Austin, Texas, is a foodie’s paradise. Boasting every type of restaurant, canteen, and cuisine you can imagine, you could eat out every night of the week for a year without ever running out of new places to try. When it comes to Italian food, the choice is just as heavenly. To sample the best pizza, pasta, and grappa in town, don’t miss trying at least a few from our selection of Austin’s top ten Italian restaurants.
Where: 307 Manor Rd, Austin, 78722, TX
Kicking off our countdown is Patrizi's, a low-key, relaxed diner where the food does all the taking. The homemade pastas (made fresh to order using nothing but local eggs, semolina flour, salt, and nutmeg) taste straight out of Italy, while the selection of “small plates” (which include a to-die-for roasted beets dish made from local beets, farm cheese, lemon zest, and pickled onions) are superb. If you want to try something a little different, visit on a Wednesday night, when the chef’s go off-piste to stunning effect.
9. Olive & June
Where: 3411 Glenview Ave, Austin, TX 78703
Since it first opened its doors in 2012, Olive and June has become something of a local institution. The menu may be simple, but it’s positively dripping in quality: pasta is made from scratch each day, while the providence of the ingredients is hard to fault. Equally faultless is the drinks menu, which includes a great selection of grappa’s, Amaris, and Italian wines.
Where: 52 W 2nd St, Austin, TX 78701
Numero28 is a bustling, vibrant little bistro doing a fine trade in southern Italian cuisine in the heart of downtown Austin. The simple, unpretentious menu offers a fabulous array of gut-busting sandwiches, warm panni’s, and authentic, wood-fired pizzas, all served with a smile and best enjoyed on the very Italianesque outdoor patio.
7. North Italia
Where: 500 W 2nd St, #120, Austin, TX 78701
North Italia boast of doing “Italian from scratch”, and a quick glance at the menu tells you all you need to know about how well it’s delivering on its promise. Prosciutto Bruschetta made from Crescenzago cheese, grilled asparagus, truffle, and Grana Padano, Italian Meatballs served with creamy polenta, rustic marinara, Grana Padano, Crispy Calamari with a grilled lemon vinaigrette, Tuscan Kale Salad made from crispy pancetta, charred grape, apple, pistachio, breadcrumb, and parmesan vinaigrette, Bolognese with traditional meat sauce, tagliatelle noodles & Grana Padano cheese…. If you can find a more authentically Italian collection of dishes, you’re probably in Naples.
6. Mandola's Italian
Where: 4700 Guadalupe St W, #12, Austin, TX
Mandola's Italian is one of Austin’s best-loved food venues, delivering the perfect combination of local Italian grocery and chic bistro. With a family-friendly vibe (the specialized kids’ menu is almost as long as the adult version), superbly friendly service, and an informal, casual ambiance, it’s the perfect spot for a lazy Sunday lunch. After you’ve finished your meal, don’t miss perusing the aisles for a few Italian delicacies to take home with you (the freshly baked comes especially recommended).
5. La Traviata
Where: 314 Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78701
With its radiant chandeliers, polished wood dining space, and elegant décor, La Traviata is clearly out to impress… something it does beautifully thanks to its first-class service, friendly staff, and an exquisite menu of fresh, seasonal classics. Each flawlessly executed dish is designed to transport you straight to Italy, something they succeed in perfectly thanks to the freshness of the ingredients, the faultless combination of flavors, and the inspiring authenticity. Round of your meal with a signature Tiramisu and espresso for a truly memorable experience.
4. Juliet Ristorante
Where: 1500 Barton Springs Rd, Austin, TX 78704
With an unbeatably central location on Barton Springs in central Austin, Juliet Ristorante offers a first-class dining experience in an invitingly informal dining space. Offering both an indoor seating area and an outdoor patio space, it’s the ideal spot to relax with friends over a cool glass of grappa and some gorgeously tempting, perfectly cooked Italian classics. Given the quality of the menu, it's hard to pick just a few standout dishes, but the Stuffed Calabrese Arancini (fried risotto balls flavored with calabrese peppers, stuffed with gorgonzola cheese and romesco sauce) and Veal Parmigiana (pan-fried veal cutlet in melted mozzarella, parmesan, fresh tomato sauce and basil with spaghetti marinara) are all-round winners.
Where: 123 W 6th St, Austin, 78701, TX
Managing to be both chic and casual at the same time, Italic is a little slice of Italian heaven. The menu varies daily, depending on both what ingredients are freshest and what the chef feels most in the mood for. While unpredictable in the specifics, the two things you can always guarantee are the quality and authenticity of the dishes: the pasta, meat, and seafood are all out-of-this-world good, while the freshly baked focaccia bread is something else entirely.
Where: 1321 Congress Ave S, Austin, TX 78704
Young, vibrant, and achingly hip, Botticelli's is a firm favorite among Austin’s younger crowd. Blending the traditional flavors of Italy with modern techniques, the menu is a symphony of creativity and style, featuring standout dishes like duck in black pepper fig sauce and butternut squash ravioli. In the warmer months, don’t miss the cute little beer garden outback.
1. Andiamo Ristorante
Where: 2521 Rutland Dr, Ste 325, Austin, TX 78758
Italian native Daniela Marcone sits at the helm of Andiamo Ristorante, and his heritage is clear to see in every aspect of this delightful local favorite. From the shabby chic interior and the cheerful servers to the amazingly authentic menu, Italy is writ loud and proud across every detail. Best of all, Marcone is clearly a fan of trying something a little different on occasion, hosting regular wine dinners, “Meatless Mondays,” and champagne tastings for the singles crowd.
Written by Dana Hanson
Read more posts by Dana Hanson