italian restaurants toronto

5 old school Italian restaurants in Toronto

Old school Italian restaurants in Toronto have been feeding the city no-nonsense spaghetti and meatballs, pizza, meats, cheeses and olives for decades. These grandaddies of comfort food might be older than your parents, but they’re sure to have you saying “Mamma mia!”

Here are some notable old school Italian restaurants in Toronto.

Camarra

There’s still a Ms. Camarra cooking up pizza, panini and build-your-own pasta at this restaurant near Dufferin and Glencairn, that opened up in 1958. These folks were actually the first to offer party size pizza in Toronto.

Cafe Diplomatico

This Little Italy stalwart is still under the watchful care of the Mastrangelo family that opened it in 1968. Italian menu essentials like spaghetti pomodoro and margherita pizza — as well as gelato, espresso and antipasti plates — are must-haves with pitchers of beer and cheap wine out on a popular patio with a big screen TV.

Regina

It's fitting that the name of this Italian joint open since 1967 in Little Italy means queen, seeing as it's Toronto old school restaurant royalty. Their dining room has iconic white-tablecloth class, but you can always skip the ambience and order their yummy pasta and pizza for delivery.

Bitondo

This bare bones pizzeria on Clinton is one of the restaurants that has made Little Italy what it is since opening in the seventies. Bubbly, molten hot, cheesy and saucy pizzas are still made before your eyes by old Italian guys covered head-to-toe in flour. However, you haven’t really tried the food here until you've had the mammoth panzerotto.

Vesuvio’s

Open since 1957 in the Junction, thick-crust cheesy pizzas loaded with toppings are the specialty. This place is so old it actually survived the entire span of alcohol prohibition in this neighbourhood.

Lead photo by

Jesse Milns at Bitondo's


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