La Vera Italian restaurant a popular pizzeria for SHU students

There are many venues and restaurants in South Orange serving numerous types of food; from Thai to Ethiopia, fried chicken to sushi, there is an abundance of variety to choose from.

One choice would be La Vera Pizza & Pasta. The restaurant advertises itself as a “casual Italian eatery” and offers many traditional Italian dishes, including classic meals like cavatelli and broccoli.

SHU students frequently stop by and order in from the casual Italian eatery.
Fabbielle Garcia/ Staff Photographer

However, the restaurant commits itself to more than Italian specialties, offering wraps, sandwiches and a falafel combo.

The restaurant opened in August 2010 by Raul Elshereif. Elshereif is still the present owner and oversees his business, sometimes even working the counter, providing his full attention to the business for its ultimate success.

Members of the Seton Hall community frequent the establishment and when Elshereif stated that business from Seton Hall students “helps a lot” with his restaurant. Due to its popularity, the work environment can be demanding.

“It’s crazy,” Elshereif said. “We have 15 minutes for pickup, it gets really hectic, it gets really busy here.” The busiest times are usually the weekends, especially in the winter.

Elshereif touched on why he likes having his business in South Orange. “It’s a college town and I get business from this high school here,” he said in reference to Columbia High School in Maplewood, just a short distance away from the restaurant.

Food is not the only thing that can be found at the restaurant. Elshereif has a couple of Seton Hall students working for him as part time drivers.

The restaurant prides itself on convenience to students and other members’ of the South Orange community by offering the option to order through its website, LaVeraPizzaNJ.com, rather than just by phone.

They also have an application, available through the App Store and Google Play named the same as the restaurant, allowing people to order through their phones. The restaurant also has a Facebook and Instagram account.

Eva Rian, a freshman diplomacy and international relations major, is no stranger to the South Orange eatery. “I am looking forward to trying a few more of them out,” Rian said, in reference to other restaurants in the area.

Trevor Peacock, a freshman diplomacy and international relations major, expressed interest in trying the restaurant’s food. “I like Italian food,” Peacock said. “I’ve been to La Trattoria a couple of times. I’ve never heard of the place but hearing the place makes me wanna go there now, so at some point I might go there.”

La Vera offers delivery, take out and dine in options, and their business hours on Friday and Saturday end at midnight, providing more time for its customers.

The restaurant is located at 329 Valley St., across from Ora Manor and near Stop & Shop.

Adam Varoqua can be reached at adam.varoqua@student.shu.edu.