AFTER making pizza and pasta for nearly three decades, everyone at Donatello clearly has the recipe for success.

And the talented team at the Orford Lane restaurant led by owners Sam, Adam, Khalid, Yasmin and Jemel Boujibar are celebrating this week after taking the latest Best of 2023 award - Warrington’s Best for Pizza.

Each week, we will be searching for the best Warrington has to offer in different categories.

Ashleigh Hair and Beauty took the first Best of 2023 title – Best for Hair - and Tomlins is officially Best for Pies with Bamboo Hair and Beauty being crowned Best for Nails.

Heaths 26 is Best for Roast Dinner, Dead Eyes was announced as Best for Cocktails and Café Blu in Whitecross is Best for Breakfast.

Fish Net was named Best for Fish and Chips and Daniel Warburton was a double award winner taking Best for Fitness with RM Boxing and Fitness and Best for Tattoos with Danny’s Tattoo.

Voting for Warrington’s Best for Pets is currently taking place and we’re also looking for nominations in our latest search - Best Independent Shop or Business.

Next on the menu was pizza and Donatello’s beat off tough competition from nine other pizza places taking the Best for Pizza 2023 crown.

Award-winning pizzas in the making

Award-winning pizzas in the making

Parents Julie and Khalid Boujibar opened the award-winning restaurant in 1996 thanks to a little financial help from their own parents, who had a successful plumbing business – Warmways on Lythgoes Lane.

It was popular with customers almost instantly proving to be a great success and busy with locals wanting to sample Italian cuisine.

In 2017, brothers Adam and Sam became directors of Donatello after working front of house and running the chefs in the kitchen.

Donatello opened in 1996

Donatello opened in 1996

The family grew up on Shawbury Grove in Padgate and wanted to serve pizza, pasta, chicken, steak and fish, sourcing local produce and using the best quality ingredients in their restaurant.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, Donatello offered takeaway food, which got a big thumbs up from customers and led to the family opening Don Quattro in Fearnhead, which operates as a takeaway venue.

Sam said: “We feel we are different from our competitors as we are a purely family-run business.

“People love getting behind a local business and we pass that on by buying our ingredients locally too.

“When you come to our restaurant you are supporting Rob from Warrington Fruit and Veg, Tom and Andrew from Andrew’s Fish and Game and Shaw’s butchers too!

“The staff are more like friends with most of them have been with us for many years and we all care deeply for our customers.”

Inside the Orford Lane restuarant

Inside the Orford Lane restuarant

Donatello will be shut for the first week in August for restaurant refurbishments and a rebrand which includes the installation of a new pizza oven, which will be the first of its kind in Warrington.

Sam said: “It’s the first electric pizza oven to be approved by the AVPN in Naples, an association that decides what can be used to make a traditional Neapolitan pizza, and it’s much more environmentally friendly.

“When we reopen, we will be doing unlimited pizza and prosecco on Saturdays and serving an Italian Sunday dinner, as we feel there is only a handful of places in Warrington providing real homemade Sunday dinners.”

The best-selling pizza at Donatello is the calzone alla bomba with the launch of a new pizza – dolce Calabria – at Don Quattro proving such a hit with customers that it’s made it onto the menu at Donatello.

But what do customers think about Donatello? Why did they want the restaurant to win our latest award?

Nominations for the long-standing pizza restaurant include “Donatello’s every time” and “Donatello’s by far”.

The calzone is to die for

The calzone is "to die for"

One happy customer recommended the calzone saying “it’s to die for”.

Sam said: “We were thrilled to see Donatello had made the shortlist for Warrington’s Best for Pizza and so many of our wonderful customers voted for us.

“Our customers are so special and we definitely owe them everything.

“We’re ecstatic to have won, and we’d like to thank our beautiful mother and father for all their hard work.

“We want to continue making them both proud.”

Sam, who is 29, added: “Sadly mum passed away in September last year, which is when my other siblings Jemel and Yasmin became part owners, and we’d like to dedicate this award to her.

“We know she will be looking down and beaming with pride at what we’ve all achieved.”

For more details go to

Bottomless pizza and prosecco will be on the menu every Saturday from mid August

Bottomless pizza and prosecco will be on the menu every Saturday from mid August