Last updated on December 28th, 2022 at 10:26 am
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As great as the Asian restaurants in Toronto are, there are also some fantastic pasta restaurants that you must try if you’re here.
These downtown Toronto pasta restaurants are also all very convenient to get to, whether or not you’re a local or a visitor. You can take the TTC (Toronto’s public transportation system) to come here.
Let’s get started on this blog post about drool-worthy downtown Toronto pasta restaurants.
1) Trattoria Nervosa
75 Yorkville Avenue
Nervosa is an oldie but a goodie. This restaurant is located at Yorkville, an upscale shopping and dining area in downtown Toronto.
Even though it has been around for ages, it’s always busy. No matter what time you come.
Even at 3 pm, it’s still crowded.
People just love this place.
They don’t take reservations either.
If you want to beat the crowd, come right when it opens. Every time I eat here with a friend, we always go early because that’s when we know a table will be available for sure.
Nervosa has two floors of dining space, both indoors and outdoors. To be honest, the view is nothing spectacular but you can still people-watch while you’re dining outdoors. Summertime is the perfect time to do so since Toronto has really nice weather in those few months.
Food at Nervosa – Pasta
You’ll see many tables ordering their famous dish: the mafalde ai funghi.
It’s a cream pasta with three types of mushrooms (porcini, portobello, and oyster).
You might think it’s only mushrooms but they really do taste different. It’s something you’ll notice when you eat all three of them together.
The pasta shape is also interesting. A lot of restaurants might use fettucine, linguine, spaghetti, penne, fusilli, ravioli, or tortellini.
They use something called Mafalda pasta. It’s long like a linguine but there’s more texture to it.
The appearance is cool and all, but how does it taste?
Isn’t it disappointing when a restaurant focuses too much on the aesthetic and not enough on the taste?
I mean, I get it. How food looks is important but it’s almost more important for it to taste good.
I’m proud to say this fresh cream pasta dish is delicious and full of flavour.
It’s also pretty filling because they make it with cream sauce.
Too bad there are not more noodles or enough sauce.
(There is enough sauce with the pasta itself but there’s not much extra sauce leftover to dip bread in.)
Food at Nervosa – Salads
This Italian restaurant also makes terrific salads.
I’m not the biggest fan of salads so it’s hard to impress me.
When I took a bite, even I knew this was good.
It’s fresh and saucy so I can’t even imagine how much salad lovers would go crazy over these.
I can only comment on the kale salad and Caesar salad as I have only tried these two. The kale salad is a bit sour in comparison. If that’s your style, you’ll probably enjoy this dish.
The Caesar salad tastes like a normal Caesar salad but much better. They don’t cut up the lettuce but it’s not a big deal.
You can also get some protein on the side like fish or grilled chicken breast. The chicken is moist and tender.
Tell us the secret, Nervosa!
Other Foods at Nervosa
Nervosa’s choices might not be as plentiful as in some other restaurants but I’ve heard very good things about the rest of the menu as well.
You might also want to try one of their appetizers or pizza.
Many locals have probably eaten here, or, at least heard of this restaurant. It’s so well-known that even Beyonce and Jay-Z ate here while they were in town!
If that doesn’t tell you why Nervosa is one of the best downtown Toronto pasta restaurants, I don’t know what else to say.
2) Pizzeria Moretti
328 Wellington St W
I first found out about Moretti through my friend. She was scrolling through Instagram and thought their fettucine all’astice (lobster pasta) looked tempting.
Shortly after, we visited there.
It was one of those dishes where it looked good in pictures but the taste wasn’t up to par.
However, Moretti still ends up being one of the better downtown Toronto pasta restaurants because of their mac and cheese.
It’s the best one I’ve had ever (okay, maybe I’m exaggerating a little but I honestly cannot name a mac and cheese I like better than the one at Moretti).
Even writing about it is making me drool. It’s that good.
Funny enough, I’m not the biggest mac and cheese fan. If someone were to order it, I would eat a bit of theirs but wouldn’t think to order it as a main course dish for myself.
We were close to not getting it either so it was a total surprise that their truffle mac and cheese was absolutely delicious.
Mac and cheese fans could fall in love with this dish without the truffle paste but the black truffle was what made it stand out.
The restaurant was generous with the paste too. They gave about 1 tablespoon of truffle paste on top of the pasta (if you take a picture, the photo comes out beautifully).
You mix it before eating it. It was extremely satisfying to see the truffle turning the mac and cheese a darker colour.
Without the truffle paste, I don’t think I would be raving about it. This one ingredient elevated this dish to another level.
You can get Moretti’s mac and cheese at their downtown location but they also have another location uptown. The one uptown doesn’t have as many food options but if you don’t live in the city center, it’s a possibility you can consider.
3) Dimmi Bar & Trattoria
140 Cumberland Street
Yorkville is a great place to discover downtown Toronto pasta restaurants because next up is Dimmi.
Dimmi is another restaurant in Yorkville. It’s close to Nervosa as it is only a few minutes walk away.
Carb lovers will not be disappointed with their pasta dishes (and pizza) choices.
A personal favourite is the fusilli con pollo.
Similar to Nervosa, Dimmi does an extremely good job of its cream pasta. Their sauce is creamy, rich, and delicious.
The cream sauce is what did the trick. If they used pesto without cream or substituted it with tomato sauce, this dish wouldn’t be as awesome as it is.
Make your pesto cream pasta better by adding additional parmesan cheese. When you put some on top of the pasta, it’s mouth-watering.
It’s extremely satisfying to mix the cheese with the pasta. The cheese melts while the steam is coming out. That sound is also pleasing to the ear as well.
This is pretty much the only place I eat pesto pasta at restaurants.
What about Other Downtown Toronto Pasta Restaurants?
Torontonians might be surprised at this list because these are not the typical downtown Toronto pasta restaurants you see everywhere on the Internet.
I am not dismissing other people’s suggestions but I cannot comment because I haven’t been to some of those restaurants.
The ones I have eaten at are Piano Piano and Gusto 101.
Gusto 101’s pasta is very similar to Nervosa but I much rather eat at Nervosa. Also, I thought the food at Piano Piano was a bit too salty.
Final Thoughts – Best Downtown Toronto Pasta
Good Italian restaurants might not immediately pop into your head when you think of Toronto but surprisingly, the city does have a lot of good Italian food.
Visit these downtown Toronto pasta restaurants to satisfy your craving!
Now to You – Best Downtown Toronto Pasta
Any other restaurants you would add to the list?
Let me know in the comment section down below!
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