Oh pasta! We can count on you for a meal that makes everyone in the family happy! Italian dishes from spaghetti and meatballs to ravioli, lasagna, and of course pizza, are a big hit with kids of all ages. Italians know a thing or two about delicious, hearty comfort food. So where’s the best Italian food in Austin? We’ve rounded up some of our favorites for homemade pastas, zesty pestos & red sauces, warm breadsticks and more. Mangia!

L’Oca D’Oro
Located just steps from family hot spots, Thinkery and Mueller Lake Park, this authentic Italian spot is a great place to pop in pre- or post-playtime. You can order the kids something delicious from the children’s menu while you relax with a glass of vino and your own choice or dishes such as rigatoni all’arrabiata, beet risotto, ricotta gnocchi and more.

Take note that they are hosting a family-friendly carnival with music, face painting and Neapolitan street food on October 21 from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

photo from the L’Oco d’Oro Facebook page

Not too far from Mueller on Manor Road you’ll find a popular food truck adjacent to the Butterfly Bar offering up housemade pastas and tried and true recipes from the Old Country in a very casual patio, picnic table setting. Try the Patrizi’s red sauce and meatballs or Carbonara Alexandra, and be sure to ask about seasonal specials, too.

Photo from Patrizi’s Facebook page

Cannone Cucina Italiana
Another delicious & casual food truck option for the family is located just down the street from Zilker Park at the Picnic at Barton Springs food truck area. Local Italians rave about the food, which sure is a good sign of authenticity. Try housemade gnocchi & spaghetti, or try a pizza or focaccia with fresh homemade pork & beef meatballs with parmesan cheese.

photo from Cannone Cucina Italiana’s Facebook page

Mandolas Italian Market
Mandola’s offers an authentic Italian grocery store as well as fast-casual ristorante with four locations in the Austin area. The vast menu offers delicious pizza, pastas, salads, warm focaccia, and a great selection of desserts. The kids love it because they can get a free scoop of gelato after their meal. The newer Cedar Park location has a playscape on site, and the Triangle, Bee Cave and Arbor Trails locations all have a nearby play area as well as bocce courts the whole family can enjoy!

Photo from Mandola’s Facebook Page

Gutsto Italian Kitchen + Wine Bar
Located in the Rosedale neighborhood of north-central Austin, Gusto Italian Kitchen offers dishes from hand-formed pizzas, salads, pressed panini, fresh pasta, and entrees featuring local farm raised meats. Take the kids on Sunday night for Family Night, from 4-10 p.m. when children can select an item off the kids’ menu for free, with the purchase of an adult entrée.

photo from Gusto Italian Kitchen’s Facebook page

Trattoria Lisina
Travel south to Dripping Springs where you’ll feel like you’re worlds away at Trattoria Lisina, situated in a Tuscan-inspired setting that even includes a playscape and a neighboring winery with large open yard for spreading out and playing lawn games. Check out a daily ravioli special along with a wide variety of Italian dishes.

Photo from the Trattoria Lisina Facebook page

Olive & June
With a more formal flair, Olive & June is suited for a special family occasion, such as Grandma’s birthday, a graduation or a celebratory occasion. Their Italian cuisine has an emphasis on handmade pasta made in house, daily. Each Sunday, you can opt for a family-style dinner (featuring antipasti, pasta and an entree) for $38 per adult and free for kids ages 12 & under.

Photo from the Olive & June Facebook page

Home Slice Pizza – North Loop
While we aren’t diving into the giant list of Pizza Places in Austin right now, we just can’t share a list of Italian favorites without the inclusion of the newest Home Slice. We love the outdoor patio with children’s play area that’s equipped with a unique space to run off some wiggles and play some games of corn hole with mom and dad! Kids are offered a big ball of dough to play with before the meal to keep those little hands busy at the table. Beyond their famous New York-style pizza, the menu includes items such as thick Sicilian-style pie, chicken wings, calzones, salads and more.

Photo by Kaylin Balderrama