Austin may be the capital of Texas, but it is known for much more than its place as the state’s seat of government. The town hosts world-famous festivals such as South by Southwest and Austin City Limits. Austin also has a growing foodie scene, which includes a broad array of Italian restaurants and bistros. These range from trendy boutique cafes with interesting decor and experimental cuisine to family-owned restaurants that have been neighborhood staples for decades. In addition to offering top-notch cuisine, many have comfortable interiors and even outdoor patio spaces for open-air dining.
© Andiamo Ristorante
Andiamo Ristorante is a North Austin establishment run by Naples, Italy native Daniela Marcone. The restaurant prides itself on the authenticity of its dishes, which capture Italian flavors as they exist in the Mediterranean country itself. The trendy venue has a shabby chic décor and has both lunch and dinner services, with menus including antipasti, salads, first-course dishes such as pasta, and of course, main course and dessert offerings. Andiamo sets itself apart from other nearby venues with its many special events. The restaurant hosts wine dinners, “meatless Mondays,” and champagne tastings for singles, all of which occur on a regular basis.
2521 Rutland Drive, Austin TX 78758, Phone: 512-719-3377
Botticelli’s executes Italian cuisine in a young, modern setting. The restaurant mixes both traditional and modern in a menu that fuses all kinds of interesting flavors and techniques. There are a number of unexpected dishes such as duck in black pepper fig sauce and butternut squash ravioli. Botticelli’s is divided into two sections—in the front is a cozy indoor “trattoria,” while the back of the venue is taken up by a beer garden where live music is performed on the weekends. This establishment serves dinner each night throughout the entire restaurant and beer garden and also has a happy hour service with a selection of small plates.
1321 South Congress, Austin, TX 78704, Phone: 512-916-1315
Carmelo’s is a downtown Austin restaurant run by Carmelo Mauro, who hails from the city of Taormina in Sicily. Carmelo’s restaurant has been a fan favorite in the Austin area for several decades and has received many honors, including Open Table’s Diners’ Choice Award. This venue serves both lunch and dinner daily, with household names like caprese salad, lobster bisque, and lasagna as well as more unusual fare such as red snapper mango and a cut of filet prepared with truffles. Carmelo’s can adapt many of its dishes for vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free diners. The restaurant has a fully stocked bar with beer, liquor, and an award-winning wine collection.
504 East 5th Street , Austin, TX, Phone: 512-477-7497
Located in the heart of downtown Austin, Italic offers home-style Italian cuisine in an accessible, casual venue. Italic uses rich, local ingredients in its menu, which is updated daily to keep up with the seasons and the available produce. The pizzas served at the restaurant are made in a state-of-the-art oven, and the focaccia bread diners enjoy here is also baked on site. Italic offers delicious pastas, meat and seafood second courses, and fine, fresh antipasti. The restaurant has happy hour specials on its cocktail, beer, and exclusively Italian wine menus, and an in-house pastry chef crafts elegant desserts including homemade gelato and sorbet.
123 W. Sixth Street, Austin, TX, Phone: 512-660-5390
© Juliet Ristorante
Conveniently located right on Barton Springs in central Austin, Juliet Ristorante has a neighborhood eatery feel while offering the excellence of a fine dining establishment. The restaurant has both an indoor seating area and an outdoor patio space tucked under the lush greenery of this part of the city. Juliet also has a wide marble bar where guests can enjoy a meal or gather for happy hour, which includes specials on the restaurant’s beer, wine, and artisanal cocktail selections. On the menu for lunch or dinner are pizzas, pastas, full entrees, and dedicated cheese and olive oil plates served with homemade bread.
