The Italian Connection
Café Valentino is a vibrant Italian restaurant and Christchurch dining institution serving Chef Karren Gray’s scrumptious, soul-satisfying take on Italian food alongside a heaping helping of hospitality. Outstanding food should to be enjoyed in a buzzing atmosphere among great company and with excellent service – something Café Valentino’s customers have been experiencing since 1991.
The first thing you notice when you walk into Café Valentino is the huge collection of signed show posters featuring a who’s who of touring artists who have dined with us. Since our inception on Colombo Street (around the corner from the Town Hall) we’ve been a celebrity haunt, tempting visiting performers from around the country and all over the world with our heavenly pizzas, perfect pasta and decadent house-made desserts.
When you dine at Café Valentino, you never know who could be seated at the next table…
While our location might have changed, the relaxed, sophisticated ambience diners have come to expect has reached new heights and our food is as delicious as ever. Always innovating and improving, without compromising on quality, we have won a devoted international customer base (and a wall-full of awards) through our consistent flair, originality and love of good food.
We’d love to welcome you back for more, or for you to come in and experience Café Valentino for the first time and discover what all the fuss is about. In the meantime, why not whet your appetite by taking a virtual tour with our mini movie below?
Word on the street
We’ve won the Beef and Lamb Gold Plate Award of Excellence every year for the past 17 years (with the exception of the year the earthquake claimed our original restaurant) and took out a coveted TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence in 2014. If awards don’t cut it, here’s some of the nice things nice people have said about us…
“Café Valentino – love your fresh pasta” – Eartha Kitt, singer and entertainer
Cure your cravings
Enjoy a pizza with the unique flavours that can only come from a wood-fired oven, tuck into one of our award-winning beef or lamb dishes, fill up with one of our twists on classic Italian pasta and be sure to check out our mouth-watering dessert selection – all house-made. Our menu changes daily to make the most of the best seasonal ingredients, and is always extensive and exciting, with something to tempt every palate – not to mention easy on the wallet. Ditto our wine list, where you’ll find a long list of the finest local wines from New Zealand’s premiere growing regions, as well as top Australian and Italian drops.
Love pizza? Then wait until you try the wood-fired deliciousness of our signature pizza range. Exciting, bold and dynamic, our pizzas are perfectly crispy with a touch of wood-smoke flavour courtesy of our Manuka wood-fuelled pizza oven. Be warned, though – we could ruin you for all other pizzas.
Get a taste for our menus below:
|Sustainable squid coated in crispy sea salt, cracked black pepper and chilli spice mix. Served with rocket and smoked garlic aioli.|
|PENNE BASILICATA 22.50|
|Penne pasta, pan seared Canterbury lamb fillet, mānuka smoked tomatoes, feta, spinach, sweet chilli and sundried tomato infused olive oil, parmesan.|
|MOLTO CARNE PIZZA 24.50|
|Italian sausages, salami, Italian style bacon, tomatoes, mushrooms, black olives.|
|PORCHETTA PIZZA 24.50|
|Mānuka smoked pork marinated in a tangy sauce, red onions, green peppers, bocconcini cheese, cherry tomatoes, fresh lime, coriander, fresh chilli.|
|VALENTINO AL CIOCCOLATO (GF) 15.50|
|Rich decadent chocolate cake, dark and delicious! Served with dark chocolate mousse, berry sorbet and sherbet.|
|The Italian pick-me-up cake. Layers of marsala and coffee soaked sponge fingers together with mascarpone and shaved chocolate. Drizzled with an espresso coffee reduction.|
Drink in the ambience
Fusing New York cool with classic Italian elegance, our bar has been designed especially deep so you can sit straight on with your legs underneath and eat right there. Yes, we get that busy! And yes, some people can’t bear to tear themselves away… we can’t blame them, but we can accommodate them. Stocked with award-winning beers (including Peroni on tap, naturally) and wines, our bar is manned by friendly faces who are also handy with the cocktail shaker and blender if the mood takes you. Celebrating? Why not pop a cork from our champagne list for a night to remember.
The fine folk at Cityscape magazine have written this brilliant piece about us in their awesome new Spring issue.
Check it out here: cityscape-christchurch.co.nz/blog/whats-on/entry/little-italy
Shhh..! Don’t tell everyone, but here’s where you can discover our latest culinary creations and too-good-to-last dining and drink offers.
Join the team
Wanna join the Café Valentino crew?
Of course you do!
Click here to find out how.