5 of the Best Italian Restaurants in Winnipeg
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5 of the Best Italian Restaurants in Winnipeg

Italian cuisine is one of the most well-loved in the world. Sure, many of its recipes have simple preparations, but you can’t deny that many love Italian food for the abundant flavours they bring.

Fortunately, you don’t have to fly to Italy’s gastronomic regions to enjoy the cuisine. Just for you, we looked into some Italian restaurants in Winnipeg and reviewed the ones that are worth dining at in this article!

Read on to learn more.

An Overview of Italian Cuisine

Italian cuisine dates back to the 4th century – although it was only after the fall of the Roman Empire that the different regions forming present-day Italy started to form their own cooking traditions.

While Italy has been united into one nation, regional specialties are still present and well-loved. 

Listed below are some of the noteworthy food and drinks you might find at Italian restaurants in Winnipeg:

Pizza – The national symbol of Italian cuisine, pizza is well-loved by Italians and foreigners from various parts of the world. The “original” pizza hails from Naples, with the flavor called Pizza Margherita, although other pizza specialties such as Pizza Romana, Pizza di Scarola, and Siclian-style pizza are must-tries.
Pasta – One of the most well-known dishes, pasta comes in different shapes and sizes. Notable types are spaghetti, penne, linguine, fusilli, rigatoni, lasagne, and farfalle.
Tortellini and ravioli – These two are the most popular types of stuffed pasta. Tortellini are stuffed with pork, raw cured ham, Italian sausage or luncheon meat, parmesan cheese, egg, and nutmeg traditionally.
As for the ravioli, they’re typically stuffed with spinach, nutmeg, ricotta cheese, and black pepper. In Sardinia, ravioli often contain ricotta cheese and grated lemon rind.
Risotto – A rice dish cooked with onions, wine, and stock over low heat, then topped with grated Parmigiano Reggiano, or Italian parmesan cheese. 
Gnocchi – These may look like pasta, but gnocchi is actually made of small rounds of potato dough. Gnocchi recipes differ per region, but they’re often paired with chees, eggs, spinach, and tomato or saffron sauce.
Polenta – Hailing from Rome, polenta is made of corn flour that can be either baked, fried, grilled, or served as porridge. Polenta is often accompanied by butter, soft cheese types, slices of meat, or various kinds of Italian sauces.
Focaccia – This flat-leavened bread is also called “white pizza” by some due to it having a similar look and texture to pizza minus the toppings. Focaccia can be a side dish or a sandwich bread. It’s also versatile as it can be dipped in milk, coffee, or soup, or eaten with sauce and dry-cured ham.
Minestrone – Another iconic vegetable soup dish, minestrone is often eaten with rice or pasta with a side of bread and topped with parmesan cheese.
Frico – A type of omelet cooked with cheese, potatoes, onions, butter, and Montasio cheese ( a kind of semi-hard cheese made of cow’s milk). Frico can either be soft or hard; either type can be enjoyed with polenta and red wine.
Arrosticini – Traditional skewered cuts of lamb that are soaked in extra-virgin olive oil and cooked on a brazier. Arrosticini goes best with Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, a red wine that specifically comes from the region of Abruzzo.
Fiorentina – This Italian-style steak hails from the city of Florence and traces back its origins to the House of Medici. Fiorentina meat is made of a young calf that is matured for twenty days and cut like a classic T-bone steak. What makes this steak special is that it only requires coarse salt to bring out the optimal flavor.
Tiramisu – Perhaps one of the most envied desserts, tiramisu hails from Veneto and used to be eaten for its supposed aphrodisiac effects.  Traditional tiramisu is made with a base of Savoiardi biscuits dipped in coffee, then layered with whipped eggs, eggs, and mascarpone cheese, and topped with cocoa powder.
Prosciutto di Parma – The king of all Italian cured meats, prosciutto di parma is a type of dry, uncorked ham often served as an appetiser. Prosciutto is also perfect for snacks, sandwich filling, or part of a charcuterie platter or board.

How did we choose the best Italian restaurants in Winnipeg?

We considered these criteria in choosing Winnipeg’s top Italian restaurants:

Food and Drink Menu – Does the restaurant offer a variety of Italian dishes and beverages? Does it offer quality dishes that are flavourful and satisfying, as well as have generous portions?
Restaurant – Is the restaurant clean, well-lit, and aesthetically pleasing? Does it have an ambiance conducive to dining? 
Price – Do the food and drinks give value for money?
Customer Satisfaction –  Did the customers enjoy their meals? Did they receive great customer service?

