When it comes to these Italian restaurants in Vancouver, think local, fresh, seasonal and quality ingredients used by chefs who are so passionate about the food they're creating. With these restaurants, it's hard to choose where to start as they each offer something different so it just depends on what you're in the mood for; you can't go wrong with any of these Italian restaurants.
Kitsilano's La Quercia serves stellar dishes that are best enjoyed family style. This cozy neighborhood eatery has been a favorite amongst locals because of the consistently delicious, yet changing dishes. If you like to try a few different things, try the chef's menu for something fun and unique.
Neopolitan pizza is no stranger to Vancouverites and over the last few years there has been an increasing number of pizza joints popping up throughout the city. While there are so many delicious options, Nicli Antica Pizzeria in Gastown is where you will find Vancouver's first VPN certified Neopolitan style pizza. If you haven't had true Neopolitan pizza before, be warned–your standard pizza delivery just doesn't compare.
Head a little further east to Vancouver's Downtown East Side and you'll find Ask for Luigi, a local gem. The price point is reasonable, the food is delicious, the drinks are plentiful and the atmosphere provides a cozy, neighborhood vibe. It's ideal for a romantic night out or a catch up with friends.
Nicli Antica Pizzeria
Neopolitan pizza has found a large following in Vancouver and on any given night there are hungry diners knocking on Nicli's doors to get a piece of the pie, or a whole pie in this case. The pizza's are served piping hot from the wood-fired oven that's made out of stone from Mt. Vesuvius. Neopolitan style pizza has a thin crust with a slight chew and blistering on the bottom and is topped with just enough toppings so that you can taste each bite. Nicli uses San Marzano tomatoes for their sauce and you can really taste the difference. They have a handful of salads and antipastos to start with, but the main attraction is the pizza. Boasting vegetarian, red sauce, white sauce, and meat options, Nicli's menu is drool worth. They also have reasonably priced wine and a creative cocktail list. ((604) 669-6985)
Yaletown L'Antipasto is a quaint and unassuming restaurant in Yaletown that will blow you away. Though it may be bold to say, Yaletown L'Antipasto has some of the best fresh pasta in Vancouver. This family-run joint will make you feel warm and welcomed with their personable service and authentic Italian fare. They combine imported products from Italy with locally sourced and fresh ingredients from British Columbia to create delicious antipasti options, salads, pastas and desserts. On warmer days, sit outside and enjoy the patio - it's great for people watching! Open for lunch and dinner, Yaletown L'Antipasto is a favorite amongst locals. The price point here is very reasonable, making it an ideal spot for a date. Wash down your meal with a glass (or bottle) of wine from their well stocked wine list. ((604) 558-1174)
Fresh burrata cheese, house made pastas, beautiful cuts of meat, wonderful service and a cozy atmosphere make this a favorite Italian restaurants in Vancouver. Located in the city's West End, regulars frequent this delicious spot and there's often a line-up during peak hours. The quality of the ingredients are top notch and the price point is an added bonus; the food may compete with Vancouver's fancy Italian restaurants, but the price point doesn't. The menu isn't overly extensive and this is what makes it such a great place. They put their focus into a handful of appetizers, pastas, and mains so that they can make sure each dish is executed well. It's the perfect spot for a date, or a casual dinner with friends. ((604) 606-4680)
Cioppino's Mediterranean Grill & Enoteca
Chef Pino was born in Lago, Italy, but spent much time in Canada visiting family and eventually decided he wanted to move here and make a name for himself in the restaurant industry. Cioppino's opened in 1999 and since then, it has been a Vancouver institution for those looking for a fine-dining Italian experience. Chef Pino is known to demand excellence in his kitchen and this shows up in each dish. The warm atmosphere invites diners in and it's the delicious food and welcoming service that keep guests coming back.
Located in Yaletown, it's easily accessible by foot, car, and Canada Line. ((604) 688-7466)
Cibo Trattoria specializes in rustic Italian cuisine and can be found in the heart of downtown Vancouver.
