Go Overboard At El Capitano’s!
At IN Noosa Magazine, we’re all about seeking out the best Noosa has to offer, the hidden gems that appear unassuming and a little bit tucked away from the frantic pace that is Hastings Street. It’s here you find the best food, the most laid-back service and a huge array of delectable cocktails. Jolene Ogle dives into El Capitano.
Nestled above the iconic Café Le Monde on Hastings Street, El Capitano has a lot to live up to, but this relaxed eatery doesn’t care. Funky, bursting with locals and staffed by some of the coolest hipsters this region has seen, El Capitano has a vibe all its own.
A laneway snakes around Café Le Monde, leading to a secret door that will allow you to step into the nautical-themed dining room and bar that is anything but kitsch. Oozing that exclusive New York speak-easy vibe, El Capitano is the epitome of cool. And while we feel way too daggy to be eating here, we’re welcomed and soon tempted with delicious cocktails.
Brought to you by the ridiculously talented Taylor family who has also delivered Belmondos Organic Market, Clandestino Roasters Specialty Coffee, Café Le Monde, Noosa Cleanse, Juno Kombucha and Tanglewood Organic Sourdough Baking Co, you just know the food, drinks and service is going to be amazing.
The pizzas rule here and so they should. Their ‘old world’ pizza is crafted from the same artisan techniques used at Tanglewood Organic Sourdough Baking Co.
El Capitano pizzas are made using certified organic fresh milled flour, filtered water, sea salt and a 72-hour fermentation process. The slow natural leavening giving the dough its unique flavour and makes the crumb slightly chewy and sweet. This “old world” method results in the breaking down of acetic and phytic acids in the grain, making it easier to digest.
All their ingredients are fresh and locally sourced with producers from the Noosa Famers’ Market featuring heavily on the menu earning El Capitano one of the region’s first ‘Snail of Approval’ recognition awards from Slow Food Noosa as part of the global movement towards good, clean and fair food.
Dietary requirements such as gluten-free and vegan are catered for and all made fresh on site and I have it on good authority that the GF base is pretty impressive. It’s no wonder The ‘Cap was ranked #4 Pizzeria in Australia by TripAdvisor!
El Capitano was originally opened in 2015 as a test-the-water eatery to be run over the summer period and now, the restaurant and bar are bustling with locals and visitors hungry for pizza, freshly shucked oysters and their delicious on-site pickled vegetables.
A Salumi e Mozzarella bar was added to the offer in 2018 to create another dimension. With a premium selection of Australian hand-crafted meats and superbly-salty mozzarella served with Italian flatbread, Noosa Reds and house-pickled veggies, it screams European epicure! Oysters bought directly from growers and shucked to order has me all at sea with the freshness; and to finish, I have my eye on the award-winning gelato.
But first, there is a formidable drinks list to work through! There is a great selection of local and Australian craft beers, bespoke spirits and an original cocktail list with all tinctures made in house to create a truly one of a kind “El Capitano” experience. But it’s the wine list that’s really grabbed my interest.
Wines have been hand selected to present a great range with minimal intervention that has biodynamic or organic farming roots. You will find wines made in a variety of ways including the whole bunch, with extended skin contact or fermented in the traditional amphorae clay or terracotta vessels, and more. I’m making it my mission to work my way through them all.
Live acoustic artists every Wednesday ups the permanent holiday vibe and a monthly DJ provides another chance to let your hair down and INdulge in this unique venue. Dine in or grab a pizza to go and head to Main Beach to witness another of Noosa’s spectacular sunsets. Here’s a hot tip: from 5-6pm you can grab a takeaway pizza for just $20 – perfect timing to catch one of the aforementioned sunsets. El Capitano can be booked for weddings and functions.
The pizzeria is open 7 days from 5 pm, with dine in and takeaway available. Book or order online at elcapitano.com.au or phone 5474 9990.
El Capitano’s Shane Webb took on our Fortune Gin challenge, creating the One Pine Day cocktail. He took out the gong with his winning creation. Impress your friends with this fresh cocktail. Check out the recipe here.