1. Bellissimo Restaurant & Lounge

Bellissimo Restaurant & Lounge's Homepage
SPECIALITIES

Gourmet pizza

Calamari

Lasagna

Lobster mac n’ cheese

Lemon meringue cheesecake

PRICE RANGE$5 – $30
WEBSITEhttps://www.bellissimo-restaurant.com/
ADDRESS877 Waverley St., Winnipeg, MB R3T 5V3, Canada
CONTACT DETAILS

Phone: +1 (204) 489-0588

EMAIL: [email protected]

OPERATING HOURS

Monday: Closed

Tuesday to Friday: 11:30 AM – 2:00 PM; 4:00 PM – 10:00 PM

Saturday: 4:00 PM – 10:00 PM

Sunday: Closed

CRITERIARATING
FOOD AND DRINK MENU★★★★☆ 4/5
⮕Variety★★★★★ 5/5
⮕Quality★★★☆☆ 3/5
RESTAURANT★★★★★ 5/5
⮕Cleanliness and appeal★★★★★ 5/5
⮕Ambiance★★★★★ 5/5
PRICE★★★★★ 5/5
CUSTOMER SATISFACTION★★★☆☆ 3.5/5

Bellissimo Restaurant & Lounge is one of the most well-known Italian restaurants in Winnipeg. 

We think that its name is fitting as it reportedly offers a beautiful Italian dining experience to customers.

Anthony Gagliardi, a chef that specialises in Italian cuisine mixed with contemporary cooking methods, currently runs the place.

With his team of other experienced chefs, they offer different kinds of Italian food prepared with local ingredients. 

Crowd-pleasers include pasta, calamari, lasagna, and lobster mac n’ cheese.

Our favourite would be the gourmet pizzas as they are hand-tossed and made fresh every day. The pizzas also come in two sizes and more than 10 flavours.

We also love that Bellissimo offers a create-your-own-pizza menu, which we think is a fun way to mix different flavours and come up with unique pizza recipes. 

When we visited, we were able to choose from more than 10 regular and gourmet toppings. 

We also have to give it to this restaurant for providing different types of cheese, such as brie and parmesan, that complement various sauces and herbs used in Italian cooking.

And if you’re worried about the abundance of dough-based dishes, the good news is that Bellissimo accommodates requests for gluten-free options.

That said, we’re bummed to hear that the food quality is inconsistent. We hope that the restaurant will improve its food quality to keep up with its aim of serving authentic and fresh Italian food always.

Another slight limitation we found is that Saturdays are only open for dinner, so if you’re craving Bellissimo’s bestsellers in the day, we recommend coming in on the weekdays as it is open for brunch and lunch.

Pros

  • Carries a variety of dishes
  • Has a create-your-own-pizza menu
  • Gluten-free options available

Cons

  • Could improve on food quality
  • Saturdays are only open for dinner

Customer Reviews

Phenomenal food, service, atmosphere, and wine

“This is our go to place as we travel through monthly for work. Staff even remembered who we were after one visit. Lasagna is one of the best I have had.” – Don Ostrom

Can’t get enough of this place’s ambiance and pasta

“Absolutely in love with this place. The decor is beautiful and their pasta is the best in the city. Loved my peacan crusted stuffed chicken breast with linguine. My guests had the Aragosta and the lobster mac and cheese, and couldn’t stop raving about both. Can’t wait to come back here :)” – Brook W.

2. Pasquale’s Italian Ristorante

Pasquale's Italian Ristorante's Homepage
SPECIALITIES

Lasagna el forno

Spaghetti bolognese

Margherita pizza

Chicken and eggplant parmesan

Fettuccine pollo limone

Panzerotti

Minestrone

Cannelloni

PRICE RANGE$4 – $30
WEBSITEhttps://www.pasqualesrest.com/
ADDRESS109 Marion St., Winnipeg, MB R2H 0T2, Canada
CONTACT DETAILS

Phone: +1 (204) 231-1403

EMAIL: [email protected]

OPERATING HOURS

Lunch:

Monday: Closed

Tuesday to Friday: 11:00 AM – 2:30 PM

Saturday and Sunday: Closed

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Dinner:

Monday: Closed

Tuesday to Thursday: 4:00 PM – 9:30 PM

Friday and Saturday: 4:00 PM – 10:00 PM

CRITERIARATING
FOOD AND DRINK MENU★★★★★ 5/5
⮕Variety★★★★★ 5/5
⮕Quality★★★★★ 5/5
RESTAURANT★★★★☆ 4/5
⮕Cleanliness and appeal★★★★★ 5/5
⮕Ambiance★★★☆☆ 3/5
PRICE★★★★★ 5/5
CUSTOMER SATISFACTION★★★☆☆ 3.5/5

Pasquale’s Italiano Ristorante has served family recipes since the 1970s. 

