Top 5 Italian Restaurants in Vancouver, BC

Italian food is a favourite for many people, and Vancouver is blessed with some truly fabulous Italian restaurants.

For this list of the Top 5 Italian Restaurants in Vancouver, I've included a range of great places to eat, from high-end, upscale Italian to budget-friendly Italian that the whole family--yes, even kids--can enjoy. 

  • 01 of 06
    Cioppino's Mediterranean Grill
    ••• The signature seafood Cioppino at Cioppino's. Image Courtesy of Cioppino's Mediterranean Grill

    Winner of the Vancouver Magazine Awards 2014 Best Upscale Italian (Gold), Cioppino's is owned by Chef Giuseppe “Pino” Posteraro (2015 Pinnacle Award for Independent Restauranteur of the Year), whose unique perspective on Mediterranean fare has won the restaurant many more awards over the years.

    ​Located in the bustling nightlife-and-restaurant district of Yaletown, Cioppino's attracts its share of celebrities and is a foodie favourite for its “Cucina Naturale” philosophy: "a classical style of cooking that emphasizes the use of only the freshest of ingredients." Their wine selection is among the largest in the city, making this a great destination for oenophiles, too. 

    Price: High-End / Upscale

  • 02 of 06
    Giardino Restaurant patio, Vancouver, BC
    ••• Giardino Restaurant patio, Vancouver, BC. Image Courtesy of Giardino, via Facebook

    For 27 years, famous Vancouver chef Umberto Menghi helmed the high-end and very beloved Il Giardino, one of the top spots to see and be seen in the city. In 2015, Menghi returned (minus the "Il") with Giardino, a new Italian restaurant just one block from his old address in the heart of Downtown Vancouver.

    With its luxury, Tuscany interior and beautiful garden patio (perfect for dining al fresco on a summer's eve), Giardino's is a perfect pick for suave, confident Italian fare in a swanky atmosphere.

    Price: High-End / Upscale

  • 03 of 06
    cincin_food.jpeg
    ••• CinCin Ristorante in Vancouver, BC. Image Courtesy of CinCin Ristorante

    Another multi-award winner for high-end Italian and my personal favourite, CinCin Ristorante is another of the best Italian restaurants in Vancouver. Located in downtown Vancouver on Robson Street (Vancouver's famous shopping district), CinCin is part of the family of Top Table Group restaurants that includes the famous Blue Water Cafe + Raw Bar

    Pronounced "chin chin," CinCin serves both familiar dishes (like a buttery, rich gnocchi) as well as innovative and unusual dishes that blend Italian flavours and techniques with local ingredients. Past favourites of mine include their coniglio, wood-fired saddle of rabbit wrapped in proscuitto and sage, and the antipasto of grilled local Tofino octopus. Gluten-free pasta options are available, too.

    Price: High-End / Upscale

  • 04 of 06
    Campagnolo_Roma.jpg
    ••• Campagnolo Roma. Image Courtesy of Campagnolo Roma

    For casual Italian, Campagnolo Roma makes this list of the Top 5 Italian Restaurants in Vancouver for its easy, relaxed atmosphere and wide range of authentic pastas and pizzas. (Their Margherita pizza is divine.)

    Located in East Van, on Hastings (near Nanaimo St.), Campagnolo Roma is just a few minutes drive north of Commercial Drive, a great destination for Italian cafes and gelaterias.

    Price: Casual / Mid-range

    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • 05 of 06
    Nicli Pizzeria
    ••• Nicli Pizzeria. Image Courtesy of Nicli Pizzeria

    Nicli Pizzeria is the first VPN (Associazione Vera Pizza Napoletana) certified Neapolitan pizzeria in Vancouver, and one of the most popular Vancouver pizzerias. Located just east of downtown Vancouver, Nicli Antica is right in the heart of Gastown's shopping, dining and nightlife district, making it a perfect choice for grabbing a bite before a night on the town. It's casual and family-friendly, too.  

    Price: Casual / Mid-range

  • 06 of 06
    old spaghetti factory
    ••• Inside the Vancouver Old Spaghetti Factory restaurant. Image Courtesy of Gastown Business Improvement Society / Gastown.org

    Unlike the other restaurants on this list, the Old Spaghetti Factory is not known for high-quality food (the food is "just OK"). But I'm including it here because it is extremely family-friendly (ideal for taking young and rambunctious kids out), inexpensive, and historic in its own way. The restaurant is packed with Vancouver artifacts and memorabilia--most famously a 1904 Trolley Car--and even has its own resident ghosts.