The Best Italian Restaurants In Cape Town

Words: Crush

When you get that craving for comfort food, nine times out of ten, you’ll think of Italian food. Why? Well, because 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 – specifically, the Northern and Southern Suburbs, City Centre and the Deep South!

City Centre & Atlantic Seaboard

Try these top spots for Italian food in the City Centre and the Atlantic Seaboard.

Club Kloof

Image: Ulrich Knoblauch

Although new-ish to the Cape Town food scene, Club Kloof has already become a favourite for locals seeking gorgeous food and a vibe to match. This Italian-ish restaurant churns out some of the best Pizzettes (small pizzas) and delicious cocktails like Negronis and espresso martinis. Club Kloof is ideal for those who like to taste a bit of everything when eating out – their small plates menu allows you to curate your own meal.

Location: 84 Kloof Street, Gardens, Cape Town
Why you’ll love it: the atmosphere and chic interiors
What we loved: the tiramisu – try it, you won’t be sorry!
Hours: Lunch from 12h00 | Dinner from 18h00
Contact: 072 415 3752

clubkloof.com | Instagram


Lello’s Espresso Bar

Located on the cobble-stoned streets of De Waterkant, Lello’s Espresso Bar is a slice of Italy in Cape Town. This chic caffé is owned by the Turilli family, so Scarpetta fans can expect the same culinary genius. While their Espresso Bar is cosy, it’s definitely worth the visit. Savoury delights include Roasted Caprese Focaccia made with their 24-hour fermented dough, lasagna and more. We love that they source local ingredients to create Italian magic – visit their deli for all your fav goodies. Weekend espresso and pistachio crema-filled cornetti or apple cake, anybody?

Location: Bastille Maison Mara | 5 Jarvis Street, De Waterkant, Cape Town
Why you’ll love it: the Italian charm and authentic, honest food.
What we loved: absolutely everything but also the coffee!
Hours: Mon-Fri 08h30–17h00 | Sat 08h30-16h00 (Caffè)
Contact: 060 795 9071

Facebook | Instagram


Scala Pasta/Bar

Located on Church Street, Scala Pasta/Bar brings modern Italian fare to the heart of Cape Town. Luciano Monosilio and executive chef, Justin Barker, have curated an exciting menu and serve up the classics with a unique, flavourful twist – there’s definitely something for all tastes. On the menu is Luciano’s signature Carbonara, and Tiramisu; they also have gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options. Scala is ideal for dining out with friends or family.

Location: 81 Church Street, Heritage Square, Cape Town
Why you’ll love it: the cocktails!
What we loved: ideal for groups or parties.
Opening hours: Mon-Sun: 12h00–22h30
Contact: 021 424 7204

scalapasta.co.za | Facebook | Instagram


The Woodlands Eatery

Woodlands is a familiar name to Cape Town foodies, although no longer in Vredehoek as it used to be, it now occupies a familiar space on Breda Street in Gardens (previously Limoncello and La Frasca). Owned and operated by two true-blue Italians, Matteo Santini & Maurizio Carlo, who have have brought authentic Italian deliciousness to South Africa.

The Woodlands Eatery menu is chock-full of mouthwatering options, honestly, it becomes quite hard to choose. We highly recommend the Mushroom Arancini, which were hands down the best arancini we have ever had (including ones in Italy!). Also, their wood-fired lamb, which you can have on a pizza or over pasta is sublime. We love the chilled atmosphere, the attentive service and the overall lack of pretence. It’s a neighbourhood gem that is definitely worth repeated visits. It’s also good to note that if you can’t get there, you can order directly from them on their Whatsapp line below.

Location: 8 Breda Street, Gardens, Cape Town.
Why you’ll love it: the laid-back vibe, which is ideal for get-togethers with your mates.
What we loved: the arancini (obvs), as well as their Tiramisu that we gobbled!
Opening hours: Mon-Sun: 12h00–22h00
Contact: 063 710 4742

thewoodlandseatery.com | Facebook | Instagram


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. Il Leone is also part of the Mastrantonio Group, who are well-known for their great food and good service. 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 restaurants in Cape Town.

