Header image courtesy of Filo Cibo e Vino
Originally published by Inés Fung. Last updated by Annette Chan and Celia Lee.
When we think about Italian food, our thoughts are never far from pizza and pasta—though there’s much, much more to this universally beloved cuisine than just its famous carb-based dishes. From the glittering coastline to the idyllic mountains, there’s so much to explore from the country that’s practically synonymous with “love for food,” and luckily for us, Hong Kong is home to a wealth of authentic takes on Italian cuisine. (There’s also a small but vibrant Italian-American dining scene, but that’s another topic for another day!) Next time you get a hankering for a taste of Italy, head to these Italian restaurants in Hong Kong that will have you kissing your fingers all night long.
An elegant and contemporary concept, one-Michelin-starred restaurant Noi showcases a wide range of Italian delicacies filtered through a modern lens. The menu is curated seasonally and reflects the personal journey of renowned chef Paulo Airaudo.
The current autumnal menu highlights seasonal gems from across the world in a 10-course experience that embraces the acidity and bitterness of Italian cuisine, with dishes such as the Alaskan king crab, corn, and Ibérico, the pigeon, sweet onion, and matsutake, or the sea urchin pasta. Be sure to leave some room for the Parker House-style bread, served with a selection of irresistible spreads.
Noi, 5/F, Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong, 8 Finance Street, Central
In contrast to Locanda dell’Angelo—the intimate Happy Valley restaurant founded by Tosca’s culinary director Angelo Agliano—dining at the resident Italian restaurant of the glamorous Ritz-Carlton is an unabashedly lavish experience, with an opulent opera-inspired design comprising grand chandeliers, gleaming marble features, and floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Victoria Harbour.
Inspired by his Sicilian heritage, Agliano presents seasonal, produce-driven menus shot through with Mediterranean flair. While many flock to the Ritz for its glittering night views, there is something apt about savouring the bright, bold Sicilian flavours during a sunny lunch among the clouds. Currently, the multi-course lunch features fresh flavours like risotto with pumpkin purée and Taleggio fondue, as well as the crowd-favourite mezzi paccheri with Sicilian red prawns and pesto. Don’t leave without trying the tiramisù, a largely traditional take on the dessert crowned with shaved chocolate and served alongside coffee granita.
Tosca Di Angelo, Level 102, International Commerce Centre (ICC), 1 Austin Road, Tsim Sha Tsui | (+852) 2263 2270
Despite its stature in Italian cuisine, Piedmont—the northern region famed for its wine, cheese, truffles, chocolate, and meat—has just one culinary representative in Hong Kong. Part-owned by Piedmontese celebrity chef Marco Sacco, this refined Causeway Bay eatery is a love letter to the rich, alpine cuisine, which pays homage to its culinary traditions while utilising modern techniques and presentation.
For lunch, the three- or four-course menu features signature dishes such as the Piedmontese ragù, a pasta dish with Fassona beef, celery, carrot, and red wine, and the Carabineros red prawn. For dinner, you can customise your experience with the à la carte menu. Highlights include the signature saffron risotto with bone marrow and gold flakes, the Fassona veal tenderloin with mushroom and Parmesan. Alternatively, you can enjoy a curated experience with the “Around Northern Italy” degustation menu or the chef’s signature menu. Given Piedmont’s reputation as a wine-producing region, wine lovers who order the tasting menus would be remiss if they did not take advantage of the wine-pairing experience.
Castellana, 10/F, Cubus, Hoi Ping Road, Causeway Bay | (+852) 3188 5028
Founded by chef Jack Lau—previously of 8½ Otto e Mezzo Bombana and Ciak—this Causeway Bay eatery is best known for its handmade pasta, which is made fresh every day using Italian ingredients. The signature tagliolini with Carabineros prawns is a must-try for seafood lovers, with a rich sauce made from the prawn essence and scallops. Can’t get enough of that springy, perfectly al dente pasta?
