Prego! We’re Serving Up Brisbane’s Best Italian Restaurants
Meals to make you say “mamma mia”!By Style Journo | 7th June 2023
There’s inspiration aplenty in the birth country of our favourite comfort carbs, and Brissy restaurateurs have brought the boot down south.
Honouring tradition with homemade pastas, innovative ingredients, and Nonna-worthy pizza bases, some of Australia’s best Italian restaurants can be found right here in Brisbane. Whether you’re after contemporary fine-dining fare or family-filled trattorias that haven’t changed in years (and never should!), Italian cuisine has perfected wholesome everyday eating.
Dig in, and eat your way through the regions from the famous coastal plates of seafood spaghetti and rustic margarita pizzas, to traditional Florentine T-bones.
So save your French feast for another night, and set aside your tacos for next Tuesday, because right now we’re serving up a one-way ticket to the land of red wine, delicious carbs, and good times. Prego!
By the way, we consider everyone in this list the best of the best! To make finding your next favourite that much easier, we’ve ordered the list alphabetically by suburb and also have filtering tabs for your convenience. Did we miss someone from the list? Let us know here! Hide the form
- Brisbane CBD
- North Brisbane
- East Brisbane
- South Brisbane
- West Brisbane
- Gold Coast
- Sunshine Coast
- A - Z
- Z - A
Any Brisbanite who fancies a slice will find them fired to perfection at Antica in Wilston. Serving up the finest traditional southern style pizza around town using an oven imported directly from Italy to satisfy our consistent cravings, one bite of Antica’s speciality will have you hooked! It’s all about the food and flavours here, and the delightful menu of antipasti, cured meats, pastas, and a whole ‘lotta pizza is proof of that, with locals coming back for more. The casual atmosphere is the perfect host for impromptu date nights or long overdue catch ups, with gorgeous mosaics and a cosy ambience. Powered on family love and a passion for divine Italian food, their signature long pizza is a must try – one half tomato, burrata, and balsamic pearls; the other fig, honey, and goat’s cheese. Buon appetito!
Masters of some of the best Italian in Brisbane, Biànca has been showered with well-deserved praise since its opening last year. A focus on honouring the classics with a nod to Aussie produce, slink into the suave James Street venue and indulge in house-made pasta and bread with Italian-sourced wines to pair. Made to share, indulge your way down the antipasti menu with mouth-watering Kingfish carpaccio, Nduja (a soft, spicy salami), and artichoke and anchovy fritti before getting to the mains. From the metallic meat slicers at the bar to the open style kitchen, there’s thought out theatre behind every step. Go on, unbutton your jeans and order the pumpkin cappellacci with burnt butter (this may just be our last meal request) or the gnocchetti sardi with spanner crab, warrigal, chilli, and vermouth. This Italian trattoria has embraced restaurant-style practices in the perfect blend of casual dining with an effervescent atmosphere, and we simply can’t get enough!
What began as an intimate wine bar has newly transformed into a full-scale restaurant with a whole lot of Italian love behind it. Rosmarino Ristorante is tucked off McLachlan Street in Fortitude Valley, bursting with character and personality aplenty. With a rustic outdoor courtyard filled with foliage, a wine cellar to be admired, and an interior of exposed brick and feature walls, this building is rich in history since 1898. Head Chef Dario Manca has transformed his obsession with bread, flavours and Italian eats into a menu bursting with à la carte picks and degustation delights. With specialties of pan rendered, seven-day aged Maremma duck breast, and black squid ink spaghetti with Cloudy Bay clams, lose yourself in this mastery of Italian cuisine.
Like a true Italian table, Woolloongabba’s Sasso Italiano connects people over good food. Inspired by the wonderful 70s with dim lights and an ambiance that’s hard to forget, this space blends nostalgia with the contemporary, creating the ultimate space of luxury and comfort. Head Chef Gabriele Di Landri’s Alamfi heritage helps him curate unforgettable meals in this open-plan kitchen with two seasonal menus featuring degustations or your choice of charcuterie, antipasti, primi, and secondis that wow. Their bespoke wood-fired oven has a deck formed from Mount Vesuvius lava stone making for a delectable range of pizza! Did we mention this neighbourhood bar and trattoria has a 10+ Negroni menu and can fashion you a vintage birth-year concoction? Mangia, mangia!
