Great Italian Restaurants to Try on Vacation

Italian culture and Italian food are inextricably woven into the fabric of daily life in cities all across America with a plethora of little street-corner trattorias and vibrant family-owned restaurants at which to enjoy classic Italian fare. Whether you are looking for a casual café that serves good coffee and tiramisu or a bustling, friendly, and welcoming restaurant for spaghetti and meatballs and carafes of wine, here are some of the country’s top spots to head to for great Italian food.

Sapori

Sapori Ristorante is a family-run restaurant that serves authentic Mediterranean and Italian cuisine in a casual, relaxed setting. The warm and welcoming eatery celebrates all that is Italian with a menu of authentic dishes such as platters of antipasti, crisp organic salads, wood-fired pizza with a variety of toppings, house-made pasta, and from-scratch sauces, and succulently grilled fish and meats. Favorite dishes on the menu include classic lasagna, Sicilian ricotta dumplings, grilled salmon or swordfish, ravioli filled pork, and rolled pork fillet. Italian and globally-inspired wines accompany the cuisine, along with a range of local and imported craft and draft beers, and classic cocktails. Sapori Ristorante is open for dinner only, Tuesday through Sunday.

7611 Stewart Rd, Galveston, TX 77551, United States, Phone: +1 409-497-2424

Vero Pizza Napoletana

Tucked away in an unassuming retail strip at the intersection of Cedar and Fairmount, Vero’s in Cleveland Heights is a double-level contemporary restaurant and first-come-first-serve pizzeria with a few tables in a long and narrow gallery space and a small counter. The casual, family-friendly eatery specialized in authentic thin, delicately crusted Neapolitan-style pizzas with gourmet toppings and fired in a traditional wood-burning oven. Sweet treats to follow the pizzas include two dozen flavors of handmade gelato from silky hazelnut gianduja to fruity vanilla strawberry. A selection of casual Italian wines from all regions of Italy accompany the food, along with craft beers and high-end spirits, and the restaurant is open for dinner, Tuesday through Saturday.

12421 Cedar Rd, Cleveland Heights, OH 44106, United States, Phone: +1 216-229-8383

Cantoro Italian Market & Trattoria

Inspired by the famous Italian markets in Rome and Venice, Cantoro Italian Market & Trattoria is the largest Italian market in Michigan and is renowned for selling a wealth of gourmet deli food, imported items, and world-class wines. The 55,000-square-foot market is an award-winning Italian culinary mecca is owned by Michael and John Fallone who travel to Italy to bring back special items that cannot be found anywhere else. An onsite bakery serves freshly baked focaccia, ciabatta, and other bread, along with pastries, cakes, and cannoli, and an extensive cheese department offers varieties from every region in Italy. Other sections in the market include fresh meat, produce and grocery department, a prepared foods section offering more than 50 delicious Italian dishes, and a wine section boasting a selection of superb Italian wines from every region.

15550 N Haggerty Rd, Plymouth, MI 48170, United States, Phone: +1 734-420-1100

Da Marco Cucina E Vino

Da Marco Cucina E Vino is an elegant white-tablecloth Italian spot on Westheimer Road that served gourmet Tuscan cuisine and wines in a refined setting. Owned by Marco Wiles and set within a beautifully restored cozy Montrose cottage with creaky floors, the restaurant serves a menu of authentic and delicious dishes like artichoke alla giudia, voluptuous plates of burrata and tagliatelle with fragrant white truffles, and ocean-fresh seafood and prime meat entrées hot from the wood-fired oven. Signature plates include whole wild branzino for two, with roasted fennel and greens, lamb chops scottadito, burrata di Puglia, and a decadent pannacotta with Saba syrup; mini cannoli. Da Marco Cucina E Vino is open for lunch Tuesday through Friday and dinner Tuesday through Saturday.

1520 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77006, USA, Phone: +1 713-807-8857

Di Pasquale's

DiPasquale’s is a family-owned restaurant, market, and deli with three locations in Baltimore that serves rustic Italian fare in a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Founded over 100 years ago by Luigi Di Pasquale Sr. as a small corner grocery store in the diverse community of Highlandtown, DiPasquale’s is now a fourth-generation family operation that is renowned for being a superior retailer and importer of fine Italian foods and specialty items. The authentic Italian market offers the finest imported meats, cheeses and fresh produce from all the regions of Italy, as well as a variety of homemade Italian cuisine and ready-made meals such as lasagna, homemade pasta sauces, fresh mozzarella, sausages, freshly baked focaccia and bread, and wood-fired pizzas.