Involtini, 11/F, The L Square, 459–461 Lockhart Road, Causeway Bay | (+852) 2658 2128
Originally located at Fenwick Pier in northern Wan Chai, this beloved Italian fine-dining eatery is the crowning jewel in the hospitality group of the same name. Chef-owner Giandomenico Caprioli—known to all as Gianni—has parlayed that first restaurant into a trio of eateries and a chain of artisanal gourmet stores, all in pursuit of providing the authentic Italian food experience to Hong Kong consumers.
Currently, Giando occupies an elegant ground-floor space in the Starstreet Precinct with ample seating. Its weekend brunch is a veritable feast, with sharing starters like beef tartare, amberjack carpaccio, and burrata, as well as hearty mains such as black ink risotto with calamari and shrimp, grilled beef rump with roasted vegetables and herb jus, and baked scarmorza cheese with mix grilled vegetables.
Giando, Shop 1, Starcrest Block 1, 9 Star Street, Admiralty | (+852) 2511 8912
Unlike the coastal, Mediterranean-influenced Osteria Marzia, Black Sheep Restaurant’s other Italian eatery in Wan Chai, Associazione Chianti, is a “soulful Tuscan trattoria.” In the spirit of elevated “cucina povera” (peasant cooking), the restaurant’s menu comprises rustic dishes made with simple ingredients—vegetables, beans, nuts, and cheese—as well as Florentine steaks.
Crack into the grilled country bread with roasted pecorino and anchovies and share a plate of the hand-rolled pici with pomodoro sauce, Parmesan, and basil before tucking into the hearty steaks. Although the Black Angus beef is sourced from Idaho, it’s dry-aged, seasoned, and broiled how it would be in Il Bel Paese—try the show-stopping bistecca alla Fiorentina to dine in “true Florentine fashion.”
Associazione Chianti, Shop 2, Po Chi Court, 15 Ship Street, Wan Chai | (+852) 3619 3360
As per its tagline, this long-standing Wan Chai restaurant (and the namesake for the Pirata restaurant group!) is all about “honest Italian fare”—fresh ingredients prepared using simple, well-executed recipes. As such, the wide-ranging menu comprises many familiar dishes, like vitello tonnato, ravioli Wagyu beef, and the famous cold cuts and cheese board.
Not sure where to start? Like sister restaurant Pici, Pirata also offers a chef’s tasting menu, which allows diners to bypass the decision-making process entirely—simply sit back and enjoy as a selection of the restaurant’s “greatest hits” arrive magically at the table.
Pirata, 29/F & 30/F, 239 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai | (+852) 2887 0270
While Lupa—the restaurant that previously occupied Spiga’s digs—dealt in Italian-American fare, its successor is more concerned with “Italian-Italian” cuisine, as Tuscan celebrity chef Enrico Bartolini’s only restaurant outside Italy.
Stunning Joyce Wang-designed interiors inspired by 1950s Italy set the scene for a meal to remember, with off-beat touches like a bar overlaid with leather insoles and framed boxes of vintage circus paraphernalia and wooden shoe trees. The menu is chock-a-block with delicious plates, from spaghetti with crab, Genovese sauce, and dried tuna kastuobushi to baked black cod with smoked pepper sauce, baby bok choy, salsa verde, and more. Can’t decide what to get? Go for the chef’s tasting menu or the lunch buffet, where you can get your fill of salads and desserts, and add on various pastas, pizzas, and main courses for an extra fee.
Spiga, 3/F, LHT Tower, 31 Queens Road Central, Central | (+852) 2871 0055
8½ Otto e Mezzo Bombana’s reputation precedes them: Not only do they have a whopping three Michelin stars (the first and only Italian restaurant outside of Italy with this achievement), they’re also consistently featured on various lists and rankings celebrating the best restaurants in Hong Kong and Asia.
Chef Umberto Bombana is a true ambassador of his home country, naming the restaurant after a Federico Fellini film (you may have heard of his most famous work, La Dolce Vita) as well as bringing vibrant Italian fine dining to our city in the form of dishes like the trenette with fresh tuna and bottarga and the homemade pappardelle with lamb ragout and confit tomatoes.
