Just a stone’s throw away from bustling Cannery Row sits one of the most authentic Italian meals you will find outside of the Coliseum. il vecchio (meaning the old style) has been a hot spot for locals and visitors since its opening in 2011.

il vecchio

The unexpected Italian mecca is just off of Lighthouse Avenue in Pacific Grove, a few blocks up from the Monterey Bay Aquarium. As soon as you enter into il vecchio’s quaint quarters be prepared to be accepted as part of the famiglia. Its hospitable atmosphere permeates throughout the eatery with cozy rustic interior, a roaring fireplace and an almost overly-attentive staff. The menu is just as inviting with all sorts of simple Italian classic dishes to choose from.

il vecchio

Before you carbo-load it’s important to start with a solid protein base. Go ahead and order your glass of Chianti while perusing the tempting antipasti menu. Might we suggest the modest, yet delightful, burrata and prosciutto?

Antipasti at il vecchio

No Italian meal is complete without an abundance of carbs! Pasta offerings take up most of the menu with everything from gnocchi, spaghetti, cannelloni to rigatoni. Pastas are about as authentic as they come, made fresh daily, and are served al dente.

il vecchio

The house-made gnocchi in tomato sauce and pesto spaghetti are classic comfort choices!

gnocchi at il vecchio

For those looking for something on the richer side of life, try the tonnarelli alla carbonara complete with pork bits, egg, pecorino and black pepper.

tonnarelli alla carbonara at il vecchio

Hope you saved room for dessert! “Docle” is taken seriously at il vecchio with a variety of choices to satisfy that sweet tooth including limoncello sorbet, cannoli, tiramisu and an assortment of gelatos.

cannoli siciliani at il vecchio

For something new try “the prince,” a Florentine recipe consisting of a strawberry and balsamic reduction puree served warm over creamy vanilla gelato. Now that’s amore!  

"the prince" at il Vecchio

Aside from a killer dinner menu, il vecchio also serves an unbeatable lunch for just $11.50 and weekend breakfast with an array of American regional dishes.