Ten of the best Italian restaurants in the Shire

When it comes to pasta and pizza wars, it’s best not to get involved. Especially if you have an Italian surname. Suffice to say Shire residents are spoilt for choice when it comes to the range of great Italian restaurants dotted between Sutherland to Cronulla. For starters, here are ten of the best Italian restaurants in the Sutherland Shire.

Indulge at Albi’s Taverna
Chef Albi Cuni has become part of the fabric of Cronulla thanks to his popular 10-course bottomless lunches and dinners and an oh-so-charming army of waiters. Book two hours of unlimited bubbles, rosé, cab sauvignon, pinot grigio and Italian beer for $79pp for lunch, and dinner (Sunday to Friday for a minimum of two) and $105 pp (dinner on Saturday for a minimum of 10 people).  albistaverna.com.au

Queen Margherita of Savoy

Queen Margherita of Savoy, Cronulla

This local pizzeria is presided over by Lee and Wilson Carroll, and their children Jackson (who works the floor) and Jorja (head pizzaiola). The pizza skews toward the traditional Neapolitan-style pizzas Lee learned to make when he trained in Italy and the framed certificate from the Associazione Vera Pizza Napoletana attests he got the nod from Naples to say his pizza is the real deal. Believe the hype: it’s one of the best places in the Shire for pizza.  qmos.com.au

Salt Meats Cheese

The most popular pizza at Salt Meats Cheese bears the colours of the Italian flag: Mutti tomatoes (red), fresh basil (green) and entire balls of burrata (white). If the weather is fine, grab a sun-blasted table by the large glass window and watch as the pizzaioli pull premium wood-fired pizzas from the oven. The kitchen also doles out dreamy dishes such as gnocchi with broccolini and kale pesto and saffron arancini.   saltmeatscheese.com

Bocca Bocca
Bocca Bocca Caringbah

‘Bocca Bocca’, which means ‘mouth, mouth’, is a Neopolitan-style restaurant, through and through, building a loyal following since it opened in 2020. While it’s rightfully known for its well-composed pizzas, such as the Napoletana with anchovies, olives, capers, oregano and basil, dishes such as Nonna’s ragu and the signature whisky wings also have a cult following. boccabocca.com.au

Fratelli Fresh
The food at Fratelli Fresh, near the iconic fig tree at Westfield Miranda, is consistently good. And the more often you visit, the more likely you will stray from your usual order – of crab spaghettini and aragula (rocket) –  and be tempted by other tasty morsels such as calamari fritti, crispy fried polenta, arancini and tomato bruschetta. Don’t forget to snap a selfie under the signature neon spaghetti sign. fratellifresh.com.au

Giro Osteria
This intimate, rustic osteria draws everyone from off-duty chefs to extended families and politicians who love to come here to eat well, relax and catch up with other regulars. Giro Osteria (like sister restaurants Alphabet Street and Johnny Hu) is a simply wonderful restaurant that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Nothing is overly fussy; it’s all about the flavours. We recommend the spaghetti marinara. giro-osteria.com.au 

Italian Stallion
The Italian Stallion in Gymea has built legions of loyal followers in Gymea and earned itself a reputation as a top spot to go on that long-promised Bumble date night. The menu is an easy riff on contemporary Italian food with quirky touches that lean to mod Oz. Go early, sit by the window, sip on an Aperol Spritz and start by ordering dynamite prawns and the duck salad. italianstalliongymea.com.au

Little Italy
Antonio di Santo has taken his Italian heritage and years of restaurant experience and added a few modern interpretations resulting in a menu that is both rustic and refined. Di Santo, who took the helm at the local restaurant in 2017, hails from the small town of Liscia in the Abruzzo region of Italy so expect regional cuisine that is all the better for its simplicity. Di Santo’s specialty is handmade gnocchi: order it slathered in pomodoro for a dish that is anything but pedestrian. In winter, it’s hard to go past the zuppa di pesce. Littleitalycronulla.com.au

Written by Carla Grossetti. Carla Grossetti is a freelance food and travel writer. Follow her adventures @food.travel.stories on Instagram. Visit www.carlagrossetti.com

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