Ask anyone what their favourite cuisine is and, nine times out of ten, it'll be Italian. Pizza, pasta and antipasti—what's not to love? With great palatable praise comes great responsibility, to not only deliver delicious meals to the Brisbane/Meanjin masses, but to pay homage to the traditional recipes—some of which have been handed down and perfected through countless generations. And that’s what makes Italian food so damn great, it’s been tried, tested and tasted over and over again.
Finding authentic Italian requires due diligence. Lucky for you, here at Urban List we’ve done the legwork (and carbs) and sorted the stayers from the players. You can say grazie mille to us later. Scroll on for the best Italian restaurants in Brisbane.
10 Vernon Terrace, Teneriffe
Along with its sibling Julius in South Brisbane, Beccofino has long wooed Brisbane’s hungry Italophiles. Front and centre on the ordering agenda is the perfectly tender calamari fritti, followed up with a main-sized serving of the duck ragu pappardelle. Get the full experience with a few Aperol spritzes or a bottle of their finest red.
1000 Ann Street, Fortitude Valley
Featuring hearty cuisine, charming service, and welcoming old-school interiors, Tartufo restaurant offers the freshest produce and ingredients available, with a strong focus on using local suppliers. Their dishes take you on an Italian journey via Umbria, Tuscany, and Naples, while the wine list exceeds more than 200 labels, predominantly from Australian vineyards.
10-12 Logan Road, Woolloongabba
Image credit: 1889 enoteca | Facebook
Part restaurant, part wine cellar, 1889 enoteca is the first name in intimate dinners, lavish wine lunches, family spreads on Sunday and, of course, Roman cuisine. With an interior reminiscent of the Belle Époque, 1889 enoteca is your best bet at an authentic and refined Italian feast paired with incredible wines. We recommend the zucchini flowers and iconic truffle gnocchi.
119 Lamington Street, New Farm
One of Brisbane's most recognisable restaurants, Bar Alto is a triple-threat of style, substance and location. Perched alongside the Brisbane River inside the iconic Brisbane Powerhouse, this Italian restaurant is the spot to settle in to when you're craving authentic, hearty dishes with a sprinkling of escapism. From their famous mussels to wood-fired pizzas and light-as-air fried zucchini crisps, Bar Alto sets the bar for unrivalled river views—pasta in face, Aperol in hand.
111 Mary Street, Brisbane CBD
Featuring aesthetics galore, Settimo is an interior designer’s dream. From timber furnishings, to pops of blue and yellow and nostalgic and intricate ceramic plates, you’ll feel like you’re smack dab in the middle of the Amalfi Coast. One of renowned chef Guy Grossi’s masterpieces, this Brisbane Italian restaurant serves up options like campanian seafood soup, cured mussels with nduja, and slow cooked lamb with breadcrumbs and parmigiano. We’re drooling already.
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131 Leicester Street, Coorparoo
Image credit: Ramona Trattoria | Facebook
If dough is what you want, Ramona Trattoria is where you go to get it. From handmade pasta, to focaccia fermented for 48 hours, to pizza dough leavened with 72 hour ferment, they’ve got all those sweet sweet carbs down pat. Head chef and owner Ashley-Maree Kent’s unique menu boasts dishes like risotto with buffalo curd, wild boar ragu, and even a pizza with truffled local mushrooms. Make sure you stop by Bar Rocco next door for pre or post-dinner snacks and cocktails too.
3/321 Montague Road, West End
Inspired by central Italian cuisine, La Lupa is a Roman-style pizzeria-cum-modern Italian restaurant offering an epic natural wine selection to accompany. Begin with their seasonal starters like roasted Roman artichokes with ricotta and bottarga or burrata with beetroot, prosciutto and olive crumble before moving on to their classic pizzas and pastas (with a few unexpected twists).
77 Grey Street, South Brisbane
Sitting right at the Grey Street entrance to Fish Lane, Julius is the perfect jumping off point for a delicious night in this emerging foodie precinct. Headed by the minds behind Teneriffe institution Beccofino, Julius’s pizzas and pastas are an authentic continuation of a fine legacy, with the Tartufo pizza being one of Brisbane's must-try dishes in our books.
6 McLachlan Street, Fortitude Valley
Set in a stunning heritage building on the edge of the Valley, Rosmarino is turning heads for its exceptional eats and collection of Italian wines, especially from Etna. Whether you opt for bar bites and vino in the bar or a full-on feast, on the menu you'll find out-of-the-ordinary Italian fare that will leave you wanting more. Must-orders include the crespelle ai funghi and slow-cooked rolled lamb belly, but really, you can't go wrong.
15 James Street, Fortitude Valley
Gemelli Italian's glam, split-level space with dark wooden archways and a patterned ceiling is just the place for negroni and some antipasti, before making the difficult choice of whether to order pizza or pasta. For us it's between the slow-cooked oxtail and pork shin ragu with rigatoni and the Roma pizza topped with fior di latte, prosciutto di parma and burrata cheese.
77 Grey Street, South Brisbane
The little sister to Brisbane staples Julius and Beccofino, Bar Rosa is the spot for intimate and uncomplicated Italian fare. The perfect place for date night with a side of people-watching, here you canrder a glass of vino, share some squid ink spaghetti Lady-and-the-Tramp style, and judge passers-by under the city lights. Could it be any more romantic? Count us in.