1500 Barton Springs, Austin, TX 78704, Phone: 512-479-1800
© La Traviata
Lit by sparkling chandeliers that hang all around an elegant, almost regal table space, La Traviata Italian bistro offers guests the total package with upscale Italian dining. Founded in 2000, La Traviata has since delighted its patrons with seasonally updated lunch and dinner menus offering only the finest Italian dishes. These menus include antipasti, pasta, and second courses, with a separate dessert menu for something sweet to enjoy after the meal. La Traviata creates a new ravioli appetizer daily, while its other menu items represent flawlessly executed classics such as spaghetti bolognese and chicken parmesan. A curated wine selection rounds out the experience to create the perfect pairing.
314 Congress Ave., Austin, TX, 78701, Phone: 512-479-8131
© Mandola's Italian
Mandola’s Italian represents the true spirit of a local Italian grocery and eatery. Owners Damian and Trina Mandola themselves hail from the Mediterranean peninsula and do their best to bring the Italian atmosphere to the Texas heartland. This multifunctional space combines a restaurant, grocery store, deli, bakery, and café all into one, delivering quality in all these areas. Mandola’s Italian is family friendly and has a specialized kids’ menu for the little ones. Its wide-ranging menu includes every Italian dish imaginable, including of course, pizzas, pastas, and paninis. Customers can even indulge in Mandola’s pizzas at their events as well, as the market has a pizza oven on wheels that can be rented for parties.
4301 W William Cannon Dr E-1, Austin, TX 78749, Phone: 512-524-2222
© North Italia
North Italia is a reputable chain of Italian restaurants spanning five different states. Its owners commit to creating flavorful, fresh Italian dishes that include handmade pizzas and pastas. Austin’s North Italia is open every day for lunch and dinner and has happy hours on weekdays excluding Fridays. The fun, rustic-inspired space is a welcoming venue perfect for both families with children and gatherings of friends. In addition to pastas and pizzas, North Italia also incorporates small plates, traditional mains, and salads into its menu. The restaurant has an exquisite selection of desserts to be enjoyed over an espresso or digestif.
11506 Century Oaks Terrace, Suite 124, Austin, Texas 78758, Phone: 512-339-4400
Numero28 is a bistro dishing out southern Italian fare in bustling downtown Austin. Eschewing all things snobbish, this restaurant masterfully creates wood-fired pizzas, tasty paninis, hearty sandwiches, and other filling dishes from the Italian repertoire. Numero28 has an extensive pizza menu that dwarfs those of other venues in the city, and it also features a specialized taglieri selection from which customers can create their own meat and cheese plate. Also on the menu are other Sicilian specialties that make use of ingredients specific to the region. In addition to its main dining room, Numero28 has an outdoor patio that looks out onto one of Austin’s most happening streets.
452 W. 2nd Street, Austin, Texas 78701, Phone: 512-494-5510
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10.Olive & June
© Olive & June
Olive & June is a newcomer to the Austin Italian food scene, having opened its doors not long ago in 2012. The focus of this restaurant is on a simple, yet important feature—pasta made fresh in house every single day. The venue grows outward from this concept to deliver fresh, quality Italian food to its customers. Olive & June has four separate dining areas in its Austin location, which is surrounded by a large, stunning oak tree for a romantic, homey feel. The venue serves dinner, including a chef’s special Sunday dinner service, and it has a happy hour. Olive & June has a wide selection of grappas, amaris, and Italian wines.
