The round-up: pizza to pappardelle – we’ve uncovered some of the Gold Coast’s best Italian restaurants
From fresh-made pappardelle and deliciously crisp hand-stretched pizzas, to glorious negronis and sweet cannoli – we’ve sure got a lot to thank the Italians for. Here on the Gold Coast, there’s certainly no shortage of great Italian restaurants, be it longstanding eateries serving time-honoured favourites, or modern-day dining spots that combine innovation with tradition. To point you in the right direction, we’ve put together a handy list of some of the Gold Coast’s best Italian restaurants, all for your eating pleasure.
Goccia Italian, Mermaid Beach: This is a true neighbourhood gem. You’ll smell the traditional pizzas from miles away, so follow your nose and you’ll be greeted with a hearty ‘ciao’ from owners Anna and Goccia before settling in for a truly authentic feast. Pizza is the hero here, and there’s also a handful of starters and share plates, alongside daily specials. Just so you know, the ‘bosco’ pizza (mozzarella, porcini mushroom, blue cheese and prosciutto) is highly addictive.
Cucina Vivo, Broadbeach: Inspired by the cliff-top restaurants of the Amalfi Coast, Cucina Vivo at The Star Gold Coast dishes up authentic classics and inspired favourites in a convivial and relaxed setting, which is centered around a giant woodfired pizza oven. It’s great for group dining, there’s an extensive wine list and the Italian desserts (we’re looking at you, ricotta-stuffed cannoli) are to die for.
Lupo, Mermaid Beach: While it originally identified as a European-style bistro, Lupo reinvented itself in mid-2019 as a solely Italian bar and ristorante, bringing handmade pasta, aperitif-style cocktails and neighbourhood vibes to Mermaid Beach. Think plates of mortadella and salami, porcini and ricotta cappelletti with a mushroom brodo and slivers of housemade Italian cakes to finish.
Pepé Italia Burleigh Heads and Pepé Italia Deli Palm Beach: There are two locations to get your fix of Pepé pizza and pasta. The Burleigh edition is a cosy, dimly lit haven for authentic eats and wine by night, while down at Palm Beach the Pepé goodness is dished up over lunch and dinner, with the addition of a delicious deli offering slicing meats and cheeses to order, as well as take-home pastas and sauces.
Belvedere Stonemill, Burleigh Heads: Located beneath Swell Resort, the authentic Italian eatery is the handiwork of Italian-born Fabio Rocco Ricciardi, who was previously the chef for the Ferrari team in the Formula 1 racing circuit. Pizza and pasta are the hero here – everything from the stuffed tortellini to the spaghetti and the pizza bases are crafted daily from unbleached, organic grains that have been stone milled to create an earthy, rustic flour. The creamy gnocchi, served in a baby wheel of pecorino cheese, is an absolute must-try.
Ristorante Fellini, Marina Mirage: With a rich history as the city’s longest-running Italian restaurant, Ristorante Fellini is well and truly an institution on the Gold Coast. Its iconic waterfront position at Marina Mirage creates the perfect backdrop for a fine Italian feast, with the menu renowned for its modern take on traditional age-old Italian cuisine. There’s also Fellini’s smaller and more casual pizzeria and mozzarella bar next door for those looking for a relaxed bite.
Trio Romano, Mermaid Beach: As one of the coast’s OG Italian eateries, Trio Romano has been delighting diners for decades. You’ll often find this quaint highway-side spot brimming with locals – and its takeaway offering is just as popular, with its famous pizzas passionately pumped out to the masses. This is real homestyle spot with a fun, casual vibe – take your friends, bring your favourite bottle of vino and let them fill the table with Italian classics.
Gemelli (Broadbeach) and Gemellini (Nobby Beach): If it’s nonna’s cooking you crave, then you can’t go wrong with these two traditional Italian siblings. Gemelli in Broadbeach is larger and armed with a more extensive menu, while Gemellini brings a more intimate vibe to Nobby Beach – both keep it simple and authentic, serving pizzas, handmade pastas and more. There’s also Roy’s by Gemelli in Sorrento – a neighbourhood trattoria serving loyal locals with hearty Italian fare.
Salt Meats Cheese, Surfers Paradise: Pizza, pasta, cheese, charcuterie, wine – this is where you’ll find all of life’s greatest pleasures under one roof. The gnocchi is divine, the baked cheese is an absolute must try, and famed cheese-wheel pasta is what dreams are made of. Oh, and don’t get us started on the authentic woodfired pizzas …
Balboa Italian, Palm Beach: This multi-level dining spot brings a little piece of Italy to Palm Beach, and is well known by locals for its delicious woodfired pizzas and handmade pasta. A new menu has just dropped, featuring the likes of roasted-lamb cannelloni with black-truffle mushroom sauce – drool.
Mario’s Italian, Broadbeach: When a restaurant has been operating for nearly 30 years, you can assume they must have the formula right. Despite its facelift in 2017, Mario’s retained its history and charm, while elegantly stepping into the modern day. The menu spans from pizzas, to handmade pastas, Italian share plates and more – and it’s all best enjoyed with a well-made negroni in hand.
Costa D’oro, Surfers Paradise: ‘Costa’ (as it’s known to locals) has been serving authentic Italian food from the same premises in Surfers Paradise since 1987. The family-owned and operated establishment prides itself on creating traditional Italian dishes using fresh Australian produce, with grass-fed veal and beef and local hormone-free chicken forming part of an impressive menu of classics. Don’t leave without experiencing the tiramisu.
Italian Kitchen Company, Mermaid Beach: Dishing up delicious handmade pasta, traditional woodfired pizzas, antipasti, seafood, share plates and more, Italian Kitchen Company’s authentic menu gives a respectful (and mouth-watering) nod to owner and chef Robert Santoro’s Sicilian heritage. The casual Mermaid Beach eatery top spot for a family feast or date night, and has plenty of offerings for vegan and gluten-free diners.
Rivea Italian, Broadbeach: Formerly at Pacific Fair, Rivea Italian is now located in the Broadbeach dining precinct (next to Koi) and serves up authentic Italian dishes from fresh handmade pasta and pizza to vibrant salads, antipasto boards, as well as delicious seafood and steaks. It’s a sibling venue to Daniel Ridgeway’s Little Truffle and Gotham Bar & Grill, so you know your Italian eats are in good hands here.
Ioesco, Sanctuary Cove: If you’re a firm believer that Italian food is best enjoyed on the water’s edge, then Ioesco will certainly tick that box for you. Steeped in tradition, Ioesco has been delighting diners with its modern Italian fare for more than a decade – it’s well known for its true Italian hospitality and contemporary interpretations of classic Napoli cuisine.
Hunting for pizza and only pizza? Check out these top spots for pizza on the Gold Coast for a few ideas.
The Stumble Guide is our comprehensive Gold Coast dining guide with more than 870 places to eat, drink, shop and play.