Where to Find the Best Italian Restaurants In Brisbane
All your Italian cravings are sorted.
The best restaurants come steeped in tradition. Luckily Brisbane is in full supply of rustic pizzerias channelling Napoli-style dough and candle-lit trattorias, serving steaming bowls of ragu. Whether you want hearty and full-flavoured dishes or modern takes on Roman dining, there’s an Italian restaurant for every occasion.
Here’s where to find Brisbane’s best Italian feasts.
If you need to book a long lunch or simply want to indulge in a rich, comforting bowl of pasta, pull up a seat at Gemelli. This large Italian restaurant sits on the corner of James Street—one of Brisbane’s most popular shopping strips—and is the perfect pit stop to fuel up after a long morning of shopping. The menu boasts home-style family recipes and generous servings, including pasta served in bread bowls. We recommend the gnocchi al forno. The pillowy soft gnocchi is bathed in Napoli sauce, topped with buffalo mozzarella and cooked in a wood-fired oven. Don’t forget to pair it with a cocktail or glass of wine.
Next door to Gemelli is Bar Tano, the sister restaurant sharing the same la dolce vita approach to Italian food and drink. Stop in for a refreshing Aperol spritz, soak up a sunset, or stay after dark and let loose at a late-night disco. Bar Tano is reminiscent of taking an evening passeggiata through the cobbled pathways of Sicily, where bars and restaurants overflow with personality and exuberance. The food, which includes antipasti and salumi, is by Gemelli, so you know it’s going to be good. As for the bar, it’s charming and intoxicating. An afternoon at Bar Tano will transport you to Italy.
Otto’s signature bright outdoor furniture is hard to miss when you’re taking a stroll on the River Quay Green South Bank. The recently renovated restaurant commands riverfront views making it a destination, not just a restaurant. Most weekends, you will find it filled with locals and visitors, sharing pizzas and toasting cocktails. The menu is packed with homemade pasta and larger mains for sharing. However, the heavily awarded restaurant is best known for its Champagne lobster and bottarga spaghettini—a must-try.
1889 Enoteca is the kind of establishment where the servers are Italian, and the walls are exposed brick. Step in and be transported to Rome, with authentic Roman dishes laid out on white Bretagne dinner plates and hosts an extensive and lauded wine list. The pasta is all housemade and can be ordered as an entree or main. We suggest ordering the slow-cooked pork and beef ragu wrapped around pappardelle.
Are you looking for somewhere romantic for dinner? Bianca is a beautiful Italian restaurant with waiters flittering around a buzzy dining room. Despite its modern and slick decor, there’s nothing pretentious about the dining experience here. Curly graphics, monogrammed serving ware, and pops of colour keep it light and fun. As for the food, it’s a straightforward menu of snacks, entrees, house-made pasta dishes and a range of main courses. If you need something lighter, you can order from the antipasti section and dig into little creamy bags of burrata, mortadella, sardines, and marinated mushrooms.
This unassuming warehouse hides an exceptional 60-seat Italian restaurant serving up an innovative menu drawing on the family’s Italian-Australian roots. Think Moreton Bay Bug risotto, lamb ragu, local grilled fish with fennel, and yellowtail kingfish Crudo. The wine list draws from Australian winemakers and some tipples from Europe’s biggest regions.