The Best Italian Restaurants in Toronto | TasteToronto

Guides / Spots

The Best Italian Restaurants in Toronto

The Best Italian Restaurants in Toronto

The Best Italian Restaurants in Toronto

Imagine a hot pizza served right out of the oven, with bubbling cheese topped with fresh basil and chili oil, or actually thick strings of bucatini covered in a creamy Parmesan and freshly cracked pepper or maybe a hunk of burrata served on a bed of herbs and olive oil and crunchy garlic bread. The Italians know food, and Toronto is home to some of the best Italian restaurants.

As difficult as it is for you to choose what to order at your favourite Italian restaurant, you can only imagine how difficult this list was for us to put together. Toronto has some fantastic Italian food, both authentic and with foreign twists that come from living in such a diverse and growing city. The following list is not finite but is a hand-selected guide of Italian eateries that range from underrated gems to nationally-renowned establishments. You could approach this as the TasteToronto Italian restaurant bucket list or something to refer to when trying to impress an impending date. Whichever you choose for dinner, you'll be walking away with a full belly, a great wine pairing, and (hopefully) a doggy bag with some leftover risotto for your working lunch tomorrow.

1 Austin Terrace

Don Alfonso 1890

Don Alfonso 1890

Located inside the stunning Casa Loma, Don Alfonso is the North American baby of Michelin Star Chefs Alfonso and Ernesto Iaccarino, and according to Best Italian Restaurant in the World 2022, the #1 Italian restaurant outside of Italy for the second year in a row. They also won first place for their multi-course prix fixe tasting menu, so I imagine it's worth a try!

120 Avenue Rd

Sotto Sotto

Sotto Sotto

Sotto Sotto, a Yorkville staple, now has an upscale Trattoria in Oakville and at one point even had their own signature candles (will it smell like their Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe (pictured), we certainly hope so).

1281 Bloor St W

Sugo

Sugo

Red and white checkered floors and tablecloths house the Italian-American style comfort food that Sugo does like no other; it's almost like being transported to the mythical Italian Nonna's house we all wish we had.

536 Queen St W

Osteria Du

Osteria Du

Plant-based Italian food?! We've been waiting for Osteria Du to open and we have not been disappointed. On weekdays you can even get a 4-course menu for $50 ($60 on weekends) and their carciofo pizza (artichoke hearts in a spread of roasted red pepper, garlic and pine nuts) is an unmissable flavour profile.

57 Adelaide St E

Terroni - Adelaide

Terroni - Adelaide

If you live in Toronto, you can't escape Terroni, and honestly, why would you? With locations on Adelaide, Queen, Yonge, (Los Angeles) and multiple cousin locations like the Sud Forno line, there's a reason why the Italian-food empire is taking over the city (and it might just be their pizza).

101 Portland St

Gusto 101

Gusto 101

With multiple locations under the Gusto family, Gusto 101 and Gusto 501, this hospitality group specializes in Southern Italian food with wine on tap. Sitting in a repurposed garage, the industrial accents and amazing food make Gusto 101 one of the most popular Italian eateries in Toronto to go to over and over again.

892 Queen St E

Frankie's Italian

Frankie's Italian

Prefacing this by saying nobody does burrata like Frankie's and they do it DIFFERENT every WEEK! Their little chalkboard has a new approach to their burrata every seven days (as well as weekly specials for everything else), and I've never had one I wouldn't come back for again. Also, the rest of their food and cocktails are perfect, their interiors and back patio are to die for, but their burrata will send you to heaven.

972 College St

Giulietta

Giulietta

Osteria Giulia's glamorous older sister is a collaboration between Chef Rob Rossi and David Minicucci. There is nothing you can order that will do you wrong at Giulietta, and its sophisticated interiors make it a great place to try something new like their braised veal cheek ragu (pictured).

769 St Clair Ave W

Ferro Bar and Cafe

Ferro Bar and Cafe

Ferro specializes in Southern Italian fare, and with the exposed brick walls and cozy, rustic interiors, it almost feels like you could be sitting at a little café in Italy. The restaurant is built around an open kitchen where you can watch them make your wood-fired pizzas. If you're not going to get a pizza, the Slow Braised Wild Boar pasta (pictured) is amazing.

849 Dundas St W

La Palma

La Palma

Somehow both relaxed and refined, La Palma is a soft oasis in the city with gorgeous interiors, food and cocktails. If you leave La Palma without trying their 100 Layer Lasagna (pictured), you'll have to go back again ASAP.