3411 Glenview Ave., Austin, TX 78703, Phone: 512-467-9898
Patrizi’s is a continuation of a long culinary tradition, as this restaurant was opened in Austin to pay homage to the owners’ grandfather’s restaurant of the same name, which had previously operated in Beaumont, Texas. Patrizi’s provides diners with good, honest Italian food cooked in the tradition of Old World Europe. The chefs at the restaurant pull their homemade pastas as orders are made, offering patrons the freshest meal possible. These pastas are prepared with sauces made from scratch and are accompanied by an array of small plates. Once monthly, Patrizi’s schedules a Wednesday dinner night when the chefs go off-menu to cook up interesting, unexpected dishes for adventurous eaters. Things to Do in Austin
2307 Manor Rd., Austin TX, 78702, Phone: 512-522-4834
12.Quattro Gatti Ristorante e Pizzeria
© Quattro Gatti Ristorante e Pizzeria
Quattro Gatti Ristorante e Pizzeria is a warm, idyllic place to enjoy a classic Italian meal. Located mere seconds from the Texas State Capitol building, the café feels more like a corner bistro in a quaint Sicilian town than an establishment in the American South. Soft lighting, painted tile décor, and rich wooden accents all create Quattro Gatti Ristorante e Pizzeria’s familiar, comfortable atmosphere. The menu includes succulent items such as whole roasted fish, vegetarian dishes, house-made breads, panini, pizzas, and a host of pastas. For a smaller meal, patrons can enjoy something from Quattro Gatti’s bruschetta and focaccia menus. The wine list contains Italian and other Mediterranean and Adriatic vintages.
908 Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78701, Phone: 512-476-3131
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Taverna does its best to embody its namesake—in Italy, a taverna is a neighborhood eatery where customers are more like family or close friends than paying visitors. Austin’s Taverna creates this welcoming atmosphere with rustic touches such as exposed brick interiors and framed pictures that create a mural on its accent wall. The restaurant also has a partially enclosed patio space that extends the charming feel to the outdoors. Taverna specializes in northern Italian cuisine, with its signature dish being risotto. In addition to the expected lunch and dinner services, this bistro also has an award-winning brunch on Saturdays and Sundays with favorite plates such as eggs benedict, a specialty hash, and a steak burger.
258 W. 2nd Street, Austin, Texas 78701, Phone: 512-477-1001
© The Backspace
The Backspace is literally just that, the back area of the Parkside restaurant, which has been transformed into a casual, friendly pizzeria. With only 30 seats, the space is intimate and personal and feels like a hidden spot on the streets of Naples. The Backspace puts meticulous effort into its pizza, using only tomatoes and flour imported from Italy and seasonal ingredients that are at peak flavor. All cooking takes place in a massive brick oven guests can see from the open dining room. In addition to pizzas, the Backspace also serves small plates in the Italian tradition and keeps the authenticity alive with Peroni beer on tap.
507 San Jacinto Blvd. Austin, TX 78701, Phone: 512-474-9899
© Vespaio Ristorante
Vespaio Ristorante was founded in 1998 and has its location in South Congress, a hopping shopping area in Austin. The restaurant dining area is a dark, rich, wood-heavy space with wall shelving full of wine bottles. This atmosphere makes for the perfect place to enjoy a superior meal made from fresh, local ingredients. The chefs at Vespaio make just about everything in house—this includes butchering their own meats and making fresh pasta, breads, cheeses, and stocks for their dishes. The restaurant serves dinner each night, and the menu includes salads, pizzas, a range of pastas, filling entrees, and a separate dessert menu. The wine selection has been carefully curated to pair excellently with the dishes.
1610 South Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704, Phone: 512-441-6100
© 360 Uno
360 Uno’s full name is 360 Uno Pizzeria, Espresso, and Vino, and this place in fact specializes in the three things its title refers to: pizza, coffee, and wine. This sustainability-focused enterprise brings the delicious delicacies of Italy to the streets of Texas, and in addition to serving meals on the premises in their restaurant and café, 360 Uno also sells its specialty wines and coffees to go. For eat-in dining, 360 Uno has several different menus available, including a separate pizza menu with over a dozen varieties. Pastas are also a major highlight here, and the versatile venue even holds a brunch service.
