Our selection of the top Italian Restaurants in Joburg...




Established in 1994, Luca’s captures the essence of Italian lifestyle – colourful and flavour-filled. A grand wood-burning oven delivers pizzas, pastas, and other Italian dishes to delight all the senses. The food is simply scrumptious with amazing gourmet pizzas offering unique flavour combinations. The roast lamb, red and yellow peppers, fresh rocket drizzled with balsamic vinegar and olive oil, and the oak-smoked salmon trout with dollops of Mascarpone, capers and caviar, are outright pizza winners. Also try the house salad (with their secret home made dressing) – one of the best salads in town.


010 900 1363

This is James Diack’s fourth restaurant – it’s close to The National in Parktown North, but offers a completely different vibe and menu. Distinctly Mediterranean, Il Contandino’s pasta, gnocchi and ravioli are all worth writing home about. There’s also a selection of delicious pizzas – and the osso buco is a feat in itself. Finish off with some home-made gelato, and you’ll be waxing lyrical in broken Italian. The other dishes are exciting, extraordinary and delicious additions, all celebrating fresh, natural flavours at their best.


011 442 0413

Illovo Junction at the start of Corlett Drive is packed with good restaurants, including Trabella, which has stood the test of time. What makes it so popular is its casual, welcoming atmosphere and a traditional Italian menu that offers everybody’s favourites – pastas and thin wood-fired pizzas that are as delicious as they are generous. You can get gluten-free pizza bases, too.



Some creative takes on the same old dishes make Pronto a great choice for an Italian meal. Whether you’re guzzling bruschetta topped with roasted aubergines and herbed ricotta before you order, or tucking into one of the restaurant’s legendary seafood pastas, you’re in for a memorable meal. The pizzas are huge and the mains are just as exciting. All in all, a great choice for an Italian night out, with a menu that leaves you spoilt for choice.




A little slice of Italy in Oaklands, this family-run establishment has been around for 22 years, and has been popular since day one. For good reason. The food is authentic Italian at its very best, the gelato is to die for, the antipasto is so varied you don’t know where to start, and the pasta and mains are equally delicious. A meal here is always an occasion, an opportunity to pair excellent authentic food with good company. Whether you venture inside to buy freshly baked bread and pastries, to order an entire meal for a dinner party or spend an evening dining here, you’re in for a treat.



Always bustling, filled with people, vibrant and electric, this authentically Italian restaurant in Illovo’s Post Office Centre is a favourite with regulars, fellow Italians and the rest of us. The food is consistently excellent, passionately prepared by Italian chef Luca Toni and his wife Tati, who create dishes that reflect their heritage and family history. A meal here is a true rustic Italian experience.



One of Jamie Oliver’s ‘family’, as he calls the 60-odd restaurants he established together with his Italian mentor, chef Gennaro Contaldo, is happily ensconced in Joburg’s Melrose Arch. This glam eatery offers the celebrity chef’s legendary dishes from his books and TV shows in all their glory. Everything is prepared using seasonal produce and imported Italian ingredients. And, judging by the queues waiting to get in every night, the food more than lives up to expectations.



Owner and chef Saverio has brought us delectable Italian fare in his Parkhurst eatery since it opened in June 2006. Serving regulars and residents from early in the morning until the last patron leaves at night, Saverio offers a constantly changing chalkboard menu that always delights. In true Italian style, the building next door is part of Saverio’s empire; Roma Paris is a traditional Italian barbershop with plasma TV screens so that clients don’t miss a second of the latest sports game. Of course, there are cigars, and whisky is served, too.



For 30 glorious years, this authentic Italian fine dining restaurant in Muldersdrift has been creating memorable meals for people from all over town. Owned by Jenny De Luca, the restaurant has won many accolades, including ‘Best Sunday Lunch’ and ‘Most Romantic Restaurant’. The reason for its success? Superb, simple contemporary Italian food served in an intimate and welcoming atmosphere. Every meal here is an occasion. A great location for sharing special moments with those we love.





If you’re planning to visit Montecasino, make some time to enjoy an Italian feast at Donatella’s. And, if you weren’t planning to visit, we have just given you good reason to. A popular dining destination, Donatella’s extensive menu features delectable Mediterranean and Italian dishes for lunch and dinner. There are 16 different pizzas, including a Chef’s Special, and a wide choice of pasta dishes. Mouthwatering Mediterranean delights include paella, chicken and meat dishes – and there’s a separate dessert menu for those with a sweet tooth.


011 706 3767

Kid-friendly restaurants serving delicious authentic Italian dishes are like hen’s teeth, but we’ve found this Riverclub gem. Chef and partner Danilo serves hearty traditional fare, including his signature thin-based pizza and classic pasta dishes. Guests can sit indoors or enjoy the sunshine on the adjoining semi-enclosed patio and beer garden. Sunday lunches are very popular, with live music for those who love Sinatra, Louis Armstrong and Nat King Cole.



Long established on Seventh Avenue in Parktown North and run by the legendary Ciro Molinaro, La Cucina di Ciro is well worth a visit. The Mediterranean menu is small, but delicious – try the exotic quinoa salad with its blend of Middle Eastern spices, and the pasta dishes include great vegetarian options such as linguini with wild mushrooms, sage and roasted pine nuts. Ciro is a consummate host, and every meal here is a relaxed, warm-hearted, delectable experience.



When you find 18 different pasta dishes on the menu, you know you’re in heaven. Pomodoro is a slice of Italy in the middle of Morningside; it originally opened in Rivonia a decade ago, but moved a few years back. No matter – the food is as delicious as ever, the meals all authentically Italian with a choice of some excellent wines. The relaxed setting and diverse dishes on offer make a meal here a real treat.


@casamaranideli 010 900 4717

You can’t beat a meal at this family-run deli, whose antipasto platters have become legendary in the short time it’s been open. Originally a tiny little store next to Nice in Parkhurst, it has just moved to a bigger space opposite the chemist in Fourth Avenue, with more tables and the same welcoming atmosphere. The platters, a choice of what you feel like eating from a vast mouthwatering selection, are as popular as ever, but the pasta dishes are equally sublime. As it’s a deli as well as a restaurant, you can take everything home, including fresh ciabatta and imported ingredients.

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