585 College St

Il Covo

Il Covo

With velvet seating, roman candles and gilded mirrors, Il Covo is both extremely beautiful and extremely delicious. It's hard to choose favourite dishes from Il Covo because they're all amazing, but their Risotto ai Broccoli redefined risotto for me (get the Focaccia Porobellini too).

593 College St

Zitto Zitto Taverna

Zitto Zitto Taverna

Newish to the Little Italy restaurant scene, Zitto Zitto likes to keep lowkey, even though their seafood-focused menu makes a big impression! Their Sardine Alla Griglia (grilled sardines served with tomato crostini and aromatic olive oil) is amazing and if you want more bread, their warm rosemary baguette is a need-to as well.

75 Yorkville Ave

Trattoria Nervosa

Trattoria Nervosa

Dining at Trattoria Nervosa is an experience; it's been sitting in its pretty corner heritage house since 1996 and it offers the comfortable familiarity of a Sicilian trattoria with a fine-dining experience reflective of its Yorkville location. Start with their house-made bread and in-house marinated olives, and then get their Risotto Nervosa which is topped with Barolo braised beef short rib, cooked with local field and porcini mushrooms, and truffle.

134 Avenue Rd

Osteria Giulia

Osteria Giulia

With sleek interiors to drool over, it's no question that the food is also drool-worthy. Osteria Giulia is the little sister of Chef Rob Rossi's famous Italian eatery, Giulietta, but she does not pale in comparison! Do not leave without trying their Focaccia di Recco, made in the traditional 12th-century style.

1220 Queen St E

Gio Rana's Really Really Nice Restaurant

Gio Rana's Really Really Nice Restaurant

It's hard to miss the giant nose outside of this Queen Street East building, and the nose is a definite indication of the delicious smells at Gio Rana's. Open since 1989, Gio Rana's has passed the test of time and remains one of Toronto's most beloved Italian eateries. It's a given if you go to Gio Rana's, go for their Sunday dinner feast.

1111 Queen St E

Ascari Enoteca

Ascari Enoteca

With a location on both the west end and the east end of Toronto, Ascari sandwiches Toronto with excellent Italian food and half-price wine on Tuesdays. With interiors reflective of a rustic wine bar, their food is simple, wholesome and of excellent quality. Pictured above is their "Osso Bucco" braised bone-in veal shank with a soft polenta abruzzese, braised mushrooms, spiced jus and gremolata.

2885 Dundas St W

Nodo Junction

Nodo Junction

With three locations (and another one coming to Liberty Village soon), Nodo is a thriving chain of eateries with amazing food and a great atmosphere that keep people coming back. Their burrata (sitting over golden beet carpaccio and topped with crushed pistachio and basil oil) and their "Cavolfiore Gratinato," cheesy, breadcrumb-crusted cauliflower pasta, is to die for.

328 Wellington St W

Pizzeria Moretti

Pizzeria Moretti

Located at the Soho Met Hotel, Pizzeria Moretti combines traditional Italian flavours in an upscale (but informal) setting. Served on their signature Moretti plates, the Caprese di Burrata (burrata, heirloom tomatoes, olives, and figs) and Mac & Cheese (with black truffle paste) are items not to miss.

1214 Dundas St W

Gia

Gia

Gia, a plant-forward Dundas St gem, is beautiful and intimate and the perfect place for a date night; exposed white brick wall, low hanging lights, big plants and dusty pink velvet seats define its interiors. Their plant based Pappardelle Bolognese, Charred Leek Risotto and "La Famiglia" mezcal cocktail define its interiors.

The Best Italian Restaurants in Toronto

Guides / Spots

4 months ago

The Best Italian Restaurants in Toronto

Rosa Kumar

Rosa Kumar

Instagram

Imagine a hot pizza served right out of the oven, with bubbling cheese topped with fresh basil and chili oil, or actually thick strings of bucatini covered in a creamy Parmesan and freshly cracked pepper or maybe a hunk of burrata served on a bed of herbs and olive oil and crunchy garlic bread. The Italians know food, and Toronto is home to some of the best Italian restaurants.

As difficult as it is for you to choose what to order at your favourite Italian restaurant, you can only imagine how difficult this list was for us to put together. Toronto has some fantastic Italian food, both authentic and with foreign twists that come from living in such a diverse and growing city. The following list is not finite but is a hand-selected guide of Italian eateries that range from underrated gems to nationally-renowned establishments. You could approach this as the TasteToronto Italian restaurant bucket list or something to refer to when trying to impress an impending date. Whichever you choose for dinner, you'll be walking away with a full belly, a great wine pairing, and (hopefully) a doggy bag with some leftover risotto for your working lunch tomorrow.

