Italian cuisine is one of the greatest cuisines in the world. The food is so wholesome and hearty, it’s just perfect for those cold winter nights. Which is why we rounded up our top five favourite Italian restaurants in Joburg:


Ever since Gemelli opened their doors in Bryanston in November 2015, they’ve been praised as the best Italian restaurant in town, and for good reason. Their head chef, Paulo is forever finding new ways to reinvent traditional Italian dishes and he does so in an exciting way, changing the menu from season to season. Signature dishes include their penne Alessandro (named after the charismatic owner himself), their shellfish linguini and their Gemelli chicken. Dessert lovers should try their famous cheesecake or tiramisu trifle. Gemelli have also just reopened after a week-long of upgrades and have in fact improved their acoustics.

Italian restaurant Gemelli offers the classic Aglio e Olio with prawns
The classic Aglio e Olio with prawns at Gemelli in Bryanston

Cafe Del Sol

The family behind the powerful brand, Cafe Del Sol have gone from strength to strength and have three branches in Joburg that each offer different menus. While you can still find some of their signature dishes at their Bryanston and Parkhurst branch, our favourite is still Cafe Del Sol Classico in Olivedale. Always enquire about the daily specials, but for starters, try their primevera rolls stuffed with parma ham, rocket and smoked mozzarella or tempura prawns. For mains, choose from their porcini chicken, lamb rack served with mushroom risotto, chorizo and prawn pasta, or their stuffed calamari. And for dessert, their Mamma’s pavlova with fresh berries and vanilla cream is an absolute must!

Italian restaurant, Cafe Del Sol's famous chicken porcini
Cafe Del Sol’s famous chicken porcini


If you haven’t yet tried Pomodoro in Morningside Shopping Centre, then you are missing out. Upon arrival at Pomodoro, you are always greeted with a pleasant smile and a delicious plate of warm focaccia bread for the table. Most pastas here are made from scratch so give their home-made egg tagliatelle ragu or tagliolini with smoked salmon, mascarpone and chives a try. Their veal steak with creamy mushroom and truffle sauce is delicious and so are their wood-fired pizzas and burgers. But don’t leave without trying their vanilla panna cotta or traditional tiramisu.

Italian restaurant, Pomodoro offers lightly crumbed Falklands calamari
The lightly crumbed Falklands calamari starter from Pomodoro in Morningside

Franco’s Pizzeria & Trattoria 

This charming bistro-style trattoria in Parkview does unpretentious, home-made food at its best and is a firm favourite amongst locals. Recommended dishes include the Tortellini Alla Cacciatora, rings of pasta stuffed with chicken prepared in a creamy tomato, mushroom and garlic sauce, and their lasagna. But what gets diners going back for more are their wood-fired pizzas. They offer thin-based crusted pizzas with traditional Italian toppings and delicious calzones.’s.html

The Fettuccine con le vongole from Italian restaurant, Franco's
Fettuccine con le vongole at Franco’s Pizzeria in Parkview

Tortellino D’oro

This popular family run eatery in Oaklands has been around for over 20 years offering traditional style Italian dishes that have been in the family for generations. For starters order their vegetarian or meat antipasti or parma ham and melon. Move on to their spinach and ricotta cheese dumplings or veal marsala for mains. As for dessert, they have a wide selection of freshly made Italian pastries like cannoli Siciliani and millefoglie to choose from, or try their home-made gelato. Plus, they run an excellent deli in the back, so be sure to give it a visit before you leave.

Italian restaurant Tortellini D'Oro in Oaklands
The inside of Tortellini D’Oro in Oaklands

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