This November marks the 5th annual Italian Cuisine Weeks. Celebrated around the world, the culinary festival aims to promote Italian food, wine and cooking traditions as inherent features of Italy’s cultural identity. Italian restaurants all over Vietnam are proud to take part in this initiative. Despite challenges from Covid19 to the F&B industry, our Italian restaurants still stand together, continuing to offer food made with the true Italian spirit of comfort and deliciousness.
Participating restaurants from Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and the central regions will be offering exclusive menus for the weeks of November 12-29.
When referring to Italian cuisine, it’s easy to forget that the country’s culinary tradition is, in fact, not homogenous. Its many regions each bring something beautifully unique and tasty to the table. Similar to how classic Vietnamese phở tastes savory and clean in the North but takes on a sweeter, spicier character in the South, Italian pasta dishes arguably come in more variations than just about any other dish on the planet.
One reason for such diversity is geography. Stretched along latitudinal lines, both Vietnam and Italy are narrow countries (one S-shaped, the other famously boot-shaped) with a range of climate zones and geographically-defined regions. Each boasts a signature dish that epitomizes the spirit of the place and its inhabitants.
To bring these characteristics of Italian gastronomy into focus, the organizers of this year’s Italian Cuisine Weeks in Vietnam are drawing on the similarities between the way regional cuisines in both countries have shaped the world’s perception of their gastronomy.
Taking place from November 12 to 29 in Vietnam’s major cities, the Italian Cuisine Weeks are an ode to the Mediterranean way of life in the form of dishes comfortingly familiar and tantalizingly new; time-honored rituals of home-cooking; and recipes that are passed down as a way to preserve the Italian culture.
And despite finding themselves in unprecedented circumstances due to the pandemic, Italian restaurants all across central Vietnam have been working tirelessly to continue delivering delicious and authentic fare. Join these participating restaurants across Da Nang, Da Lat and Nha Trang in celebrating the Italian way of dining.
Artisan Gelato aims to bring the taste of authentic homemade Italian gelato to Vietnam by fusing high-quality imported and local ingredients to create a delicious product with a fuller and creamier texture bursting with exotic local flavors. Gelato Italia's owners respect their long inherited Italian tradition of gelato-making while embracing the cutting-edge technology of gelato production.
Address: Multiple locations
A beloved bakery and restaurant in the heart of the city, Torino became one of Da Nang’s first authentic Italian restaurants when it opened in 2004. Cozy, bright, and located just minutes from the gorgeous coastline, Torino offers familiar cooking to satisfy any cravings for solid, home-style Italian fare.
Their menu is a diverse selection of Italian staples with some regional specialties, such as Piedmontese agnolotti – hand-made pasta purses stuffed with tender roast beef. Easy access to the ocean means that every course from appetizers to pizza comes in a seafood option. Churning out fantastic pizza, sourdough breads and Italian pastries, Torino’s all-day bakery manned by highly skilled panettieri deserves a separate mention.
The signature festive Panettone is not to be missed – a sweet bread boasting pillow-soft crumb speckled with raisins. Their breads are baked every morning and come in such varieties as wholemeal, olive sourdough and ciabatta. Fruit tarts are expertly made with seasonal crops and real, fragrant butter, while delightful pastries include authentic cannoli, macarons and choux puffs.
Address: 162 - 164 Châu Thị Vĩnh Tế, Ngũ Hành Sơn, Đà Nẵng
La Cala is dedicated to celebrating the ingredients and healthful diet of the Meditarranean. Boasting a clean, almost seaside aesthetic, the restaurant resembles a villa furnished with smooth wooden furniture placed against whitewashed walls. Radiant with light during the day and warmly illuminated at night, La Cala presents a focused menu featuring many seafood dishes.
With the pristine beaches of Nha Trang so close, local catches provide the freshest selection. A dish of premium octopus comes dressed in spicy, extra-virgin olive oil and is served with olives, capers and fresh lemon – all remarkably Mediterranean flavors. Their excellent canned tuna, made in-house, graces a salad with bright tomatoes and vinegar, as well as one of their popular pizzas.
