Everyone has a favorite Italian restaurant, their go to, and perhaps more than one favorite, if your town or city is large enough.

There is a restaurant serving Italian specialties and neapolitan style wood-fired pizzas that is located in one of the smaller cities in Central Washington.

That likely means a drive is in order from places like Wenatchee, Moses Lake and smaller communities in North Central Washington.

The first time I read about this place  I thought, wow, it sounds wonderful but why is it in Soap Lake, WA. of all places?  The last census lists Soap Lake's population at 1,706 residents.

Then I decided to make the drive from Wenatchee and try La Cucina di Sophia for myself.

At first it was easy to miss the turn onto the main downtown side street location off of Highway 17.  The downtown features a delightful, upgraded streetscape design with an inviting atmosphere.

Cucina di Sophia's 900 degree wood burning oven credit: Yelp/La Cucin di Sophia
Cucina di Sophia's 900 degree wood burning oven credit: Yelp/La Cucin di Sophia
loading...

La Cucina di Sophia is self-described as an Italian-Brazilian fusion kitchen with pizza and other dishes made in a wood fired oven.  The space is bright and airy with a sleek, contemporary design and an open kitchen right off the seating area.  You definitely get an Italian vibe from all of the displays of the authentic imported ingredients they use in the dishes.

Credit: Telp/La Cucina di Sophia
Credit: Telp/La Cucina di Sophia
loading...
Credit: Yelp/La Cucina di Sophia
Credit: Yelp/La Cucina di Sophia
loading...

The first time I dined at La Cucina di Sophia, my wife and I ordered traditional Italian fare.  She had a spinach ravioli with pomodoro sauce and I had Fettuccini Alfredo with chicken.. It was the best I have ever tasted and my wife was equally pleased with her selection.  We could tell the bread served with our entrees had just been pulled from the wood-fired oven and one bite was an instant invitation to come back and try the pizza.  We noticed several diners around us were there for just for the neapolitan wood-fired pizzas.

Fettuccini Alfredo Credit: Yelp/La Cucina di Sophia
Fettuccini Alfredo Credit: Yelp/La Cucina di Sophia
loading...

Last weekend, we decided to make the hour drive to Soap Lake again and try the pizza.  Since their social media said reservations were required, we made them even though it seemed odd requesting a 4:15pm slot, even for a Saturday.

By the time we were seated, the place was almost full by 4:30pm!  We were surprised this Italian restaurant in Soap Lake, WA of all places would be nearly packed before 5pm on Saturday night in early February.

Now I didn't feel so awkward about making such early.

Get our free mobile app

The pizza we selected was heavenly but more than we could finish since the ceasar salads with chicken breast were so large, they comprised a meal in themselves.  Our server warned us and we should have listened.  Instead, we had some leftover slices to take home.

Margherita pizza Credit: Yelp/La Cucina di Sophia
Margherita pizza Credit: Yelp/La Cucina di Sophia
loading...

There is wonderful italian cuisine served at a number of restaurants throughout North Central Washington.  If you are like me, you probably lock in on a favorite and tend to remain a loyal patron.  But this amazing Italian restaurant La Cucina di Sophia in little Soap Lake, WA is definitely worth the drive of an hour or more to discover.  You just may end up with a new favorite.

Now I am looking forward to returning to try one of the restaurant's steak or pork entrees prepared in that wood-fired oven. Buon apetito!

Rustic pork over cheese and potatoes Credit: Yelp/La Cucina di Sophia
Rustic pork over cheese and potatoes Credit: Yelp/La Cucina di Sophia
loading...

 If you go

La Cucina di Sophia                                                                                                      218 Main Ave. East.                                                                                                    Soap Lake, WA

LOOK: These are the best foodie cities in America

WalletHub analyzed data to determine which U.S. cities are the ultimate foodie cities. Affordability, diversity, accessibility, and quality were all factored in for determining a location's final score.

Gallery Credit: Mike Brant

More From NewsRadio 560 KPQ