1 Austin Terrace

Don Alfonso 1890

Don Alfonso 1890

Located inside the stunning Casa Loma, Don Alfonso is the North American baby of Michelin Star Chefs Alfonso and Ernesto Iaccarino, and according to Best Italian Restaurant in the World 2022, the #1 Italian restaurant outside of Italy for the second year in a row. They also won first place for their multi-course prix fixe tasting menu, so I imagine it's worth a try!

536 Queen St W

Osteria Du

Osteria Du

Plant-based Italian food?! We've been waiting for Osteria Du to open and we have not been disappointed. On weekdays you can even get a 4-course menu for $50 ($60 on weekends) and their carciofo pizza (artichoke hearts in a spread of roasted red pepper, garlic and pine nuts) is an unmissable flavour profile.

101 Portland St

Gusto 101

Gusto 101

With multiple locations under the Gusto family, Gusto 101 and Gusto 501, this hospitality group specializes in Southern Italian food with wine on tap. Sitting in a repurposed garage, the industrial accents and amazing food make Gusto 101 one of the most popular Italian eateries in Toronto to go to over and over again.

892 Queen St E

Frankie's Italian

Frankie's Italian

Prefacing this by saying nobody does burrata like Frankie's and they do it DIFFERENT every WEEK! Their little chalkboard has a new approach to their burrata every seven days (as well as weekly specials for everything else), and I've never had one I wouldn't come back for again. Also, the rest of their food and cocktails are perfect, their interiors and back patio are to die for, but their burrata will send you to heaven.

972 College St

Giulietta

Giulietta

Osteria Giulia's glamorous older sister is a collaboration between Chef Rob Rossi and David Minicucci. There is nothing you can order that will do you wrong at Giulietta, and its sophisticated interiors make it a great place to try something new like their braised veal cheek ragu (pictured).

769 St Clair Ave W

Ferro Bar and Cafe

Ferro Bar and Cafe

Ferro specializes in Southern Italian fare, and with the exposed brick walls and cozy, rustic interiors, it almost feels like you could be sitting at a little café in Italy. The restaurant is built around an open kitchen where you can watch them make your wood-fired pizzas. If you're not going to get a pizza, the Slow Braised Wild Boar pasta (pictured) is amazing.

585 College St

Il Covo

Il Covo

With velvet seating, roman candles and gilded mirrors, Il Covo is both extremely beautiful and extremely delicious. It's hard to choose favourite dishes from Il Covo because they're all amazing, but their Risotto ai Broccoli redefined risotto for me (get the Focaccia Porobellini too).

75 Yorkville Ave

Trattoria Nervosa

Trattoria Nervosa

Dining at Trattoria Nervosa is an experience; it's been sitting in its pretty corner heritage house since 1996 and it offers the comfortable familiarity of a Sicilian trattoria with a fine-dining experience reflective of its Yorkville location. Start with their house-made bread and in-house marinated olives, and then get their Risotto Nervosa which is topped with Barolo braised beef short rib, cooked with local field and porcini mushrooms, and truffle.

134 Avenue Rd

Osteria Giulia

Osteria Giulia

With sleek interiors to drool over, it's no question that the food is also drool-worthy. Osteria Giulia is the little sister of Chef Rob Rossi's famous Italian eatery, Giulietta, but she does not pale in comparison! Do not leave without trying their Focaccia di Recco, made in the traditional 12th-century style.

1111 Queen St E

Ascari Enoteca

Ascari Enoteca

With a location on both the west end and the east end of Toronto, Ascari sandwiches Toronto with excellent Italian food and half-price wine on Tuesdays. With interiors reflective of a rustic wine bar, their food is simple, wholesome and of excellent quality. Pictured above is their "Osso Bucco" braised bone-in veal shank with a soft polenta abruzzese, braised mushrooms, spiced jus and gremolata.

2885 Dundas St W

Nodo Junction

Nodo Junction

With three locations (and another one coming to Liberty Village soon), Nodo is a thriving chain of eateries with amazing food and a great atmosphere that keep people coming back. Their burrata (sitting over golden beet carpaccio and topped with crushed pistachio and basil oil) and their "Cavolfiore Gratinato," cheesy, breadcrumb-crusted cauliflower pasta, is to die for.

1214 Dundas St W

Gia

Gia

Gia, a plant-forward Dundas St gem, is beautiful and intimate and the perfect place for a date night; exposed white brick wall, low hanging lights, big plants and dusty pink velvet seats define its interiors. Their plant based Pappardelle Bolognese, Charred Leek Risotto and "La Famiglia" mezcal cocktail define its interiors.