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“Locally owned, Good Food”
Review of Bella Napoli Restaurant - CLOSED

Bella Napoli Restaurant
Price range: $0 - $20
Cuisines: Italian
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Reviewed May 30, 2014

I've been patronizing Bella Napoli since the mid 1970's. Back in those days, there were only about 4 Italian restaurants in El Paso, and Bella Napoli was the nearest to my home. I have enjoyed dining there with friends and family because of the good food, good service and lovely atomosphere. The decor is a bit dated, after all the restaurant has been operating in its current location for over 60 years. It's always been clean and with rare exception the servers have been friendly, attentive and well-trained. The food has changed a bit over the years but it's remained good and yes, prices have gone up but so has everything else. There is a piano player on weekend nights and we've caught opera practice there on a rare Sunday evening.
I always order a small dinner salad with bleu cheese dressing. They make the dressing in house and I think it's quite wonderful. On one occassion the dressing tasted a bit off and I told the waiter. He talked to the owner who went back into the kitchen and made a new batch of dressing on the spot. I normally order the spaghetti with meat sauce. It's a large portion and I normally end up taking half home for later. Other family favorites are the Chicken Jerusalem and the Baked Rigitoni. They do, at least upon occassion serve a Rigitoni with Jalapenos and it's usually very hot. They serve most traditional Italian dishes. If I could change anything about the menu, it would be the bread they serve. It's not terrible, but it's not good either. The small rolls are sometimes hard, sometimes soft and generally without a lot of flavor. I can't say if this cuisine lives up to high end Italian restaurants in New York or other large cities, but for the desert southwest it's pretty darn good. I can say that when I compare it to chains like Olive Garden, Bella Napoli is the clear winner in my book.
I really like Bella Napoli and usually take out of town guests to the restaurant after they've sampled some locally owned Mexican food places (after all, this IS El Paso). It's a great place to relax, it's quiet enough most nights to have leisurely conversations and the waiters are attentive enough to handle even large groups. I don't usually drink wine, but they seem to have a good wine list available. The prices seem reasonable to me and when we order pasta we end up spending about $10-$12 per person for dinner. The chicken dishes are more expensive, but according to my sister, who always orders the Chicken Jerusalem, it's well worth the price.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank 390zenc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviews (24)
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5 - 9 of 24 reviews

Reviewed March 4, 2014

Never been to Mcdonald's, Arby's, Taco Bell, Wendy's, Olive Garden. Refuse to eat at other than family-owned eateries. The history of Bella Napoli is a family history. Original owner from Naples, Italy and passed down all knowledge to present owners. More than 50 years old and still true to culinary standards way beyond all soup and salad you can eat. Talk to owners and learn some history of Italian cuisine in El Paso. Artichoke hearts in spinach dip to die for. Original Chicken Jerusalem with artichoke hearts started here. The sauce is not full of sugar as with most chains. You just have to go, words cannot describe the taste of real Napolitan cuisine.

Thank rs090551
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 29, 2013

We have always seen lots of cars parked in front and figured it was a good sign ! Big mistake ! For those who are familiar with the TV show "Kitchen Nightmare", well this is it ! Decor was awful, the old fish tank, the cheesy pianist....I guess we could have overlooked it if the food had been amazing. The lasagna was terrible, watery tomato sauce, no taste. The kid pizza was not good, and the Farfalle al Pesto was not appetizing just looking at it. Pesto was turned into a tasteless creamy sauce, and I could not eat the chicken. Looked like it has been frozen for months and thrown in the microwave ! I truly believe Olive Garden would have been 10 times better. We just wanted to try a local restaurant ! We will not be back !

Thank Frenchy2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 10, 2013

Very good Italian place to eat! Very nice and friendly staff we really enjoyed eating there, Exspecially my 6 year old, whose a very picky eater. We all loved it!

    • Value
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    • Food
Thank BettyJo S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 29, 2013

Nestled back away from Mesa St, Bella Napoli is a family owned restaurant with a varied menu at decent prices.

Thank Dave S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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