4/148 Logan Road, Woolloongabba
Image credit: Sasso Italiano | Facebook
From the minds of some big hospitality veterans with experience at Ovolo hotels comes this warm and funky space that's not afraid to push the boundaries a little. Choose a table inside or on the breezy balcony, and don't miss Sasso's burrata topped with a take on bagna cauda, yolk-filled ravioli in brown butter, charred-edge pizzas and whole grilled seafood. Feeling fancy? Sip on a birth-year Negroni made with vintage Campari.
166 Hardgrave Road, West End
Cancel your next trip to Sardinia, because Pilloni in West End has you covered. Pilloni takes their warm and welcoming vibe straight from Sardinian farm stays—or “agriturismo” if you’re feeling cultured. And, in the spirit of agriturismo, Pilloni sources all of their ingredients directly from local farmers and producers, cooking them over an open flame for even more of a farm to table feel. It’s also a stunning spot that’s perfect for date night, so find yourself a plus one to share a plate of their potato-filled culurgiones asap.
3 Sidon Street, South Brisbane
Picture this: unparalleled views of the city across the Brisbane River, as you sit in a rustic and funky al fresco dining area, eating pizza and pasta to your heart’s content. Yeah, Popolo doesn’t sound too shabby, does it? Their menu includes tartufata pizza, Moreton Bay bug linguine, and pistachio panna cotta. Sounds like a certified good time to us.
46 James Street, Fortitude Valley
Image credit: Bianca | Facebook
Ready for a salmon-hued exploration of all the best Italian flavours? Settle in to James Street's Bianca restaurant for a side of antipasti, house-made pastas and epic desserts with your people watching. Choose your own adventure from their antipasti list before moving on to more substantial dishes like Wagyu bistecca, whole fish, and chicken cotoletta and finish with a house-made soft serve featuring flavours like fior di latte.
164B Arthur Street, Fortitude Valley
Boutique restaurant Mosconi, located in an old WWII surplus warehouse, is a must-try for anyone looking for a more intimate and unique date night. Their Euro-chic interior boasts two levels, as well as an option for outdoor dining. Pour yourself a glass of one of their many wines on offer, and pair it with dishes such as duck ragu pappardelle, pork cotoletta, or Brisbane Valley quail.
1/70 Kedron Brook Road, Wilston
Coming from a team that had serious chops for their beloved pizza truck, Pizzantica, Antica is a bricks-and-mortar spot serving up some serious Italian vibes. Start with their massive burrata that's recommended for 4-8 people before moving on to expertly wood-fired pizzas, ricotta and orange ravioli with duck ragu, and cannoli filled with limoncello custard (and maybe a barrel-aged Negroni).
River Quay, Sidon Street, South Bank
Image credit: OTTO | Facebook
Having moved from its CBD spot to a sunny riverside perch in South Bank, OTTO's open dining space transcends into their food, which subs out the generous tangles of unctuous, rustic Italian in place of delicate and refined dishes that wouldn’t be out of place in other hatted restaurants. If you want to sample the fare without sitting down for an exxy lunch or dinner, they've also got a stunning osteria/bar space, which whips up a mean Aperol spritz as well as smaller bar bites and snacks without the white tablecloth.
1B Oxford Street, Bulimba
Irony is not lost on the owners of Il Molo—directly translating to “The Jetty”—an aesthetic restaurant nestled next to the Bulimba Jetty. Their menu provides a variety of drinks, pastas, pizzas, and antipasti, all of which are divine choices. But, if decisions make you as anxious as us—what if we miss out on the best dish?!—don’t fret. Il Molo offers two banquet menus, as well as a “Spritz and Salumi” deal for you and your favourite person to split as an afternoon snack.
175 Eagle Street, Brisbane CBD
Nestled on the banks of the Brisbane River, Alchemy offers up Italian with some French undertones. Considering their Chef is Brad Jolly, who won four first place titles in the La Chaine des Rotisseurs in Paris, it’s not exactly a surprise—and neither is the high quality of the food. From sherry prawn risotto, to braised beef cheek with confit garlic, to salt and pepper quail with almond cream, the food is almost as breathtaking as the view.
123 Eagle Street, Brisbane CBD
Image credit: Massimo | Facebook
Riverside dining doesn’t get much better than Massimo. The Amalfi-inspired joint serves up a huge range of Italian eats all day long, including ragu di agnello, beef tartare, and even gives you the option to have a whole marron or lobster straight from the tank—now that’s classy. And if all that choice is just too overwhelming for you, fear not! Massimo also offers bottomless lunches and banquets. Why choose when you can just eat it all?
300 George Street, Brisbane CBD
‘A place to indulge in the good life’—that’s what Persone promises to be. It’s just classic, old-fashioned, good tasting Italian fare. You don’t need to focus on what to order… just focus on the company. Now, that’s not to say the food isn’t good—we dream of their lobster linguine. But Persone is all about the people. So order some pizza, some aperol spritzes, and just enjoy time with the gang here.
257 Given Terrace, Paddington
A Paddington newbie, Elementi comes to us from former Julius and Beccofino chefs—so you know it's got to be good. Wood-fired pizzas and pastas are the heroes of the menu, all of which can be paired with something from the lengthy list of intriguing wines.
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Image credit: 1889 Enoteca | Facebook
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