Customers highlight the authentic and heartwarming flavours of this place’s lasagna el forno (beef lasagna), spaghetti bolognese, and chicken and eggplant parmesan.

Besides family recipes, this Italian restaurant specialises in other regional food. Other crowd-pleasers include the margherita pizza, panzerotti, fettuccine, cannelloni, and minestrone soup.

One of the strong points of Pasquale’s is that its dishes are made fresh every day. We visited and loved that we had pizza that was crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, and pasta smothered in sauce that tasted absolutely fresh.

We also appreciate the restaurant for offering a vegan menu complete with appetisers, main courses, and side dishes. 

Customers may also order their meals gluten-free and be modified to cater to their allergies. To us, this shows that Pasquale’s is also after its diners’ welfare and unique needs.

We’re just a little bummed that this restaurant currently doesn’t offer any dessert or coffee. 

But, we’re going to forgive that as this restaurant gives large portion servings that will fill you up and probably won’t leave room for dessert, anyway. 

Another area we hope Pasquale’s should improve on is its accessibility. Many customers were disappointed about the lack of parking spaces designated for people with disabilities.

Pros

  • Specializes in family recipes
  • Large portion servings
  • Has a vegan menu

Cons

  • Doesn’t carry desserts and coffee
  • Currently doesn’t have a parking space for people with disabilities

Customer Reviews

Amazing food, service, and restaurant ambiance that are worth coming back to

“First time dinning here after given a few recommendations from friends. Absolutely loved the Margherita pizza and Fettuccine Pollo Lemone. All the staff were very friendly and welcoming. Service was amazing as well. I will be coming back and recommending this restaurant to all my friends and family.” – Trinity

Love this place for its great service and delicious food

“Loved this place. The staff was super nice, attentive and friendly. The food was delicious. The owner met us at the door and chatted with us. Definitely a great local restaurant. Will be saving this restaurant to our regular visits.” – Trevor Barratt

3. Frankie’s Italian Kitchen & Bar

Frankie's Italian Kitchen & Bar's Homepage
SPECIALITIESLinguine

Spaghetti carbonara

Mushroom ravioli

Arancini

Gnoccho fritto

Lamb shank

Shrimp scampi tagliatelle

PRICE RANGE$7 – $40
WEBSITEhttp://winnipeg.frankiesitaliankitchen.ca/
ADDRESS505 Sterling Lyon Pkwy., Winnipeg, MB R3P 2S8, Canada
CONTACT DETAILSPhone: +1 (204) 410-4980

Email: [email protected]

OPERATING HOURSMonday to Thursday: 11:00 AM – 10:00 PM

Friday: 11:00 AM – 12:00 AM

Saturday: 11:00 AM – 12:00 AM

Sunday: 11:00 AM – 10:00 PM

CRITERIARATING
FOOD AND DRINK MENU★★★★☆ 4.5/5
⮕Variety★★★★☆ 4/5
⮕Quality★★★★★ 5/5
RESTAURANT★★★★☆ 4/5
⮕Cleanliness and appeal★★★★★ 5/5
⮕Ambiance★★★☆☆ 3/5
PRICE★★★★☆ 4/5
CUSTOMER SATISFACTION★★★★☆ 4/5

Frankie’s Italian Kitchen & Bar specialises in Southern Italian recipes. We think that this place is great for those seeking flavours from this particular slice of Italy.

We dropped by recently and were pleased with its wide selection of food, dessert, and drinks. 

Frankie’s is well-loved for its linguine, arancini (stuffed rice balls), spaghetti carbonara, shrimp tagliatelle, gnoccho fritto, meatballs, and lamb shank.

As for desserts, tiramisu, chocolate torte, cheesecake, and affogato are available.

Many of the restaurant’s signature dishes are also family recipes that have been passed down from one generation to another, which confirms their authenticity. 

We find this endearing as the restaurant’ owners are keen on sharing their most meaningful dishes with diners.

It is also worth mentioning that some of the food can be made vegan or gluten-free upon request, so we also have to give it to the restaurant for looking after its customers’ health.

In terms of drinks, Frankies offers six types of speciality coffees, more than 20 kinds of wines, more than 20 kinds of cocktails, and 30 kinds of beer.

And if you’re after making the most out of their drink selection, this restaurant has happy hour every day from 3:00 PM to 5:30 PM and 9:00 PM until closing. 

