When you think of authentic, true flavours of Italy you probably don't think you would find them anywhere in Ottawa. However, being #blessed with a Little Italy in our city, there are more Italian restaurants to choose from than you could ever imagine. All of them being absolutely unique and delicious in their own way as well.
Whether you're in the mood for pizza or a hearty plate of spaghetti and meatballs, these restaurants will not let you down. They have endless options that make the carb queens in us scream with happiness, and the wine list is looking fine. So grab your girlfriends, your SO or put it on your bucket list to try all of these places before if you're too broke to actually go to Italy. Here are the closest places in Ottawa that you'll get to dining in that beautiful and delicious country:
DiVino Modern Italian // 225 Preston Street
This upper class Italian restaurant will have you feel like you're dining with the king and queen. This authentic Italian cuisine can be served to you in a private dining room or the main dining room, so it's perfect for birthdays or anniversaries. Their large variety of fine wines will make you feel classy AF as well.
North & Navy // 226 Nepean Street
North & Navy is an adorable restaurant that is inside of a house, and the antique decor just puts a cherry on top of the whole place. They get their inspiration from Eastern Ontario and Northern Italy, so the collaboration between fresh seafood and pasta makes for a meal you'll want every single day.
La Dolce Vita // 180 Preston Street
La Dolce Vita has a Mediterranean atmosphere, and is popular for their delicious calzones and gourmet Italian cuisine. They have a diverse menu which caters to people who are vegan, vegetarian, and also offer a gluten-free menu. You can order food online to take out as well, which makes Netflix and chill a whole lot more romantic.
Il Primo // 371 Preston Street
If you want to impress someone on a date, take them here and BYOW (bring your own wine). Il Primo lets you bring your own wine at the dinner service from Sunday to Wednesdays for a 10 dollar fee. Whether your wine is more than the dinner combined or cheaper than the tip you give, they don't care (but your date might).
Johnny Farina // 216 Elgin Street
This casual and cozy Italian restaurant and bar/lounge is the perfect place for a girls night out. You can dine in the restaurant while eating delicious Italian cuisine, and then move to the bar/lounge when you're ready to let loose a little and unwind from the week.
Giovanni's Restaurant & Dining Lounge // 362 Preston Street
Giovanni's has been around for 30 years and their decadent food speaks for itself. Authentic Italian food is what they do best, and they are set on making sure the customer is always happy. They have every Italian dish you could think of, and it's all mastered to perfection.
Caffe Mio // 1379 Wellington Street
Caffe Mio is a quaint Italian bistro which has a huge patio that you can enjoy in the summertime. Specializing in pizza and pasta, they've definitely got a comfy and relaxed atmosphere that is perfect for if you're looking for one on one time with your SO.
La Porta A Casa // 3500 Fallowfield Road
La Porta A Casa is a must-try if you're looking for an underrated Italian restaurant. They typically stay under the radar, but the word of mouth this adorable place gets is only good reviews. Tucked away in Barrhaven, their authentic and homestyle Italian food definitely makes you feel like you're at Nonna's house in Italy.
Napolis Café // 1300 Stittsville Main Street
This family-run Italian inspired cafe makes it hard to choose what you want to eat. Everything seems home cooked, and the intimacy of the restaurant allows you to enjoy the food without feeling overwhelmed.
Babbos Cucina Italiana // 1160 Beaverwood Road
An affordable restaurant that resides in Manotick, this Italian restaurant has options for everyone to enjoy. It's definitely a hidden gem, and the diversity in their dishes make you want to go back and try every single one.
Vittoria Trattoria // 35 William Street, 3625 Rivergate Way, 309 Richmond Road
Vittoria Trattoria will give you a true Italian dining experience. With three locations scattered over Ottawa, you can bet on always being satisfied with their menu and all the options they offer. Surrounded by wine bottles, you truly feel like you're dining somewhere in an upscale restaurant in Italy. Their delicious and trustworthy dishes are appropriate for a night out, a birthday or if you're just in the mood for Italian food.
Mamma Teresa Ristorante // 300 Somerset Street
Originally from Northern Italy, the owners of Mamma Teresa brought true meaning to authentic Italian cuisine to Ottawa. The mother and son made sure that they gave their customers food like they would experience in Italy, and they've done just that. You can expect to eat a delicious warm hearted meal every time you walk in the door.
Poco Pazzo // 854 March Road, 6081 Hazeldean Road
The owner, who was born in Sicily and furthered trained in New York, lives to make sure his customers taste the real flavours of Italian cooking. The dining experience is simple and sweet and the menu will take you to Italy no matter what delicious dish you choose.
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