Unless you live in the depths of the British countryside miles away from civilisation, you’re probably within accessible distance of a half decent Italian restaurant. Failing that, you’re likely to be a short trip from a restaurant that offers at least one Italian-inspired dish on its menu. Why? Because Italian cuisine if one of the most, if not the most, popular cuisines in the UK. Be honest, can you really think of anyone that has a strong aversion to pizza, pasta, cheese, ice cream or risotto? If the answer is yes, then you might want to question why you’re still friends with them... We’re only joking, of course, but when it comes to Italian food, we can’t think of a subject we take more seriously.
Take Sheffield, for example: a city in Southern Yorkshire that’s not especially known for its dining scene, but scratch beneath the surface and you’ll see why it absolutely should be. There’s no shortage of brilliant restaurants in the area – take a look at our list of the best restaurants in Sheffield if you don’t believe us – a round up that includes a host of truly outstanding Italian restaurants.
Home to many of said Italian restaurants is Ecclesall Road, known locally as the Golden Mile, a jam-packed stretch of restaurants, bars, pubs, shops, cafes, brunch spots and cocktail joints. So chock-full of places to eat and drink is it, in fact, that we’ve dedicated an entire section of this guide to the best Italian restaurants on Ecclesall Road.
Elsewhere, discover every type of Italian restaurant you could possibly want and need, from cosy spots inspired by the rustic trattorias of Italy, and contemporary restaurants that offer BYOB through to places to visit for the best freshly-made pasta in town. If you’re hungry for Italian in Sheffield, then you’ve come to the right place. Have a scroll and remember: always save room for ice cream (or should we say gelato?).
Best Italian restaurants on Ecclesall Road
Running from the city centre to Banner Cross, Ecclesall Road is over three miles long and frequented every day by thousands of hungry foodies thanks to its huge eating and drinking scene.
What: This BYO spot is a great choice for anyone looking for a comforting, home-cooked meal without any fuss. Grab a pizza to takeaway or sit-in for plenty of traditional dishes served in a friendly atmosphere. It also offers a seperate vegan menu with up to 15 plant-based options - think mushroom bruschetta and aubergine parmigiana.
Where: 961 Ecclesall Road, Banner Cross, S11 8TN
The Italian Kitchen
What: This independent Italian kitchen is an all-day affair where the vibes are chill and the portions generous. Take note of its customised calzone menu, where diners can choose up to four fillings of their choice (not including tomato and mozzarella) for lovers of the folded pizza.
Where: 349 Ecclesall Road, Sharrow, Sheffield, S11 8PF
What: Nonnas offers a lot more than just a restaurant, hosting live events numerous nights a week as well as its very own shop where you can buy a selection of Italian goodies. Drop in here for a lively atmosphere, some top quality Tuscan cuisine and an excellent wine list, including a selection of high-end bottles.
Where: 535-541 Eccelsall Road, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, S11 8PR
Maranello’s Italian Restaurant
What: Exposed red brick walls, wine bottles scattered on various surfaces and wooden furniture are just a few of the features that inject warmth and personality into this traditional restaurant. Don’t expect anything too fancy here, just tasty, home-cooked food that everyone will love.
Where: 438 Ecclesall Road, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, S11 8PX
Best Italian restaurants in Sheffield
And now for the best of the rest. From super central spots to those located in the suburbs of Sheffield, flick through the best places to feast on all your Italian favourites.
What: This family-run restaurant is just a 10-minute drive from Sheffield city centre and well worth the trip if you’re after great Italian fare. Offering authentic dishes with a contemporary touch, diners can choose from a curated selection of antipasti, meat, fish, pasta and risotto. Hanging light fixtures and wooden textures create a warm, urban feel inside while an open kitchen allows customers to see (or even chat!) to the chefs while they work.
Where: 139–141 Oakbrook Road, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, S11 7EB
What: Located North-West of Sheffield City Centre, Vito’s is the place to head for a truly traditional Italian experience. Decorated in classic trattoria style, this cosy and informal restaurant is Italian-owned and serves dishes from regions all over Italy.
Where: 284 South Road Walkley, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, S6 3TE
Leo’s Italian Express
What: A fantastic restaurant to have in your back pocket, Leo’s offers affordable Italian plates against a contemporary backdrop. Diners can also bring their own wine throughout the week for a small corkage fee, while a child-friendly menu makes it a great option for easy family dining.
