Being halfway around the globe doesn't mean we have to settle for below-average Italian food. From hand-made pasta to fresh ragu and Bianca-sauced pizzas. Here are all the best (and authentic) Italian restaurants to get your pizza, pasta, and tiramisu fix in Auckland!
A modern bistro in suburbia, Morell brings a touch of Italian to Remuera. Husband and wife team/owners, Daniel and Sarah, fell in love over their shared passion for simple and well-executed fresh food which is translated through Morell's honest and homely menu. All the Italian classics such as wagyu meatballs in tomato ragu, crayfish ravioli, tuna tartare, eggplant parmigiana, and mushroom risotto are available. Top it off with an order of profiteroles or rhubarb crumble and a cheeseboard for a perfect evening.
The beautifully rustic Amano in Britomart Square is the Italian restaurant of Auckland. With their very own flour mill for fresh hand-rolled pasta, Amano does not mess around. The menu is seasonal so you're always in for a surprise. To give you an idea of what to expect, Amano's menu is divided into dairy, meats, seafood, pasta, vegetables, and desserts. Indulge in creamy cheeses, house-made pasta, and fresh seafood with dishes like mozzarella focaccia, kingfish Crudo, and pappardelle with lamb ragu. However, if you're looking for a quick pitstop, you'll be pleased to know Amano has their original bakery out the back, filled with delicious takeaway croissants, pizzas, and everything in between.
The Goode Brothers gastro-pubs are known for great catch-ups over great food. From hearty pasta sauces, freshly made salads, and exciting pizzas like the blue cheese and fig, and pork belly and habanero sauce choices, the only thing you'll need to worry about it picking out your favourite wine. All three locations (Botany, New Lynn, and Northwest) are designed to be comfortable and inviting, with great outdoor set-ups for those summer afternoon sessions. Goode Brothers also offer pasta masterclasses, so you can learn the basics and secrets of how to become a pasta connoisseur.
The charming Ortolana is located in the heart of the city but feels a world away from home. The twinkling fairy lights dangling above you as you dine add a romantic touch, making Ortolana a hit for date night. The menu provides garden-to-table service with seasonal changes to keep things fresh. Usually, you'll see dishes like Italian flatbread with flavourful toppings, kumara gnocchi with lamb and mint yoghurt, and market fish with a garden harvest salad. The food, service, and setting are sensational, especially if you're looking to impress your dinner date.
Pasta & Cuore
In the heart of Mt Eden village is a little Italian joint called Pasta & Cuore. Refusing to compromise quality for price, the team at Pasta & Cuore are dedicated to bringing you fresh and flavoursome seasonal Italian, as well as convenient fresh pasta packs to take home. Start off with a range of antipasto including green Sicilian olives, cheeses, and tigelle, followed by home-made pasta with classic sauces like bolognese, butter and sage, and cream and Parmigiano Reggiano. Pasta & Cuore were also crowned winners for Best Wine List by Metro Peugeot if you weren't already convinced.
A top dog in the Auckland dining scene since 1986, Prego on Ponsonby Road know their stuff. The Italian eatery has several seating areas, to match your mood and waitstaff with extensive knowledge of the intricate menu. If there's anywhere you should splurge it's Prego. Start with the Peroni battered oysters, Caprese salad, and polpette (spiced lamb and artichoke) before delving into main dishes like the potato gnocchi with sage butter, roast duck risotto, seafood linguine, and pollo pizza. End with a bang and say "Yes" to the dessert menu–Cheeseboards, chocolate fondants, tiramisu, and baked NY cheesecakes all round!
Gusto At The Grand
Renowned chef Sean Connolly tackles the challenging Italian cuisine with his own SkyCity joint, Gusto At The Grand. The restaurant is luxuriously dressed to impress with dark tables, marbled walls, and dangling chandeliers. Their pasta is made in-house and risottos are made from scratch starting from when you order, and like traditional Italian meals, they're made to share. Gather your foodie friends and dine on plates of duck pappardelle, Cloudy Bay clams, lamb and veal cutlets, duck fat potatoes, house-made ricotta and honey, and salted caramel semifreddo for dessert!
Baduzzi's mantra is great traditions and recipes will stand the test of time, and we believe that's exactly why their food is out of this world. Drawing on inspiration from early Rome, Baduzzi's star of the show is their meatballs, with five different flavours ranging from wild red deer to vegetarian with cow ricotta. Order a side of salt and pepper spaghetti and a glass of red for an authentically delicious Italian dinner. If meatballs aren't your thing, Baduzzi still has a register of other tasty dishes from pasta to wood-fired steak to short ribs.
Non Solo Pizza
One of the dreamiest interiors in any Auckland restaurant, Non Solo Pizza is stunningly beautiful with its greenery-covered walls, sky-high ceilings, white wrought iron chairs, water fountain, and marbled tables. Aside from being aesthetically pleasing, Non Solo takes their Italian seriously. Pages upon pages of traditional bruschetta, canapés, Italian soft cheeses, vegetable dishes, antipasti, wood-fired pizzas (Bianca and Rossa), friggitoria, pasta, salads, secondi main dishes, and desserts, all paired with a fantastic wine list and next-to-perfect service.
Cotto keeps it short and sweet at their infamous K Road venue. Climbing their way to their top, starting as a temporary pop-up to being named Metro's Restaurant Of The Year 2018, the team at Cotto have come a long way–It's no secret they know how to make some damn good food. The menu is simple and straight to the point, with hand-made pasta becoming their stand-out ingredient. We suggest starting off with some bread for the table and some spinach and goats cheese dumplings, before moving onto pumpkin ravioli, pork shoulder cappelletti, smoked mozzarella chips, and beef shin ragu for the full experience.
Coco's red checkered table cloths are an indication of a good time. Situated on the busy K Road hides the little Italian eatery with some of the best food around. The venue is small but mighty in both fanbase and flavour. Follow suit and go for Coco's famous spaghetti and meatballs, or venture out and try things like grilled persimmon and goats cheese, chicken liver parfait, or the diamond shell clams in white wine and chilli. Coco's also offers their own happy hour drinks (4-7pm), with a selection of premium beer and wines, and happy hour pasta (4-6pm), with weekly specials and traditional classics.