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Bella Napoli (Changle Lu)
    • ADDRESS:
      Lane 946 Changle Lu,
      near Wulumuqi Lu
      长乐路946弄, 近乌鲁木齐路
    • BOOK:
    • PHONE:
      6248 8985
    • WECHAT:
      -
    • AREA:
      Jing'an
    • METRO:
      10 mins walk from Changshu Rd
    • HOURS:
      Daily, 11.30am-3pm
      5.30-11pm
    • CARDS:
      Local cards accepted
    • PRICE:
      $$ $$$
    • WEB:
      -
    • SmartShanghai.com Editor's Description
      Bella Napoli is an institution, already several years past its first decade in Shanghai. It is busy almost every night of the week, in every type of weather, from cold and rainy Tuesday evenings to hot summer weekend nights. The crowds are here for simple and straightforward pizzas and pastas, which the restaurant does reliably but no more. Italians are divided on the place, with many singing its praises, but just as many griping about the quality and prices. Clearly, it's good enough for the masses, judging by the all people in seats, but at this point in their long life, quality doesn't seem to be their first priority, with the food rarely rising above the level of your standard red-sauce joint. Also, annoyingly, the staff pretends to accept only cash and local cards, but when pressed, will secretly bring out a QR code to scan, hidden in a folding bill so that other customers won't get the same idea.
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    • You hear mixed things about Bella Napoli. Some people swear by it as their go-to Italian spot, the place you can go to on a weeknight and get reliable staples on the reg. Others seem to think it’s bland, a rip-off, or both.

      After a recent visit, I’m pretty much right in the middle. The food itself is OK, some of it pretty good even. The rucola and prosciutto pizza, in particular, was a real winner – great crust, quality toppings. Our salad, with similar ingredients, was just fine, as was an under-seasoned sausage risotto. Fine, but not much better. Hard to be mad at, hard to get excited about.

      You can get better Italian than this, without going far – La Vite, which I’ve reviewed before, is a few blocks away, and offers more authentic-feeling and comforting food. You get the feeling they could do better if they wanted, but don't really need to anymore. 

      Where it gets extra points is the location, which is honestly great and a clue as to how the place still commands a lot of affection despite being one of the oldest Italians in town. Tucked away down an unassuming alley off Changle Lu that gives it just enough of a hidden vibe, it’s hard not to be won over the first time you hang right and wander into an open courtyard and restaurant that looks just like your favorite Italian spot back home. On a Thursday night at 8:30pm it was still busy with tables having a laidback meal and a bottle or two, the contented murmur of a lot of people having a low-stakes good time.

      It’s this space, not the food, that makes it worth stopping by. But that still means it’s worth a visit.

       

      Price: RMB 100 – RMB 200 per person

      Summary: Italian stalwart that matches a cozy location with decent if uninspiring food. Not the place to be blown away by great cooking, but maybe the place to impress a date that hasn’t been before, or just get a couple pizzas and bottles in with friends when you’re in the neighborhood.

      Read More

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    ARCHIVED EVENTS

    • 'VIVA PAPA!' Father's Day Lunch and Dinner

      Bella Napoli on Changle Lu hosts a Father's Day lunch and dinner with Italian seafood the order of the day. Book ahead and get a complimentary glass of prosecco on arrival. To keep the kid's distracted for dads, their also hosting face...
      • Dining | Bella Napoli | on Sun Jun 19 2016
      • 2016-06-19 Finished
    • Mother's Day

      On Sunday, Bella Napoli celebrates Mother's Day with a glass of complimentary Prosecco and a souvenir. They'll have a kids' corner with pizza-making, face painting, and Mother's Day crafts. You can RSVP by calling 6248 8985. Goes from...
      • Dining | Bella Napoli | on Sun May 8 2016
      • 2016-05-08 Finished
    • Easter Egg Painting Competition

      During lunch time, Italian restaurant Bela Napoli has an Easter egg painting competition for kids at their Changle Lu and Nanhui Lu locations. The one who paints the most beautiful egg wins a big chocolate egg. Goes from 12-2.30pm. To...
      • Dining | Bella Napoli | on Sat Mar 26 2016
      • 2016-03-26 Finished
    • Women's Day

      Bella Napoli's version of Women's Day involves pizza, drinks, and music. Cover is 150rmb with pizza and free-flow Lady Asti. As usual, there's a raffle with prizes from Shanghai Sport, Contesta Rockhair, MT Studio, Casa Pagoda, Sprout...
      • Dining | Bella Napoli | on Tue Mar 8 2016
      • 2016-03-08 Finished
    • Kids Corner: Free Pizza Making Class

      So if you have a pizza or something for lunch at Bella Napoli, you can throw your kids in the kitchen, where "[a] Few Ayi and Italian girls from the staff" will teach them how to make pizza. No cover charge, as long as the parents are...
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