Highly Recommended Homely Italian
“I can’t Keep Calm, I’m Italian!”
This is a great spot for lunch, a snack, or – on Fridays and Saturdays – an early supper. Eating at Marco’s is like being invited into an Italian family home. Warm, sociable, child-friendly and frequently full to bursting, this small, colourful cafe serves pasta, ciabatta, foccacia and delectable authentic pizzas. Herbs in pots on the counter, stacks of newspapers and a children’s corner add to the homely feel. Venture through the back door to sit at small outdoor tables on a terrace overlooking the river, or sit street-side overlooking Hebden’s market (on Wednesdays and Thursdays). Tiny espressos, lovely long lattes and a community noticeboard complete the picture. There’s wifi but chatting with other customers is a more popular pastime here.
A limited menu ensures fresh ingredients. Food is prepared to order. The pizzas are made with Marco’s own dough recipe and are stone-baked in a real pizza oven. The pasta is fresh, not dried. Basil and garlic-infused olive oil scent the air. The homemade chilli oil is famous (or if it’s not, it should be).
Pizzas and calzones cost £5-£8.50; pasta dishes £6; ciabatta, garlic bread and pizza slices are £3-£4.50. The pizzas are amongst the best we’ve ever tasted, with thin crispy bases and creative, sumptuous toppings. Marco does English-Italian fusion – aka bacon ciabatta – for breakfasting Brits; and much to our delight, he has recently invented a luxurious vegetarian omelette ciabatta too. Marco’s Mediterranean salads are substantial and full of surprises – truffle oil, chargrilled leek, mozzarella morsels… a full gamut of rich flavours offset by crisp rocket, spinach and lettuce leaves.
Round off your meal with homemade cake (moist, rich chocolate and beetroot gateau is a speciality), Italian gelato, lemon sorbet or healthy, locally-produced kombucha tea. Or be brave and ask what “affogato vanilla & espresso” means… we did; it involves ice cream melting into coffee and it’s sublime.
Marco’s is available for private hire for parties or eating-and-meeting in the evenings.
Spring & Summer months – Tue, Wed, Thu & Sun 9.30am-5.30pm;
Fri & Sat 9.30am-8pm.
Winter months – Wed-Sun 9.30am-5.30pm.
Bear in mind that this is a family-run business and family comes first – so occasionally there might be a hitch in the schedule.
Watch Out! The coffee here is STRONG