3801 N Capital of Texas Hwy, Ste G100, Austin, TX 78746, Phone: 512-327-5505
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17.aRoma Italian Kitchen
© aRoma Italian Kitchen
aRoma Italian Kitchen is a new face on the up-and-coming foodie scene in the South Austin neighborhood. aRoma is a local entity through and through; not only are the owners residents of the city of Austin, but the entire space is Austin born and bred, with the décor coming from local suppliers and all ingredients sourced from around the region. aRoma has two separate dining areas, with both an indoor room of tables and an outdoor patio with shading for protection from the hot Texas sun. The fresh dinner menu at the restaurant plays up aRoma’s specialty, oven-fired Neapolitan-style pizzas, while also featuring a range of pastas, salads, entrees, and small plates. The venue serves brunch and hosts a happy hour.
3403 S. Lamar, Austin, TX 78704, Phone: 512-900-8670
© ASTI Trattoria
ASTI Trattoria is simply good Italian food. Unlike other area restaurants stylized with a rustic old country feel, ASTI is refreshingly modern, with art deco elements adding to its dining space. Stainless steel and a mix of bright red hues make for an unexpectedly contemporary design in an Italian restaurant. The bistro offers both lunch and dinner, and at each of these meals, one can enjoy a craft Italian dish made from simple, yet quality ingredients combined in new, fresh ways. ASTI offers specialty pizzas, pastas and risottos, and mouthwatering entrees such as stuffed Texas quail. The dishes have a comfort food aura while still incorporating unique flavors.
408 C East 43rd Street, Austin, TX, 78751, Phone: 512-451-1218
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19.CANTINE Italian Cafe & Bar
© CANTINE Italian Cafe & Bar
Cantine Italian Café & Bar is a sleek, trendy venue that with a menu full of Italian goodies, all of which are delivered to diners on impeccably plated dishes. The location itself is a cool mix of earth tones blended in marble, metal, and wooden textures. The attention to detail goes beyond diners’ surroundings, however; at Cantine, every single plate and cocktail is a meticulously designed work of art. The café’s menu combines classics like fried calamari and spaghetti carbonara with more interesting creations such as blistered shishito peppers and sausage and broccoli rabe pizza. Cantine offers dinner, brunch, happy hour, and even take out.
1100 S Lamar Blvd, Ste 2115 Austin, TX 78704, Phone: 512-628-0348
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West Austin’s Cipollina is an Italian neighborhood restaurant that brings family and friends together around its tables. The bare bones dining room provides a no-frills space to enjoy a good, hearty Italian meal in a sleek, yet unpretentious atmosphere. Cipollina is a gem of a neighborhood that welcomes both locals and those from afar. The restaurant has services at lunch and dinnertime, and its menu contains a special section of pizzas made in the location’s wood-fired oven. Other interesting menu items include a wide assortment of cheeses and unique appetizers such as arancini and white bean puree. Cipollina’s specially selected wine list is discounted during happy hour.
1213 West Lynn, Austin, TX, 78703, Phone: 512-477-5211
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21.Gusto Italian Kitchen and Wine Bar
© Gusto Italian Kitchen and Wine Bar
Gusto Italian Kitchen + Wine Bar is a fun tribute to local color and flavor in the Rosedale neighborhood of North Austin. The dining space itself has a bit of an underground feel with industrial elements dominating its landscape. Another interesting interior feature is the Italian-inspired graffiti murals on the walls, all of which were executed by local artist Federico Archuleta. Gusto offers patrons both lunch and dinner, and its menu consists of everything under the sun, from small plates to full entrees to tasty pastas and pizzas. The lineup changes seasonally, and kids have their own special menu from which to choose.
4800 Burnet Road, Austin, TX 78756, Phone: 512-458-1100
22.Mia Italian Tapas & Bar
© Mia Italian Tapas & Bar
Mia Italian Tapas & Bar takes great Italian food and presents it in a small package in the form of tapas, or small plates. The venue’s tapas take center stage on the menu, with options ranging from fresh fish and shellfish to vegetarian nosh to excellent, well-seasoned cuts of meat. While many of these plates draw on traditional Italian flavors, others mix it up in fusion cuisine. In addition to its tapas, Mia also has a few entrees plus extensive grilled pizza and pasta menus. Happy hour sees specials on cocktails, wine, and tapas in this trendy, modern boutique bistro.
