• September 10, 2023
  • Lauren Critzer
  • 0

Savor the Sapore: Your Ultimate Guide to Austin’s Best Italian Restaurants

Austin’s Italian Trattorias and The Best Most Authentic Italian Restaurants in Town

“When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that’s amore…” Does this lyric remind you of the delightful essence of Italy? Well, you don’t need a passport to taste the creamy risottos, cheesy pizzas, or tantalizing tiramisus that have gained global acclaim. Right here in Austin, Texas, we have a thriving Italian culinary scene waiting to be explored. This blog post will take you through the streets of our small yet vibrant “Little Italy, Texas style”. Amiamo Mangiare!

Austin’s Italian Trattorias: Little Italy, Texan Style

Sure, Austin is famously known for its Tex-Mex and rock-your-socks-off BBQ, but let’s dig deeper and you shall find that the Italian food scene, brimming with oregano-sprinkled magic, has a charm of its own. Let’s get you acquainted with Austin’s stand-out Italian Trattorias.

Vespaio – Romancing the Streets of South Congress

Vespaio is a versatile offering straight from the winding, cobble-stoned streets of the Eternal City, Rome. This ever-popular Italian hot spot combines the laid-back aura of a Trattoria with the grace of gourmet dining.

  • Location: Nestled amid the hustle and bustle of vibrant South Congress Ave, Vespaio is a welcoming retreat to enjoy a hearty spaghetti aglio olio or a tantalizing tiramisu.
  • What’s Hot: Homemade pasta made with imported Italian flour, a flavor-infused menu that changes daily, and an impressive selection of wines to liven up the mood.
  • Ambiance: A fluttering mix of casual rustic with dollops of sophistication thrown in. The warm glow of the interiors lights up your heart as much as the food satisfies your soul.

Andiamo – An ode to Italy in North Austin

Step into Andiamo and you’re welcomed by the true heart and soul of Italy.

  • Location: A locally cherished jewel, located in the busy neighborhood of North Austin.
  • What’s Hot: Authentic Italian home-style cooking, a variety of original Italian wines, and housemade pane (bread) that will take you back to an Italian grandma’s kitchen.
  • Ambiance: Think cosy, rustic charm with touches of Texas detailing. Andiamo offers a comfortable yet chic dining environment where you’re served dishes steeped in traditional Italian gusto.

Picking the Perfect Pizzeria in Austin

There’s no denying that pizza is Italy’s proudest export to the world’s culinary palette. Let’s check out some spots in Austin that give pizza the sacred respect it deserves.

Home Slice – Where Pizza is an Art Form

Home Slice is a testament to the saying “do one thing, and do it well”.

  • Location: Established in 2005, this pizza-centric food haven continually bewitches both locals and tourists.
  • What’s Hot: Known for its New York-style thin crust pizza, Home Slice offers an irresistible lineup of toppings to make your pizza everything that you dream of. They also feature an attractive selection of baked goods, salads, and sandwiches to balance out your meal.
  • Ambiance: The mom-and-pop vibe of the diner resonates with the unpretentious approach towards serving extraordinary pizzas. Visit Home Slice for pizza that lives to tell the tale!

Via 313 – Detroit Pizza Done Right

Detroit-style pizza in an Italian food guide? Yes, that’s not a typo! Via 313 prowess lies in tying the unconventional with the traditional and coming out on top.

  • Location: Found in heartwarming food trucks and more formal brick-and-mortar locations around Austin, this pizzeria is a blessing to pizza aficionados.
  • What’s Hot: Thick yet airy Detroit-style squares that boast a crispy crust, laden with fresh high-quality ingredients that together craft a magnificent pizza.
  • Ambiance: Bold and laid-back atmosphere that showcases the playful spirit of Austin and the robustness of Detroit.

Authentic Italian Flavors: From Casual Bites to Classy Nights Out

Austin’s Italian culinary scene doesn’t limit itself to Trattorias and Pizzerias. It encompasses a delightful range from casual eateries to classier dining options.

Casual But Classy Alfresco at Patrizi’s

Looking for a low-key open-air dinner under the stars but with a top-notch menu? Patrizi’s food truck got you covered!

