Resting on the northwestern fringes of Toronto, the city of Brampton is proud of its vibrancy and sense of community, with a thriving arts, culture and entertainment scene along with an exciting and varied choice of places to dine out. Brampton boasts ultra-hip coffee joints that rub shoulders with gastropubs, high-end eateries, Asian-influenced all-you-can-eat places and a raft of takeout spots, but when it comes to that old favourite – Italian cuisine – the city really shines. Italian restaurants in Brampton are as classic, comforting yet diverse as the dishes they serve, so here is a selection – in no particular order – of our favourite places to grab some of those beloved plates of food.
Fanzorelli’s – A Brampton stalwart since 1989, Fanzorelli’s Restaurant and Wine Bar is your quintessential Italian trattoria: homely, welcoming and with understated elegance – think plenty of natural wood, tiled floors and white linen – where the friendly and attentive staff serve up tasty, heart-warming dishes that everyone will recognise. Menu highlights include slow-braised lamb rack, curried coconut gnocchi and a huge selection of pasta and pizzas, the latter of which are baked in a stone oven. An authentic and wonderful place.
Antica Osteria– Sophistication is the keyword with Antica Osteria, because this eatery serves up genuine Italian thrills with its warm, charming interior of whitewash and wood-panelling, coupled with an unhurried, high end yet casual vibe. This makes Antica Osteria the ideal place for a special evening out with family or a loved one, with a menu offering items such as medley of mussels, clams, jumbo shrimps, sea scallops, calamari and lobster tail or certified Angus beef steaks, as well as options for private dining, special events and catering. Owned and run by Silvana and Domenic Greco, who use their extensive knowledge of Calabrian cooking – Silvana herself is the descendant of a family of cooks – to serve dishes packed with fresh ingredients, top quality meats and exquisite seafood, many of which are imported from Italy.
Vesuvio Restaurante – Sleek and enjoyable, Vesuvio is a well-appointed eatery located just off Main Street South in the heart of the city. Décor of creams and browns provide an inviting interior while the service is impeccable and the food top-notch: this is fine Italian dining and often described as one of the best restaurants – not just Italian – in Brampton. Opened since 1963, Vesuvio continues to thrive amongst an ever-growing dining scene in the city, holding its own against myriad young upstarts and the changing palates of foodies. A TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence Winner for several years straight, Vesuvio Restaurante is one for those seeking absolutely classic trattoria dishes – think mussels and clams in marinara, ground beef ravioli or veal parmesan – but done very well indeed.
Italian Garden – At the opposite end of the scale to Vesuvio, but certainly, no worse for it is the Italian Garden. While the interior may be charitably described as functional – picture a small but colourful and welcoming diner-style place tucked at the end of a small mall – it more than makes up for any lack of pizazz by offering excellent service, fast takeout and some mouth-watering comfort food selections. Italian Garden Restaurant is family owned and runs, with authentic dishes – you can even concoct your own dinner combos – and an extensive menu for eating in, taking away or even as a catering option. When you need a genuine Italian meatball sub or to grab a sausage sandwich on the run, Italian Garden is the place to go in Brampton.
Nancy Trattoria – Nestled on the northern outskirts of the city, Nancy Trattoria is a charming, cosy little place that makes up for its lack of actual size by offering generous portions of scrumptious homemade Italian faves. There’s nothing flash here – the exterior is unassuming, to say the least, and the interior is clean yet basic – but the food is as lovely as the atmosphere with the husband and wife team that owns the place making sure that guests leave after a good, hearty meal of classics enjoyed in casual, friendly surroundings. A great selection of pizzas, pasta and decadent desserts make up the menu – Brampton locals refer to Nancy Trattoria as a hidden gem, and one that is well worth seeking out.
Bucatini Restaurant and Wine Bar – Safely tucked within the top twenty list of best eateries in Brampton, Bucatini Restaurant and Wine Bar is a slick, modern affair located just off Main, and the recipient of multiple Certificates of Excellence from TripAdvisor over the years. Frequently busy, with a capacious interior to handle the steady flow of patrons, the restaurant interior is elegant yet contemporary with a wide choice of tables, high seating and banquettes for those more romantic occasions. Food-wise there is much to admire, with – much like the décor – a simple yet attractive selection of plates and platters, from antipasto to insalata, a healthy choice of pizzas and pasta, plus entrees that boast dishes such as Osso Buco (braised veal shank) and striploin Black Angus steaks done to perfection. Bucatini states its main ingredient is simplicity, and it’s safe to say keeping it simple – yet excellent – is doing it no harm whatsoever.
Gusto Pizzaria Inc. – Right in the heart of the city on Main Street North sits Gusto Pizzaria, a classic pizza takeout place and ‘Brampton’s Slice of Italy’. Described as an authentic mom ‘n pop Italian eatery by its (many) fans, Gusto occupies a small corner redbrick on a busy junction, making it a perfect location for hungry passers-by to just drop in and order something to go. And drop in they do, with a wide variety of pies, slices, calzones and panzerottis to choose from, accompanied by a huge selection of toppings and dipping sauces. Throw in some classic Italian sandwiches such as veal, sausage or steak, along with pasta dishes including cannelloni and fettuccini, as well as the option to eat in, take out, or have them provide catering for you, and Gusto ticks all the right boxes.
Hopefully, this list of Italian restaurants in Brampton gives you some ideas next time you’re visiting the city.
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