Where: 391 South Road Sheffield, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, S6 3TD
Rossi’s Italian Restaurant
What: Dine surrounded by opulent Italian interiors at family-run Rossi’s, which features grand marble pillars, hanging chandeliers and old artwork within a vast dining room. You won't find any surprises on the menu, but the food is largely influenced by Southern Italian cuisine and comes with an affordable price tag. A trendy bar dispenses premium spirits and cocktails and there’s regular live music, too.
Where: 3 Sharrow Lane, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, S11 8AE
What: You don’t have to travel far to get to Piccolino which is located on Millenium Square in the middle of Sheffield. It’s a chain restaurant with sites all over the country and has become a popular haunt in the northern city. With an open kitchen, a covered alfresco terrace, cocktail bar and a selection of menus for every occasion, we can see why people like it.
Where: 4 Millennium Square, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, S12JJ
What: True Love’s isn’t strictly an Italian restaurant, but there is certainly a strong Italian influence at this waterside bar and we’d recommend it for anyone who loves the cuisine from this Mediterranean country. It serves produce sourced locally from Sheffield and Yorkshire, including sustainable meats, cheeses, wines and ales. Alongside Yorkshire pudding pies (which sound pretty epic if you ask us), you can find pizza by the slice, Italian sandwiches, a selection of antipasto, charcuterie boards and gelato.
Where: Arches 18 & 19, Victoria Quays, Sheffield, S2 5SY
What: Pasta lovers – listen up! Grazie is an Italian restaurant specialising in homemade fresh pasta that's made on-site every morning. The food is inspired by owner Vito’s hometown in Puglia where his nonna used to make orecchiette and cavatelli every day. It’s a tradition that he’s brought to Sheffield and we’re not mad about it. Discover homemade cavatelli with porcini mushrooms, pistachio sauce, garlic, chilli and pistachio crumble, and homemade orecchiette with swordfish, fried aubergine, smoked burrata, chilli, garlic and lemon zest.
Where: 1-3 Leopold Street, Sheffield City Centre, Sheffield S1 2GY
Napoli Centro Sheffield
What: Anyone can make pizza – it's little more than bread, tomato and cheese after all - but it requires a fine art to create a truly great one. Napoli Centro have cracked it, though. Their Neapolitan slow-proofed pizzas are cooked in under 90 seconds at 500 degrees, to create a crisp and airy pizza with a slightly charred crust. Most come in at under a tenner and include a range of classic and special topping options. From the latter, think tomato, caramelised red onion, goats' cheese, smoky pancetta and crushed walnuts or Calabrian nduja with fresh ricotta.
Where: 343 Glossop Road, Sheffield, Sheffield, S10 2HP
What: San Lorenzo in the Crookes suburb of Sheffield is a bright, clean and contemporary spot serving authentic dishes from Southern Italy. It’s fully licensed for guests to bring along a bottle, seven days a week, and offers everything from steak to fish, pasta and pizza.
Where: 190-192, Northfield Road, Crookes, Sheffield S10 1QU
What: Whether you're on the hunt for a romantic date night spot or a cosy, crowd-pleasing place for a celebration, Kia’s Pasteria is a good bet. Kick off with calamari and mushroom arancini, before moving onto one of its soul-warming pasta dishes. Gluten-free, vegan and child-friendly options are all available and don’t miss Kia’s Affogato for dessert: vanilla ice cream served with a hot shot of espresso and Disaronno Amaretto served on the side.
Where: 759-761 Abbeydale Road, Sheffield, S7 2BG
What: Discover Sardinian restaurant, bar and deli Domo in the neighbourhood of Kelham Island, just North of the city centre. It serves a breakfast menu at the tail end of the week, from Nutella bread to eggs nduja and a Sardinian butty, while the main menu features an extensive range of sharing platters, bruschetta, calzone, risotto and more. There’s a huge alfresco terrace out front for diners to sip on a cocktail in the summer, while inside offers a spacious dining room with burgundy pillars, booth seating and a bar in the centre.
Where: Eagle Works, 34-36 Cotton Mill Walk, Little Kelham, S3 8DH
What: La Scala has been serving pasta and pizza since 1999 and there’s no sign of this changing any time soon. The trattoria-style restaurant is decorated with a strong theatrical theme throughout, while the menu is a little more reigned in: think calamari cooked with garlic, Italian cured meats and tiramisu to finish.
Where: 1 Abbeydale Road, Millhouses, Sheffield, S7 2QL
Hungry for more? Now check out the best Italian restaurants in London