If I had never been to Italy, I would have never known how hard Mangia e Scappa works to bring us an authentic Italian experience. No, it’s not Panago, and no, it’s not Olive Garden. And thank god for that. Because what it is instead is a real trattoria—simple, local, casual, authentic. The pizzas are not covered with with cheap mozzarella and dozens of toppings, but are wood fire grilled and thin crusted with a tinge of charcoal on the edges and a selection of toppings you would only find in Rome—artichokes, prosciutto, pesto. The bread and pasta are made in-house, and the atmosphere is family style and casual. Is it a five star restaurant? No. Does it have a famous chef? No. Because, as it is in Italy, none of that matters. What they are trying to do here is to share a tiny piece of Italy, a friendly, modest neighbourhood gathering spot offering recipes and favourites passed down for generations. My advice to you? Sit back, order a bottle of wine, people watch, eat slow, bring your family. Don’t overthink it. Don’t rush. Mangia e Scappa is your chance to experience a small town Italian restaurant without the cost of a flight.