La Coppola is the type of neighbourhood pizzeria that instantly makes you feel like a local — and has you leaving wishing you were one. Walk into the hole-in-the-wall eatery along Redfern Street, and the first thing you'll notice is impeccably moustachioed owner Stefano Scopelliti slinging pizzas into the woodfired oven. The second thing you'll spot is some seriously good-looking pizzas, with the joint's slices combining imported Italian ingredients with fresh produce from down the street.
Churning out Sicilian-style pizzas that are crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside and definitely not soggy, the popular spot is home to a range of family-inspired creations. Favourites include the 'ciccio' (named after his son Francesco), as well Stefano's personal pick, the 'contesse' with fior di latte, mushroom, roasted capsicum, artichoke and salami. "It's food that's been passed down for generations and has always been in the family — it's giving a little bit of Sicily to Redfern," he explains.
Stefano's sixth restaurant in Sydney, and operating for three years in Redfern, La Coppola also offers a healthy rotation of specials on any given night. Grab a seat at the cosy communal table and, if you're lucky, you might find yourself switching slices and sharing booze (which is BYO) with strangers-turned-friends.
Not only has item on the menu been influenced by Stefano's Italian roots, but with daughter Cassie joining the operation, his passion for food has clearly been passed down to the next generation. Cassie used to return from her travels with a new flat cap, or coppola, for her father, which is where the restaurant gets its name from. Food-wise, you'll see her imprint in some of her favourite recipes — such as the veal braciole, and a pizza special with a garlic and oil base, mushrooms, spicy pancetta, burrata and a bit of pepper.