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Scugnizzi bringing Italian street-food dishes on the double

It’s safe to say Brisbane has a bunch of primo pizzerias, terrific trattorias and outstanding osterias, but when it comes to quality quick-service Italian street food, options are limited. Earlier this year, two enterprising individuals set out to change this, hoping to usher in a new era of Italian cuisine with a grab-and-go concept specialising in authentic eats that are obtained fast and enjoyed on the move. Introducing Scugnizzi, the new Italian street food dispensary that’s bringing easy-access Roman-style slices and palate-pleasing pasta to The City, direct from Italy. We hope you’re hungry, as Scugnizzi is now open and we’ve got all of the delectable details …

Jun 15, 2023, updated Jun 15, 2023

A widely popular concept in Italy, Scugnizzi co-owners Carmine Guarino (currently head chef of Beccofino in Teneriffe) and Simone Presta (one of three co-owners of Doughcraft in Albion) saw a huge gap in Brisbane’s market for exceptional Italian eats that are affordable and delivered fast, without sacrificing quality. “We noticed a lacking in Brisbane for a sort of Italian fast food,” says Simone. “At the moment Brisbane is saturated with so many amazing Italian restaurants where you can sit down and enjoy a Neapolitan-style pizza, but there is no where you can go and grab a slice of pizza in teglio (Roman-style pizza in tray) to go.”

Occupying the neighbouring space to Noosa Chocolate Factory on Adelaide Street, Scugnizzi, a word in the Neapolitan dialect used to refer to rebellious streetwise youths and their playful energy, is now serving pizza by the slice, house-made pasta (made to order), fresh pastries and more, all from a cosy hole-in-the-wall site imbued with authenticity. The space, while small, certainly packs a punch with yellow and red pops of colour, lively music and theatrical chefs adding to Scugnizzi’s upbeat atmosphere.

Hungry customers can choose to grab-and-go, or enjoy a meal while watching Scugnizzi’s masterful pizza and pasta makers perfect their craft in the cosy ten-seater dining area. Since opening last week, the Scugnizzi crew has been overwhelmed by the support from the local community. “We weren’t sure how this business model would work in Brisbane, but our first week has been amazing and everyone seems very excited,” says Simone.

Citing Rome’s iconic and influential pizza-by-the-slice specialist Bonci Pizzarium as the inspirational foundation for their own endeavour, Scugnizzi’s mouth-watering menu encompasses seven kinds of square-cut tray pizzas (plus a special flavour), nine kinds of pasta, a clutch of snacks like golden arancini and truffle fries, and fresh Doughcraft pastries and coffee in the morning. The pasta, which is prepared by co-owner and chef Carmine, who brings 20-years of experience to his cooking, is made to order, but don’t stress, as you will have the meal in your hungry hands in less than ten minutes.

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As for the pizza, experienced pizza chef Damiano from Rome ensures you have a fresh slice every time, with a new pizza being put in the oven every 20-minutes. The succinct-yet-punchy menu includes the likes of gnocchi with slow-cooked duck ragu and porcini cream, traditional carbonara, Genovese with slow-cooked beef and onion ragu, and tagliatelle with prawns, cherry tomatoes and lemon zest.

Upon visiting Scugnizzi you can expect a display cabinet chock-full of freshly-made pizzas including Salamina with mozarella, mild salami, olives and stracciatella, a truffle and pancetta pizza with provola and mushrooms, and the capricciosa with mozzarella, tomato, ham, artichokes and olives. Sweet tooths can indulge in a decadent dolci on the go including a classic tiramisu or pistachio cheesecake with pistachio cream sourced from Italy.

Scugnizzi is now serving in The City. For operating hours and more details head to our Stumble Guide

Image credit: Shirley Lam

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