Seriously, what's not to love about Italian food? Lasagna, linguini, cannolis, and of course delicious, delicious pizza. We just can't get enough! However, if you've had enough of the greasy pizza chain restaurants, how about switching it up in favour of a more authentic version at Pizzeria Libretto or Tutti Matti?
Of course, any true foodie will know that there's much more to Italian cuisine than just pizza! Any one of the Toronto spots below will prove that Italian food is one of the tastiest cuisines in the world. Salute!
1. Pizzeria Libretto // 550 Danforth Ave
Try: Duck Confit Neapolitan Pizza - for each of this menu item purchased, Pizzeria Libretto will donate one meal to someone in need through Mealshare, a non-profit society aiming to combat world hunger.
2. Terroni // 57 Adelaide St E
Try: Tagliatelle alla Bolognese with traditional Bolognese ragù or the Tonnarelli Levantini, a mussels/calamari dish with cherry tomatoes, basil pesto and chili.
3. Mistura // 265 Davenport Rd
Try: The balsamic glazed lamb ribs with vegetable slaw, or the veal scaloppine sautéed with white wine and mushrooms.
4. Tutti Matti // 364 Adelaide St W
Try: The venison with dried figs and acorn squash, or, if you're feeling a bit of a splurge, the bistecca ribeye dish with heirloom carrots and potatoes.
5. Campagnolo // 832 Dundas St W
Try: The fresh burrata cheese with roasted grapes and toasted bread or, for your sweeth tooth, the salted caramel budino (Italian pudding) with chocolate meringue.
6. Buca // 604 King St W
Try: the gnocchi ripieni dish, aka ricotta dumplings stuffed with taleggio cheese, butternut squash, spices, sage and hazelnut.
7. Carisma // 73 King St E
Try: starting with the insalata di bufala with mozzarella, tomato and basil, then enjoy the herb-crusted lamb chop with goat cheese.
8. Nodo // 2885 Dundas St W
Try: the Poggionino pizza with mozzarella, sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke, goat cheese, and fresh arugula - and don't forget delicious handmade cannoli for dessert.
9. Vaticano // 25 Bellair St
Try: the spaghetti carbonara with chopped bacon and egg, or the penne cleopatra with smoked salmon in a rosé sauce.
10. Enoteca Sociale // 1288 Dundas St W
Try: the Sicilian sausage dish with wild mushrooms, pickled crab apple and maple syrup, or the pan-roasted halibut with olives and potatoes.
11. L'Unità // 134 Avenue Rd
Try: the wild mushroom bruschetta followed by the Fiorentina steak with veggies and roasted shallots, and the handmade biscotti for dessert.
12. Stelvio // 354 Queen St W
Try: the Mondeghili appetizer which entails deep fried meatballs served with homemade cheese sauce, or, if you're gluten-intolerant, anything from their selection of gluten-free pasta dishes.
13. Gusto 101 // 101 Portland St
Try: their Calamarate con Gamberi dish if you're into shrimp, or their Diavola pizza consisting of sundried tomato pesto, smoked provolone, calabrese salami and roasted peppers.
14. Donatello // 37 Elm St
Try: their Tortellini dish (pictured above) with a Caprese salad on the side.
15. Sotto Sotto // 120 Avenue Rd
Try: the Pollo in Carrozza, a chicken dish topped with prosciutto and mozzarella in a white wine sauce, with a gelato or sorbet flavour of your choice for dessert.
16. Levetto // 940 College St
Try: the smoked bacon carbonara or Salsiccia pizza, with white chocolate tiramisu for dessert.
17. Cibo Wine Bar // 522 King St W
Try: the risotto with clams, mussels and calamari, or a roasted veggie calzone instead of the usual pizza slice.
18. Grazie Ristorante // 2373 Yonge St
Try: the traditional Italian Minestra soup or the Penza rigatoni with vodka, spicy bacon, green peppers and chilli peppers.
19. F'Amelia // 12 Amelia St
Try: the oven-baked lasagna with braised beef, or the butternut squash risotto - don't forget some housemade gelato for dessert.
20. Gio Rana's // 1220 Queen St E
Try: risotto balls stuffed with mozzarella, tomato and pesto for an appetizer, and maybe the sautéed garlic shrimp linguini or rigatoni bolognese as your main course.
21. 7 Numbers // 307 Danforth Ave
Try: the burrata (creamy cheese appetizer served with fresh bread) and an assortment of their meat dishes as your main, like grilled lamb chops or pork chop, either sautéed onions for garnish.
22. Giancarlo // 41 Clinton St
Try: the tomato "zuppa" soup with garlic croutons and poached egg, or the garlic marinated lamb chops with fried sweet onions.
23. Queen Margherita Pizza // 1402 Queen St E
Try: it's pizza - you really can't go wrong with any choice! You can pair any pizza with an appetizer and dessert for a total of $30, although perhaps you might be inclined to try the chef's daily selection of meats with the salumi board option as well.
24. Ovest // 788 King St W
Try: the pan-roasted Cornish hen dish or the veal tenderloin. If you're into seafood, they offer a seafood risotto special on Saturdays.
25. Marinella // 640 College St
Try: the French cut veal chop (pictured above)... mouthwatering. They also have a large selection of handmade pasta, as well as tantalizing salumi and cheese sides to taste-test. Mmmm.
26. Camarra // 2899 Dufferin St
Try: a traditional Stracciatella chicken broth with egg and parmesan. They also let you build your own pizza with thick or thin crust, additional spices, and dozens of topping options available, allowing for as many toppings as you want.
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