Winter pairs perfectly with Italian cuisine. The cosy comfort and delicious simplicity of Italian ingredients inspire hearty gatherings with friends and family.
Authentic Italian cooking demands only the best quality ingredients from local or homegrown producers. Processed food is not part of the process! Known for uncompromising use of only the freshest ingredients it would not be authentic Italian cuisine if there was no olive oil, garlic, tomatoes, basil, balsamic vinegar, oregano, cured meats, cheeses and pasta.
These classic Italian flavours are the basis for deceptively elegant dishes where only a few ingredients create a taste sensation. Consider the simplicity of the Margherita pizza: tomato, mozzarella and basil (red, white and green for the Italian flag) and the sublime combination created with only three toppings.
So, if your tastebuds are craving cheesy topped pepperoni pizza or oodles of spaghetti bolognese noodles, maybe Chianti and bruschetta or coffee and tiramisu, Lygon Street has got you. Mangiare!
Classic Italian Food On Lygon Street
Donnini’s is an intimate Italian eatery established in the late seventies on Drummond Street, Carlton. In 1982 it won the Ciao Italia Award for the best Italian Restaurant in Australasia, which was bestowed by the Italian President, himself! They have grown to five locations throughout Melbourne and their exciting pasta franchise at 320 Lygon Street is across the road from the OG icon.
Seasons Provedore is Italian like Mumma-used-to-make, which offers a warm ambience and friendly service in the heart of Little Italy. Best known for their hand-made pasta, you’ll be spoilt for choice with their gnocchi, tagliatelle and pappardelle drenched in authentic Italian sauces. They also boast boutique pizza and award-winning coffee. Cooked and served with love.
Piccolo Mondo celebrates everything authentic Italian and is a hot spot with the locals who embrace alfresco dining with family and friends. Their traditional pasta dishes are something to write home about and the homemade dessert menu is more Molti Mondo!
Tiamo is one of the best Italian restaurants on Lygon Street. Classic fare such as minestrone, lasagne, risotto and spaghetti bolognese are unrivalled. Aperitifs such as Aperol and Negroni are the contemporary take on a spritz and it’s impossible to go past their Piedmontese Dessert, traditionally eaten during the colder months of the year.
Universal Restaurant keeps it short and sweet, and savoury! They are the best Italian comfort food on Lygon. Whether you’re craving their famous chicken parma or traditional pizza and pasta, their flavours are quintessentially Italian and deliciously universal.
Papa Gino’s has been part of the Carlton tapestry for over 40 years. Generous serves of fabulous Italian favourites have made it popular with locals and tourists alike. Their Carbonara is a crowd favourite and the Amatriciana is spectacular. All palettes are catered for from pizza, pasta, soups, salads, mains and dessert. Traditional Italian dining.
La Taverna is renowned for home-style Italian flavours and family atmosphere. One of the first Italian pizza restaurants in Melbourne, it serves 33 different pizzas… their Garlic Focaccia is unbeatable. There is a true old fashioned family vibe here, with three generations contributing to its success.
University Cafe is a Lygon Street original, established for 70 years, with some of the best Italian food in Little Italy. The cafe hosts a universal clientele from locals, to academics and international travellers. One of Melbourne’s first espresso bars, it’s seen generations of great coffee and great conversation. Masters of home-style cooking, their menu is a masterclass in Italian cuisine.
Lygon Street adopts COVID-safe protocols, so savvy diners should check each establishments’ requirements prior to making a reservation, so they can give you a bona fide Italian experience. Bon Appetit!