15 Best Italian Restaurants in Austin

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The Italian restaurant presence in Austin can be a bit overwhelming…in the best way! We are fortunate to boast a wide variety of Italian food in Austin’s culinary scene. From family-run food trucks (Patrizi’s) to upscale date night spots (Juniper,) amazing red sauce (Sammie’s) to charming patios where you can sip the best Aperol Spritz in Austin (Juliet), I’m going to cover the best Italian food in Austin so you can pick the one that’s perfect for you. 

Why do we love Italian food so much? For starters: CARBS. Science tells us that our brain’s pleasure and reward centers lights up when we eat rich, fatty, creamy carbs (like cacio e pepe)…meaning Italian food just makes us happy! I’m particularly drawn to it because of the air of festivity that I feel when I walk into a beautiful Italian restaurant with my husband. I love it all: the handmade pasta, the rich, full-bodied bottles of Barolo, the white tablecloths and garlic and delicate tiramisu to wrap up the meal. Italian food makes for one of the best date night options (but you can find many other non-Italian date night restaurants in Austin, too.) It’s also a fun way to share food with a community. I love the loud, cheerful ambiance of Italian restaurants in Austin like Red Ash and Patrizi’s. They feel like a celebration.

Indoor bar at Sammie's Italian in Austin

Whether you’re looking for indoor or outdoor, casual or upscale, handmade or quick and cheap, here’s where you can find the best Italian food in Austin.

Best Italian Restaurants in Austin

The Best Italian Restaurants in Austin

1. Red Ash

Special Occasion restaurants in Austin

Red Ash is a popular spot in the heart of downtown Austin; it’s ALWAYS packed here and reservations are made weeks in advance. The highlight of this Austin Italian restaurant is their grill component, so in addition to the scrumptious homemade pasta, be sure to try something from the wood-burning grill like osso buco or wood roasted halibut.

Red Ash

303 Colorado St #200, Austin, TX 78701

(512) 379-2906

2. Sammie’s

Sammie's Italian food in Austin
Italian restaurant in Austin

New to the Austin dining scene, Sammie’s is a fine Italian restaurant from the MMH restaurant group (Clark’s Oyster Bar, Perla’s, Lambert’s BBQ, June’s All Day, etc.) It took over the former Hut’s Hamburgers space on east 6th and has opened to raving reviews for their red sauce. It’s made to feel like a New York Italian restaurant…including the square footage! (This place is tiny and reservations are hard to get.) 

The experience is truly exceptional. Start with a cocktail and then move to glass of Italian wine from well-curated menu. If it’s your first visit, the veal parm and the lasagna are the two must-try items. And don’t skip dessert! The menu has all of the Italian desserts you would expect (New York style cheesecake, etc.) but they’re done exceptionally well. I 10/10 recommend visiting Sammie’s. 

Chicken Parm at Italian Restaurant in Austin

Sammie’s

807 W 6th St, Austin, TX 78703

(512) 474-2054

3. Juniper

Best Italian Food in Austin: Juniper
Best Italian Food in Austin: Juniper

If you’re looking for upscale Italian restaurants in Austin, book a reservation at Juniper. It’s an east Austin gem that offers northern-Italian inspired cuisine. They have a stunning indoor/outdoor setting (one of my favorite date night spots in Austin!), one of the best gin lists in the city (get a cocktail!), exceptional service and phenomenal Italian food.

Juniper

2400 E Cesar Chavez St UNIT 304, Austin, TX 78702

(512) 220-9421

4. Patrizi’s

Patrizi's Italian food in Austin
Patrizi's Italian food in Austin

Like Juniper, this one is also in east Austin but it’s an entirely different vibe. Patrizi’s is an Italian food truck that’s permanently parked outside the vortex theater. This family-run truck serves homestyle Italian dishes that are scratch-made in house. Try the homemade pasta dishes, the yummiest garlic bread, and be sure to BYO bottle of wine. This is a casual, family-style Italian restaurant. It’s the perfect place to eat on a beautiful night in Austin.

Patrizi’s

2307 Manor Rd, Austin, TX 78722

(512) 522-4834

5. Intero

Intero Italian restaurant in Austin
Intero Italian restaurant in Austin

I have SO many great things to say about this Italian restaurant! Intero means “whole” in Italian, and that’s one of the main concepts behind this place: using the whole ingredient in traditional Italian cooking methods to provide a sustainable approach to food. Because of this, the menu is constantly evolving but you can expect to find phenomenal handmade pasta, meat and fish, and small plates for tasting. Also, the husband/wife team who runs Intero wanted to make a nod to Italy’s influence on chocolate, so there’s a chocolate shop at the entrance to the restaurant. Order some of the house made artisan chocolates for dessert, or get a few truffles or some sipping chocolate to bring home.

Intero

2612 E Cesar Chavez St Suite 105, Austin, TX 78702

(512) 599-4052

6. Juliet Italian Kitchen

Juliet Italian Kitchen

Juliet pops up in my conversations a lot, like when I’m asked about amazing happy hours in Austin, the prettiest patios, and (now) the best places to eat Italian food. It’s a gorgeous restaurant located on the iconic Barton Springs Rd. If the weather allows, book an outdoor table. It’s a large restaurant that usually has space for walk-ins, but it’s upscale enough for a date night or a birthday celebration. You’ll find all your italian favorites here like house pulled mozzarella, 11 inch thin crust pizza, and pasta dishes that are scratch-made daily. Be sure to try the Apero Spritz (many people call it the best one in Austin!) and if you’re able to stop by for their happy hour you’ll find lots of cocktails and glasses of wine at a very reasonable price.

Psst: here are 20 beautiful patio restaurants in Austin.