Paired with a cheese-ageing room, an endless wine list, and impeccable service, 8½ Otto e Mezzo Bombana is the star of the show in Hong Kong. Definitely worth the splurge.
8½ Otto e Mezzo Bombana, Shop 202, 2/F, Alexandra House, 18 Chater Road, Central | (+852) 2537 8859
Octavium is 8½ Otto e Mezzo Bombana’s more laid-back and adventurous sibling. Described as chef Umberto Bombana’s creative laboratory, the menu at Octavium is full of dishes made with more low-key ingredients or experimental techniques. Like its sister restaurant, the menu is fresh and seasonal, but past favourites include their rich tagliolini with roasted Te Mana lamb and elegant take on the simple spaghetti aglio e olio. Octavium may be more intimate and chilled, but they’ve still bagged a Michelin star, so you know you’re in for a treat here.
Octavium, 8/F, One Chinachem Central, 22 Des Voeux Road Central, Central | (+852) 2111 9395
Pici is almost always packed to the rafters at all of its locations, and for good reason: its menu features affordable and unpretentious takes on the ultimate Italian comfort food—homemade pasta. The rotational lunch menu is a steal, consisting of a starter, main, and dessert. We absolutely can’t get enough of the burrata, the sizzling individual trays of lasagna, and perfect pots of tiramisu. Pici is the place to go for a satisfying carb-load, and we’ve never left without having to loosen our belts.
The breadsticks here are so delicious that they named the restaurant after them. Following a renovation a few years ago, this longstanding favourite is classier than ever with the same sweeping views of our iconic harbour. The signature Grissini breadsticks are baked fresh in-house daily and served alongside meals with fragrant extra-virgin olive oil and house-blended balsamic vinegar. The Italian country classics on offer at Grissini are even more impressive than the scenery outside, particularly the soft and succulent buffalo ricotta and mozzarella stuffed bottoni.
The dishes carry a distinctly Mediterranean flavour, as Chef Marcello is from the southern Campania region, so seafood is another must-try here. Be sure to make room for dessert though, as the gelato is homemade and the tiramisu is served to you from a bowl. For the vino lovers, go for an Italian wine pairing from the two-storey wine cellar with floor-to-ceiling vinothéque.
Grissini, 2/F, Grand Hyatt Hong Kong, 1 Harbour Road, Wan Chai | (+852) 2584 7722
Filo Cibo e Vino is a casual Soho eatery that offers delicacies from the northern regions of Italy. Patrons can expect comfort dishes and crowd-favourites, highlights of which include the creamy fried burrata with tomato and basil sauce, gnocchi with sausage and porcini mushrooms, and braised beef in wine and polenta. As for dessert, staples such as tiramisu and panna cotta are not to be missed.
Filo Cibo e Vino, UG/F, Ming Hing House, 52–56 Staunton Street, Central
Offering a curated menu of elevated home-style Italian delicacies, guests will feel right at home in Aria’s cosy yet elegant interior. Located on the top floor of California Tower in LKF, diners are treated to a panoramic view of the city as they savour the restaurant’s award-winning dishes. Highlights of the à la carte menu include fried Ibérico ham croquette with smoked paprika mayonnaise, smoked potato giant ravioli with egg and truffle, and grilled bluefin tuna with Sicilian caponata, while its multi-course business lunch offers a hearty indulgence for your mid-day break. Don’t forget to leave some room for dessert, Aria’s hazelnut cake is a fragrant and velvety treat.
Aria, 24/F, California Tower, 32 D’Aguilar Street, Lan Kwai Fong
Sabatini is a true Italian institution. It’s been around since our parents first started dating, and will probably be around when our kids start dating. When it comes to their recipe for longevity, the proof is in the pudding: the quality of the food has stayed consistently high, the rustic furnishings (modelled after the original Sabatini in Rome) are timeless, and the live band that roams from table to table is essential dinnertime entertainment.
Sabatini, 3/F, The Royal Garden, 69 Mody Road, Tsim Sha Tsui | (+852) 2733 2000