For the Italian Cuisine Weeks, La Cala features some truly exclusive seafood-centric dishes. Toothsome paccheri pasta comes layered with tomato sauce and tender monkfish, while a main course of imported John Dory fish comes with the classic Mediterranean combo of lemon, olives, capers and artichokes.
Address: 11 Đặng Tất, Vinh Hải, Nha Trang
Le Alpi serves authentic regional food from Piedmont amid central Vietnam’s bucolic beauty and tranquility. Da Lat's unique environment allows for creative takes on familiar Italian flavors, as evidenced in Le Alpi’s skillful use of local products to craft artisanal cheeses and cured meats.
During the covid-related shutdowns, Le Alpi found a way to stay afloat by selling cheeses as well as sausages made from local pork, and stuffed and cured in house. Their wine selection also draws inspiration from the lush Piedmont region, featuring the famous nebbiolo grape to pair with strongly flavored game meat dishes, cooked in strict observance of the family recipes from the north of Italy.
Le Alpi's specialties for the Italian Cuisine Weeks include an antipasto plate of their housemade cured meats, fresh and aged cheeses and accompaniments with a touch of Piedmont. A different risotto offering every day makes for a fun surprise. Their main course of slow-cooked veal stew draped over steaming polenta illustrates quintessential Italian comfort food. For dessert, tender butter biscuits with a zing of lemon zest come with homemade ice cream.
Address: 87 An Dương Vương, Đà Lạt
Conveniently located in the heart of Da Nang, Limoncello is the city’s mainstay for delicious Italian cooking with familiar, authentic flavors. The atmosphere is welcoming, with a whimsically designed interior with wall art and a warm color palette. The chef, Daniele, has a reputation for great hospitality, using his expertise to craft a classic Italian menu.
For lunch, Limoncello offers an enticing set menu for a holistic dining experience, featuring fresh and light options. The pizza here takes after a classic thin-crust style, and diners have the option to mix and match toppings to their liking.
Limoncello’s Italian Cuisine Weeks specials highlight seafood, with the restaurant being so close to great local produce. The first course of octopus comes dressed in bright pesto, served with tender potatoes and green beans. Seabass, in the classic Mediterranean style, gets braised in a deeply flavorful tomato sauce, and garnished with savory capers and olives.
Adress: 187 Trần Phú, Đà Nẵng
With 20 locations in Vietnam and still expanding, Pizza 4P's currently has two restaurants in the central region: two in Da Nang and one in Nha Trang. Though every restaurant presents a unique design concept, the brand philosophy is ever constant: bringing joy through imaginative dishes and class-leading sustainability practices. The menu delights with Italian dishes fused with a Japanese essence, putting simplicity and healthy ingredients at the core of every offering.
From consciously farmed herbs and vegetables, to carefully sourced milk to make their popular cheeses, Pizza 4P’s continues to revolutionize towards a more sustainable future. Taste the freshness of their values in the creamy burrata cheese, made in-house and bursting with clean richness. Kale on pizza never tasted so good: the hearty leaves provide a vegetal crunch, complemented by tart lemon ricotta cheese and savory olives.
Address: Multiple Locations
Primavera Italian Cafe & Restaurant
Entering Primavera is like entering a sunlit home. With simple, inviting furnishings, the restaurant is a portrait of the classic Italian trattoria. Idyllic and romantic, Primavera specializes in pastas made in-house, coated in deeply flavored sauces that had been simmering on the stove for hours. The pizzas arrive with charred spots on the thick, rustically shaped dough, courtesy of a fiery wood-burning oven. Toppings are extensive and are made from Da Lat's best seasonal ingredients, highlighting many different vegetables and the best offerings of the season.
A walk through the kitchen reveals hanging fresh pastas and rows of jars containing homemade pickling and condiments. True to the Italian tradition of strong family ties and inclusion, the menu has options for vegetarians, vegans and those on a gluten-free diet.
In the same vein, the portions here are hearty and generous. All in all, a great option for families and groups looking to sample delicious Italian cooking while in Da Lat.
Address: 54/7 Phan Đình Phùng, Đà Lạt