Did you know that Pizzaiolo is the Italian word for the man who makes your pizza? Lucky for us that Hervey Bay has Paolo Esposito. A man who decided to travel all the way from Naples, the city where pizza originated, to make us all his authentic Neapolitan style pizza.
Legend has it that baker Raffaele Esposito, perhaps one of Paolo’s ancestors, invented the first pizza for Italian royalty in 1889; but in reality street vendors in Naples had sold flatbreads with toppings for years.
Neapolitans are brought up eating the best pizza in the world. It’s a life staple.
Loving and eating pizza is in their blood. So when Paolo first arrived in Australia 15 years ago and couldn’t find a pizza he liked anywhere along the east coast he decided to open his own restaurant. From the Bay of Naples to Hervey Bay he’s transported his love for pizza and its authentic Neapolitan flavour.
Paolo hand-makes each pizza and every morning prepares his dough to a family recipe. He allows it to proof throughout the day and right before service he prepares the dough balls. This is when the mastery begins. Once you order, Pizzaiolo Paolo masterfully hand kneads, stretches and spins your base to achieve that air filled lightness which is his signature style. Look out for the most
important feature of a Neapolitan pizza – the 2cm raised edge called a cornicione.
Next time you hear the pizza gods calling head for Paolo’s Pizza Bar situated on the Esplanade and directly across the road the Hervey Bay Surf Club. Here he has been serving authentic Neapolitan pizza and pasta now for over 14 years. It’s becoming an institution. Locals love him and his pizza. Tourists tell tales that a trip to Hervey Bay is not complete without returning to satisfy their craving for Paolo’s pizza.
Open from 5pm to late five days a week, the restaurant enjoys a relaxed and friendly feel. A fully licensed bar offers premium wine, cocktails and craft beer.
Antipasto, dolce and gelato round off the rustic menu.
And from the man himself on why pizza is so popular across the globe and why he enjoys serving this humble dish.
“You can be rich, you can be poor, and you can still afford to buy a pizza. In the beginning it was made for the poor people who had nothing but flour, water and salt. The ingredients are simple and are still the same. We just serve it with a smile and great service.”