Entering this trattoria tucked behind the Una Takeaway counter is like stumbling upon a hidden gem on some Roman back street. Come hungry to ensure there’s room for antipasti.
616 17 Ave. S.W., 403-476-3615, breadandcircusyyc.com
A hearty bowl of Cardinale’s pasta makes for a great pre-event meal before heading to a Calgary Flames game or concert at the nearby Scotiabank Saddledome. The noodles are made in-house daily for dishes like gnocchi with portabella mushrooms and linguine with egg yolk carbonara, bacon and bone marrow.
401 12 Ave. S.E., 403-264-6046, cardinale.ca
Fine art and fine Italian cuisine come together at this 18-year-old restaurant located across from the Glenbow museum. Contemporary Canadian art adorns the walls while the tables are filled with dishes like beef carpaccio and handmade lobster and crab ravioli. There are also small and large private dining rooms.
160 8 Ave. S.E., 403-269-1600, centini.com
Giuseppe Di Gennaro is a chef synonymous with impeccable Italian dishes. At Cotto, he takes a comfort-food approach with fresh pastas, the chef’s signature arancini and cannelloni crepes worth returning for.
314D 10 St. N.W., 587-356-4088, cottoyyc.com
If stepping into this Bridgeland restaurant feels like home, that’s probably because it actually was the original restaurant owner’s home before he opened La Brezza Ristorante in 1987. Open for lunch and dinner, the restaurant’s warm atmosphere and tasty fare have helped it stand the test of time.
990 1 Ave. N.E., 403-262-6230, labrezza.ca
Mercato is a lively spot where you can enjoy salads, risotto, pasta and meats while watching the action in the open kitchen. Grab Italian staples, produce and deli items from the market for an Italian feast at home.
Wednesdays at Posto are always busy with diners enjoying the Chef’s Choice tasting menu for just $35. Any other night, creative pizzas and an extensive menu of small plates are what bring people into this casual Beltline restaurant. The pizza with potato, creme fraiche, leek and smoked pancetta is a must-try.
1014 8 St. S.W., 403-263-4876, posto.ca
It’s the casual charm combined with hearty Italian eats that keeps us coming back to Tavernetta. Soak in the comfortable, friendly atmosphere as plates of seasonal pastas and salads come out of the small, central kitchen.
1002 Edmonton Tr. N.E., 403-250-8894, tavernettayyc.ca
Teatro’s longevity and reputation for being a top restaurant in the city is a testament to both the classic Italian food coming from the kitchen and impeccable service on the floor.
200 8 Ave. S.E., 403-290-1012, teatro.ca
Villa Firenze is another family-owned staple that’s been in Bridgeland since 1991. The owner’s grandmother can often be found in the kitchen making fresh pasta and the tiramisu is considered to be Calgary’s best by many.
610 1 Ave. N.E., 403-264-4297, villafirenze.ca
*Listed in alphabetical order.