The BiBo Brings Authentic Italian Cuisine to Kitsilano

Across the road from Trattoria Italian Kitchen, The BiBo is branding itself as Vancouver's authentic Italian restaurant.

Credit: courtesy Peak Communicators

Woodfire oven pizza, Napoli style, at Kitsilano’s The BiBo

The BiBo’s woodfire pizza gives Kitsilano’s Trattoria Italian Kitchen a run for its money


In a city more well known for its flip-flops and quick-dry, Lorenzo Bottazzi and Andrea Bini stand out as stylishly dressed Italian men. Their mission to bring the authentic Italian experience to Vancouver goes beyond what they cook and how they cook it. 


As an indication of The BiBo’s authenticity, the restaurant seems to have already garnered a supportive crowd of Italian clients—and the melodious trill of spoken Italian adds much to the ambiance.


The Bibo

1835 West 4th Ave, Vancouver



EVENT: April 12, 2011

An evening at Bibo’s Italian restaurant with Slow Food Vancouver

An authentically upmarket Italian vibe at The BiBo

The decor of The Bibo is what you might expect of an upmarket restaurant-bar in Italy rather than the homely grottos I frequented during my time there.


The nightclub feel comes in part from the red, black and white motif. Red and white striped benches line one wall facing the bar, and an alcove of black ‘leather’ couches sets a more convivial scene. In the back corner the white pizza oven and a small stage provide opportunities for entertainment.


Little things add to the Italian experience. The faucet in the washroom (in the men’s, I can’t speak for the women’s) is beautiful and instantly reminded me of the Italian attitude that just because something is functional doesn’t mean it can’t also be beautiful.


The BiBo owners Lorenzo Bottazzi and Andrea Bini

The Bibo owners, Lorenzo Bottazzi and Andrea Bini, bring Italian flavour to Vancouver in more ways than one. (Image: Kenton Studios)


Simple menu adds authenticity to The Bibo experience

The Bibo doesn’t offer a huge array of food options, preferring to do a few things well. The menu is surprisingly simple: antipasti, pizza, pasta and dessert.



The owners have spent a lot of time tracking down authentic ingredients. In some cases, local providers have been up to muster; in others, products have been imported from Italy. The result is delicious marinated vegetables and cured meats. Some of these you can find at the Granville Island Public Market, but others, like the brasaola (cured beef) or the flat bread, you’d have to travel a lot further for.



The first pizza I had at The Bibo disappointed me. It was soft, like I’d expect of a Neapolitan pizza, but also soggy and and slightly under cooked. This was a little surprising, as I’d heard great things about Salvatore, BiBo’s specially imported, Neopolitan pizza maker. Determined to give him another chance, I returned later for the Pancetta e Gorgonzola pizza. Salvatore made amends. The base was firmer, deliciously al dente; the toppings were rich. The whole pizza had as many different flavours and textures as you’d want in a mouthful.



I’m a gnocchi lover. The gnocchi at The Bibo are heavenly potato dumpling coated in pesto. Once I found that it was hard to move me. The pasta menu is split into two sections: fresca (fresh) and secca (dried). Given a choice I’m not sure why anyone would choose dried pasta but the perfectly grilled aubergine in the Rigatoni alla Norma is as good a reason as any.



The dessert menu has some of the usual Italian supsects (tiramisu, panna cotta, etc.) but done with more respect than they usually receive. The luxuriantly velvety panna cotta demonstrated why this elemental dessert is such a staple. There are also a few less well known dolci, like the bounet, a traditional chocolate pudding, and a chocolate pizza.


The Italian experience versus the Vancouver Italian experience

The Bibo offers a pretty comprehensive Italian experience. And like pizza in Italy, sometimes you get good ones and sometimes you wish you’d ordered the gnocchi. The key difference between Kitsilano and Italy is the servers. Unlike the professional waiters in Italy, middle-aged men whose heads are constantly turned by a pretty woman, the staff at The BiBo are young, courteous and very helpful.


I’d love to hear about your experiences at The BiBo; drop a note in the comments below.