A Slice of Italy: Vancouver's Most Delicious Italian Restaurants

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Feb 20, 2023

Vancouver is a food lover's paradise, with a culinary scene that spans the globe. And when it comes to Italian cuisine, this city has no shortage of delicious options. From hearty pasta dishes to crispy, wood-fired pizzas, there's something for everyone on our list.

But with so many places to choose from, how do you know where to go for the best experience? That's where we come in. In this article, we'll take you on a tour of the best Italian restaurants in Vancouver, highlighting their standout dishes, ambiance, and overall vibe. Whether you're in the mood for a casual family dinner or a romantic date night, we've got you covered. So put on your stretchy pants and get ready to indulge in some of the most mouthwatering Italian cuisine Vancouver has to offer.

Savio Volpe

Situated in the Mount Pleasant district of Vancouver, Osteria Savio Volpe is a community-centered eatery renowned for its outstanding selection of traditional Italian fare. Continually updating their menu to feature the finest seasonal produce from nearby farms, the establishment takes pride in their homemade pasta, wood-fired meats and vegetables, freshly caught fish, and handcrafted baked goods. Regardless of whether you're eating alone or with others, the family-style portion sizes make it simple to try an assortment of delicious dishes.

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One of the standout dishes at Savio Volpe is the Agnolotti del Plin with chicken and pork, red wine, and crispy sage. This dish has been hailed as a must-try by diners and critics alike, and it's easy to see why. Another highlight is the Bagna Cauda, a warm and comforting dish that perfectly balances the flavors of garlic, anchovy, and olive oil.

Besides the cuisine, Savio Volpe boasts a comprehensive collection of Italian wines and an assortment of cocktails inspired by the traditions of the old country. The atmosphere is warm and inviting, with a design that pays homage to the classic Italian osteria. You should definetly leave some space for desert because the gelato is a must try.

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Overall, Savio Volpe is a must-visit for anyone looking for an Italian spot in Vancouver. The commitment to using seasonal, locally sourced ingredients and the emphasis on house-made pasta make this spot stand out in a city full of great Italian restaurants.

Ask For Luigi

Ask For Luigi is a cozy Italian restaurant located in Vancouver's historic Railtown neighborhood. With its warm, inviting atmosphere and emphasis on house-made pasta, it's no wonder this spot has become a local favorite.

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The menu boasts a range of classics like Spaghetti and MeatballsSpaghetti Nero with clams to Fusilli Verde with lamb ragu, but it's the campanelle with wild boar ragu that really steals the show. This dish has garnered high praise from diners and critics alike, and it's easy to see why: the tender pasta pairs perfectly with the rich, savory ragu, creating a symphony of flavors that will leave your taste buds singing.

But pasta isn't the only star at Ask For Luigi. The antipasti selection is not to be missed, featuring must-try dishes like Luigi's Meatballs and Bocconcini Fritti. And if you have dietary restrictions, don't worry – the restaurant offers fresh ingredients with a number of gluten-free options as well.

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The relaxed atmosphere at Ask For Luigi makes it the perfect spot for a casual dinner with friends or a cozy date night. And with both lunch and brunch menus available, there's no bad time to stop by for a delicious Italian meal. 

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Giardino

Giardino is a must-visit restaurant for those looking for Italian cuisine in Vancouver with a Tuscan twist. Located in heart of Downtown Vancouver, Giardino boasts an impressive seasonal patio that will transport you to the heart of Italy. Star chef Umberto Menghi has created a warm and inviting atmosphere that perfectly complements the gourmet cuisine on offer.

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Giardino offers a variety of traditional antipasti and pasta dishes made by hand, including Spaghetti with Squid Ink served wit delicious lobster and tomato sauce, which is certain to satisfy one's appetite. In addition, diners can enjoy main courses that consist of fresh seafood, Chicken alla Toscana, trattoria, pappardelle, and the lavish Italian-style braised veal.

