As the temperature drops there is nothing I crave more than a bowl of pasta with a group of friends. As an aficionado of Italian cuisine, I always seek out the best Italian restaurants in any city I visit. Below is a list of my top picks throughout the country, including Pici (Shop 22, St Kevin’s Arcade, 183 Karangahape Road), which is featured above and is undoubtedly one of my favourites.
Where: 31 Otamarua Road, Russell 0272
Sage is part of Paroa Bay Winery, which is perched at the top of the Bay Of Islands. When you see the view you will not be surprised that this is a seafood filled menu. Not only will you enjoy the freshest catch of the day, but wine from the onsite cellar doors too.
Where: 3/9 Northcroft St, Takapuna, Auckland
The new kid in Auckland, Lil Ragù was set up by Chef Tarik Tnaja. Once a food truck, it has now found its home off the main street of Takapuna. Fresh pasta, homemade pasta and no fuss food is what Chef Tarik is claiming makes him different.
Where: 22a Ocean View Road, Oneroa, Waiheke
Your taste of Italy found on Waiheke Island. Right in the heart of Oneroa, you can cozy up next to the warm fireplace with a glass of Pinot Noir and a big bowl of their Confit Duck Pappardelle (my go to).
Where: 97a Kaimanawa Street, Taupo
Below is what they are calling ‘a salad’ – heirloom tomatoes, homemade raviolo with fresh herbs, finished with a warm tomato consommé… just wow.
Where: 199 Cuba Street, Wellington
Wellingtons very own Venetian-inspired restaurant. Ombra has a loyal following of Wellingtonians who make this a regular in their weeks and I can see why!
Where: 215 Heretaunga Street East, Hastings
Sazio means to be full or satisfied. And I know this is how you will feel after a trip to Sazio in Hastings.
Where: 270 St Asaph Street, Christchurch Central City
ChiChi Kitchen serve gorgeous pastas and reinvented sauces that are inspired from around the world. It has been crowned ‘One of the best Italian restaurants in Christchurch’ and I would have to agree!
Where: Shop 1, Building 10/12 Hawthorne Drive, Frankton, Queenstown
Giovi is a relaxed dining experience at the Remarkables Town Centre. Not only can you sit in and enjoy an incredible bowl of pasta you can purchase freshly made pasta and sauces to take home and cook yourself.