Brisbane’s best Italian restaurants
What’s the secret behind Mona Lisa’s smile? For one, she got to eat Italian food her whole life.
While many cuisines go in and out of style, Italian pizzas, pastas and paninis have stood the test of time. From traditional trattorias to modern date night joints, these are the places that keep us coming back for more.
1889 Enoteca | Woolloongabba
Nestled amongst the quaint antique shops and restaurants of Woolloongabba, 1889 Enoteca offers a charming dining experience like no other. Pair modern Roman cuisine with a glass of wine from their extensive list (imported by the owner himself) and even a basic family dinner becomes a feast! The pappardelle al ragù is the kind of soul-satisfying dish that you’ll dream about for years to come, while the tiramisu is that little taste of Italy that you’ve been dreaming of ever since you took that holiday.
La Lupa | West End
You either love vitello tonnato, or haven’t tried vitello tonnato… we reckon Lupa does the best in town! As well as other classics, a core range of pizzas and specials keeps things interesting (and delicious) including burrata with seasonal toppings, a mouthwatering cacio e pepe tagliolini, and a big boy bistecca that you need to pre-order! Owner Andrea also imports stunning wines from all over Europe, so there’s always a delicious drop to be paired with.
Bar Alto ǀ New Farm
What’s better than Italian? Italian accompanied by spritzes! No one does them quite like Bar Alto, with riverfront views making it the ultimate lunch date or Sunday sesh. Grab friends, book a table on the balcony, and spend your afternoon devouring bowls of their iconic chilli garlic mussels (with plenty of crusty bread, of course).
Vine | New Farm
Don’t let it creep up on you; Vine’s cuisine is something to behold. A staple of quality Italian in New Farm (so you know it’s good), you’ll be indulging on pan-seared scallops with burrata and beetroot, gnocchi with broccoli, capers, and anchovies, and local quail faster than you can say, “that’s amore!”
Elementi | Paddington
A labour of love from a team who have worked across plenty of other names on this list, Elementi is all about the classics, done well. Think carpaccio with semi-dried tomatoes, rocket and 36-month-aged Parmigiano Reggiano, pizzas topped with tomato, scamorza, pork sausage and olives, and trofie pasta with turnip tops, stracciatella, chilli, anchovies, garlic and bread crumbs. Their cocktails and spritzes are Roman piazza-worthy, too!
Bianca | James Street
Inspired by a rowdy Italian trattoria, this salmon-hued delight is inarguably one of Brisbane’s best. Start your experience with charcuterie and house-made breads (including the ridiculous pizza Bianca), before moving onto simple-but-perfect pastas, golden pollo alla Milanese and some outrageously juicy porchetta. Don’t skip the gelato-filled bombolini for dessert!
Julius ǀ South Brisbane
If you’re after a slice of pizza heaven, look no further than Julius! Located on the ever-trendy (and tasty) Fish Lane, this constantly awarded five-star eatery is famous for its delectable wood-fired pizzas. Do yourself a favour and order calamari followed by the duck ragu pasta.
Marinara Trattoria ǀ Paddington
When you’re craving some of that old-school spaghetti that your Nonna used to make, that’s when you should head to Café Marinara Trattoria. This traditional bistro’s red-checkered tablecloths and seaside mural will make you feel like you’re in the heart of Positano surrounded by comfort food including pizza, pasta, and some irresistible seafood options like the sizzling king prawns in garlic and lemon juice!
Il Verde ǀ Bowen Hills
Cheese Louise! Heralding in a new chapter for Italian cuisine, Il Verde is known for making mouth-watering parmesan pasta from whole cheese wheels to keep both your belly and your wallet happy. Their extensive menu will see you poring over antipasti, pasta, pizza, main dishes and perfect desserts (it’s gotta be the cannoli, if you ask us!).
Il Posto | Paddington
Do you have a moment to talk about porchetta? The place for perfectly cooked pasta, mouth-watering pizza and decadent desserts, you’ll feel right at home as soon as you settle into Il Posto and take a look at their extensive eats. While you can’t go wrong with anything on the menu, we can’t recommend the numero uno pizza enough – and paired with a flavoursome wine, your night is set.
Cheese, carbs, and oil? It was always going to be an Italian love affair.