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One dish that particularly stands out to chef Zolnasr is the Grilled 38 Oz Porterhouse Fiorentina, which is perfect for sharing with a dining partner. With an long wine list featuring Italian wines, Giardino is also a great spot for a night out with friends or a romantic evening. Overall, the combination of the warm atmosphere, excellent service, and delicious food makes Giardino a top choice for those seeking the best Italian food.

Lupo Restaurant

Lupo Restaurant, situated in the heart of Yaletown, is a cozy and romantic modern Italian food restaurant that offers a quality dining experience. Set in a heritage house, the restaurant boasts an atmosphere that exudes charm and romance.

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The restaurant's menu is created in-house and changes seasonally, offering a combination of classic Italian cuisine with a modern flair. Notable menu items include the Ricotta Gnocchi Bolognese, Salumi with Prosciutto and the Spaghettini Alla Amatriciana. The establishment is dedicated to utilizing fresh ingredients to elevate the taste of their dishes.

The menu at Lupo Restaurant also features extensive wine lists to complete the Italian fine dining experience. The restaurant is headed by Chef Ian Perini, who has a background in fine dining, bringing a sense of adventure and extravagance to the familiar Italian favorites.

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The restaurant's sophisticated yet cozy ambiance, combined with the exquisite cuisine, makes it an excellent spot for a romantic date or a special occasion. The exceptional service provided by the restaurant staff only adds to the overall dining experience.

Zefferelli's

Zefferelli's is a popular Italian food restaurant located on bustling Robson Street. With a warm and inviting atmosphere, this restaurant is a great spot for a casual night out with friends or family. The friendly and efficient service adds to the overall welcoming ambiance.

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The menu presents a selection of beloved Italian classics, including, spaghetti bolognese, chicken parmigiana, and  bruschetta, all served in ample portions. Large groups will appreciate the tailored menus, which make ordering a breeze. Zefferelli's takes pride in serving flavorful, homestyle dishes, including their famous spaghetti, which is imported directly from Italy to ensure the freshest and most authentic taste. The pasta is cooked to perfection, making every dish a satisfying experience.

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While the focus is on traditional Italian food, Zefferelli's also has a few surprises up its sleeve. The menu offers something for everyone, including vegetarian options and daily specials. Whether you're in the mood for a great Italian meal or something a little different, Zefferelli's is the perfect spot for a delicious and satisfying dining experience in Vancouver.

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Sopra Sotto

Sopra Sotto is a popular restaurant and pizzeria with two locations in Vancouver - on Commercial Drive and Hastings Avenue. With fresh, local ingredients, their menu features traditional food like pizza, risotto, and salads. The open kitchen and sleek decor add to the inviting atmosphere of the restaurant.

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The wood-fired brick oven used for baking their pizza gives it a unique and delicious taste. Be sure to sample their pasta dishes, which are made from scratch and available in an array of shapes and sauces, such as the classic bolognese, smoked pancetta with truffle, and creamy cabbage with mushroom, 

The atmosphere of Sopra Sotto is cozy and inviting, with a sleek and bright open kitchen that allows customers to watch the chefs at work. The restaurant's staff is known for their hospitality and excellent service, making every customer feel welcomed and valued.

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Overall, Sopra Sotto offers a delightful Italian dining experience with delicious food, great service, and a welcoming atmosphere that keeps customers coming back for more.

Di Beppe

Di Beppe is a charming Italian restaurant located in the lively Gastown area of Downtown Vancouver. What sets Di Beppe apart is its ability to offer fine Italian dining dishes in a casual setting, creating a comfortable atmosphere for its guests. The restaurant features a split personality with a coffee bar on one side and a more formal dining room on the other, which adds to the uniqueness of the place.

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The menu is expertly crafted by Chef Letitia Wan and features a range of delicious pizzas, risotto, and antipasti. Notably, the rectangular-shaped pizzas come in medium or large sizes, making it easier for guests to share. Additionally, the must-try dish at Di Beppe is the Cacio e Pepe, a simple yet flavorful dish that is a fan favorite.