500 Harborview Drive, Baltimore, MD 21230, Phone: (P) 443-963-1872

Ferraro’s Italian Restaurant

Ferraro’s Italian Restaurant is a family-owned restaurant that has been serving Las Vegas traditional and delicious Italian food for the past 30 years. Using time-honored family recipes and authentic Italian ingredients and fresh produce, ranging from all-natural meats and Safe Harbor Certified seafood to freshly made pasta and sauces and organic salads and vegetables. Signature dishes include family-recipe meatballs, legendary Osso Bucco, braised rabbit, and tripe in spicy tomato sauce, followed by mouthwatering desserts like classic tiramisu, cioccolatissimo (hazelnut chocolate cake), chocolate mousse, and homemade gelato. A selection of casual Italian wines from all regions of Italy accompanies the food, along with craft beers and high-end spirits.

4480 Paradise Rd, Ste 100, Las Vegas, 89169, Phone: 702-364-5300




Mora Italian

Located on Phoenix's bustling Seventh Street stretch, Mora Italian is an inviting neighborhood eatery helmed by chef, restaurateur, author, and TV personality Scott Conant that serves authentic Italian fare in a stylish and contemporary setting. Exuding a relaxed and communal vibe, the expansive dining room, bustling bar, and street-side patio offer a choice of intimate spaces in which diners can enjoy reimagined classics such as polenta with porcini sugo, black campanelle pasta with clams, seared diver scallops, and grilled octopus. The seasonal and thoughtful menu is accompanied by a diverse wine list, imaginative handcrafted cocktails, and an array of craft and draft beer selections. Mora Italian is open for dinner, seven nights a week.

5651 N 7th St, Phoenix, AZ 85014, United States, Phone: +1 602-795-9943

Patty B’s Italian Restaurant

Patty B’s Italian Restaurant is a family-owned and operated restaurant that has been serving traditional Italian fare for the past 37 years. The popular, casual eatery serves a menu of authentic Italian cuisine made from fresh locally sourced ingredients and age-old family recipes such as appetizers of bruschetta with fresh tomatoes, heaving plates of parmigiana, lasagna and other pasta, fresh seafood and meat dishes, and decadent desserts like cannoli, Bavarian chocolate cake and specialty cheesecakes. A selection of casual Italian wines from all regions of Italy accompanies the food, along with craft beers and high-end spirits. Patty B’s Italian Restaurant is open for lunch and dinner, Monday through Saturday.

34 Dover Point Rd, Dover, NH 03820, United States, Phone: +1 603-749-4181

Ports of Italy

Ports of Italy is a charming Italian restaurant in Boothbay Harbor, Maine, that offers fine Italian cuisine and casual wines in a warm and welcoming setting. The classy spot boasts a comfortable dining room and a large porch for outdoor dining where guests can tuck into traditional Italian dishes such as Pollo Alla Romana, ravioli di astice, cozze alla Sambuca, handmade gnocchi and ravioli, and heaving plates of fresh seafood, prime steaks, and organic vegetarian dishes. Delicious Italian desserts include tiramisu, cannoli, strudel, and handmade gelato, and a selection of casual Italian wines, craft beers, and classic cocktails accompanies the cuisine. Ports of Italy is open for dinner Thursday through Tuesday.

47 Commercial St, Boothbay Harbor, ME 04538, United States, Phone: +1 207-633-1011

Primo Pasta Kitchen

Primo Pasta Kitchen is a family-friendly, local Italian restaurant chain that serves classic Italian fare in a comfortable and laid-back atmosphere. Ideal for a night out with the family or a romantic dinner for two, Primo Pasta Kitchen serves a menu of favorite Italian dishes prepared from the highest quality ingredients such as fresh seafood, prime meats, handmade pasta, and sauces, and organic salads and vegetables. Signature dishes include antipasto of mozzarella sticks, mussels Toscano, fried calamari and bruschetta, followed by entrées of Lobster and Crab Ravioli, Eggplant Parmigiana, Rockfish Mare Chiara, Cowboy Ribeye, and Pork Chop Milanese. A selection of casual Italian wines from all regions of Italy accompany the food, along with craft beers and high-end spirits, and the restaurant is open for lunch and dinner, seven days a week.

