Hamilton is well known for its Italian community which is celebrated through events like Festitalia and is seen in many of the Italianate architecture style buildings found throughout the city.
Hamilton doesn’t have a “Little Italy” per se, but you can find many influences in the downtown core, which hosts a mix of Portuguese and Italian bakeries and restaurants along James Street, and in Stoney Creek.
We’ve teamed up with Emilia Delizia, a culinary travel planning company in Italy with numerous food tours, to bring you a list of some of the best places to eat Italian fare in Hamilton.
La Piazza Allegra is tucked away upstairs in a little mall at 180 James Street South. I went in for lunch and I have to say that their tomato sauce is very flavourful and beautifully spiced. I ordered the gnocchi which was paired with ricotta and served with a generous amount of tomato sauce. This affordable and delicious spot is high on my list of recommendations for Italian fare in Hamilton.
La Piazza Allegra is a great lunch spot with awesome deals Monday to Friday from 11:30 am to 3:00 pm:
Meatless Monday, 50% off all vegetarian pasta dishes
Take-out Tuesday, 25% off all take-out orders
Free Salad Wednesday, purchase any pasta and get a free piccolo salad
Thirsty Thursday, free glass of wine with a food purchase of at least $12 ($4.50 draught beer)
Stuff-It Friday, 2-for-1 on any stuffed pasta dish
Baci Ristorante often receives amazing reviews which has sparked my interest in dining there some time. Just take a look at their Katerina pasta. Have you been? Let us know in the comments how it was!
Photo: Baci Ristorante Facebook Page
Pane Del Sole is probably one of my most favourite bakeries in Hamilton. It is located at 175 John Street North and you can’t miss their “Homemade Lasagna” sign!
When you enter the bakery, you’re immediately met with a vast display of all different sweets and treats. Their lemon cookies are a little bite of heaven, but you really can’t go wrong with anything at this place!
In the summer, the serve up the most delicious gelato and have been known to stuff their cannoli shells with gelato which makes for a decadent treat–a must!
Photo: Hamilton Small Fries
By the way, a friend took home one of their personal sized frozen lasagnas and said it was amazing!
Fazari’s Cucina is truly a hidden gem (with a secret entrance and everything!) that boasts the best pizza in town made from the finest, freshest ingredients.
Photo: Sarah L. Trip Advisor
Amy Kenny from the Spec describes their Bella Vita pizza as “Excellent…the not-too-thick, not-too-thin crust was covered in caramelized onions and a mix of sliced pears and Gorgonzola cheese that gave it a slightly sweet, heady flavour. Ample arugula and balsamic glaze topped the works…” it was packed with flavours that married so beautifully.
They also offer paninis, pastas and salads made to order. You can find them at 21 King St. West Dundas with a rear entrance off Park Street near Cross Street.
BONUS: Gluten Free Selection
Cafe Limoncello not only has delicious classic Italian fare, but it also has an impressive selection of gluten free items including pizza and pasta. I had the gluten free pizza and I have to say it was probably one of the best I’ve had in a long time!
Cafe Limoncello is located at 226 Ottawa Street North and they have an extensive menu that is sure to have what you’re looking for.
So, if you’re planning a trip to Italy, make sure you check out the food tours offered by Emilia Delizia which receive 5 star reviews on Trip Advisor! How cool would it be to go to the Gelato Museum and take a master gelato making class or the Parma Food Tour where you get to taste parmesan cheese, balsamic vinegar and parma ham?
However, just remember that until such time that you’re ready to book a trip to Italy you can have a little Italian vacation right here in Hamilton.