Location: 22 Cobern Street, Corner of Prestwich, Green Point
Why you’ll love it: typical Italian, cosy and sophisticated.
What we loved: the choice of so many delicious pasta dishes.
Opening hours: Tue: 12h00–22h30 | Wed-Sun: 12h00–22h00 | Closed Mon
Contact: 021 421 0071

Facebook | Instagram


Cousins


As the name suggests, this authentic Italian restaurant is run by two Italian cousins – Andrea and Simone, from Romagna. They fell in love with Cape Town and wanted to create a true Italian experience for locals; safe to say, they have succeeded in their mission. Regarded by regulars as one of the best Italian restaurants in Cape Town, Cousins is sure to sate your craving. They have a relatively small food menu, a comprehensive wine list and a few delicious cocktails.

One of the cousins, Andrea, makes the fresh pasta every morning. He doesn’t compromise and uses only the freshest ingredients to ensure the best quality and authentic Italian taste. Overall – simple, authentic and tasty food.

Location: 3b Barrack Street, Cape Town
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 | Facebook | Instagram


ARIEL Modern Italian

Napoli meets New York in this beautiful iteration of the local Italian eatery. Sourcing only the finest Italian products available, they have created a reminiscence of European street dining. Indulge in their incredible Neapolitan pizzas, pastas and classic cocktails.

Location: 90 Regent Road, Sea Point
Why you’ll love it: The relaxed yet sophisticated vibe.
What we loved: Their signature dessert, the ARIEL Cremino.
Opening hours: Mon-Sun: 12h00–22h00
Contact: 074 076 0474

nonamehg.com | FacebookInstagram


Villa 47

Contributing to the renaissance of lower Bree Street, Villa 47, is the perfect spot to enjoy a drink and a delicious plate of pasta. This is the place to visit. 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.

Their menu features all the Italian classics, including some handmade pasta dishes 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 changes 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
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 | Facebook | Instagram


Nonna Lina


Nonna Lina is a favourite among town locals. Located on the corner of very busy Orange Street, it is small but offers both indoor seating (the indoor pizza oven provides warmth during winter) 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 artichoke salad, which is utterly delicious.

Location: 64 Orange St, Gardens, Cape Town
Why you’ll love it: the bruschetta they serve when you arrive; it’s magical.
What we loved: the fact that the restaurant is named after the owner’s grandmother and the food tastes as though nonna made it.
Opening hours: Mon & Tues: 16h45–22h00 | Wed & Thurs: 13h00–22h00 | Fri-Sun: 12h15–22h00 *times may change
Contact: 021 424 4966

nonnalina.co.za | Facebook


StepBrothers


Long-time friends coupled with a passion for great food, resulted in this Italian deli, restaurant and bar. With weekly specials that have people coming back for more, Stepbrothers’ food is always fresh, great quality and packed with flavour. When you come, come with a big appetite – you will not be disappointed.

Location: The Arum, 29 Victoria Rd, Bantry Bay
Why you’ll love it: its vibey location.
What we loved: shopping at the deli.
Opening hours: Mon: 07h00–12h00 | Tues-Sun: 08h00–22h00
Contact: 021 569 0153

stepbrothers.co.za | Instagram


Posticino


Sea Point locals looooooove Posticino; every night of the week this Italian pizzeria is packed. Posticino is known for their thin and crispy pizza bases, which are always delicious. Even though most people know this place for their pizza, their pastas are just as tasty. Their Alfredo is wonderfully creamy and their Melanzane is an absolute delight.

Location: 323 Main Rd, Sea Point
Why you’ll love it: it’s a local that becomes everyone’s fav.
What we loved: their pizza is always consistent.
Opening hours: Mon-Sun: 12h30–22h00
Contact: 021 439 4014

posticino.co.za | Facebook | Instagram


Bacini’s Pizzeria & Deli

Best Places for Pizza
This Cape Town staple has been around since 1989, and has promised to deliver great quality food, never having failed. This Italian restaurant has a loyal clientele that go weekly just to get that yummy pizza and pasta. If you’re ever looking for a place to eat great food and watch football, then this is your spot!

