The round-up: where to sample Brisbane’s best pasta
We owe a huge amount of thanks to Italy. Without their historic culinary influence we wouldn’t have pizza, gelati and pasta. If we didn’t have pasta, we’d have a massive gap in our diet. Spaghetti Bolognese, carbonara, even macaroni and cheese – these are dishes we take for granted but are fundamental pillars of our dietary roster. Brisbane is home to a plethora of Italian-inspired eateries that vie for the title of Brisbane’s Best Pasta. We couldn’t possibly crown a winner, but we can clue you in to some of the best.
1889 Enoteca, Woolloongabba: The home of award-winning Roman fare, 1889 Enoteca serves up hand-made pasta and an unbeatable selection of flavoursome wines. Pair a vino with braised pork and beef pappardelle, spaghetti and guanciale carbonara or pork and fennel sausage gnocchi gnocchi.
Ripiena, Fortitude Valley: Ripiena is a hole-in-the-wall pasta joint looking to prove that the perfect pasta is best made (and served) in an uncomplicated manner, letting exceptional ingredients speak for themselves. At any point diners will be able to sample a selection of freshly made long pasta, filled pasta and sides, including the likes of tagliatelle doused with either butter and Parmigiano-Reggiano or with a rich bolognese ragu, tortellini stuffed with pork loin, prosciutto crudo di Parma and mortadella, and agnolotti del plin filled with slow-cooked beef cheek.
Beccofino, Teneriffe: This perennially popular restaurant has featured on a bunch of best-of lists, so one more couldn’t hurt. Beccofino is renowned for its terrific Italian fare, and the pasta is no exception. Slurp up some fresine al granchio (thick pasta with crab meat), pappardelle al ragu d’Anatra (duck and tomato ragu) or orechhiette ai broccoli and you’ll see why Beccofino scores top marks.
CJ’s Pasta, West End: This informal-yet-welcoming spot – located deep in the heart of West End – is perfect for pasta-loving patrons who want to sample an ever-changing menu of dishes made fresh by the experts. At any given point, the menu encompasses four-to-five pasta dishes inspired by northwest Italian influences and made using a simple palette of ingredients.
Il Posto, Paddington: This family-owned restaurant blends traditional Italian fare with a contemporary lean, and its home-style pasta is hailed as some of Brisbane’s best. If linguine marinara or twice-cooked duck and porcini mushroom ragu sounds good to you, then add Il Posto to your list.
OTTO Ristorante, Brisbane City: The Fink Group’s inner-city eatery boasts a stellar ambience and views to accompany. Don’t let the twinkling lights of the Story Bridge distract you from the menu, it offers up must-try dishes such as hand-rolled spinach-infused pasta, potato gnocchi with braised rabbit, pasta filled with braised oxtail and smoked bone marrow and Moreton Bay blue swimmer crab and mascarpone filled ravioli.
Tartufo, Fortitude Valley: Pasta is only as good as the ingredients you pair it with, and Tartufo aims to source only the best seasonal goods from local suppliers. The menu takes inspiration from Naples and its surrounding regions of Tuscany, Umbria and Abruzzo. We’re giddy at the thought of house-made linguini with scampi, squid ink risotto, and tube pasta served with Italian pork sausage, fried eggplant and smoked mozzarella.
Bucci, Fortitude Valley: James Street’s vivacious eatery Bucci is known for sublimely interpreting Italian regional fare, with a seasonal menu that always delivers primo pasta. Savour tender boar-lognaise, braised lamb neck agnolotti, and house-made bucatini carbonara.
Julius Pizzeria, South Brisbane: Although the name of this South Brisbane destination indicates pizza is a specialty, don’t sniff at the pasta selection – it’s on par with any slice. Good luck picking between the likes of duck and tomato pappardelle ragu, squid-ink spaghetti with tiger prawns and maccherino with braised beef shoulder.
Il Verde, Bowen Hills: If you weren’t already aware, Il Verde on King Street one of the few places in town where you can get a taste of the famous cheese wheel pasta. You can get your fix of pasta stirred in parmigiano reggiano cheese on Tuesdays and Thursdays, while the full menu also offers up the likes of four-cheese gnocchi and creamy pesto linguine.
Salt Meats Cheese, Newstead: This stylish Gasworks eatery is named after three core ingredients of Italian cuisine, and they utilise all three for its pasta selection. Linguine with fresh clams, hand-made ricotta and spinach ravioli, gnocchi with gorgonzola and truffle, and beef and pork lasagne are just some of the delicious options on the menu.
Popolo, South Bank: Situated on the banks of the Brisbane River, Popolo is the perfect location for a feasting frenzy, especially when pasta is concerned. How does the likes of spicy ndjua and tiger prawn rigatoni, braised wagyu Bolognese and gnocchi with crushed hazelnuts and mushrooms sound? Pretty damn good, if you ask us.
Gnocchi Gnocchi Brothers, Paddington: The Gnocchi Gnocchi Brothers are a recognisable name in Brisbane’s Italian dining scene, having nailed its bricks-and-mortar gnoccheria concept. Pillowy clouds of potato are served with the likes of Genovese-style basil pesto, pork and fennel sausage, wild mushroom and truffle and slow-cooked duck ragu. What’s your flavour?
The Spaghetti House Trattoria, South Bank: With a name like the The Spaghetti House, you’d best believe the pasta on offer is top notch. Slurp up mounds of spaghetti with veal and pork meatballs in a rich tomato sauce, fettuccine carbonara with pancetta, cream, egg and parmesan, or rigatoni served with oven-baked truffle macaroni and cheese with cream and parmesan.
Think there’s a pasta palace that has been missed? Drop us a line at [email protected].
The Stumble Guide is our comprehensive Brisbane dining guide with more than 2400 places to eat, drink, shop and play.