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Best Italian restaurants in Wellington

The words “Italian restaurant” immediately conjure up images of pizza, hand-stretched and tossed in the air before baking in a gigantic oven – but there’s more to it than that.

Italian food and drink is famous for its regional diversity and its abundance of different flavours – but rather than wax lyrical about Italy’s greatest gift to the world we thought we’d take you on a culinary tour of the best Italian restaurants in Wellington.

So loosen that belt, grab some napkins and don’t forget to check out the Menus.co.nz guide to the best pizza restaurants in New Zealand. Buon appetito!

Maria Pias, 55 Mulgrave Street

It’s little wonder that it can sometimes be difficult to get a seat at Maria Pias’ cosy little Italian restaurant on Mulgrave Street, given that it boasts a good atmosphere, excellent service and, most importantly, wonderful food.

Maria Pias serves traditional Italian cuisine with flair, made from only the best local and international produce. For dessert, the gelato with liqueur topping and torte with caramel gelato both come highly recommended.

Soprano Ristorante, 7 Seaview Road

For fresh, authentic Italian food it’s worth driving all the way to Soprano Ristorante on Seaview Road, Paraparaumu Beach. At its heart, Soprano’s is about the ritual and warmth of people eating together – but the zesty limoncello helps, too.

The traditional lemon liqueur is made by Italian-born chef Corrado Ronchetti, who has perfected an old family recipe. Online reservations should be made 24 hours in advance to avoid disappointment.

Nicolini’s, 26 Courtenay Place

A quirky locally-owned Italian restaurant in central Wellington, Nicolini’s is well-known for its delicious food, generous portions and extensive wine list – offering approximately 200 wines from around New Zealand, Australia and Italy.

The restaurant is able to cater for diabetics, vegetarians, vegans and celiacs/gluten free. Takeaways are also available.

Scopa Caffe Cucina, cnr Cuba and Ghuznee Streets

Scopa Caffe Cucina brings the buzz of Wellington’s vibrant Cuba Street indoors and onto the plate (we mean that in a good way, not that the food tastes like street).

Famous for its Italian hot chocolate, its Italian breakfasts and its antipasti, there’s more to Scopa than great-tasting pizza – although it has that base covered, too.  It’s situated on Cuba Street in the heart of central Wellington and is open seven days for brunch, lunch and dinner dining.

What do you think, Wellington? What’s your favourite Italian restaurant?

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  1. 55 Mulgrave Street, Thorndon, Wellington City, Wellington
  2. B
  3. 7 Seaview Road, Paraparaumu Beach, Kapiti Coast, Wellington
  4. C
  5. Lucky Corner, Cnr Cuba and Ghuznee Streets, Wellington Central, Wellington

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