  • Location: Innocuously located in the Vortex Repertory Company courtyard, this is a must-visit spot for a fulfilling Italian meal.
  • What’s Hot: Delicious steaming pasta topped with rich ingredients, served at the speed of a food truck but with the quality of an upscale restaurant.
  • Ambiance: A backyard picnic vibe that encourages a lively food-sharing culture, perfectly matching Austin’s inclusive spirit.

Dine with Style at Red Ash

Craving a high-end dining experience? Mark Red Ash as your go-to for Italian fine dining.

  • Location: Nestled in the heart of downtown, Red Ash is conveniently accessible to both residents and visitors looking to heighten their experience of Austin.
  • What’s Hot: Offering an array of handmade pasta, wood-fired pizzas, gourmet meat and fish dishes, all painstakingly prepared to give you a truly Italian dining experience.
  • Ambiance: Comfortably sophisticated, the restaurant decor is tastefully understated yet cozy, offering a dining environment that’s both upscale and inviting.

Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth: Austin’s Italian Bakeries & Gelaterias

The charm of Italian cuisine lies in its completeness – there’s something to cater to each one of your cravings, sweet or savoury. Here are our top picks for the best places to indulge in Italian sweets.

Quack’s 43rd Street Bakery: Baking with Love

Get ready to experience a sugared whirlwind at Quack’s. Crafted with love and the finest local ingredients.

  • Location: This bustling bakery is a well-respected institution in Austin for anyone who celebrates a sweet tooth.
  • What’s Hot: Their Italian cookies, cannolis, and a wide range of delightful pastries never fail to hit the sweet spot just right.
  • Ambiance: Positively homey, this place is sure to provide a warm welcome and leave a sweet aftertaste.

Dolce Neve: A Cool, Sweet Experience

Dolce Neve invites you to be wooed by artisanal gelato.

  • Location: Conveniently located catering to your sudden gelato cravings.
  • What’s Hot: Made fresh daily, the wonderfully varied array of flavors ranks high on authenticity, featuring both traditional favorites and innovative combinations.
  • Ambiance: Simple, relaxed, and utterly charming, transporting you to a breezy afternoon in small-town Italy as you sip on your affogato.

The Italian Market Scene in Austin

When you wish to bring a bit of Italy back home, there are some local markets that deserve to be explored.

Mandola’s Italian Market

Felicità è…shopping at an Italian Market! Mandola’s has everything that you might need to create an authentic Italian feast at home.

  • Location: With multiple locations in Austin, Mandola’s is always within reach whenever you need Italian groceries or a fulfilling meal.
  • What’s Hot: From a wide range of Italian wines and cheeses to artisanal bread and custom-built charcuterie boards, Mandola’s is a paradise for Italian food aficionados.
  • Ambiance: The market invokes the sights and sounds of a classic old-world Italian market, with an added touch of Austin’s vibrancy.

Central Market’s Italian Selection

Central Market recreates a mosaic of Italian delicacies within its grocery aisles.

  • Location: Among the many shelves lined with a diverse range of products, you will find a heartwarming range of Italian goodies waiting for you.
  • What’s Hot: Look for the premium Italian olive oils, vinegars, pasta sauces, a variety of pasta types, and the specialty cheeses.
  • Ambiance: A bustling, lively atmosphere as customers navigate enthusiastically through the wide range of products available.

So, what are you waiting for? Strap on those dining shoes and set off on a gastronomic adventure that takes you straight to the heart of Italy. No matter what your taste preference, from rustic charm to high-end sophistication, there’s definitely an Italian place in Austin just perfect for you. Andiamo, my friend, let’s eat!

Lauren Critzer

I was born in Charlottesville, Virginia and after college, I moved to San Francisco to explore new opportunities and broaden my horizons. I fell in love with the city's vibrant culture and unique atmosphere, but eventually, I moved again, this time to Austin, Texas.

As much as I loved living in different parts of the country, having a baby boy brought me back to my hometown in Charlottesville, where I now live with my husband, our little one, and two furry friends. I enjoy going to wineries, taking my pups everywhere, and spending quality time with my family.

Receive the latest news

Get the Inside Scoop!

Austin’s latest events and eats, straight to your inbox. Subscribe now!