Customers can get $1 to $2 off of select alcoholic beverages and 50% off of wine bottles. We think that these deals are a steal and can offset some of the pricier food options.

That said, there aren’t other non-alcoholic and non-caffeinated drinks, sans water, available. 

We hope Frankie’s will add more drinks to cater to children and diners who aren’t fond of alcohol and coffee.

We’re also bummed to hear that the restaurant’s heaters apparently don’t work properly. Frankie’s should inspect its amenities to ensure that customers will be comfortable and warm while they dine.

Pros

  • Wide food and drink selection
  • Offers happy hour

Cons

  • Could add more non-alcoholic drink options
  • Could improve on some amenities 

Customer Reviews

Enjoyed some of the unique twists on well-known Italian dishes

“This restaurant has an interesting menu. I had the beet & steak salad and my dining companion had the chicken bacon club. We both quite enjoyed our food, and finished off with a piece of cake. The large patio is lovely, especially on a day like today with such great weather. I recommend calling ahead as there are not a huge number of tables on the patio. (our twosome had no problem walking up). The service was a bit slow but we were not in a hurry. We probably should have dressed up a bit more, this is kind of an upscale restaurant!” – P. W.

Beautiful decor, great service, and the food was really nice

“We enjoyed some appetizers and drinks on the patio. Beautiful decor, great service, and the food was really nice. The second time we went, we sat indoors and had appetizers and drinks again. Same great service and delicious food!” – Colleen Renaud

4. Cafe Carlo

Cafe Carlo's Homepage
SPECIALITIES

Penne

Chowder

Fettuccine chili

Creme brulee

Gnocco fritto

PRICE RANGE$6 – $50
WEBSITEhttps://cafecarlo.com/
ADDRESS243 Lilac St., Winnipeg, MB R3M 2S2, Canada
CONTACT DETAILS

Phone: +1 (204) 477-5544

EMAIL: [email protected]

OPERATING HOURS

Monday to Thursday: 5:00 PM – 10:00 PM

Friday: 11:30 AM – 2:00 PM; 5:00 PM – 10:00 PM

Saturday: 5:00 PM – 10:00 PM

Sunday: 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM

CRITERIARATING
FOOD AND DRINK MENU★★★★★ 5/5
⮕Variety★★★★★ 5/5
⮕Quality★★★★★ 5/5
RESTAURANT★★★★☆ 4/5
⮕Cleanliness and appeal★★★★★ 5/5
⮕Ambiance★★★☆☆ 3/5
PRICE★★★☆☆ 3/5
CUSTOMER SATISFACTION★★★☆☆ 3/5

Cafe Carlo boasts of preparing food from scratch every day using fresh local ingredients.

What we love about this restaurant is its wide selection of Italian food. We’re pleased to find that its menu features everything –  from soups, salads, sandwiches and mains, to desserts, and drinks

Fan favourites include the seafood chowder, seafood penne, fettuccine chili, and gnoccho fritto. 

As for desserts, we find Cafe Carlo’s selection unique as it carries liquid desserts! Other Italian dining places will only offer cheesecakes or ice cream.

Note that these drinks contain liquour, whipped cream, ice cream, and coffee or tea, so we recommend asking the servers which ones will suit your preferences before ordering.

And, good news: the restaurant offers lunch and dinner specials everyday, so don’t forget to ask the servers for their daily specials when you visit.

Another favourable aspect of this Italian restaurant is that its dinner menu has plates-to-share items, which are suitable for bigger families and groups.

Just a little warning, however: most of Cafe Carlo’s time slots are for dinner time and we’re a little bummed that only Fridays have time slots for lunch.

We’d recommend making early lunch reservations, but we’re not too pleased to hear about the restaurant’s inefficient online booking.

Clients complained that they’ve made reservations a few days before their chosen dates, only to find out that their time slots overlapped with other reservations – they also had to wait to be seated for at least an hour as the bookings were a mess.

