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Italian in YYC

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I've lived here a few years now and realize I hardly out go out for Italian food, despite how much I like it. I was wondering what people's favorite Italian restaurants are. I'm thinking about casual, not-too-expensive (i.e., not Capo) places that you can go to on a weekday night. They might serve pizza but they should also have meat and pasta dishes, too. Went to Chianti's once and didn't love it at all, despite the reasonable prices.

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  1. Unfortunately, you do get what you pay for sometimes, especially with a place like Chianti! Some of my preferred italian:

    Great but expensive - Mercato, Teatro, Centini, Divino

    Very Good and more affordable- Brava, Villa Firenze, Una or Famoso for pizza

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    Teatro Restaurant
    200 8th Ave SE, Calgary, AB T2G 0K7, CA

    1. Bonterra on 8th St & 11th Ave SW is awesome.
      La Casa D'Italia on Centre St. is also good.

      I've heard good things about the restaurant attached to Lina's Italian Market and Da Guido (both on Centre St. N) and Il Signo.

      I wasn't that impressed with Capo.

      1 Reply
      1. re: cellophane_star

        "I've heard good things about the restaurant attached to Lina's Italian Market..."

        The restaurant is called Bocavino, and yes, it is quite good plus the prices are reasonable. They serve pasta, meat dishes and pizza plus a selection pub food since it's kind of a sports bar.

      2. Rea's is my favorite cheap italian. il centro is good too (particularly the pizza), although the service there is absolutely horrendous.

        2 Replies
        1. re: nonlinear

          +1 for Rea's. It's great and a real Italian restaurant run by an Italian family. Love it.

          1. re: nonlinear

            Went to Rea's last night for the first time. First of all, the service was terrific. We had a very kind waiter who was lovely with our kids (gave them coloring books and kept, good-humoredly, picking up what my daughter was dropping on the floor). The food was good: the pizza from the kid's menu was tasty as was my husband's carbonara. My dish had a nice sauce (rose), but the chicken itself tasted as if it wasn't the freshest, not rancid by any means but a little musty. But, overall, a nice experience, and we'll go back. Thanks for the rec!

          2. My go-to place for Italian is Calabro - in the SE Near the Reader Rock Garden/ Cemetary on Macleod.
            Address is 3605 Manchester Road SE

            We have always had affordable, delicious dinners here.

            1. We go to Il Gallo Nero (near the Saddledome) regularly with our kids and it is great. The kids always have pizza which is made to order, and they have a great selection of meat, fish and pasta dishes. The staff is great and it is a nice environment.

              Mercato (on 4th street SW) is also a fun place to go. Great pastas and a really lively atmosphere. I have never seen pizza on their menu though.

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              Il Gallo Nero
              211 17 Ave SE, Calgary, AB T2G 1H5, CA

              1 Reply
              1. re: LisafromCalgary

                Mercato is probably too expensive

              2. I've been going to Buon Giorno for years, good inexpensive Italian. I also like Villa Maria, opened less than a year ago but owned by the same people that have owned il Pescatore for years. I went to Chianti once, also Fiore (once, as well, I think they are the same owners), and I would tend to agree with crrazy_eoj, you get what you pay for.

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                Buon Giorno
                823 17 Ave SW, Calgary, AB , CA

                Villa Maria
                121 17 Ave SE, Calgary, AB T2G1H3, CA

                1. Mercato, Bonterra, Rea's, and Calabro are probably my favourite Italian places in Calgary.

                  For Neopolitan inspired pizza I like Una although I don't consider them true Italian as many of their appetizers are Spanish inspired or inspired by countries outside Italy.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: foodkarma

                    Famoso, Pulcinella or Without Papers are probably better options for Italian-inspired pizzas.

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                    Pulcinella
                    1147 Kensington Crescent NW, Calgary, AB T2N 1X7, CA

                    1. re: cellophane_star

                      I do like Pulcinella, but found the pizza at WO Papers soggy and salty (Hogwild & Prosciutto pizzas). In all fairness I only went once and it requires a second visit.

                      I've also had great pizzas at Famoso and bland/soggy pizzas there... find it's inconsistent depending on the locations.

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                      Pulcinella
                      1147 Kensington Crescent NW, Calgary, AB T2N 1X7, CA

                  2. Thanks for all the great suggestions so far: I can't wait to try them. And it's just fine if any of these restaurants don't serve pizza.

                    1. If you want cheap, then Fiore is better than Chianti's, but around the same price.

                      Having said that, it's not that great, but at those prices I ain't complaining.

                      I do like Buon Giorno a lot because of its value.

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                      Buon Giorno
                      823 17 Ave SW, Calgary, AB , CA

                      1. Just my 2 cents. In NE in Monterey Park area is a little restaurant in a strip mall called The Green Olive. Very reasonable, and great food.

                        1. My go to for everyday Italian is Niko's Bistro on Kensington Rd. NW, outstanding pastas and Italian inspired mains but no pizzas. Prices are very reasonable, the owner is a heck of a nice guy and they change the art on the walls on a regular basis.

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                          Niko's Bistro
                          1241 Kensington Rd NW, Calgary, AB T2N 3P8, CA