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7 great Italian restaurants in Pretoria

Pizza or pasta done right can seem heaven-sent and, frankly, there’s no evidence to the contrary. These are some of Pretoria’s best Italian restaurants serving up antipasti, ragu, tiramisu, melanzane alla parmigiana, pizza and pasta. (Make sure to order enough for a doggy bag, so you won’t fall into the trap of thinking wistfully of last night’s fantastic dinner.)

Alfie’s Italian Café (Hazelwood) 🍽

Alfie’s is known for its incredible Italian food, as chef patron Alfredo is constantly experimenting in the kitchen. The menu kicks off with a selection of antipasti, such as the onion flan topped with a warm pecorino sauce. The gnocchi gorgonzola e noci is unforgettable, with pillowy golden-brown gnocchi tossed in sharp but creamy gorgonzola, with a topping of walnuts. Possibly the most-loved dish is the 300g oven-roasted garlic-and-rosemary rib-eye steak. For a treat, go for the chocolate lava cake.

🍽 Available for online bookings on the Eat Out app.

 

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Bravo Pizzeria (Hatfield)

Bravo Pizzeria is known for its great pizzas in a very relaxed and chilled atmosphere. The restaurant is known for its Bravo sauce. The pizzas have a crispy base and are packed with flavour. Crowd favourites include the ‘Talented Mr Ribley’ – deboned ribs, mushrooms, feta and onions. Don’t forget to try the ‘Wild Cat’, which consists of roasted lamb, mint , tzatziki, cherry tomatoes and rocket. The pizza joint also offers burgers, chicken wings and ribs.

Caraffa Ristorante (Alphen Park)

This restaurant is known for its family-friendly setting. For starters, try the light and crisp oven-baked focaccia topped with slivers of beef carpaccio and garlic oil. A hit with meat-free diners is the melanzane alla parmigiana and the marinated black mushrooms. The veal saltimbocca is a classic. Unbelievably tender, it comes topped with Parma ham and mozzarella before being finished off with a dash of white wine. There’s an extensive list of seafood dishes and a firm favourite is the grilled salmon piled with lightly caramelised red onions and fresh cherry tomatoes. End things off with berry-infused pavlova or silky smooth lemon mousse.

Eat in Italian (Sinoville)

Eat in Italian is an exquisite Italian restaurant suited for the whole family. The most difficult thing about eating here is choosing what to order. There’s everything from a range of breakfast items and salads to antipasti, bruschetta and stuzzichini (Italian nibbles). Then of course there’s also a selection of pizzas, pastas, meaty mains and seafood dishes. The list goes on and on.

 

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La Fiamma (Faerie Glen)

For starters, try the salmon roulade which consists of carpaccio filled with lemon zest cream cheese and basil leaves, topped with a citrus vinaigrette and served on a bed of fresh greens and fried capers. For a hearty option, try the bistecca alla Fiorentina. This generous T-bone is marinated with olive oil, garlic and rosemary before being roasted in the pizza oven. A side of mashed potatoes, butternut and spinach rounds this dish off nicely. Indulge your senses with the tronco di bosco, a decadent chocolate dessert.

La Pentola (Riviera)

La Pentola offers a dinner to impress, with elegant touches in the restaurant. The blend of delicious Mediterranean flavours offer smooth, flavourful beef steak cutlets that just melt in your mouth. The quattro formaggi, in the main meal section, is a joy: strips of tender beef are pan-fried with button mushrooms, garlic, peppercorns and onions, before being soaked in port, thickened with cream then wrapped with four cheeses in a golden brown phyllo pastry. You can’t go wrong with the rich and delicious chocolate terrine to end things off.

Piccola Italia (Monument Park)

This tiny typical neighbourhood Italian restaurant is known for the best pizzas around. The extensive menu features everything from pasta to veal dishes, plus variations on local favourites, like tripe prepared the Italian way. There’s also a selection of crispy thin-based pizzas with a wood-smoked flavour and generous toppings. Try the Pizza Piccola topped with mozzarella, gorgonzola, rosa tomatoes, pesto, mushrooms and olives.

Villa San Giovanni (Wonderboom) 🍽

Villa San Giovanni, located at the airport, offers an authentic Italian experience. With a nod to the setting, the menu offers a Cabin Crew burger and 727 Jumbo burger. Starters include baked shrimp with feta, while pasta dishes include mari e monti with onions, mushrooms, shrimps, wine and a dash of cream. The low-carb options include a pizza with a pumpkin base and a zucchini pasta dish with chilli and prawns. The dessert section of the menu includes an entire page dedicated to ice creams and you could also try the calzone monte bianco with custard, almonds, cream and strawberries.

Lasagne at Villa San Giovanni Ristorante. Photo supplied.

🍽 Available for online bookings on the Eat Out app.

This selection comprises all the Italian restaurants in Pretoria that made the cut for the 2019 Eat Out 500, the list of the best restaurants in the country as rated and reviewed by our panel of critics for the 2019 edition of Eat Out magazine (on sale now). But we know the city is crammed with loads more gems and mainstays that didn’t crack the nod. Remember to tell us about your favourites by reviewing them on our free app

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