Cold wintery days and nights call for the warmth and comfort of hearty food. Where else would you find this, but in Italian food? Visit these restaurants to celebrate one of our city’s most influential food cultures.
First off the block is Tipo 00, a sophisticated laneway locale with an open kitchen and marble bar. Specializing in fresh house-made pasta and luscious Italian wines, Tipo 00 is your destination for refined Italian cuisine in an intimate setting.
Based on a Northern Italian trattoria, Emilia Trattoria is a classic Italian eatery: understated, with great service and beautiful food. Emilia is both charming to look at and comfortable to be in, with terrazzo flooring, hand-made Tasmanian oak tables and marble finishes.
Recently opened on Little Collins Street, Massi is the new go-to for lunch. The menu is classic Italian with antipasto and rich pastas. Serving from a luxurious marble bar, it’s also an ideal place for an after work drinks with aperitivo hour from 4.30pm weekdays.
DOC Pizza & Mozzarella Bar
Known as Little Italy, Carlton is well known for its Italian food offerings. With so much to choose from, we can’t go past DOC Pizza & Mozzarella Bar. Authentically Italian, thin crust Rome-style pizza’s present traditional simplicity, refreshed by Melbourne’s contemporary flair.
A little slice of Italy in Melbourne where the staff speak fluent Italian, +39 Pizzeria is an authentic Italian eatery in the heart of the city. A vibrant, bustling place well-known for dishing up mouth-watering thin-crust pizza accompanied by fine wine.
You can have one of two dining experiences at Il Solito. Head into the rustic basement space with wine-stacked shelves for delicious and hearty Italian classics, or visit the street level café for a casual, quick bite.
Rosa’s Canteen is a Sicilian-influenced trattoria serving traditional Italian dishes in a warm, lively atmosphere. Inspired by the slow food movement (with a philosophy of ‘paddock to plate’), the locally sourced, seasonal menu is unpretentious and comforting.
Recently reopened after extensive renovations, Tutto Bene (meaning “everything’s good” in Italiano), provides great views over the Yarra River, with indoor and outdoor eating areas. Savour hearty entrees and their legendary risotto dishes, but make sure you leave room for dessert.
An approachable local favourite near Fawkner Park, Cafe Rosco has plenty of Italian favourites like arancini, bruschetta and gnocchi alla panna, but there’s also some more unusual, not-so-Italian dishes like boerewors (South African sausage) pizza, topped with South African chutney and jalapenos.
Pellegrini’s Espresso Bar
It would be remiss of us not to include Melbourne institution Pellegrini’s in this list. This low-key Espresso bar serves home-style Italian dishes. Virtually unchanged in 60 years, take a seat at the bar and eat pasta like Nonna would make.