Best Italian Restaurants in Adelaide

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Ever since Lucia Rosella served Adelaide its first bowl of pasta way back in 1957, the city’s love affair with Italian cuisine has aged like a fine barolo, and only gets better with time. It feels like there’s a new Italian joint opening every other day, with relative newcomers like Anchovy Bandit slowly taking over town. Meanwhile, places like McLaren Vale’s Pizzateca show how a simple slice of pizza can shape a city’s culinary identity. For all these and more, hit this list of Adelaide’s best Italian joints, compiled by Broadsheet’s food and drink experts.

  • This diner raised the bar for Italian food in Adelaide when it opened in 2015, and it's just as good as ever. Visit for excellent hand-made pasta, hearty share-plates and one of the best cellars in town. It's all set within one of South Australia's most awarded restaurant interiors.

  • A freewheeling Italian joint that's inspired by tradition – but never bound by it. Bandit’s woodfired pizzas and housemade pasta are among the city’s best, and the drinks list spans Italianate cocktails, amaro and solid non alc options. Salute!

  • In the ’50s, pizza was something most Australians had only seen in foreign magazines. Lucia's changed that when it opened in 1957, introducing locals to the Italian staple. It serves the same pizza and pasta that’s been around for decades. We hope it never changes.

  • A suburban Italian joint with hand-rolled pasta and a tight Italian wine list. While it’s very much a restaurant, you’re just as welcome to pull up a stool at the bar, order a drink, and tuck into a plate of salumi or pillowy gnocco fritto.

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  • “Oztalian” pizza and local wines to match. An imported Italian wood-fired oven sits in the middle of this rustic little restaurant; fresh and white with signature pastel-pink and green accents. It’s turning out pizza that’s well worth the trip to McLaren Vale.

  • The standard-setter for Neapolitan pizza in Adelaide. The rest of the selection – including antipasto, pasta and desserts – is tight and considered. The same goes for the wine list of Italian and South Australian drops.

  • It’s all about decadent dining at this New York-Style Italian Restaurant. Riffs on traditional dishes include “Roman Vegemite” soldiers, lasagne pizza and steak frites with Italian bearnaise. Settle into one of the intimate booths or get a ringside seat at the striking marble bar.

  • Italian-born husband-and-wife team Paolo Rosina and Ilenia Scuderi bring traditional (and not-so traditional) pizza and pastries to Henley Beach Road. The Pastry Lab, which serves a bounty of vegan-friendly treats, is well worth its own visit.

  • This Italian restaurant, wine bar, and cooking school has close ties with the local market. Next time you're in the Barossa, be sure to book in.

  • The menu hasn’t changed in over two decades – no one wants it to. You can find nearly every dish in the Southern Italian culinary canon here, but special marks go to the pizza.

  • This swish bistro from restaurateur Andre Ursini is the grand counterpart to next-door deli and small bar, Willmott's Gastronomia. Come for rustic, wood-fired, pan-Italian fare. And most ingredients come from Ursini's 20-acre property in the Adelaide Hills.

  • Peer through the large front windows at this Pirie Street favourite and you’ll see two beautiful red-brick ovens. They’re the only source of cooking heat for the entire restaurant, and you can learn how to use them – this spot hosts pizza-making classes for the dough-curious.

  • This relaxed Italian diner does just about everything really well. The pizza is great, and so is the pasta, but it's the space – stucco walls, large outdoor terrace, Mediterranean feel – that will really transport you to Italy.

  • Melt’s menu focuses on top produce and simple flavours – and it's barely changed since the restaurant opened in 2005. Favourites include the Queen Margarita and The Turk (lamb, pine nuts, pomegranate, provolone, yoghurt, mint and sumac).

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  • Home-style Italian food and Euro-kitsch above one of Adelaide’s favourite pubs. The namesake red-sauce pasta with anchovies, pangrattato, Kalamata olives and chilli has long been a go-to among kitchen staff at the end of a long shift, or an impromptu late-night dinner option.

  • A California-inspired pizza bar serving Italo-American classics. The pizzas here are undeniably great, but it's the atmosphere that will really keep you coming back.

  • You'll ask yourself the following when you enter this neon-lit gem: is Sunny’s a pizza joint that also happens to feel like a house party? Or is it a bar with DJs and primo pizza? Happily, the answer is “yes” to both.

  • Fitting a pizza oven and restaurant into a tiny space would worry most, but not Est Pizzeria. It uses the space it has – and uses it well. If you’re coming with a group, the banquet here makes things nice and easy.

  • Last-supper-meets-Nonna’s-kitchen style dining. Our advice is to just let your waiter dishes from the ever-changing menu. That will let you focus on what's important: getting to know the very smashable wine list.

  • A casual Italian bistro that smacks of old-school charm. Come at aperitivo hour and crowd your table with rustic pastas such as spaghetti chitarra alla carbonara – finished at the table for added theatrics.