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The restaurant's space (previously known as Joe Pizza) was recently transformed from a raw area into a chic and comfortable space, complete with excellent lighting that adds to the ambiance. In addition to the restaurant, there is also a small coffee shop, Caffe Di Beppe, located in the same building. Overall, Di Beppe is an excellent choice for those looking for a taste of authentic Italian pasta in a relaxed setting.

Mangia Cucina

Mangia Cucina & Bar is a charming and authentic Italian restaurant located in the vibrant neighborhood of Mount Pleasant. This casual restaurant makes our list of the best Italian spots in Vancouver thanks to its food quality and service. Situated in a converted heritage house, is owned and run by Chef Alessandro Riccobono, who was born in Palermo, Sicily to a family of chefs and restaurateurs. Riccobono has worked in several high-end restaurants in London and Vancouver, including the Trafalgar Bistro and Hide Lounge in Bentall Tower 4.

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Mangia Cucina offers a simple, yet delicious Italian menu that highlights the authenticity of the Italian food culture. The pizza is a standout with a crust that is perfectly poofed, singed, and chewy. In addition to pizza, the restaurant serves an array of classic Italian dishes, such as the Ravioli all'aragosta which is made of hand-made ravioli filled with lobster and crab.

It is served in a white wine reduction sauce with garlic, chili, and cherry tomatoes. Mangia Cucina also offers an extensive selection of regional Italian wines, liquors, and cocktails, providing a complete Italian culinary experience.

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The servers at Mangia Cucina provide an authentic Italian dining experience with their friendly and conversational approach. The intimate atmosphere of the restaurant, combined with the delicious food and excellent service, make Mangia Cucina a must-visit for anyone looking for a taste of Italy in Vancouver.

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CinCin Ristorante

CinCin Ristorante is a contemporary Italian restaurant known for its wood-fired oven and sophisticated ambiance. With over 30 years of experience, the restaurant boasts a menu of both classic and contemporary Italian dishes made with well-sourced ingredients that are sure to impress. Chef Andrew Richardson prepares modern Italian cuisine on the restaurant's new Grillworks Infierno, a two-meter stainless steel grill and rotisserie that renders the freshest market fish and prime cuts of meat over fruitwood charcoal.

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Their menu features classic dishes such as Ricotta Gnocchi and contemporary options like Duck with Ash-roasted carrots. Some other popular dishes are the Wood-grilled Octopus and Roasted Quail with fig and walnut stuffing.

One of the most popular dishes at CinCin's is the irresistible seafood pasta special, a crowd-pleaser that's cooked to mouthwatering perfection. With its delectable blend of fresh seafood, fragrant herbs, and savory spices, each bite is a luxurious experience that will transport your taste buds straight to the Mediterranean coast.

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In addition to its exceptional food, CinCin also offers a solid drink scene, including craft cocktails and a wine list stocked full of beautiful options. The restaurant's award-winning wine cellar and renowned grappa collection add to the dining experience.

CinCin's warm and sophisticated room and year-round heated patio make it a great spot for a date or a special occasion. It has become a Vancouver favorite, tempting locals and visitors with its enticing aromas and delicious food.

To Sum It All Up

Vancouver is home to some exceptional Italian restaurants that offer a variety of traditional and contemporary Italian dishes. From cozy trattorias to elegant fine-dining establishments, the city has something to offer for every taste and budget.

Whether you are craving homemade pasta, wood-fired pizzas, or decadent desserts, the Italian restaurants in Vancouver serve up some of the best Italian cuisine in the city. With their authentic flavors, warm ambiance, and impeccable service, these restaurants are the perfect destination for a romantic dinner, a family celebration, or a night out with friends.

If you're in Vancouver looking for an unforgettable Italian dining experience, be sure to check out some of the best Italian restaurants in the city, and savor the flavors of Italy right here in Vancouver.

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