Top Italian restaurants in Durban

Durban is ridiculously spoiled for choice when it comes to the best Italian cuisine in the city, should you be making a trip to the coast, be sure to visit one of these restaurants.

Lupa Osteria, Hillcrest

This Durban favourite serves up deep dishes of Italian pasta and plates of divine masterpieces with heart. Service is impeccable, decor is classical Italian and the food is simply outstanding.

Stepping into Lupa Osteria in Hillcrest is guaranteed to have you feasting. Enjoy the meatball risotto (R95) or the pretzel crusted calamari (R100) with Tuscan potatoes on the side. If it’s woodfired pizza you’re after, you’ve found the spot.

Tip: Book first, this gem is a popular favourite for Durbanites who will travel across the city and up the hill to visit.

Al Furenze, La Lucia

Taste authentic flavours of Italy at this hidden trattoria in leafy La Lucia.

You can’t go wrong with perfect pizza, tortellini or seafood grilled in butter. Start with a classical bowl of minestrone soup (R36), followed by the Natal pizza with ham, prawn, banana, chilli and mozzarella (R78) or try the Coniglio Arrosto (wood-fired roasted rabbit with garlic and herbs for R135).

Tip: Arrive early to enjoy an evening of dining with friends and make sure you book in advance.

Remo’s Villagio, Umhlanga Rocks

Established in 2012, this vibey restaurant is often a first stop on Umhlanga’s popular Chartwell Drive.

Passion for Italian food, decor and coffee is evident in this classy ristorante and while dishes are pricey, it’s worth the extra buck.

Go for the Veal Piedmontese (crumbed veal schnitzel with braised cabbage, sautéed potatoes and Fontina cheese sauce for R165) or the River Café pasta of peeled prawn tails sautéed with zucchini, tomato paste, white wine and parmesan (R152). Remo’s crème Brûlëe with spun sugar and hint of coffee is not to be missed.

Tip: Book in advance, and expect a vibe.

Mamma Luciana’s: Morningside, Glenashley

A family of Italian restaurants is what makes Mamma Luciana’s on Florida Road and in Glenashley a favourite for pasta-lovers.

Enjoy the smell of Italy in each trattoria and enjoy the cosey Italian-style vibe. On occasion, Mamma can be spotted making the tortellini and ravioli herself. Dishes not to be missed are the Italian Flag gnocci (Napoli sauce, Gorgonzolla, basil pesto for R80) and the famous bolognese meat ravioli (R75). Mamma’s also serve delicious wood-fired pizzas.

Tip: Space is limited at Mamma’s on Florida Road so expect to be a little cramped.

Bel Punto, Umdloti

Sister to La Casa Nostra, in Umdloti, Bel Punto is a little drive away, but simply worth it.

With dishes like baby crayfish pasta, fresh Knysna oysters and its spectacular location with its seaviews, Bel Punto is a fine dining experience fit for all special occasions.

Prices have been described as astronomical, but so has the food.

Tip: Dress to impress and expect high prices.

La Casa Nostra

It’s like stepping into Italy when you open the door to La Casa Nostra with its red and white checkered tablecloths and brick walls.

Expect delicious wood-fired dishes and pizzas and a fun, family vibe as children and adults alike enjoy the ambience.

Tip: Bookings are essential.

Spiga D’oro

Arrive for the vibe, the beverages and more importantly, the outstanding meals and service.

Always busy, this Florida Road gem is a Durban favourite and serves dishes in a modern Italian setting or in the courtyard with its Italian-style fountain. The pizzas are incredible, as are the pasta dishes. Devour a Linguine Puttanesca (Olive oil, garlic, chilli, calamata olives, capers, anchovies and a dash of napoletana sauce for R77) or a Retro homemade Italian roll with marinated lamb (R55).

Tip: The more the merrier, and at reasonable prices, you can afford to spend more.

La Bella, Musgrave

This warm and inviting Italian ristorante is as much a part of Durban as the Essenwood market is. Found in the lovely suburb of Musgrave, La Bella is steeped in history and offers delicious crispy thin-based pizzas and a beer garden in an idyllic Italian garden. Go fo the roast lamb pizza (R90), Sicilian chicken breast (R95) or La Sunday lunch (R75/ R90).

Tip: Be prepared to wait, service can be a little slow at times.

The Mad Italian, Durban North

This Durban North Italian trattoria is a family establishment, built on recipes passed down and family values. Restaurateur, Michale Biasson opened The Mad Italian in 2006 and has continued to grow the family favourite in the northern suburb with seafood being their signatory cuisine. Don’t leave without trying the Azzurri risotto (R95) or catch of the day (SQ).

Tip: Go hungry.

Stretta Café, Hillcrest

It’s hip, it’s happening and it’s in Hillcrest. Stretta Café serves up a variety of Italian plates from homemade panini’s with pork sausages (a yummy R55), wood-fired pizzas and a delicious mix of meals served in marsala sauce. Did we mention the coffee? Go for the coffee too.

Tip: At affordable prices, you can take the whole family.

Source: Gateway to KZN

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