were front and centre on the bar stools mesmerized by the making of the pizzas.

Their favourite part by far was when the pizza was ready to slide into the wood stove oven.

Victoria wood stove pizza, Pizza restaurants victoria, Vancouver Island wood stove pizza

We loved watching the cooks sprinkle a little of this and a little of that on the pizzas and then maneuver it around in the oven making sure it was cooked to perfection on all sides.

When pizzas are cooked in a 800-900 degree wood stove oven they are done in 90 seconds or less!

That means the timing is crucial to have a perfect pizza pie.

Wood Stove Pizza Vancouver Island, Wood Stove Pizza in Victoria

The wood stoves at Prima Strada are called Valorani ovens and they were imported strait from Italy, which makes sense if you want to go authentic Italian as possible.

Did you know that the word “pizza” was first documented in 997 AD in Italy?

Now you do! You can thank me later if you ever end up on Jeopardy.

Victoria Wood Stove Pizza, Vancouver Island pizzaPhoto courtesy of Pizzeria Prima Strada

Prima Strada isn’t messing around when it comes to pizza.

If you are looking for a Dominos, Pizza Hut or even Boston Pizza dining experience then Prima Strada is NOT the restaurant for you.

But if you are looking for a authentic Italian pizza where you can’t pronounce most pizza names on the menu and they are using fresh Italian ingredient combinations you have never tried before, then you have come to the right place.

Victoria Italian restaurants, Victoria wood stove pizzaPhoto courtesy of Pizzeria Prima Strada 

Prima Strada is so authentically Italian that I tried to order a sprite with a back up choice of 7-Up and they said they don’t carry those kind of drinks.

I was very confused at first at what to do since that has never happened before… but then I began to appreciate that Prima Strada not only wants to offer a unique pizza experience, but also beverages too. Very cool.

So instead of going for your usual soda drink of pepsi or coke with your pizza, sit back, relax and order something you have never tried before like a Blueberry Basil Soda or better yet, make a selection from their wine list to pair with your pizza.

Victoria pizza, Wood Stove pizza in VictoriaPhoto courtesy of Pizzeria Prima Strada 

There is no small, medium and large pizzas here. The pizzas are all one size and meant to be individual servings without making you feel bloated. I think I could have just eaten only one pizza, but they were so good I had about two. I recommend a beverage, appetizer and dessert to go with this type of pizza meal.

Our delicious “Pizze” choices for the evening were:

• Margherita – tomato, mozzarella di bufula, parmigiano, basil

• Quattro Stagioni  – tomato, housemade sausage, anchovies, mushrooms, onions, fresh mozzarella

• Pepperoni  (For the kids of course)  tomato, housemade pepperoni, fresh mozzarella, pecorino, garlic, oregano

• Rapini E Salsiccia – housemade sausage, rapini, fresh mozzarella, chill oil, parmigiana

The pizza was delicious and we loved the different flavours. The thin crust and the effects of the wood stove were unmistakeable.

Wood Stove Pizza Victoria, family restaurant victoriaWhat’s with the two old people in the picture? The Traveling Islander Grandparents joined in on our family Prima Strada outing! Notice the same hairstyle.

We had a “Primi” (appetizer) to start off our meal called “Polenta Al Forno.” It had polenta, tomato, mozzarella, roasted eggplant, peppers, zucchini, parmigiano. Let’s just say it wasn’t something our family enjoyed. I think I ordered too quickly and didn’t see the roasted eggplant and polenta…whatever that is.

The appetizers looked great, salads, desserts and the hot and cold beverage list was extensive. I wish we could have tried more!

What would you have chosen? Here is the menu. 

Victoria Wood Stove Pizza, Victoria family restaurants, Pizza in Victoria, Prima Strada

A few more things  you need to know before you go:

• If you are wanting to make your Prima Strada Victoria experience a romantic one, then make a later reservation. Prima Strada is very welcoming of young families like ours and we of course like to dine earlier.

• You will spend more money at this restaurant than a typical pizza restaurant. It is at a way higher quality level than Pizza Hut or Dominos so don’t even try and compare the styles. Here are the prices. 

• Do not pass judgement on Prima Strada Victoria because their bathroom sucks. It really isn’t part of the restaurant. You go out the back of Prima Strada into a common hallway shared by many other establishments. So unfortunately, the bathroom experience does not reflect the excellence of Prima Strada.

• Do you have a special diet of Glutton or Lactose Free? Not to worry they have you completely covered. They even use Water Buffalo mozzarella! Now that’s unique.

• Prima Strada always sources fresh, local products wherever possible and it tastes like it too!

Have you had Wood Stove Pizza before? Start the ball rolling with a comment below!


Prima Strada Online: www.pizzeriaprimastrada.com

Prima Strada has two locations in Victoria. Bridge Street and Cook Street

Here are the Google Map directions to how to get to both Prima Strada locations:

While our experience at Prima Strada was complimentary, you can rest assured that our thoughts, opinions, and findings are our own as always.


  • Looks like a great neapolitan pizzeria in Victoria! Reminds me of meeting up in Seattle with a buddy just to eat at a similar place :) Good times! Great post and good tip. - Reply

    • I remember a similar experience too! One of the best days of my life in Italian dining. J - Reply

  • I will agree with you that you can't beat freshly baked wood stove Pizza's, I think there is something just so cool about seeing your food being prepared and cooked and the heat from the oven is so intense. This restaurant looks like the kind of place I would really enjoy, I remember a trip I had last year to France, we found this small pizza place on a side-street that had a wood stove too, the pizza was just delicious! - Reply

    • Sounds like you found a hidden gem, Paul. I agree that it's pretty great watching your food being prepared and cooked. It was my favourite part...well, that and eating it too. -g - Reply