One of Bronte’s favourite Italians has opened a sister site on the corner of Fitzroy and Bourke Streets in Surry Hills. Italian for vacation, Vacanza is a pared back version of the original restaurant and focuses on simple food made well with great ingredients.

Owner Nick Gilbert has toned down the larger Bronte menu to offer just eight pizzas, four salads and a selection of dishes from the mozzarella bar. The simple, authentic pizza toppings follow a less is more philosophy, ranging from the seriously good Margherita through to the more indulgent Il Capitano with truffle oil, goat’s cheese, Swiss roasted mushrooms and pork and fennel sausage.

According to Gilbert, who learnt how to make “real” Italian pizza when travelling around Italy with friends, “It’s all about the dough. We use traditional Italian pizza making methods here, such as using less yeast, so the pizza tastes light and fluffy and doesn’t fill you up as much as other pizzas.”

The mozzarella bar is a stand out here, using only Garofalo Buffalo Mozzarella, air freighted fresh from Naples and combined with various nibbles from marinated Sicilian olives to Parma prosciutto and a great Caprese salad that make for a tasty entrée or side dish.

A small drinks list includes local ales and Italian imports, alongside Australian and Italian wines and a handful of aperitivos. The venue, like the food, is simple but nicely finished with bare brick walls, dark wooden tables, interesting lighting and a great view out of the wraparound window to watch the world go by. If you’re not looking to stay, take away is also available.

414 Bourke Street, Surry Hills
(02) 8964 6414

Tues to Thurs 5.30pm–late
Fri to Sun noon–late