Rich tomato sauce, gooey cheese, al dente pasta and garlic, garlic, garlic! What started in Italy has become a go-to comfort food for Americans and the happy eaters around the world. Whether you crave meaty lasagna, primavera veggies, fettuccine alfredo or eggplant parmesan, Italian food just hits the spot — and it’s even better the next day.
There’s nothing sadder than ordering a big plate of spaghetti and finding the sauce too watery, the bread too soggy, the presentation just lacking. That’s why we asked our editors across the country to pick the very best Italian restaurants in their city. Here, we’ve gathered a selection of those vetted picks, bringing to you the ultimate list for Italian restaurants no matter what region you’re in.
Whether you’re looking for something close to home, hitting the road on a culinary adventure, or just feel a little curious, these are Modern Luxury’s picks for best Italian restaurants in the Unites States.
Atlanta – La Grotta
2637 Peachtree Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30305 / Website
La Grotta is one of the most notable Italian restaurants in Atlanta. The distinguished spot has earned “Best Italian Restaurant” in Atlanta Magazine for 18 consecutive years. Since 1978, their fine Italian cooking, intimate dining room, and breathtaking courtyard garden have been the destination for hungry Italians and Atlantans alike. Once you’ve enjoyed their wares, check out the other four spots on our list of best Italian restaurants in Atlanta.
Aspen – Casa Tua
403 S. Galena / Website
Rustic meets sophisticated at Casa Tua’s luxurious dining experience. Stick to tradition with the kitchen’s creamy bucatini cacio e pepe, or be bold and try the alpine cheese fondue with white truffle and grilled focaccia. Make every night of your Aspen adventure warm and cozy with each of the four restaurants on our full best Italian list.
Boston – Davio’s
75 Arlington St. / Website
Located in Boston’s Back Bay area, this neighborhood staple is one of the premier Italian restaurants in the city. Whether stopping to have a drink in the tranquil lounge or enjoy the famous veal chops, Italian steaks and handmade pastas, this little oasis is sure to leave you with a full stomach. Gonna be in Boston for a while? See how many eateries you can try from our list of nine best Italian restaurants.
Chicago – Monteverde
1020 W. Madison St. / Website
One of the city’s top toques, James Beard Award-winning chef Sarah Grueneberg heads up the kitchen at buzzy, much-lauded hot spot Monteverde—and with a slate of fresh pastas, delectable sides and decadent desserts, the accolades are more than deserved. It is currently open Thursday through Sunday for pickup and delivery only. If you’re hungry on a Monday, you can strike gold on one of the other 15 best Italian restaurants from our full list.
Dallas – Fachini
33a Highland Park Village / Website
New but a quick favorite because of its decadent Italian fare and chic location in Highland Park Village, Fachini is one of the amazing Dallas Italian restaurants by Chef Julian Barsotti (creator of Nonna and Carbone’s to name a few). The atmosphere is upscale rustic with brick walls, intimate leather booths and cozy lighting. You can’t leave without trying the veal! Chef Barsotti’s other restaurants made our full Dallas Italian restuarants list, and so did a few other delicious must-stop eateries.
The Hamptons – Nick and Toni’s
136 Main St., East Hampton / Website
Everyone loves Nick and Toni’s—since 1988, it has become not only an Italian staple but also a celebrity hot spot! Its Cuttlefish Spaccatelli on the menu is to die for; topped with fresh crab meat, wood-roasted cherry tomatoes, and Calabrian chili makes this a crowd favorite. If you’d like something intimate or are ready to try something new, we listed four other truly fantastic Italian restaurants in the Hamptons, too.
O’ahu, Hawaii – Noe
92-1001 Olani St., Ko Olina / Website
West O‘ahu’s culinary scene has reached transcendent levels with Four Seasons Resort O‘ahu’s premier eatery, thanks to the mastery of chef Ryo Takatsuka. The creative concept here is Hawai‘i meets Capri, so expect southern Italian dishes prepared with island seafood, handmade pastas and more. The setting impresses as well with most tables outside looking at the ocean and neighboring Lanikuhonua. If you’re ready to explore the rest of the island, check our full list of four best Italian restaurants.
Houston – Potente
1515 Texas Ave. / Website
Sister restaurant to Osso & Kristalla, Astros owner Jim Crane introduced a more upscale dining experience in a sophisticated Italian Villa inspired setting. Overseen by Chef Danny Trace, the modern Italian restaurant uses only local ingredients and offers top-quality wine, decadent pasta, and amazing desserts. Featured as one of the best pastas in the country by The Food Network, their iconic Spaghetti al Tartufo Nero is a must, along their Sphera Dolce Dessert that will leave you in awe. What’s better than one great Italian restaurant? All 7 on our full Houston must-eat list!
Los Angeles – Bestia
2121 7th Place, DTLA / Website
Italian for “beast,” Bestia was opened by husband and wife duo Ori Menashe and Genevieve Gergis in 2010. The DTLA hotspot’s menu specializes in handmade pasta and fresh, local ingredients. Menu staples include a classic margarita pizza and cavatelli alla norcina. Don’t forget to snag something off the “Dolci” menu, especially if it’s the mascarpone rice pudding. Bestia is one of 14 great eats on our full list of best Italian restaurants in L.A.
Miami – Fratelli Milano
213 SE 1st St, Downtown / Website
Twin chefs, Roberto and Emanuele Bearzi are letting the public into their mother’s classic Italian dishes. Both Bearzis are inspired by their roots in Northern Italy, which influenced the family-owned and operated restaurant. Emanuele’s handcrafted pastries, pasta and artisanal bread bring an element of freshness and authenticity to Fratelli Milano. The dessert menu is also noteworthy, catching diners’ attention with options such as Nutella or cream-filled Italian donuts. We had a little help from Miami food influencer The Naughty Fork for this one, so don’t miss the rest of the great Italian restaurants on our full Miami list.
