If you need a break from all that seafood and those pintxos, then don’t worry as Bilbao is filled with a variety of international restaurants, from Japanese and Chinese to Italian. The city has a surprisingly good choice of Italian restaurants, from romantic and classy, to laid-back eateries with live music and even takeaway pizza places. Here’s our pick of the best Italian restaurants in Bilbao.
Restaurant, Italian, $$$
La Nicoletta is a colourful and cosy Italian restaurant situated close to the centre of Bilbao. It’s decorated with wine barrel lids, bright plates and colourful lamps, and has a large pizza oven in the middle. The menu is classic Italian, featuring pastas such as carbonara and arrabiata, risottos and pizzas, including four seasons and vegetarian. They offer a three-course menu of the day for €18.90 featuring a starter, main, dessert, drink and tea or coffee. There is also a special kids’ menu.
Il Giardino Della Nonna, meaning Garden of the Grandma in Italian, can be found close to the river and the Guggenheim Museum. As well as classic pizzas such as spicy diavola and Hawaiian tropical, they also offer more innovative choices such as carbonara pizzas and white pizzas with parmesan, truffle oil and mozzarella. Also on the menu are dishes such as melanzane alla parmegiana (aubergine bake with tomato and parmesan cheese) and porcini mushroom and truffle risotto. Don’t miss their tasty desserts, from homemade gelato to tiramisu.
Coppola Bilbao is a laid-back pizza and music bar. Bar and pub-like in its decor, it’s all about watching live music while eating good food. The pizzas are thin and classic Italian, while the music features a number of different local bands and artists.
Classy and romantic, La Fontana Trattoria is an excellent Italian pizza restaurant. It’s the perfect place to go on a date when in the city or just enjoy a stylish Italian meal. They specialise in fresh homemade pastas and pizzas. Try the fresh parpadelle, black spaghetti, pear-filled sacchetti or mushroom-filled ravioli, paired with a variety of creative sauces. They also serve an excellent value menu of the day for €11.50 for three courses.
Pizza Via is an artisanal pizzeria in the heart of the Casco Viejo, with two different locations. It’s more of a takeaway place than somewhere to sit down, but if you’re looking for good value pizza you can take out, it’s a great option. Try the pizza Miren, topped with tomato, mozzarella, walnuts and rocket or the chocolate pizza for dessert.
Margherita La Fresca is a pizzeria tavern with a difference – it serves tacos as well as classic pizzas. These are not Mexican-style tacos though, they’re Italian tacos, filled with mozzarella, cheese, tomato, fresh basil and other Italian classics. A casual and simple place, Margherita La Fresca is the place to come for a delicious snack or a meal.
Don Angelo is a charming and cute Italian restaurant, with chequered black and white floor, black and white furniture, and stripy poles like the gondalas of Venice. It’s an excellent choice for a classy meal and serves everything from fresh pastas, risottos and poached eggs to fish and meat dishes, and of course pizzas. The restaurant also has its own wine cellar, featuring a variety of both local Spanish and Italian reds, whites and rosés. They also offer a great menu of the day for €12.50.