Flavours of Toronto: The Toronto Italian scene is heaven-sent

Of all the cuisines you can find in Toronto, few are done as perfectly as Italian. From fresh pastas like Nonna used to make, to crispy crusted Neapolitan-style pizzas, and all the salami and cheese plates any foodie could hope for, the Italian food scene in TO is top notch.

To help you navigate the feast of Italian eateries that serve foods from the old country, and new age takes on Italian cuisine, here are 7 of the best Italian restaurants in Toronto:

F’Amelia

This cozy Cabbagetown restaurant is often cited as the best Italian food in the city. F’Amelia takes its cues from the north of Italy and their pizzas are especially delicious. Try the sausage and lamb.

Enoteca Sociale

When pizza and pasta become old hat, Enoteca Sociale on Dundas at Dovercourt knows how to mix up the menu to keep things fresh, all while staying authentically Italian. The arancini are unreal. Inside, its crazy busy and unpretentious.

Marinella

It’s not often that a sauce becomes the star of the show at a restaurant, but such is the case at Marinella in Little Italy. They make their own every day and every good Italian knows that when the sauce is just right, it almost doesn’t matter what you put under it. Luckily Marinella cares about the pasta too, so they make it by hand.

Fieramosca Trattoria

The atmosphere, the service and the food at Fieramosca are nearly beyond compare in Toronto. Located in the Annex in a charming converted house, the restaurant … and has perfected its lamb chops, pasta and risotto. They have a small but impressive wine list. Be forewarned: it’s pricey.

Buca

Now with three locations, Buca is pleasing the mouths of Torontonians across the city. Their main location at 604 King has been joined by a Yorkville location, plus Bar Buca at 75 Portland St. Their pastas are beyond tender and topped with unconventional ingredients.

Pizzeria Libretto

If, to you, Italian food means pizza, then meet Libretto, the caesars of Neapolitan-style pizza in the city. They are, in fact, making a conquest, having expanded to four locations: 545 King, 155 University, 550 Danforth and the original at 221 Ossington. Duck confit, local prosciutto, cacciatore and melt-in-your-mouth mushrooms top their crisp, wood-fired crusts.

Donatello

The interior at Donatello is your typical North American take on a traditional Italian dining room downtown TO, with white table cloths and plush-seated chairs. While the decor isn’t anything special and the offerings aren’t especially creative, the food is rather amazing. Seafood, veal cutlets and pastas make up the bulk of the menu. In summer, make a reservation for the balcony patio.

Erin Cardone

Born on the Prairies, Erin Cardone grew up knowing there was more to life than canola fields and AAA Alberta Angus. So she escaped, living in Europe and Australia, white-knuckling it through plates of calf brains and raw horse meat, and learning languages she can't remember anymore. After a stint as a jaded, skeptical journalist, she changed tack and began writing rather awesome blogs and showing businesses that advertising is dead, so long live social media, with her businesses Legendary Social Media. She now splits her time between various Canadian cities, Costa Rica and wherever else the wind blows.

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