Location: 177 Kloof Street, Gardens
Why you’ll love it: it’s another local spot that always serves consistently good food.
What we loved: the carpaccio, it’s next level.
Opening hours: Mon-Sun: 09h00–23h00
Contact: 021 423 6668/9

bacini.co.za | Facebook | Instagram


Southern Suburbs

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. A Tavola offers a typical Italian open piazza-style dining experience, with tempting aromas wafting from the open plan kitchen.

Location: Shop 1, Library Square, Wilderness Rd, Claremont
Why you’ll love it: organic products are sourced from local growers. Only free-range meat and poultry is used and the fish is also sourced in a sustainable manner.
What we loved: the authenticity of every bite.
Opening hours: Mon-Fri: 12h00–15h00, 18h00–23h00 | Sat: 18h00–22h00 | Closed Sun
Contact: 021 671 1763

atavola.co.za | Facebook | Instagram


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 utterly delicious. 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
Why you’ll love it: not much has changed since they opened many moons ago, it’s truly authentic.
What we loved: their Peperoni in Bagna Cauda
Opening hours: Mon-Fri: 12h00–14h00; 18h00–22h00 | Sat: 18h00–22h00
Contact: 021 531 1489

Facebook


Scarpetta


Scarpetta has become a firm favourite in the Cape Town Italian scene. Ricky or ‘Big Boss’ as he is affectionally called, prepares seasonal, authentic, homemade Italian food in-house. This restaurant has a real family feel to it – Big Boss Ricky will come to your table and explain the menu, fully immersing you into the Scarpetta family. This gem serves up excellent food that will undoubtedly have you licking your plate.

Location: 85 Roodebloem Road, Woodstock
Why you’ll love it: the atmosphere.
What we loved: the family vibe and, of course, the authentic Italian food.
Opening hours: Mon-Sat: 18h30–22h30 | Closed Sun
Contact: 083 251 0730

Facebook | Instagram


Deep South

Limoncello 


Luca and Cecilia Castiglione have established an authentic home-style Italian restaurant in Noordhoek, specialising in wood-fired pizzas, homemade pastas and all kinds of delicious Italian fare. With its intimate setting at the foot of Chapman’s Peak, Limoncello is the perfect spot to take a special someone on a date or enjoy an incredible meal with some friends.

Location: Cnr Beach Road & Pine Street, Noordhoek
Why you’ll love it: the pizza!
What we loved: the setting!
Opening hours: Fri-Sun: 12h00–16h00 (Lunch) | Tues-Sun: 17h00–22h00 (Dinner)
Contact: 021 224 0830

limoncelloristorante.co.za | Facebook | Instagram


Northern Suburbs

Lupa Osteria


This one might be a bit of a trek if you live in town, but it’s so worth it! Lupa Osteria’s pasta is homemade and their pizza is wood-fired using only imported Italian flour, they use organic free-range chickens and the finest veal they can source to add to the authentic Italian experience. Incredibly affordable, incredibly delicious!

Location: Shop 7, Village Square Mall, Corner of Queen & Vrede Street, Durbanville
Why you’ll love it: have the porchetta and call us to say thanks.
What we loved: their porchetta roll is legendary for a reason.
Opening hours: Mon-Sun: 12h00–20h30
Contact: 087 822 1655

lupa.co.za | Facebook | Instagram

Staying in? Check out this list of our best pasta recipes.

8 comments

  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.

  2. Again the Northern Suburbs are forgotten and with that, a true Italian gem Pizza Vesuvio. But maybe we should keep this secret to ourselves.

  3. I have to agree with comments posted by Greg re La Fresca.
    I absolute gem in a quaint location with authentic and unpretentious Italian food is Osteria Tarantino in the Cape Quater CBD. Small restaurant, great quality.

  4. Just had awonderful home made ravioli at Osteria at Eden on the Bay. Delicious !My friends had a pizza, gluten free and, a beef dish. Both declared their food delicious!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

*