Delizioso! A Road Trip for Wood-fired Homestyle Pizza on Hwy 61

A fairly remote stretch of Highway 61 is not where you’d generally expect to find pizza cooked in an authentic Italian wood-fired brick oven, but that’s exactly where you’ll discover Primavera Pizza 61.

primavera road sign

Five years ago, Thunder Bay residents Joe and Pina Stefanile purchased the rural property just north of the Pigeon River border crossing and began spending extended weekends there from late spring to early fall, tending their fruit trees. At some point they thought, why not make the kind of pizza we have when we visit Italy?

primavera pina

They bought a brick oven, fired it up and today offer 13 different kinds of pizzas. We ordered a Margherita (fresh tomatoes, basil and oregano), a Europa (four cheeses and prosciutto) and a Pollo Pesto (pesto chicken)—delicious.

primavera pizza

All three boasted a perfectly chewy crust and a winning combination of flavours. (Note that these pizzas come with a lot of cheese—you could likely request half the cheese and not even miss it.) Other options include Napoletana (anchovies), Capricciosa (portobello mushrooms, Capicollo salami, black olives) and Campagnola (eggplant, roasted red peppers). You can also try a few of their new pizza creations: Vesuvio (hot salami and chill peppers) and Prosciutto and Arugula.

primavera pizza pesto pollo

Pina reports that the Primavera 61 (proscuitto, portobello mushrooms, Italian ham, salami) is a local favourite, as well as the new addition of a gnocchi special on Thursdays.

primavera61 sign

Primavera Pizza 61 is open May to October, Thursday through Sunday from noon to 9pm. Take out or walk in; call ahead to order at (807) 964-1721 or (807) 708-2680.

Apples, pears, plums, grapes and black currants are also available seasonally and is another reason to stop at this unique rural business on a visit to Northwest Ontario.

Whether you're crossing the border headed to Thunder Bay, making a border run from Thunder Bay, visiting a friend’s camp as we were or simply feel that great pizza is worth a road trip, check out Primavera Pizza 61.

primavera pizza europa

About Bonnie Schiedel

Bonnie Schiedel is the founder of, which covers fun family-friendly attractions, events and restaurants in Thunder Bay. She enjoys canoeing, hiking, snowshoeing and travel, and you can read more of her award-winning work at

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