Best Italian Food 

1. Beppe and Gianni’s Trattoria 1646 E. 19th Ave. 541-683-6661. BeppeAndGiannis.net.

2. Mazzi’s Italian Restaurant 3377 E. Amazon Dr. 541-687-2252. Mazzis.com.

3. Placido’s Pasta Shop 120 Shelton McMurphey Blvd. #110, 458-205-8092. Placidos.com.

An authentic taste of Italy is available only a block from the University of Oregon campus. Beppe and Gianni’s Trattoria has been a staple for fresh, handmade Italian food since its opening in 1998. The restaurant is owned by Beppe Machi and John “Gianni” Barofsky, who have now worked together for more than 20 years.

The pair also own La Perla Pizzeria, a more casual dining space on 13th and Pearl specializing in Neapolitan pizza.

Sicily-born Machi, who moved to Eugene in 1979, believes the success of Beppe and Gianni’s is due to the simplicity of the meals. “We try to buy local as much as we can,” he says. “Italian food means a simple dish with fresh ingredients.” Any ingredient not locally sourced near Eugene, such as the restaurant’s signature handmade pasta and olive oil, comes imported straight from Italy.

The atmosphere of Beppe and Gianni’s lends itself to the feeling you might be eating a home cooked meal at your Italian grandmother’s. The former residence-turned-restaurant is intimate and warm, with an open air patio lit with twinkling string lights.

Beppe and Gianni’s is open seven days a week for dine-in and takeout, from 5 pm to 9 pm, at 1646 E. 19th Ave. If the impressive menu proves impossible to choose from, Machi recommends the capelli di vescovo, pasta stuffed with four types of cheese, and the fresh halibut served with pomodoro and seared green beans.

Author: EW Staff