Restaurants

17 Of The Best Italian Restaurants On The Gold Coast In 2023

By Urban List Writers
10th May 2023

Italian. 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 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, 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 17 of the best Italian restaurants on the Gold Coast in 2023.

Piatto

Mermaid Beach

If you’ve ever indulged yourself at Lupo or Espana Tapas Bar, you’ll love their pint-sized Italian-inspired restaurant with a mouthwatering array of options (we know we do). Piatto is the latest venue from the Pearce Family, and like the others, we promise it doesn’t disappoint. This cosy 16-seat establishment is unique in the sense that its menu changes monthly, focusing on an authentic blend of seasonal, local produce and simple cooking.

Dive into this month’s menu with beautiful prawn and fennel-stuffed pasta shells, local fusilli with cime di rapa, chilli & breadcrumbs and delectable free-range chicken coated with the perfect amount of lemon, rosemary and mascarpone (and that’s nowhere near all of it). Piatto is also home to a dizzying collection of beautiful imported Italian wines. If you’re a fan of authentic Italian cuisine and wine, make sure to book a spot here because we’d hate for you to miss out.

Mozza Mozza

Southport

mozza mozza italian restaurant

While the Gold Coast has its fair share of beautiful Italian restaurants, it's always a delight to see a top-notch Italian eatery grace the rather sparse north end that is Southport. Mozza Mozza is a pizza-slinging, pasta-twirling restaurant that seamlessly transitions betwen stunning date night spot and your local weekly pizza joint.

 Their extensive menu ticks all the boxes—think tableside cheese wheel pasta, boozy tiramisu, burrata nestled on a garden pea pesto and sublime cocktails, all served with a side serve of disco tunes. Oh, and Mozza Mozza also slings up cheeky mid-week specials like two wood-fired pizzas for $35 every Wednesday and two cheese wheel pastas for $50 every Thursday. You know you’re in good hands when Mozza Mozza is owned by the genius team behind Crafty’s Sports Bar at Harbour Town and Bird Royale in Southport, so rest easy and satisfy your starving Italian palate at Mozza Mozza.

Matteo’s Woodfired Pizza

Clear Island Waters

Exact caution when you drive past this hidden gem of a restaurant because the snake of a line combined with the succulent scents of authentic Italian cooking (of the highest order) might just reel you in before you realise it. The titular restaurant Matteo’s Woodfired Pizza (named after culinary genius and award-winning Italian chef Matteo Finotto) has a drool-worthy selection of authentic Italian cuisine, from wood-fired pizza to freshly housemade pasta.

In case you aren’t fully convinced yet, the friendly team behind Matteo’s pride themselves on their authenticity, hand-crafting fresh pizza and pasta every day, so you know everything is handmade with love and care. This is a Gold Coast Italian restaurant you need to try, stat.

Orzo

Broadbeach

orzo italian gold coast

Sister restaurant to another fabulous Broadbeach eatery Social Eating House + Bar, Orzo is the modern Italian restaurant of your foodie dreams. Expect handmade pasta, incredible desserts and Italian-inspired cocktails worth returning for. Simple, fresh and local is the mantra here. 

Orzo’s concise yet impressive Italian-inspired menu includes a playful smattering of Asian and native Australian ingredients—like bush tomato and lemon myrtle—to make it truly distinctive. A current and sophisticated addition to the bustling Oracle Boulevard dining precinct, Orzo has long leisurely lunch and romantic date night written all over it. 

Lenny’s Pizzeria & Bar

Mudgeeraba

If you’re ever feeling peckish after a long day in the Mudgeeraba shopping centre, you’re in luck, because Lenny’s Pizzeria & Bar is just a few steps away. But you’ll have to get there in a flash, because they’re known for running out of food every night (and we assure you, it’s not for lack of preparation). 

Dive into delectable Italian cuisine at its finest with Lenny’s pork and beef meatballs, arancini with porcini mushroom and a dizzying selection of everyone’s favourite—pizza. And if we haven’t got your full attention yet, we’ve got it now, because they’ve got house-made ice cream with regularly changing flavours. With so much more to satisfy yourself, Lenny’s Pizzeria & Bar is a skeleton key for picky eaters, and we’d hate for you to miss out.

