The Best Italian Restaurants In Cape Town

Words: Crush

When you get that craving for a comfort food nine times out of ten you’ll think of Italian food. Why? Well, becuase it’s hearty, filling and just plain yum. There’s no comparison when it comes to authenticity and we’re lucky that in the Mother City we have proper Italian restaurants serving real Italian fare. We round up the best Italian restaurants in Cape Town.

True Italic-Osteria del Capo

The chef and owner, Luca Di Pasquale, greets each guest personally and is happy to talk guests through the menu. A dining area below the restaurant is available for private functions and can accommodate up to 40 people. The food is simple and traditional Italian – made to be eaten, not looked at. True Italic puts the emphasis on quality and authenticity, using only the freshest ingredients for their many hand-made dishes.

This is truly a taste of Italy – fresh pasta and sublime cured meats imported from Italy. Luca’s homemade Sicilian sausage is memorable too as are the handcrafted cheeses. This brother-and-sister-run restaurant has a comprehensive wine list including wines from Italy and South Africa. The à la carte menu changes on a daily. They also have an amazing private dining room for hire (pictured below).

Location: 15 Bree Street, Cape Town
Good to know: 
situated in a lovely old building on Bree Street.
Why you’ll love it: a rustic, cosy family-run business in true Sicilian style.
What we loved: the amazing pasta!
Opening hours: Tue–Sat: 18h00 – 22h00 | Sun & Mon: Closed
Contact: 021 418 7655

trueitalic.co.za


A Tavola

A Tavola specialises in authentic, home-style Italian dishes with the emphasis on flavour. The food is prepared from secret recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation. A little slice of Italy in the southern suburbs of Cape Town. Typical Italian open piazza-style dining experience with tempting aromas wafting from the open plan kitchen.

Location: Wilderness Rd, Claremont
Good to know: underground parking is free in the evenings and at lunch time on Sundays with covered access from the parking to the door.
Why you’ll love it: organic products are sourced from local growers. Only free-range meat and poultry is used and fish is also sourced in a sustainable manner.
What we loved: the authenticity of every bite.
Opening hours: Tue–Fri: 12h00–15h00 | Mon–Sat: 18h00–22h00 | Sun: 12h00–15h00
Contact: 021 671 1763

atavola.co.za

Italian restaurants in cape town

Il Leone Mastrantonio

Il Leone has a walk-in wine cellar, private dining room and bar. They specialise in great quality food and portions generous enough to tame any empty tummy. Part of the Mastrantonio Group who are well-known for their great food and good service with restaurants in Johannesburg too. They have a tradition of no-compromise and doing everything in the best way possible. They put a high value on sustainability and put everything into making delicious food. It’s a no brainer that this is one of the best Italian restuarnts in Cape Town.

Location: 22 Cobern Street, Green Point
Good to know: 
great wine selection.
Why you’ll love it: typical Italian, cosy and sophisticated.
What we loved: the choice of so many delicious pasta dishes.
Opening hours: Tue–Sun: 12h00–15h00, 18h30 – 22h30
Contact: 021 421 0071

mastrantonio.com 


Cousins

As the name suggests, this authentic Italian restaurant is run by two Italian cousins. Andrea and Simone from Romagna fell in love with Cape Town and wanted to create a true Italian experience in the city. Safe to say, they have succeeded in their mission. Warm, cosy and with a buzz that can make it somewhat noisy, but jovial at times. It is regarded by its regulars as one of the best Italian restaurants in Cape Town. They have a relatively small food menu, a comprehensive wine list and a few cocktails. Simple, authentic food tastes as though it was prepared by your nonna. One of the cousins, Andrea, makes the fresh pasta every morning. He doesn’t compromise and uses only the freshest natural ingredients to ensure the best quality and authentic Italian taste.

Location: 3b Barrack Street, Cape Town
Good to know: 
can be noisy but makes it all the more authentic and fun. 
Why you’ll love it: so cosy inside, great for date night.
What we loved: freshly made pasta every day.
Opening hours: Mon–Sun: 18h00–22h00
Contact: 083 273 9604

thecousinsrestaurant.com


95 Keerom

The building that houses 95 Keerom is circa 1682; it used to be the stables and slave quarters of the Company Gardens. The old original architectural features, combined with the newer, modern architecture gives the building a truly elegant feel. Old meets new in this stylish Italian establishment. Spread over two floors, the ground floor is more traditional yet stylish, while the top floor is very modern and glamorous.

