Upscale Italian restaurants in Vancouver

The flavours of Italy conjure up a perfect mix of freshness and comfort. Pillowy pasta, ripe tomatoes, savoury olive oil, creamy white or hard salty cheeses. This list features some restaurants from the white-tableclothed to the rustic trattoria that demonstrate why Italian is some of our favourite food.

Cioppino's Mediterranean Grill Inc

1133 Hamilton St, Vancouver, BC V6B 5P6

Named for the rustic seafood stew cobbled together by fishmongers, this Yaletown institution is anything but casual dining. Known for his high quality meats, Chef Pino Posteraro has been dazzling diners in his Tuscan restaurant and enoteca since 1999. Practicing “cucina naturale” and steeped in the Mediterranean tradition, Chef Pino uses nothing but the freshest ingredients. His wine cellar is something to behold, so even if you can’t afford that $1,200 bottle of Amarone, at least admire it on its shelf.

La Buca Restaurant

4025 MacDonald St, Vancouver, BC V6L 2N8

Tucked away on the West Side is this lovely Italian bistro serving rustic dishes in an elegant setting. You won’t find white tablecloths here, just seasonal, scrumptious meals prepared with love and attention from all regions of the motherland. Their menu changes often and profiles specific ingredients based on the season, like their game and mushroom festival to celebrate fall. Dine family style or à la carte and order from their carefully curated wine list featuring only Italian wines.

CinCin Ristorante & Bar

2-1154 Robson St, Vancouver, BC V6E 1B2

On the second floor of a retail shop on bustling Robson Street, CinCin can be easy to miss. But once up the stairs and in its warm and sophisticated dining room, you’ll forget the stresses of the day as you settle into one of the finest Italian meals in the city. This is modern cuisine using the best of West Coast ingredients. Most hot dishes are cooked in their custom food-fired oven and needless to say their pasta is freshly made daily.

La Quercia Restaurant

3689 4th Ave W, Vancouver, BC V6R 1P2

Leave everything in the hands of the capable servers at this intimate West Side establishment. The chef is working with a set mix of fresh ingredients every night, and a list of à la carte dishes are chalked up on the large menu. But opt for family style here. Tell your server your preferences and restrictions and for $50 per person, course after course of sumptuous and creative Italian fare to share emerges from the kitchen to audible oohs and aahs.

Lupo Restaurant & Vinoteca

869 Hamilton St, Vancouver, BC V6B 2R7

Fine-dining heritage, a classically trained chef and house-made everything gives this Yaletown restaurant serious upscale cred. But the relaxed, warm atmosphere and intentions behind Lupo ensure that this is approachable, unintimidating dining. For a taste of it all, order antipasti and contorni for the table. Then dig into fresh, toothsome pasta, topped with anything from rabbit ragout to lobster and peaches. From the exquisite food to the front-of-house, they’re doing everything to make this the best meal you’ve had in ages.

La Pentola

350 Davie St, Vancouver, BC V6B 5Z6

This beautiful dining room at the foot of the OPUS Hotel in Yaletown has been receiving accolades since it opened in 2012, including an honourable mention at the Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards in 2015 for Best Upscale Italian. From the folks behind La Quercia, you can bet La Pentola has all the charm and unbelievable food of its West Side sister restaurant — with much more available seating and a kitchen that serves brunch and lunch, as well as dinner. The Northern Italian-inspired dishes are served family style so you can leave the big decisions to the professional wait staff.

Cibo Trattoria

900 Seymour St, Vancouver, BC V6B 3L9

This trattoria at the hip Moda Hotel right downtown carries through the chic, modern thread of the hotel’s décor. But its contemporary design betrays its rustic cuisine. With multiple awards under its belt, you can expect excellent, locally sourced ingredients to arrive at your table in inventive preparations. There are numerous mouth-watering dishes to sample, but also a three-course fixed menu for only $39 before 7 pm. Perfect if you’re rushing off to an 8 o’clock show at the Orpheum.

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