8557 Fort Smallwood Rd, Riviera Beach, MD 21122, United States, Phone: +1 410-360-2211

Restaurant Bricco

Bricco offers outstanding cuisine, award-winning wines, impeccable service and hospitality, and an intimate, romantic ambiance. The restaurant features subtle beige and gray hues with modern décor, a brick pizza oven, an interactive pasta-making demonstration table, and a beautiful bar with close-captioned television. Neatly uniformed wait staff serve delectable dishes of Italian and Mediterranean cuisine such as grilled cubanelle peppers, fior di latte, fettuccine with lobster, cavatelli, Tuscan chicken with Rettland Farm chicken breast, and the signature favorites of short ribs and sage pappardelle. Bricco utilizes local farms and regional producers to supply the culinary team with high-quality ingredients, and the restaurant is open for lunch Monday through Friday and dinner Monday through Saturday.

31 S 3rd St, Harrisburg, PA 17101, USA, Phone: +1 717-724-0222

Riccardo Trattoria

Riccardo Trattoria is a cozy, casual restaurant in Lincoln Park that is renowned for its imaginative Italian cuisine. Inspired by his childhood in Milan, chef, and owner Riccardo Michi creates a classic Italian ambiance in the small and intimate dining space where he presents a menu of unpretentious farm-to-table fare made with locally-sourced ingredients and fresh produce. Favorite plates include bruschetta topped with sun-kissed tomatoes, creamy burrata Caprese, grilled sepia calamari stuffed with lobster and crab meat, pappardelle ai porcini, saffron risotto, and melt-in-your-mouth veal Osso Bucco. A selection of casual Italian wines, craft beers, and classic cocktails accompanies the cuisine, and the restaurant is open for dinner, seven days a week.

2119 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60614, United States, Phone: +1 773-549-0038

I Sodi

I Sodi is a comfortable, timeless restaurant that serves a traditional menu of Tuscan-inspired fare in a relaxed, laid-back setting. A self-taught chef and owner Rita Sodi draws inspiration from her mother’s country-Tuscan cooking and the foods and flavors of her childhood to create classic comfort fare like the signature lasagna, carefully cooked cacio e Pepe, perfectly seasoned branzino, and flame-grilled strip steak. Platters of fresh antipasto, charcuterie, creamy and hard cheeses, and imported olives are ideal for sharing, and the food is accompanied by a curated Italian wine list and classic cocktails like Negroni. I Sodi is open for dinner, seven nights a week.

105 Christopher Street, New York, NY 10014, Phone: 212. 414. 5774

Il Gabbiano

This high-end Downtown Italian eatery combines excellent Italian cuisine in an elegant setting with spectacular views of the Miami River and Biscayne Bay to present a unique dining experience. The menu rises to the occasion with complimentary focaccia and a selection of fresh cheeses and charcuterie on arrival, followed by mouthwatering signature dishes such as Risotto ai Frutti di Mare, filetto farcito (tender filet with Foie gras), and Champagne escalope of veal sauteed in a delicious champagne cream served with fresh julienne vegetables. Desserts cater for both a sweet and savory tooth and include Zabaglione, Italian Cheesecake, and Positano Oranges.

335 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33131, Phone: +1 305-373-0063

ITA101

ITA101 is an authentic Italian restaurant that serves a limited farm-to-table menu of gourmet Italian and Mediterranean fare made with locally sourced, farm-fresh, and the highest quality seasonal ingredients. Inspired by his grandmother’s cooking from traditional family recipes from the Marche region of Italy, Chef Kevin Maher uses produce such as sustainable fish and meats, organic eggs, and high-quality flour to create signature dishes such as lasagna, risotto, handmade pasta and sauces, and perfectly grilled fish. The cuisine is accompanied a selection of craft and imported beers, casual wines from various regions in Italy, and classic cocktails made with high-end spirits. ITA101 is open for dinner, Wednesday through Sunday.

