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, 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.

True Italic-Osteria del Capo

True Italic

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

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 lunchtime 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


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 restaurants in Cape Town.

Location: 22 Cobern Street, Green Point
Good to know:
they have a 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

95-Keerom-Italian-Restaurants

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 complement 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 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 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 


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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La Frasca

This cosy little eatery has a cult following among loyal customers around Cape Town. This small, family-run Italian restaurant is known for their fresh homemade pasta and their wood-fired pizzas that have a thin crispy base made from stone-ground flour. They also pride themselves on their regional dishes from Trieste, Italy, so expect to leave incredibly full and happy.

Location: 8 Breda Street, Gardens. 
Good to know: t
he menu changes according to season and it is mainly written on boards.
Why you’ll love it: it’s a local gem.
What we loved: their woodfired pizza.
Opening hours: Tues-Sun: 17h00- 22h30
Contact: 072 083 5676

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Scarpetta

A newbie to the Cape Town Italian Restaurant scene, this family-run restaurant has already caused up a stir! 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. Excellent food that will leave you undoubtedly licking your plate.

Location: 85 Roodebloem Road, Woodstock
Good to know: 
They don’t have a liquor licence so make sure to BYOB.
Why you’ll love it: you are made to feel so welcome.
What we loved: the family vibe and of course, the food.
Opening hours: Mon-Sat: 18h00- 22h30
Contact: 083 251 0730

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Burrata

The Old Biscuit Mill is famous for amazing restaurants like The Test Kitchen and Pot Luck Club but Burrata is a breath of fresh air among the fine dining restaurants that surround it. Offering classic Italian dishes with a twist, this restaurant offers interesting mains and handcrafted pizzas of the highest quality as well as a superbly appointed wine list.

They are incredibly serious about their pizza and it shows, their oven was hand-built by a third-generation family-owned business in Naples making that pizza just so incredibly crisp and cheesy. 

Location: 375 Albert Rd, Woodstock
Opening hours: Monday: 18h00- 22h30 | Tues- Sat: 12h00 – 15h00, 18h00 – 22h30
Good to know: it gets busy so best to book.
Why you’ll love it: PIZZA!
What we loved: their Neapolitan-style, bubbly based pizza.
Contact: 021 447 6505

burrata.co.za


Pesce Azzurro

Woodstock seems to attract all the best Italian restaurants, and this place is no exception. A great change from the typical pasta-pizza Italian restaurant, Pesce Azzurro prides itself on being a seafood bistro that serves fresh seafood, Mediterranean dishes, and tapas. If you’re ever in the mood for a delicious squid ink pasta then this is should be your next go-to spot.

Location: 113 Roodebloem Road, Woodstock
Good to know: 
Their calamari is incredibly delicious
Why you’ll love it: its chilled vibe.
What we loved: the fresh seafood.
Opening hours: Tues- Sat: 12h30 – 14h30, 18h30 – 22h30
Contact: 021 447 2009

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Lupa Osteria

This one might be a bit of a trek if you live in town but it’s so worth it! Their 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: Village Square Mall, Corner of Queen & Vrede Street, Durbanville
Good to know: pizza! pizza! pizza!
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-Sat: 12h00 – 21h00 | Sunday: 12h00 – 20h00
Contact: 087 822 1655

lupo.co.za


Step Brothers

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, their food is always fresh, great quality and packed with flavour. When you come, come with a big appetite – you will not be disappointed.

Location: 34 Victoria Rd, Bantry Bay
Good to know: Their salads are huge!
Why you’ll love it: vibey location.
What we loved: shopping at the deli.
Opening hours: Mon- Fri: 07h00 – 22h00 | Sat 19h00-22h00 |Sun: 07h00 – 16h00
Contact: 021 569 0153

stepbrothers.co.za


Posticino

Sea Point locals looooooove Posticino, every night of the week this Italian pizzeria is packed. Known for their thin and crispy pizza bases, which is always delicious. Even though most people know this place for their pizza, their pastas are nothing to sneeze at. Their chicken alfredo is wonderfully creamy and their Melanzane tastes just like nonna would make it.

Location: 323 Main Road, Sea Point
Good to know: Best to share a pizza and a pasta to get all the deliciousness.
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

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Giulio’s Cafe

Although this cosy little café is not exclusively Italian, the owner/chef has taken inspiration from his Italian heritage and watching his nonna cook in the kitchen. They have incredible pasta dishes on the menu and have a pizza oven for that wood-fired pizza craving we all have.

Location: Cornerstone House, 16 Loop St, Cape Town City Centre
Good to know: Only open at night two nights a week, so make sure to book.
Opening hours: Mon- Wends: 07h00- 15h00 | Thurs- Fri: 07h00 – 15h00, 17h00 – 22h00 | Sat: 08h00-12h30
Contact: 021 418 6304

giulios.co.za


Bacinis

Best Places for Pizza

This Cape Town staple has been around since 1994 and has promised to deliver great quality food and has never 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
Good to know: Great for those summer evenings where you want to sit outside, have a drink, and eat pizza.
Why you’ll love it: it’s another local spot that always serves consistently good food.
What we loved: you can order and pick up if you don’t feel like sitting down.
Opening hours: Mon-Sun: 12h00 – 00h00
Contact: 021 423 6668

bacini.co.za

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

5 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.

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