Using only imported Italian ingredients, they offer authentic Milanese cuisine. The food is unpretentious and delicious. It’s made to be enjoyed. There is a good selection of award-winning South African and Italian wines to compliment any meal. Award winning owner and chef, Giorgio Nava, won the World Pasta Championship in 2013. A private dining room for up to 12 people can be made available for special functions or celebrations but booking well ahead of time is recommended.

Location: 95 Keerom Street, Cape Town
Good to know: 
great for celebrations, business dinners and date night.
Why you’ll love it: great selection of local wine.
What we loved: upmarket Italian food in a sophisticated environment.
Opening hours: Mon–Sat: 18h30–22h00
Contact: 021 422 0765

95keerom.com 


Villa 47

Contributing the renaissance of lower Bree street, Villa 47 has become a welcome spot to enjoy a drink and a delicious plate of pasta. This is the place to see and be seen. Sit out on the terrace and people watch, then tuck into some delicious food. Go for a drink, but stay for the food is the unofficial motto here. With an exciting menu that features all the Italian classics including some handmade pastas that we don’t often see, namely orecchiette, which they toss in a creamy mushroom and Parma ham sauce. Look out for their risottos too, which change daily based on seasonal ingredients. Using only the best ingredients imported directly from Italy, Villa 47 has created an authentic Italian feel, right here in the heart of Cape Town.

Location: 47 Bree street, Cape Town
Good to know: 
serves breakfast lunch and dinner. 
Why you’ll love it: great food served throughout the day.
What we loved: its stylish and contemporary look.
Opening hours: Mon–Sat: 07h00–22h00
Contact: 021 418 2740

villa47.co.za 

Italian restaurants in cape town

Nonna Lina

Nonna Lina is a favourite with town locals. Located on the corner of very busy Orange Street, it is small but offers both indoor seating (in winter warmed by the indoor pizza oven) or outdoors in the covered courtyard. The menu is pretty extensive and covers all the expected Italian favourites with a few Nonna Lina specials. We love their thin-based wood-fired pizzas and their artichoke salad which is utterly delicious.

Location: 64 Orange St, Gardens, Cape Town
Good to know:
is always busy so it’s a good idea to book.
Why you’ll love it: named after the owner’s grandmother and the food is made with her in mind.
What we loved: the bruschetta they serve when you arrive. It’s magical.
Opening hours: Mon 17h00-22h15 | Tue-Fri Lunch: 12h00 to 16:30 | Dinner from 17h00-22:30 | Sat – Sun Lunch: 12h15 to 16h30| Dinner from 17h00 to 22h30
Contact: 021 424 4966

nonnalina.com


Magica Roma

This probably one of the most iconic Italian restaurants in Cape Town and for good reason. This is the ideal place to grab a quick fuss-free dinner, but can also be the spot you celebrate something special. Freshly prepared, using only the best ingredients, the food at Magica Roma is exactly like nonna would make. Expect to find all the classics, perfectly prepared. While the pasta is worth a visit alone, Magica Roma has become known for its Saltimbocca.

Location: 8 Central Square, Pinelands
Good to know: 
plenty of parking outside.
Why you’ll love it: not much has changed since they opened many moons ago, it’s truly authentic.
What we loved: their saltimbocca!
Opening hours: Mon–Fri: 12h00-14h00; 18h00 – 22h00 | Sat: 18h00–22h00
Contact: 021 531 1489

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Osteria Tarantino

A small Italian restaurant almost secreted away in de Waterkant. Owned and run by Italian Enrico and serving up a simple menu of authentic food. Wood panelled walls and open face brick creates a cosy, authentic feel, which is complemented by the fantastic service and tasty food. There are no airs and graces to Osteria Tarantino, it is good honest food in a welcoming and friendly environment.

Location: 25A Waterkant Road
Good to know: 
they allow corkage.
Why you’ll love it: truly authentic Italian food.
What we loved: the name of course, and the cosy interior and simple rustic food.
Opening hours: 12 noon – 21h00
Contact: 076 505 1771

Check out our lists for the best Italian restaurants in Durban and Johannesburg.

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One comment

  1. Being a big fan of authentic Italian cooking, I am very surprised you missed out La Frasca, in Gardens. Undoubtedly deserving, well above a number of others mentioned above.

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