11420 Rock Rose Ave Suite 120, Austin, TX 78758, Phone: 512-215-9598
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© Osteria Pronto
Situated squarely downtown in the absolute center of Austin life, Osteria Pronto aims to transport its customers out of Texas and across the ocean to Italy through the creations of executive chef Gilberto Ramirez. This upscale restaurant has décor that reflects a contemporary style while still being warm. Guests can take a peek at the cooking process in the semi-open kitchen or take a glance at the wall-to-wall wine fridges that line the private dining room. Most of the menu consists of familiar dishes like margherita pizza, chicken parmesan, and cheese ravioli, while a few interesting surprises such as the straw and hay pasta platter are sure to pique the interest of braver palates.
110 E. Second St. Austin, TX 78701, Phone: 512-608-4490
24.Reale's Pizza & Cafe
© Reale's Pizza & Cafe
Reale’s Pizza & Café is a family-owned restaurant run by the Reales, who have been in the Italian restaurant business—as a family—since 1981. Reale’s serves its diners the hearty Italian food they look for when they head out to eat. The dinner menu here is very comprehensive, including most dishes one thinks of when dreaming of a night out for Italian. The casual venue has everything from baked and boiled pastas to homemade pizzas, plus a menu packed with filling entrees and subs, calzones, and sandwiches. Reale’s carries domestic and imported beers, a selection of wines from Italy and California, and several specialty drinks unique to the café.
13450 US Hwy 183N Austin, Texas 78750, Phone: 512-335-5115
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© Regal Ravioli
Regal Ravioli is a food truck and outdoor dining patio that dishes out ravioli of all shapes and sizes. The cheesy raviolis from Regal are truly fit for royalty, with flavors going well beyond the usual cheese, mushroom, and lobster varieties. At this al fresco venue, diners can mix and match from an array of fillings and sauces to create their ultimate ravioli experience. Regal has a few additional surprises, including sweet potato gnocchi and their one-of-a-kind jabroni pork sandwich. The Regal patio has covered and uncovered seating and welcomes large groups and four-legged friends. Regal Ravioli is BYOB.
1502 S. 1st St., Austin, TX 78704, Phone: 512-364-9752
25 Best Italian Restaurants in Austin, TX
- Andiamo Ristorante, Photo: Andiamo Ristorante
- Botticelli's, Photo: Botticelli's
- Carmelo's, Photo: Carmelo's
- Italic, Photo: Italic
- Juliet Ristorante, Photo: Juliet Ristorante
- La Traviata, Photo: La Traviata
- Mandola's Italian, Photo: Mandola's Italian
- North Italia, Photo: North Italia
- Numero28, Photo: Numero28
- Olive & June, Photo: Olive & June
- Patrizi's, Photo: Patrizi's
- Quattro Gatti Ristorante e Pizzeria, Photo: Quattro Gatti Ristorante e Pizzeria
- Taverna, Photo: Taverna
- The Backspace, Photo: The Backspace
- Vespaio Ristorante, Photo: Vespaio Ristorante
- 360 Uno, Photo: 360 Uno
- aRoma Italian Kitchen, Photo: aRoma Italian Kitchen
- ASTI Trattoria, Photo: ASTI Trattoria
- CANTINE Italian Cafe & Bar, Photo: CANTINE Italian Cafe & Bar
- Cipollina, Photo: Cipollina
- Gusto Italian Kitchen and Wine Bar, Photo: Gusto Italian Kitchen and Wine Bar
- Mia Italian Tapas & Bar, Photo: Mia Italian Tapas & Bar
- Osteria Pronto, Photo: Osteria Pronto
- Reale's Pizza & Cafe, Photo: Reale's Pizza & Cafe
- Regal Ravioli, Photo: Regal Ravioli
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of nata_vkusidey - Fotolia.com