If you’re planning a meal out and need to be sure of choosing a place that everyone will like, the answer is simple: pick an Italian restaurant. Kids love it as much as adults. There are plenty of vegetarian options. And, as studies have shown, Italian cuisine is the most popular Western food in Asia. Its emphasis on fresh produce and many of its ingredients (from noodles to seafood) are preferred by the Asian palate, while its emphasis on sharing suits large groups of friends and family.
Whether you’re after artisanal pasta and shaved truffle, or have a hankering for the perfect Neapolitan-style pizza, you’re spoiled for choice in Macao. Here’s our pick of the city’s best Italian restaurants. Mangiamo!
Casa Don Alfonso
For a true taste of the Amalfi coast, look no further than Casa Don Alfonso at the Grand Lisboa Macau. The inviting restaurant, named after owner Alfonso Iaccarino’s two-Michelin-starred restaurant Don Alfonso 1890, near Naples, appears to have veered away from its fine-dining roots to offer a more casual dining experience (though its hefty price point would suggest otherwise).
The extensive menu features a range of dishes inspired by a fourth-generation chef – think divine risottos, authentic Neapolitan pizzas, and several types of fresh and flavourful seafood.
Best for: Business lunch or dinner
Best seat in the house: Ask for table No. 26 if you’re seeking an intimate booth for two, or ask for No. 7 for a comfy corner booth that suits 4-6 people
Don’t leave without trying: Don Alfonso pizza; or the signature angel hair pasta with shrimps and “Amalfi coast citrus scents”
What’s on the menu: The a la carte menu can be found here
Shortly after Wynn Macau’s Ristorante Il Teatro closed down last year, a brand new trattoria came to life. Offering lovely views of the Nam Van Lake, Lakeside Trattoria would be best described as a more elevated, eatery than the term trattoria usually designates. Expect to spend a few thousand patacas on a meal for four.
The menu still bears the hallmarks of chef Nicos Olivas, who helmed Ristorante Il Teatro before leaving Wynn. Look out for one of his specialties, Nicos’ Lasagna, and its layers of handcrafted pasta, hearty meat ragu and with freshly-shaved Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, or the much raved-about Spaghetti alla chitarra con tonno, a superb combination of tuna confit, Amalfi lemon and fresh basil.
Best for: Family lunch on the weekend
Best seat in the house: Ask for a seat on the verandas, just a stone’s throw away from the Nam Van promenade
Don’t leave without trying: Lakeside’s signature Nutella Pillows with a side of vanilla ice cream, for the sweetest finale
What’s on the menu: Have a look at the a la carte menu here
[See more: Our pick of Macao’s best Portuguese restaurants]
8 ½ Otto e Mezzo Bombana
Ask anyone in Macao where to go for Italian alta cucina and you’ll most likely be pointed to the Macao outpost of veteran chef Umberto Bombana. All four of Bombana’s restaurants have Michelin stars, with Macao boasting one and Hong Kong topping the chart with three of the coveted stars. (The other two establishments are in Shanghai and Beijing.)
At the helm of 8 ½ Otto e Mezzo Bombana at Galaxy Macau is Sicilian-born chef Riccardo La Perna, who’s been faithfully championing authentic Italian cuisine for the span of his 3 decade-long career.
From start to finish, a meal at 8 ½ Otto e Mezzo Bombana is about impeccable execution, pristine ingredients, spot-on service and plenty of wow factor – though such a regal experience naturally comes with a matching price tag.
Best for: Special occasions – and date nights when you’re going all out to impress
Best seat in the house: Reserve one of the booths at the back of the main dining area, either on the left or right side of the room
Don’t leave without trying: Tuna tartare with caviar and the pasta with sea urchin seasoned with Sicilian almond oil
Insider tip: The bar at Otto e Mezzo is never really publicised but it’s a best-kept secret – start your evening there
Terrazza Italian Restaurant
Bring your nearest and dearest to this convivial, Michelin-recommended restaurant to spend an evening devouring decadent sharing boards where Italian cheeses, translucent slivers of prosciutto, and crispy bruschetta. Covering a range of regional cuisines from Tuscan to Sicilian, the menu has a strong focus on fresh, premium produce and authentic flavours.
Like Lakeside Trattoria, a meal at Terrazza can easily fetch up to a couple thousand patacas, especially for wine drinkers.
Best for: Sharing multiple dishes over a laid-back gathering with friends
Best seat in the house: When the weather is nice and mild, enjoy your meal at the restaurant’s lovely al fresco area
Don’t leave without trying: The signature pizza piccante, linguine alle vongole and the classic tiramisu, which is prepared tableside
What’s on the menu: Click here for Terraza’s a la carte menu
Just as the name suggests, the chefs work fast at Wynn Palace’s Pronto, where a glance at the concise menu is enough to make your mouth water. Thinly sliced prosciutto, Caprese salad, near-perfect Napoli-style pizzas, and calzone seem to fly out of the kitchen.
Designed to look like a classic Italian eatery, the restaurant showcases high, vaulted ceilings, terracotta marble accents and an enormous wood-fired oven as a backdrop. Enjoy a relatively inexpensive meal on the outdoor terrace or take it to the promenade for a side of people-watching.
Best for: Lunch with family and friends
Best seat in the house: Ask for table No. 102, so you can watch the chefs craft your pizza right in front of you
Don’t leave without trying: The calzone with porchetta, buffalo ricotta, Portobello mushrooms and San Marzano tomatoes; the tiramisu
What’s on the menu: Follow this link for the a la carte menu
This article was originally written by Inara Sim in February 2021 and updated by Sara Santos Silva in November 2023