Abbotsford local, Brett Graham, had been lamenting the lack of food options available at what was once the "dodgy" end of Johnston Street when he spotted a "for lease" sign on a vacant shop-front. Eight months later he opened Rita’s.
Run by three friends – owners and managers Brett Graham and Rob Lowther (of The Bottle of Milk and Pizza Pizza in Lorne) and chef Daniel Spizzica (formerly of the Stokehouse in St Kilda) – Rita’s is a charming pizza and pasta diner that has cultivated a strong community vibe. Even on a Sunday night, every table is reliably full.
The open kitchen fills the restaurant with the warm aroma of baking pizza. There are two sizes (10-inch and 13-inch), which are topped with classic combinations and served on consistently crispy bases. It's these salty, semolina-encrusted bases that elevate the pizza at Rita's to something worth travelling a few suburbs for, even if you're just taking away. Our favourite is the Bingo Bango – mozzarella, salami, pancetta, olives and caramelised onion.
Gluten-free bases, salads, risotto and house-made pastas are also on the menu. There’s beer on tap and everyday wines available by the bottle and glass.
We do not seek or accept payment from the cafes, restaurants, bars and shops listed in the Directory – inclusion is at our discretion. Venue profiles are written by independent freelancers paid by Broadsheet.