Living la dolce vita is what OTTO Ristorante is about – celebrating people and place. Perched riverfront in South Bank surrounded by native flora and a widespread cityscape, the ristorante design is the perfect blend of modern Australia and Italian Riviera, and has become a big player in Queensland’s foodie scene. Head Chef Will Cowper’s talent paired with GM Alan Hunter’s award-winning wine list make for a dramatic duo that keeps us coming back for more. From perfectly al dente pasta to local seafood seared on the grill, the food is brazenly simple, driven by fresh fare. Take note: the carpaccio di manzo and rabbit gnocchi are not to be missed!
A King St icon through and through, Il Verde dishes up modern Italian cuisine elevated by a fresh and sustainable approach that never fails to keep the crowds coming back for more. With woodfired pizza flipping and Aperol Spritz pouring around the clock, the rustic atmosphere of Il Verde makes for the perfect occasion to enjoy inventive flavours and traditional Italian techniques. Slurp up their signature spaghetti con gamberetti with wild caught prawns or grab a slice of their capricciosa before a plate of tiramisu for a quintessential Italian night out. Also, clear your calendar on the first Wednesday of every month for Il Verde’s cheese wheel pasta night with a healthy splash of truffle oil to boot!
Aperitivo is our fave way to while away the hours, and you can experience this Italian way of dining at Fortitude Valley’s La Costa Restaurant. Whether it’s a traditional spritz topped with an orange slice and Sicilian olives, a glass of Veneto Rosé, or a cocktail that packs a punch, a drink before eating is how the Italians do it – when in Rome! The latest venture from the Salt Meats Cheese group, La Costa is a tribute to coastal Italy with their seafoam-green, white décor, and European oak table tops. Celebrating the ocean first and foremost, they’ve got us looking to the sea with their ragü di Pesce and marinated seafood pizza. Followed closely by their range of local meats, cheeses and legumes, they’re well and truly paying homage to all things green, white, and red. Grab the gang and celebrate day or night, Riviera style.
If central Italy won your heart, this roman style Pizzeria is soon to be your new hangout. Serving up low-intervention natural wines from the cellar alongside handmade pasta and traditional dishes, they’re all about the ingredients with careful execution. With a strong belief that pizza shouldn’t leave you feeling bloated or thirsty, they’ve mastered the secret in the production of the dough with an organic stone milled flour sourced from Italy. With an intimate, considered menu, La Lupa will change the way you dine.
Take a trip down memory lane to 1889 Enoteca – the Woolloongabba restaurant that’s been serving up sophisticated Roman fare and gracing the list of one of the best Italian Restaurants in Brisbane for almost 14 years. Located in the heritage-listed Moreton Rubber Works building, the restaurant features cosy booths and wooden floors, evoking the feel of an old-school Roman villa. Despite its rustic appearance, patrons can expect a fine-dining experience that honours traditional Italian recipes and uses only the highest quality local and imported ingredients. Wine buffs are also in luck – ‘enoteca’ means wine library in Italian, and the restaurant certainly lives up to its namesake with an unbeatable wine menu of imported and regional varieties. Allora!
Can’t make it to Florence this year? Thanks to the food gods at Beccofino, you can enjoy the tastes of Italy minus the plane ticket. Known throughout Brisbane for its divine duck ragu that brings locals in by the flock, it’s also one of the must-do spots for authentic, wood-fired pizza. This Teneriffe restaurant is the perfect place to kick back and while away the afternoon with a pizza rosse or bianche and glass of chilled rosé in hand. Although the ragu and the pizza are the stars here, don’t neglect the antipasti flavours, and be sure to make room for an affogato!
Gnocchi Gnocchi Brothers
When it comes to feel-good Italian cuisine, you really can’t go past this iconic chain of restaurants. The name is pretty self-explanatory – Gnocchi Gnocchi Brothers make authentic, mouth-watering gnocchi that hits the spot each and every time. Co-founders Ben Cleary-Corradini and Theo Roduner started their business as a two-person stall selling hand-made gnocchi, and have since grown to incorporate three venues throughout Brisbane alone. Their pillowy-soft gnocchi and rich sauces made from the freshest local ingredients are famous for being some of the best in Brisbane, while affordable prices and BYO drinks keep diners flocking to Gnocchi Gnocchi Brothers’ doors.
Paddington is home to some of Brisbane’s best restaurants, and Il Posto is no exception. Located on Latrobe Terrace, patrons can enjoy a menu of home-style Italian dishes that showcase expert cooking and the highest quality ingredients. Our favourites? The ravioli aragosta (home-made ravioli filled with Tasmanian lobster – yum!) and verdurina (a delicious pizza with tomato, mozzarella, roast pumpkin, spinach and goat’s cheese). With a range of vegan, dairy-free, and gluten-free options on offer, there’s something for everyone at Il Posto, so book a table and get ready to be transported to the streets of Italy.
