Let’s just say, if their 72-hour fermented pizza bases are anything to go by, El Capitano can do no wrong.
Joining the ranks of the best restaurants in Noosa from its inception in late December 2015, this pizza bar is a laidback escape from Hastings Street, tucked upstairs and behind Café Le Monde.
Decked out in a nautical style, it’ll be impossible for even the most stressed out local NOT to feel on holiday as soon as you walk down the bulb-lit pathway and take a seat at El Capitano.
With a palm-printed bar, pendant lights hanging from chunky rope, an under-the-sea wall mural by Brisbane-based illustrator James Alley, neon anchors, and loads of white and timber accents, the space is serious #interiorporn for lovers of beach chic.
Run by the folk behind Noosa old-timer Café Le Monde, El Capitano is all about the pizza. But don’t be fooled, this isn’t just any slab of dough.
Specialising in pizza is always a tricky business, and with tonnes of competition, if you’re going to do it, you need to do it well. The chefs at El Capitano knew that without a star base, you’ve just got toppings, so with that in mind they worked for weeks trialling and adjusting their dough recipe (they originally started with a 42-hour fermentation process) to get it jusssst right.
The result is a sourdough base made with certified organic stone milled flour, and fermented for 72 hours. That’s THREE whole days, people!
We dropped in one day to break up a serious beach day with a cheesy midday feast, and what we devoured didn’t disappoint.
We dove straight into the pizza menu but if you’re a slow-diner there are a series of starters to get you off the mark and into the game. Think: Roasted Noosa Red Tomatoes with Meredith goats cheese, chives, balsamic, olive oil and Tanglewood Sourdough. Or, Pork and Fennel Meatballs with chilli, parsley and lemon. OR, a Meat Plate—prosciutto, salami, provolone, relish, cornichons and Tanglewood sourdough. Delish! As tempting as it may be, try to stick with one and save room for the 31-centrimetre pizza that’s about to come your way, because this, my friends, is the true headliner.
With nine pizzas to choose from on the menu, the decision ain’t easy, but we can personally vouch for Margherita—fior di latte, buffalo mozzarella and fresh basil leaves—and Slow Roasted Lamb Shoulder with fior di latte, red onion, butternut pumpkin and rosemary.
The bases were like no other base we’d had before; light and airy but not too thick, with a crust so good that it’d be criminal to leave it on your plate. The toppings—perfectly placed, not too heavy and as fresh as can be with most ingredients locally sourced.
Yep, we’re callin’ it: El Capitano is serving up some of the best pizza on the Sunshine Coast.
Along with their pizzas, these guys are all about letting the good times roll, and their epic bar area is the perfect spot to down a cocktail, wine or a not-so-ordinary coldy. They’re peppermint bar stools are pretty sweet, too.
Adding live music venue to their already impressive repertoire, El Capitano lets its nightlife flag fly towards the weekend.
On Friday nights you’ll find turntables a spinning from 8pm with vinyls from the ‘60s, ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s taking centre stage. Eventually, the goal is to have music aficionados bring in their own records to whack on and boogie to. Sounds fun, no?
Then, on the first Thursday night of every month, El Capitano gives somethin’ back to the locals who work in the hospitality industry and probs haven’t seen a weekend in years, with their Industry and Hospo Soiree. Kicking off at 9.30pm, this is the place to be for cocktails, live music and free roaming pizzas.
If it’s not that obvious, but we’re pretty sure it is, we’re rather taken with The Captain and his ways.
And if all pizza talk is rocking your boat but you can’t bare to leave the beach like ever, then soak up the balmy night al fresco and order a few takeaways between 5pm and 10pm. Just a short jaunt across the road and back, and you’ll be eating primo pizza on the sand in no time. Bellissimo!
Where: Upstairs at 52 Hastings Street, Noosa Heads
Contact: 07 5474 9990
Image Credit: Ariana Gillrie