There aren’t enough words in the English language to describe the ultimate feeling of comfort delivered by a bowl (or two) of everyone’s favourite potato-y Italian delicacy: gnocchi.
While the days may be heating up with summer well and truly upon us, there’s no telling when your next craving of potato-disguised-as-pasta may hit (Lana Del Rey did sing “summertime sadness” for a reason). It’s a good thing then that we asked you to give us your go-to destinations for gnocchi on Instagram. Keep the carb cravings at bay and keep on scrolling for 10 of Brisbane’s best places to devour gnocchi, as voted by you.
Gnocchi Gnocchi Brothers
Paddington, New Farm And South Bank
As the city’s first dedicated gnoccheria, Gnocchi Gnocchi Brothers is a must-visit for anyone with even a casual appreciation for hearty and delicious Italian. Having started out as a stall on the Brisbane market circuit, Gnocchi Gnocchi Brothers quickly amassed a loyal following of carb-hungry Italophiles with their promise to provide delicious gnocchi on demand. We followed them around wherever they roamed until they made it official with a Paddington lease a few years back, quickly followed by venues in New Farm and South Bank. Come by for a bowl of their signature slow-cooked Bolognese, or a wild mushroom and truffle number that has weathered us through many a winter.
Half restaurant, half wine cellar, all glorious, 1889 enoteca is the seat of polished Italian cuisine. Their Roman-style dining is a carefully curated menu of refined dishes, so when it comes to gnocchi, their contribution is an absolute ripper featuring pork and fennel sausage, parmesan cream and black truffle tapenade to go with their pillowy gnocchi. It’s delicate, luxe and ticks absolutely all our boxes. If you’re looking for a bit of heartwarming comfort at a swanky dinner, look no further than 1889 enoteca.
Coppa Spuntino is undeniably cool. If they were a human, they’d be a swish urban creative with a sunglasses wardrobe, white sneakers that never scuff, and the ability to retain a summer glow through winter. So it only makes sense that their gnocchi with kale, walnuts and truffles is a sophisticated balance of body-worship and delicacy. Round it out with some stuffed zucchini flowers and a bottle of something excellent and you’re actually laughing.
This inner city coffee and food oasis is mostly well-known for its international coffee brews and creative brekkie eats, so its inclusion in the list of Brisbane’s best gnocchi may come as a surprise. However, according to you, Botero House’s gnocchi florentine has rightfully earned its spot on this list. With smoked mozzarella, olives, marinated capsicum in a napoli sauce with basil and parmesan, we know where we’ll be heading for our next work lunch break.
While this Southbank institution is famed for its generous Italian feasts of shareable dishes, the gnocchi at Popolo may be one dish you keep for yourself. Team pan-fried ricotta gnocchi with green peas, asparagus, kale, chili flakes and lemon zest and you have one delectable dish that ticks all our culinary boxes and, conveniently, all the food groups (who said pasta can’t be healthy?).
It's no surprise that the Gold Coast institution rapidly winning over the hearts of Brisbane foodies has made an appearance in this carb-loaded list. At James Street’s Gemelli, you're spoilt for choice with three traditional Italian and downright decadent gnocchi dishes on offer. Will it be the gnocchi zucca with roasted pumpkin, pine nuts, sage, cream and pecorino cheese? If one cheese is not enough, opt for their four cheese gnocchi, with oozy gorgonzola, fontina, asiago and parmigiano-reggiano. Or perhaps you’d prefer your gnocchi drowned in a napoli sauce and baked in a wood-fired oven. Whatever floats your pasta boat, you're in for a food-coma inducing feed at Gemelli.
For those with a fine dining fetish who still crave a hearty bowl of Italy’s best comfort dish, you can’t go past e’cco Bistro. This multi award winning (and hatted) restaurant is renowned for its complex dishes with refined flavours, and their gnocchi is no different. Think golden pillows of potato with asparagus, parsley and egg yolk—drool.
While the Italians of Brisbane may be shaking their heads with this recommendation, many of you are saying “oo la la” to Montrachet’s gnocchi “en Francais”. Queensland’s most acclaimed French restaurant has taken the traditional Italian comfort dish to a whole other level by dousing it in caramelised onion butter, St Angur cheese and adding a touch of mushrooms for a French twist on a classic that you didn’t know you needed. Allez on down to this King Street institution to get your french gnocchi fix.
For all the comfort of a home-cooked Italian meal without the tedious clean up, look no further than Paddington’s Marinara Trattoria. An old worker’s cottage turned rustic Italian trattoria, this quaint restaurant has not one, but two gnocchi dishes in all their rich, carb-loaded glory. Choosing between their gnocchi bolognese or gnocchi napoli may prove the hardest feat of the night, unless of course you bring a date who likes to share.
We know you’re probably thinking that this list has reached its cap and that this town has nothing further to offer in the way of gnocchi satisfaction, but you’d be WRONG. Just when we thought we’d seen it all, Sister Cafe bursts onto our breakfast scene with the most marvellous invention of all time: breakfast gnocchi. Technically all gnocchi is breakfast gnocchi if you eat it at breakfast time, but Sister has really gone the extra clicks and breakfastised their gnocchi with mushroom ragu, crispy bacon and a poached egg.
Always up for a bit of carb-loading? Find Brisbane's best bottomless feeds here.
Image credit: Hayley Williamson (Gnocchi Gnocchi Brothers)