Italian Street Kitchen
Newstead, West End
For food that satisfies your tastebuds and your soul, look no further than this restaurant chain, which serves up old-school Italian eats (just like Nonna used to make!). Combining traditional Italian recipes, modern cooking techniques and imported ingredients from Roma, Napoli, Sicilia and Venezia, Italian Street Kitchen is your one-stop shop for wood-fired pizza, fresh pasta dishes, and vibrant salads. With $15 lunch specials on offer every weekday, head on over and treat yourself to an Italian meal that you’re sure to love.
From the masterminds behind Beccofino comes Julius Pizzeria, the ‘little brother’ venue located on the corner of South Brisbane’s vivacious Fish Lane. Serving up wood-fired pizzas made in a custom-built oven brought all the way from Naples, antipasto, delectable pasta, and thirst-quenching drinks, Julius Pizzeria celebrates authentic Italian cuisine with a modern Australian twist. Conveniently located close to QPAC, this dining hotspot is the perfect place to relax and unwind before an evening of theatre. Don’t pass up a slice of the classic tartufo bianche topped with mozzarella, smoked bacon, Portobello mushrooms, stracchino, and truffle paste.
Rustic Italian dining is held true to tradition at Marinara Trattoria. With brick walls, red chequered tablecloths, striking statues, and climbing vines, the intimate restaurant is reminiscent of Nonna’s kitchen, complete with murals of the Italian seaside. The menu combines staple starters like traditional breads and seafood morsels, followed by a range of pasta and pizza worthy of every calorie. Nestled in the heart of Paddington, Clayfield, and Hawthorne, Marinara Trattoria is ideal for a romantic evening with your S.O., or casual dining with friends and family.
Brisbane’s foodie experts were devastated when CJ’s Secret Pasta Club – the intimate West End eatery that provided locals with good, simple Italian fare – closed its doors due to COVID-19. What they might not know is that the restaurant was reborn as the new and improved Pasta Club. Located on Boundary Street, Pasta Club is back and serving up good times and delicious Italian food (did someone say truffled-mushroom arancini and pumpkin agnolotti?). As a BYO venue, diners are encouraged to bring a bottle of their favourite red, vibe to the record player, and let the menu written on the blackboard do the talking.
Your carb-loaded dreams will come true at Ripiena, Fortitude Valley’s very own pasta laboratory. Head Chef Nicolo Campagnari began his love affair with Italian food as a boy working at his family’s tavern in Verona, before moving to Australia and opening Ripiena with his wife in 2018. The venue combines a wholesale pasta kitchen and dine-in section, where patrons can enjoy batches of freshly made pasta, prepared in-house by a team of specially trained pasta chefs. Mixing, kneading, sheeting, folding, drying, storing – everything you eat is authentic, keeping to tradition with provincial Italian pasta. Embrace a carb overload meal and pick up 100g of Brisbane’s best prosciutto to-go!
Since opening its doors in 2010, this Italian dining spot has made its mark on the foodie scene as one of the finest. Located in the hub of Fortitude Valley, Tartufo transports diners to the 1920s with its décor: leather booths, tiled floors, and art-deco detailing create an alluring space where diners can enjoy exquisite Italian cuisine and old-fashioned hospitality. From an indulgent eight-course degustazione to a true Neapolitan pizza, these ingredients have either been made in-house, carefully sourced, or grown with local producers, especially for Tartufo. Psst, you can even find a few of owner Tony Percuoco’s secret recipes on their website to try at home!
Dreaming of Amalfi’s colourful coastline, turquoise water, and scrumptious eats? If so, it might be time to book in at Tocco Italiano, where owner Arturo Buonocore celebrates the legacy of Italy’s Campania region with an authentic, mouth-watering menu. Buonocore is a fourth-generation Amalfi Coast local who followed his wife to Australia and brought the flavours of Italy with him. With an impressive menu that offers traditional recipes from his home including Caprese salad, bruschetta, gnocchi alla sorrentina and profiteroles, Tocco Italiano is a dream come true for pizza aficionados seeking an Italian fine-dining experience.
Mina Restaurant and Bar
Look out, there’s a new Italian in town! Now open, Mina brings the beauty and drama of Italia to our humble riverfront, with plenty of dishes rich in flavour and artisanal flair. From the team behind Lina Rooftop and Eterna, this casual eatery will have you feasting on Venetian cicchetti snacks, risottos, and handmade pizzas at the prime location just off the Bulimba jetty. Just like Venice, right?