NYC – Lilia
567 Union Ave., Brooklyn / Website
Chef Missy Robbins is a master at her craft, so come sit down at this sophisticated location in Brooklyn and enjoy her immaculately crafted dishes (if you can snag a reservation). Lilia is known for its wood-fired seafood and mouthwatering pasta delicacies. Try one of Josh’s favorites, the sheep’s milk agnolotti with saffron, dried tomato and honey, and leave wanting to come back the next day. We had help from Foodie Magician for this list, and he says Lilia has “the best foccacia in the country.” See what else he recommends on our full list of best Italian restaurants in NYC.
Silicon Valley – Pausa Bar & Cookery
223 E. Fourth Ave., San Mateo / Website
Housemade is the operative phrase at this stylish trattoria—from the salumi and mozzarella to the pastas, gelatos and pizzas crafted from four Italian flours mixed with a special enzyme, a unique imported blend used by no one else in the United States. The care and precision is on display in the open kitchen and glassed-in dough room. Open for outdoor dining and takeout, start with a spritz, a classic Italian wine-based aperitif, before diving into Italian-born chef-owner Andrea Giuliani’s beef tongue carpaccio, and squid ink shell pasta tossed with spicy lamb sugo. Still, there are seven other amazing Italian restaurants on our full Silicon Valley list.
Orange County – Louie’s by the Bay
2801 W Coast Hightway, Newport Beach / Website
Who doesn’t want to dine on lobster with Calabrian chili cream or a 8-oz. Angus filet while soaking in the views of Newport Bay? Warm, elegant and all-around enchanting; Louie’s by the Bay is equal parts restaurant and experience. Owner Ron Salisbury knows how to create a successful restaurant—having done it twice before with the iconic Cannery Seafood of the Pacific and El Cholo—so it’s no wonder Louie’s is exceptional as well – and that’s just one of 13 Italian restauarants on the full list.
Philadelphia – Villa di Roma
936 S. Ninth St. / Website
The DeLuca family has been serving up homestyle Italian at Villa di Roma since 1963. Their expansive menu covers every dish you can think of from shrimp scampi to ricotta stuffed manicotti, veal parmigiana and lucious tartufo, but the red sauce is truly the main event. Enjoy it in-house, or pick up a bottle to go. There’s much more where that come from on our full list of the 14 best Italian restaurants in Philly.
San Diego – Catania
7863 Girard Ave., #301 F3, La Jolla / Website
What could be better than coastal Italian food, a refreshing drink and a panoramic view of the ocean? At Catania, you get all three. Located in the heart of La Jolla, Catania features specials highlighted by their handmade pastas and wood-fired pizzas. A Catania-classic includes Tagliatelle Alla Portofino with basil pesto and creamy san marzano tomatoes with an Amalfi Coast cocktail on the side. That’s not all, because our full list features 11 amazing Italian restaurants.
San Francisco – Acquerello
Italian food is a date night favorite for a reason, and Acquerello’s double Michelin-starred cuisine is no exception. Savor a four-course meal at home with their prix-fixe takeout menu, a selection of cheeses and trio of desserts. Alternatively, you can bring home one of their DIY pasta kits for a fun at-home activity. Acquerello also partnered with The Caviar Co. to offer a caviar service option for an elevated at-home dining experience paired with creme fraiche, brioche toast and buckwheat blini. When you’re ready to go for seconds, thirds, fourths and more, check our full list of great Italian restaurants in SF.
Scottsdale – Spiga Cucina Italiana
7500 E. Pinnacle Peak Rd. / Website
Led by Fernando and Paula Esteves, Spiga Cucina Italiana brings the best of both Italy and the Iberian Peninsula to Scottsdale. This local’s hotspot serves up fresh takes on classic regional Italian fare, all with a smoky, wood-fired twist. Pair a house-made Italian pasta or Sicilian-style seafood dish with a rare Iberia wine for a meal to remember. Still hungry? Try the other three delicious restaurants on our full list for Scottsdale.
Vegas – Ferraro’s
4480 Paradise Rd. / Website
Family-owned for over 30 years, Ferraro’s is a Las Vegas staple and a must-visit for all Italian-food lovers. Order wine, martinis, cocktails and more, as well as exquisite light bites, from the Ora Sociale, or Happy Hour, menu, which can all be enjoyed on the beautiful patio or via takeout. Stay for dinner and opt for one of Ferraro’s authentic dishes, rich in authenticity and heritage, like the carpaccio di manzo, a thinly sliced sirloin and arugula salad with Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and truffle oil, from the antipasti section; or—a must-try anytime you go—one of the restaurant’s housemade pastas, our choice being the spaghetti aglio e olio. For those who are plant-based, Ferraro’s also offers a dedicated vegan friendly menu. Vegas is full of great Italian, in fact, our full list includes 17 restaurants – check them out.
Washington D.C. – Masseria
1340 4 St., NE / Website
Chef Nicholas Stefanelli draws inspiration from his childhood with bold and balanced Italian flavors ever present in his creations. For a taste of all his brilliance, try Masseria’s six-course la cucina tasting menu, which features Golden Ossetra caviar, Norcia winter black truffles and a cheese trolly. Of course, this is only one of seven great Italian restaurants on our full list.
Photography by: Jupiter Images