I love to eat, cook, and write about Italian food. My grandmother was from Sicily and her family recipes introduced me to the wonders of real Italian cuisine. Classic Italian food is simple, delicious, and uses fresh, quality ingredients.

Photo Credit :: Vespaio Restaurant

If you are looking for authentic and delicious Italian food, here are my top picks for restaurants in the Austin area.

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Red Ash Italia: Probably my favorite Italian date night spot in atx! A warm and interesting ambiance with a warehouse vibe and beautiful & delicious food. Their wine list is bomb…and did I mention how pretty the food is? Try any (or all) of the beef small plates – the Carpaccio, the Bruschetta with Steak Trimmings, and the Bone Marrow…it’s an Italian Steakhouse after all and what they do with meat is beyond. Great date night spot

Trattoria Lisina: This has been my favorite spot to eat Italian since I moved to Austin over a decade ago. Hidden in the beautiful Texas Hill Country beside a vineyard, the atmosphere is casual, rustic, and family friendly. With a phenomenal menu and outdoor picnic tables and a playscape, it’s the perfect spot to enjoy good food and quality time.  The pasta is to die for…try the butternut squash ravioli! Family friendly

La’Oca de Oro: Italian cooking should focus on fresh ingredients and that’s exactly what this restaurant does. They use sustainable and locally grown produce and meats, and make their own bread, cheese, and pasta! It’s located in the Mueller district, and I love it because they offer subscription boxes if authentic Italian at home is your thing. Local Ingredients, Subscription Boxes

Ellera Italian Fine Dining and Beer Garden: Their head chef learned to cook in Rome and brought over ten years of authentic Italian cooking experience to this west Austin restaurant. With outdoor picnic tables and a covered patio it’s family & pet friendly. They have a lovely bar with craft cocktails as well as an indoor dining area. You will not want to miss the grilled mozzarella cheese sandwich and their caesar salad is probably the best I’ve ever had! Family friendly, Pet friendly

North Italia: Ok so this restaurant is a chain and has several locations in the US, but it’s making the list because the food is really special. The dining experience is more polished than expected and their focus is on simple and delicious Italian food. If you like dessert then the bombolini will change your life. Two great locations, one in downtown Austin and one in the Domain. Kids menu, Great lunch spot

Vespaio Ristorante: We’ve celebrated more than a few anniversaries at this longstanding Austin restaurant and it’s always a pleasure to dine here. Located on South Congress, Vespaio has been around since the 90’s. With a garden out back, they locally source and make everything from scratch, and even butcher their own proteins. The calamari is always good here and the Carbonara is worth every penny! Perfect for special occasions

What is your favorite Italian restaurant in the area?  Do you have a favorite Italian recipe to cook at home?



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