Broadbeach, Fortitude Valley
Craving a Euro summer escape to the Italian seaside? Bringing you hearty flavours, woodfired pizzas, pastas, and antipasti plates a plenty, Gemelli is the Italian escape your mindset needed. With their flagship location in Broadbeach, the Gemelli brothers have brought their success to Bris, with a stunning fitout marked by modern interiors taking up residence on James Street’s bustling strip. Literally translating to ‘twins’ Gemelli is owned by two brothers with an appreciation for good food and how to cook it, right down to the sauce. Lap up the good life, the mouth-watering tastes, and buttery wines with loved ones, and enjoy la dolce far niente!
For a satisfying meal with a view, Persone delivers the goods. Located in the Brisbane Quarter, this refined Italian bar and dining scene is a place to live la dolce vita. Serving up fresh, quality produce packed with flavours, choose from their a la carte or banquet menu (and don’t forget to leave room for dessert!). Sip back and enjoy the sweeping sights of the river and South Bank while sipping on some of Italy’s finest drops. One bite and you’ll see why Persone makes our list of Brisbane’s best Italian!
Toscano Bar & Kitchen
For authentic Italian served with flair, take yourself on a trip to Toscano, where the atmosphere is equally as delightful as the food. Located in the basement of a century-old warehouse near the City Botanic Gardens, this modern Italian cocktail bar exudes an elegant ambience with its glowing neon signage proclaiming, ‘good food, good wine, good friends, good times’, all while slinging traditional and modern cocktails across its mosaic tiled back-lit bar. Not a cocktail fan? Take your pick from their premium wine selection. Plating up Neoplitan-inspired dishes, expect entrees like potato croquettes with Scamorza cheese, cured meat, and honey mustard. For the main affair, say ciao to plates of Nonna’s meatballs or a Wagyu bresaola with rocket and shaved Parmesan panuozzo. Come hungry, leave 100% satisfied.
You could be forgiven for thinking you’d found yourself in the streets of Rome when you book a table at Mosconi. This hidden two-level wine bar and restaurant will cure those hunger and travel pangs all at once. This divine Italian eatery offers a small handful of tables placed on the footpath outside, making it a romantic place to stop for a wine and bite. With small plates of mixed olives, Pacific oysters with lime caviar, and scallops, to heartier meals like the linguini with Mooloolaba prawn, fermented chilli, zucchini, and lemon pangrattato, say ‘salute’ to a meal to remember.
Bringing beautiful fresh Italian flavours fused with Australian produce, Ciao Papi is a tidy menu of dishes to share while perched right on the riverside with an Aperol in hand. From carb-heavy hitters like rigatoni with ragu to gnocchi and herb pesto, plus sides featuring warm weather salads, fries, and steamed greens, plus pizzas, all your Italian wants and needs will be met here. But don’t rush this experience – the desserts must be met with a big spoon, and their list of refreshing cocktails will keep you there til after dark.
Ciao! Welcome to Vici Italian, where cheese is the secret ingredient to their bellissimo food. Serving authentic Italian dishes made from fresh, locally-sourced ingredients, all of your carb-filled cravings can be satisfied. Indulge amongst the warm and welcoming environment at Vici by the Alemré Group, made cosier by the black-tiled wood fire oven pushing out an endless stream of cheesy pizzas. Whilst you wait for your meal, take a pic with the very instagrammable ‘Say Cheese’ sign that casts a glow upon the room. Not sure where to begin? Start with the Pasta Fritta for antipasto, followed by The Wiseguy Pizza and Linguine Al Frutti Di Mare. Recommended by the best, you won’t be disappointed by your trip to little Italy.
If your stance on Italian food is the bigger the better, then this riverside icon is where you need to order up! Bar Pacino is known for its menu of hearty classics and modern twists, designed for dining and sharing with the people who matter most. From duck ragu to roast lamb pizza and their Don Corleone parmigiana, every dish is paired with unbeatable views of the Brisbane River on its banks. As for drinks, Bar Pacino boasts delicious house cocktails, a curated global wine list (with Italian sips, of course), and their iconic Nutella shots. Whether you pull up a seat on their expansive outdoor balcony to soak in the open-air atmosphere, or enjoy the intimate indoor tables alongside floor-to-ceiling glass windows, you’re always in for a memorable meal.