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May 22, 2009 04:38 PM

Italian Food in Austin?

I just moved to Austin a few weeks ago and am looking for some decent italian food recommendations.

I live up in North Austin (Parmer/MoPac) but am willing to drive anywhere for good food!

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  1. Welcome to Austin! Where did you move here from?

    What do you like in Italian food... red sauces or alfredo/cream sauces? Pastas or other dishes? Fine dining or more casual neighborhood places?

    To be honest, I still miss the places I used to go to before I moved here. You can find "decent" Italian in Austin, but you may not find anything that just blows you away. I've resorted to cooking Italian at home when I get the craving (which happens often).

    To get you started, everyone will recommend you go to Vespaio. I've only been to the less expensive sister Enoteca Vespaio, and have enjoyed everything I've had there. It's bistro-y in atmosphere and on South Congress, so nowhere near you, but very good. One thing to know, if you check their menu, half of the pastas are served with the arrabbiata sauce, and they use the arrabbiata as a base for their bolognese, so if you're not a fan of the arrabbiata, your choices will be limited (or you can have them sub another sauce). Their website is

      1. ciolas has good italian food and andiamos does too.It all depends on your taste,

        1. I like Andiamo (Burnet and Kramer area).
          I also recommend Mandola's in the Triangle. The sauce for the gnocchi al sugo tastes exactly like the sauce that my mom would slow cook braciole in.

          1 Reply
          1. re: rusty_s

            I'll second that notion. Everything I've had at Andiamo is excellent; especially recommend the light and delicious calamari. Definitely make a reservation (even if you make it that afternoon) because I've been turned away at the door before when i came on a Friday night without one.

          2. Well, I may be an old south Austin boy, but when I want to treat the wife for a special occasion and want Italian, I go to Carmelo's which is downtown. I have never been disappointed there.

            Carmelo's Italian Restaurant
            504 E 5th St, Austin, TX 78701