Balboa Italian 

Palm Beach

balboa italian

One of the best Italian restaurants on the Gold Coast, and a firm favourite of ours, is Palm Beach’s Balboa Italian. Like a glistening beacon of beauty on the Gold Coast Highway, this treasured neighbourhood haunt is serving the locals fine Italian fare with a contemporary twist, all in the most magnificent of settings. With towering ceilings, a grand chandelier and the perfect amount of rustic charm, Balboa’s decor is all kinds of Insta-worthy. 

Come prepared to devour plate after plate of antipasti, woodfired pizza, handmade pasta and risotto. We recommend you arrive early, plonk yourself down at the sexy bar and sink an Italian wine to get yourself started.

Goccia Italian Pizzeria 

Mermaid Beach

For top-notch pizza, pasta and share plates that won’t break the bank, it’s obvious why locals have fallen head over heels for Goccia. Cosy up inside close to the wood-fired pizza oven or dine alfresco under the festoon lights, Goccia (pronounced ‘gotcha’) is like a warm hug from family, made all the more authentic by the Italian accents taking your order with a smile. 

In all seriousness though, we’re going to be bold and claim Goccia are serving up some of the absolute best pizzas on the Gold Coast.

Gemelli Italian 

Broadbeach

pasta from gemelli italian

A packed dining room seven nights, plus lunch Thursday to Sunday, is a testament to the young Carney brothers who introduced some of the most authentic Italian fare to the Gold Coast. Gemelli, translating to ‘twin’ in the mother tongue, is the original trattoria in this hospitality empire and is somewhat of an institution among pizza and pasta lovers.

The brothers were making pasta sauce before most of us had learnt to read and write, and it’s their traditional recipes, passed through the generations, which are enjoyed by locals and visitors alike at their Broadbeach restaurant. Come for the woodfired pizzas, melted gnocchi bowls and those drool-worthy Nutella Bomba desserts.

Cucina Vivo

Broadbeach 

cucina vivo

Step past the open plan kitchen and crackling woodfired pizza oven and you’ll be transported to a little slice of the Amalfi Coast right here in Broadbeach. We love Cucina Vivo’s retro ‘60s colour palette of dusty pink and seafoam blue, decorated with oversized pendant lights, plantation-style shutters and a chic white terrace overlooking The Star’s sparkling resort pool. 

Work your way through a menu of antipasti, woodfired pizzas, handmade pastas and Alla Grigila mains (from the charcoal grill). Our tip? You must not leave without trying Cucina Vivo’s legendary Cioccolato Rosso Ferrari.

Gemellini 

Nobby Beach

Baby brother to Broadbeach’s much-loved Gemelli Italian, you may be tempted to dine at Gemellini for the eye candy alone. A refined addition to Nobby’s hipster scene and one of the best Italian restaurants on the Gold Coast, Gemellini is dishing up authentic woodfired pizzas and homemade pastas with recipes inherited from Nonna. 

Whatever you do, don’t leave without trying The Carne pizza with pomodoro base, salsicce (a house-made fennel pork sausage), ham and salami. 

Sofia's Restaurant & Bar

Broadbeach

sofias italian restaurant in broadbeach

Sofia’s Restaurant and Bar is a homage to the dreamy tones of coastal Europe and this Italian gem brings a breath of fresh, salty sea breeze air to the Broadbeach dining scene. The magnificent share-style menu is stripped back, refined and lets the quality produce speak, nay, sing for itself.

Curated by some of the Gold Coast’s most lauded culinary legends, the menu is simplistic and showcases the flavours of fresh, local produce—as well as some delectable European specialties thrown in for good measure. Oh, and the white-washed space with mirrored wall arches filled with Aperol bottles is seriously stunning.

Salt Meats Cheese 

Surfers Paradise 

Salt Meats Cheese in Surfers Paradise is a hot contender among the best Italian restaurants on the Gold Coast. This vibrant, casual bistro serves up classic, tasty Italian cuisine with some special twists thrown in for good measure—spaghetti served from a wheel of cheese, anyone? 

Start your meal off with a loaded platter of imported cheese and cured meats then move onto their range of delicious pastas.