Our 13 Favorite Italian Restaurants in Houston


Whilst it isn’t the most heralded style of cuisine in Houston, Italian definitely has its area. Every community appears to have at the very least a single pink-sauce place perfect for those people Friday evenings more than a low-priced bottle of wine, and if you want a intimate night with impeccable services and selfmade pasta that’ll make your eyes roll again … we have bought that, as well. 

(Very seriously, have you even tried the pappardelle at Giacomo’s?)

Beneath is a assortment of our favored places for—among other pleasures—cacio e pepe, pepperoni pizza, and antipasta. 

Antica Osteria

One particular of Houston’s much more cute intimate dining places, Antica Osteria serves a beautiful spaghetti aglio e olio topped with shrimp, together with a very good Bolognese and a passable puttanesca, in an previous-fashioned dining room with heaps of Frank Sinatra tunes on the audio process. The restaurant’s outdoor patio with a pergola is perfect for cooler evenings, probably though tending to a glass of Tuscan wine. 


Phase within the previous barn off Ella Boulevard in Lazybrook/Timbergrove, and be ready to appreciate a salad. Indeed, the Caesar at Cavatore, prepared table-side with handmade dressing, is a hit. Otherwise, you might be right here for purple-sauce delights like spaghetti marinara and the veal-and-cheese-stuffed cannelloni della casa, perfect for splitting inside of the cozy, wood-walled eating area with tables dressed with purple-checkerboard tablecloth. 


Morgan Weber and chef Ryan Pera’s handsome Heights eatery is excellent for both dates and teams. Outdoor tables sit practically in selecting length from the raised-bed gardens, the place the restaurant grows most of its herbs and some of its salad components. Appetizers include cauliflower, with pine nuts and raisins, and crackers, with smoked trout dip and pickled mustard seeds. Don’t miss out on the pizzas (rooster and prosciutto, particularly), seafood pastas (fettuccine with Gulf shrimp), or fish dishes (striped bass with sunchokes). 

Coppa Osteria

Peer into the “dough room” to observe as pastas and pizzas are made by hand at this energetic Italian spot. Standouts consist of the beef carpaccio, the Houston Dairymaids cheese board, the chicken parmesan, the pepperoni and goat cheese pie, and, particularly, the divine, flippantly creamy spaghetti carbonara with salumi toscano and an egg that is broken table-side by your server.

Giacomo’s Cibo e Vino

Operator/chef Lynette Hawkins has succeeded in trying to keep her cozy Italian café both equally relaxed and superior-high quality since opening in 2009. Her compact plates and accompanying little rates really encourage you to purchase, experiment, and share (really don’t miss the eggplant involtini), however the cafe is possibly finest identified for its exemplary spaghetti carbonara with guanciale and a farm-contemporary egg. (Also, that gorgonzola and mushroom pappardelle is to die for.) A progressive bottle record characteristics plenty of biodynamic selections and spotlights Italy’s myriad woman winemakers.

La Griglia

The splashy eating space in this Italian stronghold, the undisputed ability-lunch palace of River Oaks, hosts Houston’s social established throughout the day. The generous $19 prix-fixe organization lunch delivers two reputable classes of criteria, these kinds of as Caesar salad and pork chop with potato puree. For supper, favorites like frutti di mare and shorter rib agnolotti intention to make sure you. For even bigger appetites, the wild boar chop (termed Gallagher) in aged sherry-morel sauce would make a significant assertion.

North Italia

Positioning by itself as a sexier upscale-casual Italian cafe, this chain (previously of Arizona’s Fox Restaurant Concepts) offers shareable plates like prosciutto bruschetta and black Mediterranean mussels, furthermore pizzas (we endorse the Pig with spicy pepperoni, soppressata, and sausage) and homemade pasta dishes. Try out to snag a seat experiencing the glass-walled kitchen area, wherever cooks scurry about generating fragile pastas like tortelloni and radiatori, that half-spiral that sops up parmesan product sauce in a mouthwatering dish with shorter rib. 



On the patio at Travis McShane’s return to Houston is the place I want to be. Give me a glass of Sangiovese, and purchase me the pork chop Milanese, a hefty and tender slice meant for a couple of celebration attendees. I’ll be content all night with that by yourself. Of system, there is also the fifty percent rooster, perfectly browned with a lemony tweak. That dish is a nod to McShane’s mentor Jonathan Waxman, who designed the definitive version of half rooster at New York’s Barbuto. Ostia feels a large amount like a New York cafe with some Cali effortlessness … or precisely the form of location that would open in Texas in 2020.


One of Montrose’s most adored places for comfort and ease food items, Paulie’s is nonetheless going powerful with homemade pasta dishes concentrated on unique types, like the frilly, U-shaped creste di gallo—tossed with sausage, chili flakes, and pickled onions in marinara—and very small, chubby, and ear-like canestri—served with crimini and shiitake mushrooms and a creamy marsala sauce with garlic and sage. Paulie’s also crafts one particular of the finer Italian hoagies in Houston, working with genoa salami and ham with provolone in oil and vinegar. Will not sleep on the shocking shrimp BLT, either. Of system, some shortbread cookies make a Paulie’s meal comprehensive.

Pizaro’s Pizza Napoletana

The Neapolitan pies at Pizaro’s are sound, but, with out a doubt, the order to make below is from the Detroit-type menu. Rectangular and workmanlike Detroit-fashion pie emphasizes a crispy crust and an extremely-prosperous topping of brick cheese, and Pizaro’s nails it. The Motown (little pepperoni cups, additionally additional pepperoni beneath the cheese) is a classic but you should not fail to remember the Vesuvius with ghost-pepper sausage and spicy soppressata.


Astros operator Jim Crane envisioned a chic space for pre-and-put up-game dining when he opened this place across from Moment Maid Park downtown, but it is so considerably much more than that. Arrive here to practical experience la dolce vita, finish with an opulent, gilded atmosphere, refined wine provider, and cuisine from longtime Brennan’s chef Danny Trace. Have to-orders include the lobster saffron bisque, caviar services, and dwelling-made spaghetti al tartufo nero with black truffle—but of course—shaved table-aspect. 


Last January proprietor Shannon Scott rebranded the fine-eating eatery Sud Italia, which opened at the corner of Morningside and College in 2015, as Roma, a considerably less costly, far more informal location. Chef Angelo Cuppone focuses on vintage and modern-day Roman cuisine, when sprinkling in a number of experimented with-and-accurate Italian favorites. The bolognese is fantastic, but our favourite item on the pasta menu is the tender gnocchi served with shrimp in a smoky, velvety saffron sauce. 


Chef de cuisine Austin Waiter’s artistic tasting menu, which alterations usually, wows with the form of dishes that ought to make the Michelin Guide acquire recognize: a duck press for two, pan-seared Dover sole with meunière sauce, and that well known gigantic soufflé. Include in any of the home-built pastas and the generally-impeccable services at this Greenway Plaza favorite, and there is explanation to believe that Tony’s is however at the top of its match after more than 50 years in company.