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Photograph: Courtesy North Italia

The best Italian restaurants in Austin, Texas

For pizza, pasta, lasagna and all the tradition you can ask for, head to the best Italian restaurants in Austin

James Wong
Written by
James Wong
Contributor
Veronica Meewes
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For the best Italian plates in Texas, look no further than Austin. The city’s culinary scene is fast evolving, and nowadays, it is cooking up Italian and Mediterranian fare that’ll take you back to those piping summers on Mulberry Street or Boston’s north end—melty cheese over your fingertips. Heck, some might even say Bologna (albeit after one too many Aperol Spritz!). The point is that the pizza, spaghetti, meatballs, lasagna, risotto, seafood creations, and all that jazz cooked up in Bat City are far from shabby and totally worthy of big-league status. Throw in some Italian wine and gelato, and you know it’s gonna be a feast. From traditional trattorias serving delectable pies to modern eateries offering all the classic and creative carbs your palate desires, get ready to cheer Mamma Mia… here’s where to eat delicious Italian food in Austin.

Recommended: The best restaurants in Austin

 

Best Italian restaurants in Austin

  • Restaurants
  • Italian
  • Rmma
  • price 3 of 4

When it comes to Italian food, chef-owner Fiore Tedesco learned from the best: the Italian immigrant grandparents he grew up cooking and eating alongside in upstate New York. At his Mueller district restaurant, he and his team not only bake several types of bread and churn out homemade pasta in a variety of shapes, but they also make their own cheese, salumi, vermouth, amaro, and various preserves and fermentations. Don’t think about leaving without ordering a plate of their fresh-baked Italian cookies.

  • Restaurants
  • Italian
  • North Burnet
  • price 2 of 4

When Naples native Daniela Marcone wandered into Andiamo for lunch one day, little did she know she would go on to become the hostess and manager. She eventually purchased the restaurant and turned it into the authentic Italian gem it was destined to become. An ever-changing menu of refined, farm-driven dishes includes exquisite house-made pasta and fresh seafood selections like salmon carpaccio, zuppa di pesce, whole baked branzino, and seasonal lobster offerings.

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Pasta | Bar isn’t just pasta; it’s an experience. Behind a front-facing speakeasy, Jazz Box, lies a 10-seater dining room helmed by Michelin-starred chefs Phillip Frankland Lee and Margarita Kallas-Lee (of the cclaimed Sushi Bar ATX). After a welcome cocktail, you’ll witness chefs prepare an exquisite 11-course tasting menu before your eyes. Each course is delivered with theatrics and a story, from the chef’s Southern influences on the chicken and crawfish to the pepper jam poured over black grouper with a glass teapot. 

  • Restaurants
  • Italian
  • Bryker Woods
  • price 3 of 4

Chef/owner Shawn Cirkiel’s Italian gem features antipasti, pasta, and entrees dictated by the seasons and served in a beautiful setting. Other highlights include family-style dinners each Sunday and weekday happy hour deals, plus plenty of patio seating spread across several levels under the shade of a giant oak tree.

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Chef Blake Ransom’s Revue is one of downtown’s coolest concepts: it’s part Italian, part Asian. Revue’s Italian offerings are top-notch. The Cacio e Pepe is the creamiest concoction, and the pea and asparagus risotto bursts with flavor at every spoonful. End the Italian feast with their Ube Brulee matcha dessert, and you’ll have a newfound love for combining Italian and Asian cuisine.

  • Restaurants
  • Italian
  • Blackland
  • price 2 of 4

Some of the city’s most unexpectedly authentic Italian cuisine comes from a little trailer in the backyard of Manor Road’s Vortex Theatre and the attached Butterfly Bar. Patrizi’s has developed a following for its toothsome fresh pasta, house ricotta, giant meatballs, and gluten-free offerings. Once a month, the regular menu is replaced with a special three-to-five-course prix fixe menu for Dinner Night.

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  • Restaurants
  • Barton Springs
  • price 2 of 4

This Barton Springs Road eatery specializes in elegant Italian dishes for lunch and dinner, plus a creative Italian-inspired brunch on the weekend. Choose to sit on the expansive patio or opt for a table indoors and be sure to catch the happy hour, cocktails, small plates, salumi and cheeses are greatly discounted. Fun fact: the space was formerly occupied by another Italian restaurant… named Romeo's.

  • Restaurants
  • Italian
  • Hancock
  • price 2 of 4

Owners Lisa and Emmett Fox opened this Italian trattoria almost two decades ago. It has been a favorite of Hyde Park locals ever since. In addition to the fresh pasta and wood-fired pizza (including gluten-free options), expect seasonal specials with plenty of seafood menu items, all served in an airy, modern dining room.

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North Italia’s menu encompasses everything from beef carpaccio to chicken parmesan, but their fresh handmade pasta really stands out. The squid ink Mafaldine with white shrimp and calamari is out of this world—especially the big tentacle-style black noodles, while the signature bolognese’s slim tagliatelle noodles also slurp wonderfully with their traditional rich meat sauce. Prefer your pasta creamy? Try the silky strozzapreti, which comes with chicken, roasted mushroom, spinach, pine nuts, and parmesan cream. 

  • Restaurants
  • South River City
  • price 4 of 4

This Austin institution has called South Congress home for decades, serving refined Italian entrees—like vitello saltimbocca and pollo alla valdostana—in an upscale atmosphere. Pastries, coffee, charcuterie, and cheeses are available for takeout in the adjoined Enoteca Vespaio, which also serves more casual fare (paninis, salads, and pizzas) for lunch.

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  • Restaurants
  • Pizza
  • Congress Ave District
  • price 2 of 4

Growing up in a restaurant family and spending summers with relatives in Italy left Gianfranco Mastrangelo well-prepared to open his own Italian restaurant in Austin. In addition to fresh pasta and gnocchi, wood-fired focaccia and Neapolitan-style pies are the highlights of this trattoria, located just a stone's throw from the Capitol.

The Austin-born pizza legend has amassed such a dedicated following that they now have five locations around town (plus one in Houston, in case y’all ever find yourselves west and in need of some quality dough). It is all made from scratch, and the crust is delectable. Popular options include the Flyin' Hawaiian made with BBQ sauce, chicken, ham, red onions, pineapple, jalapenos, mozzarella, parmesan, and romano, and the Southsider with all the meats, bell peppers, and mushrooms. Remember to save room for the garlic bread bites.

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  • Restaurants
  • Italian
  • Northwest Austin
  • price 2 of 4

This family restaurant, tucked discreetly into a strip mall on 183, has attracted a loyal following not only for its pizza and giant calzones but for home-style comforts like baked ziti, eggplant parmigiana, Italian-style pork chops, and chicken Marsala. After devouring your meal, linger like a true Italian: in the bar area, with dessert and espresso.

  • Restaurants
  • Italian
  • Downtown
  • price 2 of 4

This Sicilian-owned trattoria (with locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Miami, and London) specializes in the cuisine of Southern Italy, with dishes like arancini, caponata, and Ziti alla Norma. Enjoy local regional (and sustainable) draft wine picks and rotating selections from a gelato bar—best enjoyed al fresco, on the sidewalk patio.

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  • Restaurants
  • Italian
  • West Austin
  • price 3 of 4

This West Austin ristorante is set in a spacious stone structure based on an Italian farmhouse, yet discreetly tucked away in a valley off 2222. Since 2000, chef Harvey Harris has been serving the Tuscan cuisine he perfected while studying and cooking in the region. Specialties like wild boar ragu and tagliatelle alla Bolognese are served alongside an award-winning wine list.

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