Ciao Mamma: Italian for everyone (even coeliacs and vegans!)

Serving up mamma Tina’s homemade pasta and sauces, Ciao Mamma is the go-to, feel-good Italian restaurant in the heart of Brunswick.

And boy does the décor scream Brunswick: words piped in neon lights (read: Insta-worthy), lofty windows, exposed brick walls and pin-up bearded hipsters with French bulldogs. Giant tubs of Nutella and shelves lined with vino take a European turn, not to mention the alluring smells from the open kitchen.

The menu is like a ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ game – pick from six different types of pasta to go with a hearty sauce such as Mushroom Maria (cream, wine, mushrooms, garlic and herbs), Bolognese (slow braised beef and pork ragù, soffritto, rich tomato and herbs) and Carbonara (crispy pancetta, creamy egg and cheese).

The best part? You can enjoy a bowl, free of gluten. Yep, gluten FREE - not just gluten ‘friendly’ or another weight-loss marketing scheme. This place is legit and accredited by Coeliac Australia. After finding out their son Christian has Coeliac’s Disease, Tina and her husband created gluten-free versions of traditional Italian recipes without compromising taste. That way, everyone can still have a seat at the family table.

All the starters and antipasti are gluten-free like the Salumi & Friends, with hot salami, San Daniele prosciutto, pecorino sardo, baked olives and burrata, and the Arancini Balls, with cheese, pumpkin and mushroom sauce. Almost the entire menu has vegetarian and vegan options, too. Then there’s the dessert menu (mostly gluten-free) featuring favourites like Tina-mi-su, Panna Cotta and Nutella Mousse. Buonissimo!

As featured on Onya Magazine.