Cibo uses only fresh ingredients with a heavy emphasis on organic ingredients. When it comes to meat and fish, they make sure it's sourced from ethical, organic and sustainable suppliers. Something totally unique about Cibo is that they don't shy away from offal cuts of meat so don't be surprised if you see interesting cuts on the menu from time-to-time. If you prefer to stick to more traditional ingredients, fret not. The menu is thoughtfully created so that there's something for everyone. Cibo Trattoria's wine program is impeccable and complements the dishes beautifully. ((604) 602-9570)
For years, Umberto Menghi's Giardino Restaurant was a local favorite for fine dining Italian cuisine and when the announcement was made that they would be closing the doors, it hit the city hard. Fortunately, the closure was short lived and they re-opened just a few blocks up from their old location.
The indoor space is warm, inviting and the perfect spot to sit and enjoy a decadent meal. Outside on the courtyard, you'll feel as though you've been transported to Italy; it's a welcome oasis from the bustle of the city.
On the menu you'll find many familiar dishes with daily specials. Pair your meal with something juicy from the extensive wine list. As if the food, wine, and atmosphere wasn't enough, the service is top-notch and you'll be well taken care of. (604-669-2422)
If you've ever walked down Robson Street before, you're probably familiar with the alluring scent of Cin Cin Ristorante's wood-fired oven. Follow your nose and make your way up the winding stone stairway to this contemporary Italian restaurant. While the warm and sophisticated room beckons, the service and incredible food are sure to keep you coming back. The menu tempts with seasonal dishes that use well-sourced ingredients, making each dish shine. Cin Cin's drink scene is solid. Their craft cocktails are the perfect way to start your evening and the wine list is stocked full of beautiful options. Having been around for over 30 years, Cin Cin is a Vancouver favorite. (604-688-7338)
A charming heritage house in Yaletown is home to Lupo, a fine dining Italian restaurant. Chef Perini doesn't take short cuts in the kitchen and only uses the freshest seasonal ingredients, while making everything in-house. On the menu, you will find traditional Italian fare with a slight sense of adventure, giving each plate a certain wow factor.
The dishes at Lupo are beautiful and delicious, and the atmosphere complements the food perfectly. Set inside an old heritage home, the atmosphere is warm and inviting; you'll feel right at home at Lupo.
Located just off of Robson Street and a stone's throw from Yaletown, Lupo is easy to get to. (604-569-2535)
Ask for Luigi
This cozy and intimate Italian-inspired restaurant welcomes diners to enjoy a comforting meal in the Downtown East Side. Though it's slightly off the beaten path, Ask for Luigi attracts flocks of hungry bellies.
The dinner menu is adorned with delicious dishes, but the main star is the freshly made pastas they serve in the evening. The pappardelle and duck ragu is a must order. Prior to digging in to your main course, enjoy something from antipasti menu. Just be sure to save room for dessert; it's made in house.
Ask for Luigi encourages family-style dining so that you can explore the menu and enjoy a few bites of each dish.
Weekend brunch at Ask for Luigi's is a hit and the poached eggs with ricotta stuffed eggplant and tomato sauce is an incredible way to start your weekend. ((604) 428-2544)
The cozy and intimate room is the perfect start to a wonderfully prepared meal. Stepping into La Quercia feels like coming home. On the menu, there are a handful of dishes offered for each course; what they do, they do well. At La Quercia, diners enjoy classic dishes made with seasonal ingredients, and a changing menu. You can order from the a la carte menu or opt for a family-style experience. If you're with a couple of people, ordering family style is the best way to eat; it doesn't get better than enjoying the experience together. Complete your meal with a bottle of wine from their extensive wine list. (604-676-1007)
About Natasha John
Natasha is not born and raised in Vancouver, but is pretty certain it's her spirit hometown. After jumping around Canada, Texas, Arkansas and the UK, she has her feet firmly planted in Vancouver's beaches.
When Natasha's not freelance writing and copywriting, she's either cooking up a storm in her kitchen, kicking back with friends over a glass of wine or exploring the North Shore with her fiancé.
Read more about Natasha John here.
Connect with Natasha via: Blog | Twitter | Google+ | StumbleUpon