When we think of pasta, we think of hearty, delicious taste combinations, designed to be shared with family and friends. But pasta itself was designed to serve up specific flavours and textures. There’s a reason why Italian’s combine spaghetti and bolognese, fettuccine with carbonara, and even the humble macaroni with cheese. The best pasta is dressed for success, and conveniently all located on Lygon Street.
Classic Pasta Combinations
Beef and tomato bring out the best in each other, so it’s no surprise that bolognese sauce is iconic. Egg and bacon are an undisputed combination, so carbonara was destined to be a classic sauce. Spinach and ricotta is another perfect combination and therefore finds its appetising home inside cannelloni. Both the flavour and the texture of the best pasta sauce on Lygon Street plays an enticing role in the type of dish it brings to the table.
- Cylindrical pasta (spaghetti, vermicelli) likes tomato or oil-based sauce to perfectly coat the long strands of pasta
- Ribbon or flat pasta (fettuccine, linguini, lasagna) pairs best with creamy or rich sauces
- Tubular pasta (penne, ziti, rigatoni) caters to “angry” or spicy sauce. The stronger flavours fill the hollow centre. Hence penne arrabbiata, famous for its chilli kick
- Stuffed pasta (tortellini, ravioli, cannelloni) has packed the flavour inside the pasta and are therefore best served with a light sauce or simple broth
- Curly pasta (fusilli, riccioli, gemelli) works well with chunky sauces, such as pesto as their ridges hold the flavour
That said, there’s no pasta police! You are free to create your own delectable combinations to delight your palate. Be inspired by some of the best-dressed pasta on Lygon Street.
Stuzzichino Ristorante e Bar
Stuzzichino cafe bar e ristorante specialises in authentic Sicilian cuisine, employing methods infused with passion and soul. Their classic and contemporary menu will have your mouth watering. They even offer gluten-free pasta. As proprietor, Angelo Gibaldi’s nonna is fond of saying, “you can use the best ingredients of all time but the finest one is passion.” Taste the love.
Established over 60 years ago, the University Café has been feeding academia, locals, and tourists the most authentic Lygon St pasta Little Italy has to offer. One of the OG espresso bars, this bustling cafe draws an eclectic mix of people who value good food, good service, and a great atmosphere. Their spaghetti, tiramisu and espresso are standouts along a very competitive strip.
A much-loved staple of the Lygon Street precinct, Il Gambero has been serving up scrumptious pasta dishes to their discerning patrons for over 40 years. Their reputation is built on the belief that quality food and service should be available to everyone, so they source only the best produce, served with a smile.
With handmade fresh pasta from an original motherland recipe, founder Johnny di Francesco and his wife Maria have made 400 Gradi a marvellous family affair and a household name. Established in 2008 with their flagship site in Lygon Street, Brunswick, their genuine Italian dining experience has reached across several platforms to include cookbooks, feature articles and global television appearances. Universally appealing.
Da Guido La Pasta
How fortunate we are that pasta paradise can be found on Lygon Street, Carlton. Da Guido La Pasta will serve you the most delicious tagliatelle, maccheroni, fusilli, and spaghetti you’ve ever tasted. They pride themselves on making their pasta fresh every single day with natural, locally sourced ingredients and authentic motherland passion. Divine combination.
Located right in the heart of Carlton’s Little Italy, Piccolo Mondo is a celebration of the best Italian dining has to offer. From their bona fide traditionally prepared pasta dishes to their spectacular homemade desserts, you will be dining on the memory of this slice of heaven long after the meal is over. Their al fresco dining experience makes Piccolo Mondo one of the best venues to share a meal with family and friends.
Their ethos is simply the power of great food and there is no disputing the exceptional range of great Lygon St pasta that Seasons Provedore produces. Choose from their free-range egg, handmade spaghetti, tagliatelle, pappardelle, tagliolini, strotza prete or gnocchi, coupled with their classic, authentic Italian pasta sauces. Gluten-free and vegetarian options are available. SIDEBAR: Excellent espresso and Italian wine selection.
Famous for the spaghettini with bug, crab and chilli, Agostino is the restaurant nestled under the juggernaut that is the King & Godfree empire. Their pasta sings with only the freshest authentic Italian ingredients, where everything plays an integral role from the olive oil to the basil, chorizo and parmesan cheese. If you are homesick for Nonna, Agostino will embrace you.
This bustling Italian bistro is as authentically Italian as the pasta served inside. Now a Melbourne icon, Tiamo is the perfect place for casual dining with a side of atmosphere. The family-sized serves of food come with a family-sized serve of love and no one leaves wanting for more. Their al fresco dining area is pole-position on Lygon Street guaranteeing all senses are catered to.
The Donnini family are Lygon Street royalty. Having established the University Cafe in 1952 the demand for pasta soon followed. Donnini’s Restaurant hand-makes fresh pasta each day using their signature combination of extra-fine 00 flour and free-range eggs. And for the best lasagne Melbourne has to offer try their Lasagne Traditionale, an original recipe handed down from great-grandmother, Eros, born in Modena; also known for the best balsamic vinegar on the planet and the birthplace of Enzo Ferrari. It doesn’t get more Italia than that.
If you are looking for an opportunity to share the best plate of pasta with your family and friends, look no further than Lygon Street. The genuine love that Italians imbue in their dining is exactly what we need right now. Eat, drink, and enjoy the company of those you love. Grazie Mille.