Here at The Urban List, we LOVE all the amazing food options we have on the Coast…Award-winning locally-sourced Japanese, artisan brioche burgers filled with pulled pork and homemade pickles, steamed bao with house-fermented kimchi. But sometimes we’re just up for something traditional—comforting, satisfying pasta, steaming thin crust pizza, and old-school parmigiana. And of course a carafe of red wine.
So where can you find the best Italian on the Sunshine Coast? Look no further!
The perfect blend of hipster and Italian, Via Italia doesn’t let us down, with chocolate “dirt” on their tiramisu, smashed avo on their brekky menu, and the most delicious spaghetti and meatballs around. And that’s why we love them. I mean, these are guys who seriously care about their food. The huge menu will leave you completely paralysed for choice because there’s Just. Too. Much. You can’t possibly do it justice and try everything. We recommend the Antipasti menu—gorgeous little nibbly things you can share with mates, so at least you get to satisfy some of your curiosity. You’ve GOT to try the Truffle and Reggiano fries—totally luxe.
I don’t think there are many people on the Coast who haven’t heard about Locale’s reputation for incredible food—the traditional Puglian dishes that hint at host Rio’s hometown (check out the Polipo—trust us), the lunchtime pizza specials, and the burrata (OMG the burrata…). If you can’t decide what to order (we’ve been there), then here’s what we’d do. After you’ve stuffed yourself on delish pasta and you’re looking for that little extra something once dessert rolls around, then order a glass of sticky, acidic, raisiny Vin Santo and Locale’s homemade biscotti to finish your night on a gently boozy note. And then steal your friend’s gelato.
Tucked away in the hustle and bustle of Noosa Drive, Bombetta is home to one of the Sunshine Coast’s best pizzas – The Italian Stallion. But amazing pizza isn’t all they have to offer, with a menu full of delicious pasta, drool-worthy steaks and a great array of starters (oven baked camembert, anyone?). Dessert lovers will be spoiled for choice too, with Nutella pizzas, warm chocolate fondant, and cinnamon tiramisu in the mix. Need we say more?
All’ Antica boasts an impressive menu of regional dishes from all over Italy, with the chef drawing cooking influence from the beautiful alpine regions of Trentino Alto Adige. It’s no wonder, then, that the food is so delicious. With signature bruschetta’s, three cheese pizzas (the more cheese the merrier), garlic and chive sourdough, and an array of classic hearty pizzas and pasta, All’ Antica is sure to be a crowd pleaser. Be sure to try the dessert tasting plate for a sample of the chef’s finest creations. Thank us later.
You know your Italian restaurant is a bit posh when they have “insalate” on the menu instead of “salad”. Tucked away at the end of Maroochydore, you might need to whip out your Google Maps to track this one down, but when you get to Cala Luna, you’ll be blown away by the range of traditional dishes. Gluten-free pasta is available for our intolerant friends.
It’s hard to go past the pizza at Italian Marina—their woodfire pizza oven is the size of a small house and the ultra-high temperatures give you a bubbly, slightly charred crispy base that hardly even needs toppings (although we wouldn’t say no to some prosciutto and fior di latte. Oh go on then, and a bit of parmesan…) But it’s worth branching out and trying the specials, because they always have something seasonal and a bit different. If you’ve got room for sides, the baked spinach with béchamel is way more exciting than it sounds (that’s how we like our greens…smothered in cheese).
Bella Venezia dishes up your usual Italian restaurant suspects with a lavish twist. Their lasagne is a light, creamy tower of sand crab and bisque, the risotto is loaded with duck, truffles and Parmesan, and even their fries are topped with a heavenly herb mix. And if you’re a Mooloolaba local who just can’t drag yourself away from Netflix and a bottle of red, they even do a seriously generous takeaway menu with home delivery! Eek!
If you’re on Hastings Street, and you’re up for some effortless cool, head upstairs from Café Le Monde to El Capitano. Their 72-hour sourdough fermented pizza bases have flavour and texture that you won’t get anywhere else, and their menu has a list of starters that are perfect for sharing. Their simple, classic Mediterranean flavours are paired with quality produce, perfect for matching with a cheeky Prosecco. Their veggo and vegan menu is pretty respectable too, so our herbivorous buddies aren’t left out.
It’s not a proper Italian restaurant if it’s not run by a lovely old Italian couple who greet you like you are family, whether it’s your first visit or you go there every week. Servings are massive, pizzas are great, and there’s more pasta choices than you could try in a lifetime. So if you’re planning on carb-loading, Cappriccio’s is the place for you. Mamma mia!
If you want to show off how beautiful your hometown is, you can’t go past Augello’s. Request a table with an ocean view, order a couple of lemonade bellinis and an antipasto plate, follow up with a pizza (or a couple more bellinis) and while away an epic afternoon.
Image credit: Jenna Fahey-White