Juliet Italian Kitchen

1500 Barton Springs Rd, Austin, TX 78704

(512) 479-1800

7. L’Oca d’Oro

This gorgeous restaurant in the Mueller neighborhood of Austin is one of the most thoughtful Italian restaurants in Austin. They are a farm-to-table restaurant that sources ethically and responsibly, and they pride themselves on providing fair living wages to all of the staff. Dine here for lovely Italian starters, meat dishes, vegetables, and house made pastas, as well as a great wine list. {Photo via L’Oca d’Oro}

L’Oca d’Oro

1900 Simond Ave, Austin, TX 78723

(737) 212-1876

8. Il Brutto

Best Italian Restaurants in Austin
Il Brutto Austin

Il Brutto is just a FUN spot in east Austin! It’s a beautiful restaurant with a large rectangular bar (a fun spot to stop for a cocktail in east Austin, even if you’re not dining here), and one of my favorite patios in east Austin. It’s a corner wooden deck shaded by a massive tree, and it just feels so fun and festive! Try their Neapolitan pizza, their homemade pasta (I love the squid ink tagliolini and the pappardelle with lamb ragú), and definitely a cocktail (or three.) Don’t leave without a scoop of the house made gelato or an amaro flight.

Il Brutto

1601 E 6th St, Austin, TX 78702

(512) 580-8779

9. Artipasta

Artipasta Austin
Artiapasta Austin

This food truck is a great place to dine in a casual outdoor picnic table setting, or to get a pasta dish to bring back home to enjoy on your couch while you watch netflix. It’s an Italian-owned restaurant with authentic handmade pasta dishes that continually amaze me! I will say that the menu can be a little bit confusing to read, but if you talk to the owner about what you want (like a creamy dish, or a meat-based sauce, etc.) he can help you find the perfect pasta dish. I love the tagliatelle with parmesan cream!

Artipasta

7800 S 1st St, Austin, TX 78745

(512) 228-7489

10. Vespaio

Vespaio Austin

You can’t call yourself an Austinite until you’ve dined at Vespaio on South Congress! It’s been around for more than 20 years and it’s a staple in the Italian restaurant scene. You’ll find the traditional Italian menu offerings that you expect to see (standard antipasti, pizza, and first and second course italian pasta and meat dishes.) Everything is made with the heart and care that it takes to keep a successful restaurant running for more than two decades.

Vespaio

1610 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704

(512) 441-6100

11. Olive & June

One of the best ambiances you’ll find at an Italian restaurant in Austin! Olive & June is a multi-level restaurant that’s enveloped by a 200-year-old oak tree. Their patio is so much fun! The food isn’t anything to scoff at, either. Try their Texas peach bruschetta, the incredible corn and truffle risotto, and basically any of the housemade pasta dishes. (Oooh, and be sure to get their ricotta cheesecake, too!) And if you’re just interested in stopping by for cocktails, be sure to hit up their happy hour for 50% off. {Photo via AustinTexas.org}

Olive & June

3411 Glenview Ave, Austin, TX 78703

(512) 467-9898

12. Andiamo Ristorante

Best Italian Restaurants in Austin

Oh, Andiamo… Some of the most delicious Italian food in Austin, but I just wish the ambiance was a little bit better! The authentic Italian cuisine is seriously top notch. This is some of the best homemade pasta you can find in the city, and they have a killer wine list. But the restaurant itself is in a strip mall and has low ceilings and dated carpet. If we’re just talking about the food, it’s one of my top picks for best Italian food in Austin with phenomenal service. But I like to take the entire dining experience into consideration, and the ambiance just isn’t what most people are looking for in the Austin dining scene. 

With a few upgrades, this would be one of my favorite Italian restaurants in Austin!

Andiamo Ristorante

2521 Rutland Dr #325, Austin, TX 78758

(512) 719-3377

13. Cipollina

Cipollina Austin

Like Vespaio, this is an Italian restaurant that has been serving Austin for more than 2 decades. A true neighborhood bistro, Cipollina is tucked into Clarksville and provides a cozy dining experience. Dine on soup and salad, pizzas, classic Italian starers, and Italian pasta staples like spaghetti and meatballs, bolognese on tagliatelle noodles, and shrimp scampi. Psst: unlike many of the restaurants on this list, Cipollina is a great spot to stop by for lunch to enjoy an Italian sandwich like chicken parm or caprese. 

Cipollina 

1213 W Lynn St, Austin, TX 78703

(512) 477-5211

14. Mandola’s

pasta dish at Mandola Italian restaurant in Austin
Mandola's Austin

I know it’s a bit of a chain now with locations in Florida, but don’t knock Mandola’s! It’s a great option for family Italian meals, to-go orders, and reasonable prices. (They have a kids menu with $5-8 options, and each meal includes a drink and a scoop of gelato.)

Mandola’s

4700 W Guadalupe St #12, Austin, TX 78751

(512) 419-9700

15. Siena

West Austin is fairly sparse in regards to good restaurants, so this gem is a nice one to keep in mind. Siena is an upscale Tuscan restaurant set in a rustic mansion (yep!) with thick stone walls, wooden beams, and an outdoor patio. Expect white tablecloths, phenomenal service, a great cocktail and wine list, and authentic Italian cuisine from a chef who has lived and studied in Italy. {Photo via Siena}

Siena

6203 N Capital of Texas Hwy, Austin, TX 78731

(512) 349-7667

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Sandra
Sandra
3 months ago

So helpful, thank you! I live downtown and another one of my favorites is North, although they’re not a local company. I haven’t been to Sammie’s yet either but it’s on my list.

John Ross
Reply to  Sandra
2 months ago

Sammie’s should be #1 on this list, by a mile. No offense to the other amazing Italian restaurants… You need to try it STAT as 15th is extremely misleading.

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