20 S Main St, Medford, NJ 08055, United States, Phone: +1 609-654-0101

Lucia

Tucked into a historic 1920s-era building in the Bishop Arts District, Lucia is a small, chef-owned Italian restaurant that serves seasonally Italian-inspired menus of authentic Italian fare. The intimate eatery has a rustic, inviting appeal in which Chef/owner David Uygur and his wife create and serves signature dishes of crostini with Calabrian chili and bacon pâté, duck leg confit with polenta, and risotto with celery root and foie gras. Desserts include homemade olive oil cake with prune jam and a sublime burnt-cinnamon gelato, and the food is accompanied by a selection of craft and imported beers, casual wines from various regions in Italy, and classic cocktails made with high-end spirits. Lucia is open for dinner Wednesday through Sunday.

408 W Eighth St #101, Dallas, TX 75208, United States, Phone: +1 214-948-4998

Marea

Marea is a chic Central Park South restaurant helmed by chef Michael White that promises an unforgettable dining experience. A New York City icon and anchor of Central Park, Marea is a journey for the senses with two- and four-course tasting menus featuring sultry dishes such as fusilli with octopus and bone marrow, lobster burrata, Crudo plates of bigeye tuna with oyster crema, and handmade ferritini with Manila clams, calamari, and hot chilies. The to-die-for signature dish is the Bistecca, a perfectly-grilled 50-day dry-aged sirloin from Creekstone Farms served with a delicious, marbelized bone marrow Panzanella glaze. The cuisine is paired with a hand-curated selection of fine wines from around the world, craft beers and classic cocktails made with premium spirits. Marea is open for lunch and dinner, seven nights a week.

240 Central Park S, New York, NY 10019, United States, Phone: +1 212-582-5100

Michael's on Naples

Michael's on Naples is a sleek, sophisticated dining establishment that serves exquisitely prepared Italian cuisine and a curated selection of fine wines from around the world. The Long Beach staple on Naples Island has a contemporary dining room with modern décor and an open-air rooftop patio where diners can sip Champagne and cocktails before dinner. A creative menu boasts signature dishes such as homemade pasta dishes, fresh seafood like whole branzino, handcrafted sausages, and daily Chef specials, and diners can also enjoy a five-course tasting menu paired with wines. The full-service bar also serves a range of craft beers and classic cocktails made with premium spirits, and the restaurant is open for dinner seven nights a week and Sunday brunch.

5620 E 2nd St, Long Beach, CA 90803, United States, Phone: +1 562-439-7080

Ristorante Del Lago

Located on the lobby level of Broadmoor West, Ristorante del Lago is a beautifully renovated restaurant and bar that serves classic Italian cuisine and award-winning wines in a stylish and sophisticated setting. Designed by renowned architect Adam D. Tihany, Ristorante del Lago evokes the luxurious villas of Lake Como with terracotta tiled floors, exposed wood beams, intricate walnut millwork, elegant leather banquettes, and an indoor/outdoor fireplace. Inspired by the finest culinary regions of Italy, the restaurant’s menu features a variety of enticing Old World favorites such as hand-tossed wood-fired pizzas, prime rotisserie, pasta made fresh in-house, and authentic salumi and Formaggio imported straight from Italy. Desserts include tiramisu, cannoli, and homemade gelato – the perfect end to a delicious meal. Boutique wines and rare vintages can be paired with each dish, and other drinks such as handcrafted cocktails, craft beers, and imported spirits can be ordered from the full-service bar. Ristorante del Lago is open for breakfast and dinner, Wednesday through Sunday, and breakfast only on Tuesdays.

1 Lake Ave, Colorado Springs, CO 80906, Phone: (719) 577-5733

Scampo

Based in the former Charles Street Jail that is now the luxurious Liberty Hotel in the heart of Boston’s Beacon Hill, Scampo Restaurant is an elegant eatery helmed by James Beard award-winning Chef Lydia Shire of the historic Locke-Ober fame. The legendary culinary destination is renowned for its Italian-inspired cuisine infused with flavors from the Mediterranean and the Middle East with signature dishes such as Spaghetti Nero with Lobster and sea urchin butter, veal scallopini marsala, scampo duck with tangerine soufflé, deviled crab risotto, and porcini pappardelle with braised and roasted rabbit. A selection of casual Italian wines, craft beers, and classic cocktails accompanies the cuisine, and the restaurant is open for lunch and dinner, seven days a week.