Pros

  • Offers lunch and dinner specials 
  • Has liquid desserts
  • Dinner menu has plates-to-share dishes

Cons

  • Only Fridays have a lunch schedule
  • Inefficient reservation services

Customer Reviews

Fresh selection always, from appetisers to the main entrees

“Can’t beat the fresh pasta selections at Cafe Carlo! The Fett Chili is always great. On this occasion it had a great kick! Loved it. The gnocchi with braised beef short rib was also excellent. As was the butternut squash ravioli with brown butter and hazelnut. Starter house salads were a decent size. Great that they still serve complimentary baguette and flavoured butter. Wine selection decent as well.” – Hadam Yayha

Great atmosphere and impeccable food

“Cafe Carlo had a great atmosphere with amazing art on the walls. The food was impeccable! We had the muscles with a creams sauce which everyone raved about, the breaded shrimp and spring rolls. I had the pickerel  which was cooked to perfection. We will absolutely be coming back!” – Nicole Gruythuyzen

5. Colosseo Ristorante Italiano

Colosseo Ristorante Italiano's Homepage
SPECIALITIES

Linguine

Speciality pizzas

Calamari

Fettuccine

Chicken parmigiano

Lasagna

Tortellini

Breadsticks

PRICE RANGE$10 – $40
WEBSITEhttps://www.colosseo.ca/
ADDRESS670 Corydon Ave., Winnipeg, MB R3M 0X7, Canada
CONTACT DETAILS

Phone: +1 (204) 284-4977; +1 (204) 284-9865

Fax: +1 (204) 477-9640

OPERATING HOURS

Summer:

Monday to Thursday: 11:00 AM to 12:00 AM

Friday: 11:00 AM to 1:00 AM

Saturday: 12:00 PM to 1:00 AM

Sunday: 12:00 PM to 12:00 AM

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Winter:

Monday: Closed

Tuesday to Thursday: 11:00 AM to 10:00

CRITERIARATING
FOOD AND DRINK MENU★★★★☆ 4/5
⮕Variety★★★★★ 5/5
⮕Quality★★★☆☆ 3/5
RESTAURANT★★★★☆ 4/5
⮕Cleanliness and appeal★★★★★ 5/5
⮕Ambiance★★★☆☆ 3/5
PRICE★★★☆☆ 3/5
CUSTOMER SATISFACTION★★★☆☆ 3.5/5

Colosseo Ristorante Italiano is one of the oldest Italian restaurants in Winnipeg. For over 40 years, it has specialised in different Italian dishes made of chicken, seafood, vegetables, and fresh herbs.

What we love about this restaurant is its diverse lunch and dinner menus. Some of the specialities we found were gourmet pizzas, seafood pasta, seafood chowder, chicken parmigiano, and fried calamari.

We ordered some of these dishes and we’re pleasantly surprised with the generous food portions. We’re also giving plus points as the restaurant didn’t scrimp on the ingredients.

Another aspect that we liked about Colosseo is that it accommodates special orders. Customers can order vegan and gluten-free alternatives, and add slices of cheese, cured hams, and other available ingredients.

That said, we’re not that happy to hear that food quality isn’t consistent. 

Considering we’ll be paying around $10 to $40 for the food, we think it won’t hurt if the restaurant tightened quality control measures to ensure customers always get value for their money.

Colosseo’s name is also fitting as it has ancient Rome-inspired decor. The restaurant features pillars, pediments, mosaic walls, gold-framed mirrors, and sculpted face busts on the walls.

Not only do we find this charming, but we think that the colosseum-like interiors add authenticity to the customers’ dining experience.

On the downside, the restaurant is a little cramped and might not be spacious enough for larger groups. 

Alternatively, Colosseo has patio dining ideal for larger gatherings. That said, we recommend booking slots fast as the patio area is in-demand.

Additionally the restaurant has longer operational hours, which we think will give you time to wait for a table and dine in.

Pros

  • Generous food portions
  • Accommodates special orders
  • Place has ancient Rome decor
  • Longer operational hours

Cons

  • Could improve on food quality
  • Restaurant isn’t that spacious

Customer Reviews

Dined here again after 10 years, and the food is still amazing

“We hadn’t tried in 10 years. This was easily the best Italian gravy in Winnipeg aka red sauce. The chicken parm was amazing and the spaghetti with tomato sauce was amazing. The tortellini with Alfredo was soupy but amazing. The pasta with veggies and sausage was very oily and not the winner here. We are excited to return and try everything. Will update my review. Also calamari looks like onion rings. I prefer cute up and imperfect shapes and pieces.” – Marina Havard

Love their patio dining area

Went for supper last night with family on the patio. The food was delicious and plentiful. Started with calamari, then salad and then our entrees. The veal, pasta, chicken and seafood filled pasta were absolutely scrumptious. The service was attentive and was excellent as well! This restaurant has become my favourite for authentic Italian food and I heartily recommend it.” – Norman Yusim

FAQs on Italian Restaurants


There you have it – our unbiased review of the Italian restaurants in Winnipeg worth trying!

If you’re interested in other dining places in Winnipeg that offer different kinds of cuisines, we recommend checking out these other articles: