Italian food will always be a people pleaser. It suits all seasons, weather forecasts, moods, appetites, with everything from fresh salads and moreish nibbles to a huge range of pasta, pizza and mains if you need to feed a crowd. Sit back, relax and let us help find the right Italian place for you here in Birmingham.
1. Paccheri Luganica, Bella Italia
With over 100 restaurants across the UK, Bella Italia are a trusted Italian name on the high street. All the ingredients in their flavour punching dishes are specially sourced from Italian growers. Take their Paccheri Luganica as an example. Think spaghetti carbonara with red onion and Luganica sausage, all delicately spun in silky smooth, béchamel sauce.
2. Salmon and Mixed Grain Salad, ASK Italian
With top chef Theo Randall designing the menu, ASK Italian offer a first-rate take on the Italian classics. The vibrant Salmon and Mixed Grain Salad captures the essence of Italian cuisine, with salmon cooked to flake away perfection, spelt barley and rice adding a variety of textures. Asparagus adds a tangy, juicy earthiness to the salmon, parsley and mint finishing off Randall's masterpiece.
Where: ASK Italian, various locations
3. Bruschette, Del Villagio
Family run, the tight-knit team at Del Villagio pride themselves on using only the freshest ingredients prepared in house to give you that rustic, homemade Italian vibe. With a menu full of the usual Italian suspects like breads and olives, starters, mains, pastas, pizzas and desserts, you're spoiled for choice. We love their vibrant Bruschette, a classic for a good reason – ripe, chopped tomatoes are lifted by aromatic basil and supported by a crisp raft of crostini.
Where: Del Viaggio, Birmingham City Centre
4. Padana, PizzaExpress
With over 400 restaurants across the UK, PizzaExpress are rightly regarded as Italian restaurant supremos of the high street. Delicious, clean, healthy and original flavour combinations like those found on the Padana have helped gain such a reputation. This gluten free, veggie beaut plays the senses from every angle, with goats' cheese punching through tangy caramelised red onion.
Where: PizzaExpress, various locations
5. Spaghetti Vongole, Carluccio's
Carluccio's authentic Italian fare is as big, colourful and characterful as the great man himself. As you'd expect, all the classics are here, from fresh fish, healthy salads to tasty pastas like Spaghetti Vongole. This seafood delight features clams spilling through drips of white wine sauce and sprinkles of fresh herbs on tangles of spaghetti. Belissima, Carluccio.
6. Calzone Pollo Spinaci, Zizzi
The family friendly approach, taking traditional Italian and twisting it into something new and exciting, is uniquely Zizzi. This folded beast conceals roast chicken, spinach, mushrooms and thyme in a mozzarella creamy, béchamel oozing pizza pie, topped off with coppa ham for added measure.
Where: Zizzi, various locations
7. Gennaro's Tagliatelle Bolognese, Jamie's Italian
Jamie's features a gorgeous repertoire of rustic Italian dishes. The nibbles, antipasti, pasta and pizza all sing with trademark Oliver verve. And sometimes when you're craving Italian, you just want one of the biggest classics going — ribbons of tangled tagliatelle smothered in a rich Bolognese sauce.
If that's not quite comforting enough yet, it sounds like you need to go full sugar rush cakeaway with The Epic Chocolate Brownie. A brownie that's equal parts cakey and gooey is served with rich chocolate sauce, with caramelised popcorn finishing off this divine option with just the right amount of naughtiness.
Where: Jamie's Italian, Bullring
With so many contemporary, traditional, rustic and stylish Italian options available in town tonight it's time to give Deliveroo a holler and get your order in.