Food Drink

The incredible story behind one of Adelaide’s oldest restaurants La Trattoria

La Trattoria is an Adelaide icon stepped in tradition that has been running for decades, with a rich heritage of authentic Italian cuisine.

Have you visited one of Adelaide’s oldest Italian restaurants?

La Trattoria is an Adelaide icon stepped in tradition that has been operating for decades, with a rich heritage of authentic Italian cuisine. Since the mid-seventies, it has been adored by customers for its classic pizzas and traditional Italian dishes, available every single night of the week until late.

La Trattoria manager Hugo Stabio calls it “an institution”, and that is certainly one way of putting it.

With a story dating back to 1968, three generations of restaurateurs have shaped the legacy of La Trattoria. The Parisi family are one of the most renowned names in South Australian hospitality, boasting some of the state’s most cherished Italian establishments.

In 1967, Antonino Parisi opened the iconic Marcellina pizzeria on Hindley Street, and it was there that his boys, Andy and Chris Parisi, learned how to make pizza. By 1975, La Trattoria was established by Andy and Chris in Adelaide. As the brothers delved into the world of Italian cuisine, pizza was always their main focus, with La Trattoria’s crowning glory its diverse pizza menu.

Today, the restaurant is operated by Billy Duff, who boasts 21 years of service at La Trattoria. Billy took over from Andy and Chris Parisi in July 2022, continuing its tradition. While it has new owners, it continues to exude the same passion and dedication.

From its bustling atmosphere to its delicious food, every aspect of La Trattoria resonates with a love for authentic Italian cuisine. Besides award-winning pizza, the menu features traditional veal and chicken dishes, along with an array of pasta options. Some of their iconic dishes like spaghetti marinara has people visiting every single week for the same dish, which speaks volumes to how truly delicious is.

“People love the food, it’s big size, a lot of sauce and salt,” Manager Hugo Stabio says.

“And the atmosphere. It is a chaotic restaurant, when you come here, it is an experience. It’s not just about the food, it is about everything.”

Over the years, La Trattoria has become more than just a restaurant. It is a cultural landmark, visited by celebrities like Mick Jagger, Jon Bon Jovi, Michael Hutchinson, Eric Bana, and Simply Red. If you visit the restaurant, you can see photos of the celebrities adorned on the walls.

La Trattoria is also visited by Australian sporting teams, and legal professionals. Located on King William Street, the restaurant is around the corner from Adelaide’s Courts, so they serve many lawyers and politicians who come in for dinner after work too.

Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned regular, La Trattoria holds the crown of being one of Adelaide’s oldest dining establishments and is a must-visit. With a legacy spanning decades, the restaurant stands tall as an Adelaide icon, because of the hard work and dedication of three generations of the Parisi family.

Its success is evident in the amount of people that dine there every night, after so many years.

What: La Trattoria Restaurant and Pizza Bar
Where: 346 King William St, Adelaide, SA 5000 
When: Open 7 days until late
For more information, click here.
Facebook: La Trattoria Restaurant and Pizza Bar

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