Ask for Luigi

Italian in Gastown & Chinatown

Consider an off-peak weekday lunch if you don't want to wait too long for a table at this white-clapboard little charmer; reservations are not accepted. Inside, you'll find a checkerboard floor and teak-lined interior crammed with tables and delighted diners tucking into (and sharing) plates of elevated, from-scratch-made pasta; think pappardelle-and-duck ragu and don't miss the hearty Luigi's meatballs.

Despite the top-notch dishes, this Railtown hot spot never feels snobbish, especially during weekend-brunch service when the room is animated with lively local chatter. And while rabbit and octopus make frequent dinner-menu appearances, there are always a couple of enticing vegetarian options as well.