Say buon appetito to Brisbane’s best Italian food. From high-end ristorantes to hidden neighborhood trattorias, here’s where you’ll find the perfect porchetta, pappardelle and wood-fired pizza.
Set within one of Brisbane’s most charming historic shopfronts, 1889 Enoteca is the perfect place for a romantic dinner for two. There’s an air of formality in the crisp white linen, gilt-framed mirrors and the assured service. Classic dishes such as vitello tonnato (thinly sliced rare veal with tuna mayonnaise, olives and capers) and gnocchi with pork and fennel sausage and parmesan cream are swoon-worthy.
The Moreton Rubber Building, 10-12 Logan Road, Wolloongabba; (07) 3392 4315
Clever recreations of classics make for light, tasty pasta dishes such as chilli, parsley and lemon linguine tossed with sweet Fraser Island spanner crab and tagliatelle swirled with Moreton Bay bug meat, cherry tomatoes and spicy crustacean oil. The sleek, contemporary interior of Bucci is open to the footpath – all the better to people-watch in this upmarket part of town.
15 James Street, Fortitude Valley; (07) 3252 7848
Beccofino has it all going on. Waiters speak with Italian accents, the lighting is moody and the food is deeply comforting. Start with seafood: tiger-prawn bruschetta with horseradish mayo or calamari fritti with a squeeze of lemon. Whether you follow your entrée with a beautifully charred pizza from the wood-fired oven or the signature duck and tomato ragu papardelle, you can’t go wrong.
10 Vernon Terrace, Teneriffe; (07) 3666 0207
They’re not trying to reinvent the wheel at La Famiglia and that’s what makes this relative newcomer such a winner. The waiters are friendly and laid-back and the food simple and homely: think classics such as juicy roast porchetta with perfectly crunchy crackling and pancetta, parmesan and sage stuffing served with sweet potato and apple puree and housemade veal jus.
Trafalgar Lane, 3/855 Stanley Street, Woolloongabba; (07) 3391 1045
It’s not just the killer view of the Story Bridge that’s kept people coming back to Il Centro for 25 years. The restaurant has stood the test of time because it’s delightfully old-school in its approach to food, wine and service – and the signature sand-crab lasagne doesn’t hurt, either.
Eagle Street Pier, 1 Eagle Street, Brisbane; (07) 3221 6090
Settle into a luxurious red-leather banquette in this rather grand dining room in the Emporium complex and prepare to be spoiled by attentive service and authentic Naples-inspired food. The degustazione menus are the ultimate eight-course indulgence, with options for vegetarians, pescetarians and carnivores.
1000 Ann Street, Fortitude Valley; (07) 3852 1500
Vine is the refined yet relaxed indoor/outdoor ristorante everyone wants in their suburb and New Farm locals have done a pretty good job of keeping this one to themselves – until now. The menu is all about satisfying, rustic fare with the likes of gnocchi with lamb shoulder ragu, seared spatchcock with roast veg and wilted spinach and a 120-day eye fillet with mash and shallots making an appearance on the menu.
5/158 Moray Street, New Farm; (07) 3358 6658
Italian Street Kitchen
Italian Street Kitchen’s flagship location successfully captures the essence of casual Italian dining, from the bustling dining room to the big, vibrant flavours on the plate. Their pizzas are perfect in their simplicity – try the Puttanesca with just tomato, anchovies, olives and basil – and come out of the wood-fired oven in record time.
Shop B1-B2 Gasworks Plaza, Skyring Terrace, Newstead; (07) 3922 8808
The menu features tried-and-true classic primi and secondi alongside some delicious deviations such as a prosciutto, gorgonzola and caramelised fig pizza with rocket and walnuts. Go early to nab a footpath table at this bustling neighbourhood bistro and finish the night on a sweet note with peanut butter and chocolate gelato from the adjacent gelateria.
3/190 Oxford Street, Bulimba; (07) 3395 6327
Top image: Beccofino