What better comfort food than pasta? It’s tasty, filling, and hearty. I’ve narrowed down the five restaurants in Joburg where you can pick up the best pasta the city has to offer. If you’re keen to visit any of them, make sure to book first as all five spots are very popular!
Pasta prices (approximate):
1. Cafe del Sol, Cnr Olive & President Fouche, Olivedale: $$
This family restaurant has recently doubled in size. You’ll love the decor – trendy yet inviting, with an ambience that perfectly strikes the balance between vibey and cosy. The walls are covered in thought-provoking quotes which are great for when your dinner table conversation dies down. In addition to pasta, they also have a great selection of meat and seafood dishes on their menu. The basil pesto gnocchi is to die for, with both the pesto and gnocchi being handmade by the chef.
Tel 011 704 64933
2. Polpetta, 90 Degrees Shopping Centre, Cnr Kelvin and Rivonia, Morningside: $$
Polpetta’s complimentary cheese straws on the table are reason enough to visit them. The delicate puff pastry straws accentuated with mature cheddar cheese and fragrant herbs make it difficult not to gorge on at least 5 of these before your starter arrives. The pasta’s not bad either. On a serious note, these guys make a mean lasagne.
Tel 011 884 8866
3. Franco’s, 54 Tyrone Avenue, Parkview: $
While the decor is a tad underwhelming, the food is anything but. This is an old favourite that locals return to over and over again – probably because in the past five years neither the menu nor the prices have changed. Franco’s offer simple, homely food: comfort eating at its best. They’ve perfected the art of pasta and pizza making, so stick to either pasta or pizza when ordering and avoid their meat/seafood options. Recommended dishes: Tortellini Alla Cacciatora (rings of pasta stuffed with chicken, prepared in a creamy garlic, tomato and mushroom sauce) or Conchilioni (large shells of pasta filled with butternut).
Tel 011 646 5449
4. Tortellino D’oro, Oaklands Shopping Centre, Cnr Pretoria and Victoria, Oaklands: $$$
This deli/restaurant offers some dishes that you won’t find anywhere else. They make their own spinach and ricotta dumplings, which are delicious served in a napoletana sauce. This is a great option for those who are craving “pasta” but are trying to shape up for Summer. If you’re vegetarian, you’ll be pleased at the large amount of meat-free dishes on the menu – very few restaurants offer as much variety for the herbivores. While pricey, the food is of a very high quality. If you go with kids, make sure they order the ice cream – they’ll be delighted at its presentation. It comes in an actual ice bowl! The deli offers a large variety of pastas, pasta sauces and other baked goods so you can continue to satisfy your Italian cravings at home.
Tel 011 483 1249
5. Pronto, The Colony Shopping Centre, 345 Jan Smuts Avenue, Craighall Park: $$
A great all-round restaurant, offering breakfasts, salads, paninis, pizza and pasta – something for everyone! It is small but always packed, so you can be assured of a buzzing atmosphere. Portions are big, so consider sharing. Dishes are packed with flavour; you’ll hardly need to add parmesan or chilli. Remember to save space for dessert – the dark chocolate mousse (made with 70% French chocolate) and the tiramisu are delicious.
Tel 011 447 4346
If you enjoyed this post, you can find many more restaurant ideas at my other blog: www.joziliciousblog.co.za