215 Charles St, Boston, MA 02114, United States, Phone: +1 617-536-2100

Spacca Napoli

Spacca Napoli is a casual, family-friendly spot with a rustic ambiance that specializes in Neapolitan-style thin-crust pizzas with gourmet toppings and other classic Italian fare. The menu boasts more than 20 options, ranging from classic margaritas and pistachio pizza with fior di latte to puttanesca with San Marzano tomatoes, anchovies, and black olives and several gluten-free options. Starters include antipasti of grilled eggplant, zucchini, red and yellow peppers, marinated & grilled baby octopus; mozzarella di bufala with fresh tomatoes; and prosciutto Crudo with arugula. Fiber-lovers can enjoy multi-grain dough options such as Cuor di Cereali, and a selection of casual Italian wines, craft beers, and classic cocktails accompanies the cuisine. Spacca Napoli is open for lunch and dinner, Tuesday through Sunday.

1769 W Sunnyside Ave, Chicago, IL 60640, United States, Phone: +1 773-878-2420

The Pink Door

Once Seattle’s first cult restaurant, this saucy Italian eatery in Pike Place Market, is warmly lit and intimate and the perfect place to slip into for a quiet dinner for two against a backdrop of breathtaking views… and a bit of burlesque after 11 pm on Saturdays. Boasting a secret entrance (just a pink door off Post Alley), dripping chandeliers, and Parisian flea market décor, The Pink Door oozes a certain bohemian charm and features a rustic menu of delicious Italian fare and fine wines. Begin with antipasto plates of savory morsels or crispy bruschetta followed by gnocchi with wild mushrooms, Tuscan grilled chicken, or perfectly (appropriately)-pink Muscovy duck. Desserts are designed for indulgence with apple crisp and bread pudding on offer, and warm afternoons are given over the rooftop terrace of Pike Place Market, where pink vodka cocktails can be sipped, and linguine twirled as the sun sinks over the Puget Sound.

1919 Post Alley, Seattle, WA 98101, Phone 206.443.3241

Tiramisu Trattoria

Located in the heart of La Mesa Village, Tiramisu Trattoria is a snug, family-friendly Italian eatery that serves traditional Roman specialties in a charming, old-world dining room with mural-adorned walls. This no-frills trattoria celebrates all that is Italian with a menu of authentic dishes such as a selection of freshly made mozzarella, platters of antipasti of charcuterie, cheese, olives and seafood, organic salads, wood-fired pizza with gourmet toppings, house-made pasta and sauces, and succulently grilled seafood and prime meats. A selection of casual Italian wines, craft beers, and classic cocktails accompanies the cuisine, and the cozy eatery is open for lunch and dinner, Monday through Saturday and dinner only on Sundays.

8273 La Mesa Blvd, La Mesa, CA 91942, United States, Phone: +1 619-698-0096

Valenza

Valenza is a cozy, upscale Italian eatery in Brookhaven that is named after a small village in the Piedmonte region of Northern Italy. Inspired by the diverse culture of Northern Italy, the cozy family-friendly restaurant features a comfortable 30-seater dining room with beautiful Venetian-plastered walls with rustic oak and pine wood finishes and antique European candle chandeliers. The menu features a variety of antipasti platters of charcuterie, cheese, vegetables and olives, handmade pasta and sauces, classic risotto and entrées of fresh seafood, prime meats, and organic salads. The seasonal and thoughtful menu is accompanied by a diverse wine list, imaginative handcrafted cocktails, and an array of craft and draft beer selections. Valenza is open for dinner seven nights a week.

1441 Dresden Dr #100, Atlanta, GA 30319, United States, Phone: +1 404-969-3233

Vespaio

Located in the Emerson, Vespaio is Chef Agostino Sciandri’s newest restaurant that serves Tuscan-style Italian fare in a casual, elegant setting. Boasting dark leather couches and multi-colored glass fixtures, the restaurant exudes an ambiance akin to that of a ‘60s yacht with more 5,500 square feet of space. The eatery is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner seven days a week as well as weekend brunch and serves an array of classic and traditional Italian fare, including wood-fired pizzas with delicious toppings, creamy pasta and sauces, and tender Wagyu steaks. Palate-cleansing, snow-capped shot glasses of lemon sorbet are served in between courses, and a hand-curated list of fines wines accompanies the exceptional cuisine.

225 S. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90012, Phone: 213.221.7244, Fax: 213.278.0047