Parla italiano? With our stomachs, we do. Say “buon appetito!” to some of Adelaide’s most-loved Italian eateries.
Oggi’s fit-out is slick (a 20-metre concrete bar is the understated centrepiece), the service canny and the menu a savvy blend of interesting (tripe with tomato, chilli and pecorino) and comforting (homemade campanelle with pork sausage, chilli, fennel and spinach). Finish with the Tiramisu Affogato – a standout.
76 Pirie Street, Adelaide; (08) 8359 2525
If there’s one word that defines dining at Amalfi, it’s generosity. Since 1981, the CBD pizzeria has been dishing up authentic Italian fare that’s big on flavour and portion size. The menu is an array of pizza, pasta and secondi, plus there’s a blackboard of specials – even though some dishes, such as the Scaloppine Amalfi, never change. And frankly, never should.
29 Frome Street, Adelaide; (08) 8223 1948
Another long-timer, La Tratt as the locals call it, has been serving comforting classics since 1975 – pizza, pasta, seafood, salads, scaloppine and more. This stalwart isn’t fancy but it is good old-school neighbourhood-style Italian that just happens to be in the heart of the city.
346 King William Street Adelaide; (08) 8212 3327
Andre’s Cucina & Polenta Bar
A smart, contemporary eatery, Andre’s is one of those places that locals love to revisit. From reliable crowd-pleasers such as the steak tagliata to seasonal recruits such as the Carpaccio Kingfish with currants, capers, anchovies and pistachios, as well as regularly changing polenta and gnocchi dishes, flavours are simple, authentic and approachable—just as good Italian food should be.
94 Frome Street, Adelaide; (08) 8224 0004
Borsa Pasta Cucina
There’s an art to great pasta and the chefs at Borsa have mastered it. Handmade variations are crafted daily – pappardelle, tagliatelle, tortellini and more—we’d pick the Spaghetti Chitarra alla Carbonara, which is tossed tableside into a rich, unctuous tangle.
Shop 1, Plaza Level, 25 Grenfell Street, Adelaide; (08) 8211 6572
Ruby Red Flamingo
The building might be grand – it’s a former Victorian manse – but Ruby Red Flamingo is entirely without pretence: the service is warm, the vibe social, there’s a no-bookings policy and blackboard menus are dotted around the room. And the fare? Rustic and flavourful.
142 Tynte Street, North Adelaide; (08) 8267 5769
Sophisticated and upscale, Chianti has been adored by Adelaideans for 32 years. The menu, dominated by high-quality, locally sourced produce, changes seasonally but the signature Coniglio al Forno (slow-cooked rabbit with pancetta, port and sage) remains.
160 Hutt Street, Adelaide; (08) 8232 7955
White tablecloths, informed service and chic yet understated décor make Insieme an elegant lunchtime choice but the reason it really stands out with the business crowd is the tight menu of modern classics, done consistently well.
63 Flinders Street, Adelaide; 08 8223 2777
Lucia’s Pizza & Spaghetti Bar
What’s not to love about Lucia’s? It’s always buzzing, the kitchen turns out casual, earthy favourites and it boasts some serious heritage: Lucia’s been in the Central Markets for 60 years. A classic Spaghetti Bolognese is the pick of the menu and don’t leave without perusing Lucia’s Fine Foods next door for take-home goodies.
Shop 1-2 Central Western Mall, Adelaide Central Market, 44 - 60 Gouger Street, Adelaide; (08) 8231 2303
Top image: Osteria Oggi
SEE ALSO: The Adelaide Pizza-phile’s Top 10