IT really is no surprise that Salvana’s is one of Barrow’s longest-established and best-known restaurants.

It’s certainly one of my favourites, and perhaps I should have tried somewhere new, but I’d been aching for their cheese-packed garlic bread and perfect chips for a while.

After collecting my three-year-old daughter Abigail from nursery, and as it was my birthday, I decided to push the boat out in spite of my desire after a long day at work to go home and chill out on the settee.

Instead of our usual quick tea of pasta and sauce, cheese on toast or (God forbid!) a takeaway, we headed into town for a meal at Salvana’s in Cavendish Street.

As neither of us, especially an impatient toddler, are bothered about starters,and in a bid to get to the ‘main event’ we ordered our mains with typical starter dishes ‘on the side’.

Abigail opted for pepperoni pizza from the kids’ menu (other options include nuggets and chips, spaghetti); and I picked Pollo Milanese along with a portion of chips (more to come about those), and a garlic bread with cheese.

Not that it’s strictly a negative but Abigail, who normally loves pepperoni/ham/bacon/any salty meat, refused to eat the pepperoni as it was “spicy” (this isn’t always necessarily accurate coming from her as she refuses to drink anything fizzy because it’s “spicy”).

I tasted some and, I have to concede, she was right. I’m a big lover of spice and chilli but I think for a child’s pizza perhaps a milder meat would be wiser.

Pollo Milanese. Where do I start? The flattened, breaded chicken is just what you’d look for - juicy inside and crispy on the outside. Sitting on a bed of spaghetti in a tomato sauce and topped with sage, basil, and some sliced garlic and nuts, this is one of those meals that you just can’t find fault with.

The garlic bread with cheese was, as expected, packed with plenty of the yellow stuff which is something not all restaurants can guarantee. It’s basically a pizza without tomato sauce or toppings and I’d happily eat one on its own.

Then the chips. I can confidently say that Salvana’s does some of the best chips around. They’re like the homemade chips your mum made when you were little - fluffy inside, just the right thickness and really crispy on the outside. Easily one of my favourite things about Salvo’s.

Of course, nowhere is perfect, and no food review would be complete without at least some constructive criticism.

Salvo’s, as it is affectionately known among Barrovians, knows what works and sticks to a formula that undoubtedly contributes to this being one of Barrow’s most popular restaurants.

While specials are on offer, these do tend to stay static for a period of time, and so although the ‘stick to what you know best’ ethos clearly proves successful, it would be nice to see some new dishes added to the menu that push the boundaries and test the chefs’ skills.

Saying that, my favourite Salvana’s dish, Pollo Milanese, wasn’t actually on the menu but the staff are always happy to accommodate. I couldn’t even remember its name but the experienced waitress knew what I wanted just based on my description of “fried chicken with spaghetti”.

There are things of course which, in a perfect world, I would change about Salvo’s: The proximity of other tables, the lack of background music, the journey to the toilets which feels as if you are heading into the kitchen.

But these are immaterial to the overall experience; it is the food, the speedy service, the ‘nothing is too much trouble’ attitude, and the ridiculously reasonable prices which is what makes Salvo’s such a popular choice for a meal out in Barrow.

And for just over £40, including two white wines and soda for the birthday girl and two glasses of cordial for the other girl; you really can’t complain.



Food 4.5

Service 5

Atmosphere 3

Value 4


Speedy service

Helpful staff

Consistently quality food

The chips


Compact space and proximity to other tables

Lack of background music/atmosphere