The Absolute Best Italian Food In The U.S.

To us, there are few things as comforting as a big bowl of spaghetti and meatballs, a perfectly cooked veal Milanese, or a cheesy chicken parmigiana. You can keep your chicken noodle soup because these are the dishes that serve as a cozy blanket for the soul. Americans have made Italian food all our own, and it remains one of those cuisines we simply can not get enough of — even in its often-criticized, inauthentic, Olive Garden form. Italian food rakes in money in the U.S., with a market size of an astounding $79 billion, according to IBISWorld. In this case, 'that's amore' is a vast understatement. We don't just love Italian food — we crave it and always want more.

In our search for the best Italian food in the United States, we did not take our efforts lightly. All the spots on our list embrace not only excellent food but quality service and attention to atmosphere. From a humble locally owned pizza shop to Michelin-rated establishments, the only limits here are your stomach and travel miles. With fried calamari and chicken marsala as far as the eye can see, get your forks ready for the very best of what this great nation of ours has to offer.

Here is the absolute best Italian food in the U.S.

The Original Vincent's Clam Bar - Long Island, New York

Located in an unassuming strip mall in Carle Place, Long Island, The Original Vincent's Clam Bar might be best described as the very best of New York-style Italian food. That status is evident with just a peek of the scene on a Saturday night as dozens of folks pile out into the street clamoring for a table inside the lively restaurant. Waiting isn't an issue, as on our visits, they served up bites of their famous Grandma pie as we hovered alongside their wall of famous tomato sauces ready to take home.

Once inside, your tastebuds will be delighted by a cornucopia of delights, from their incredibly fresh namesake, clams on the half shell, to classic Italian-American entrees like chicken Francese and eggplant rollatini. The can't-miss dishes here are their famous grandma pizza with house-made marinara sauce and the lobster kiss. The latter dish is quite elaborate, as it arrives in a foil pouch that's cut apart tableside. It features linguine, lobster, and scallops enveloped in an indulgent lobster cream sauce. Keep your eyes peeled while dining here because you never know who might show up, from awarded sports figures to notorious locals. This, our dear friends, is the pinnacle of Italian dining in America.

Panza - Boston

We are next 'Shipping Up To Boston' where our eating journey continues in the neighborhood of North End — the epicenter of divine Italian food in the New England area. It may be hard to navigate the dozens of options listed on TripAdvisor, but we'll make it easy for you: Panza is the real deal. This traditional spot with an intimate atmosphere beckons guests in from the cobblestone streets of the historic town. Here, you can find the classics as well as a few re-imagined versions of your favorites.

Lasagna may be one of the most popular Italian dishes but their version shakes up the traditional recipe using black pepper pasta sheets to create a deconstructed 'free form' dish with chicken, mushrooms, spinach, and a plum tomato ricotta sauce. You'll also find unique appetizers like their wild mushroom and goat cheese spring rolls served with honey thyme sauce and spare ribs coated in sweet Sicilian BBQ sauce. Have no fear if traditional is your thing, as they deliver the classics too, including a positively silky linguine carbonara and a standout veal parmigiana. What may surprise guests the most are their incredibly reasonable prices, including glasses of wine under $10.

Dominic's Ristorante Italiano - Cypress, California

The next stop on our grand Italian tour has family, fair prices, and incredible food at the forefront. The town of Cypress in Southern California may not have been on your radar before, but it begs for further exploration. Dominic's Ristorante Italiano first opened in 1991 as a small family operation by the owner, Angela Cesario. An Italian immigrant who worked in her father's delicatessen in Astoria after coming to the U.S., she would later move to California, bringing with her a catalog of incredible family recipes.

What began as just a few tables has since expanded into a full-service operation and Angela has been joined by her children, who assist in running the place. It now serves some of the very best Italian food one can find in Orange County, with traditional recipes as well as some modern takes based on our ever-changing culinary climate. The smell of garlic will coerce you inside to dine on their scratch-made breadsticks to start. After sipping on a bowl of their house-made minestrone soup, you can partake in traditional entrees, including a perfectly-executed chicken Francese on a bed of lemony cream sauce. The establishment also has a cozy and casual bar with happy hour specials.

Original Joe's - San Francisco

The next fine Italian American establishment on our list has boasted a 'come one, come all' attitude for its nearly 100 years in operation. To say Original Joe's is a San Francisco institution would just scratch the surface. Opened in 1937 by a Croatian immigrant, Ante 'Tony' Rodin, the restaurant began as a 14-stool counter-service joint in San Francisco's Tenderloin neighborhood.

Now, it is as much as part of the city's fabric as the Golden Gate bridge and Irish coffee — it has even been dedicated its own day in the city, 'Original Joe's Day' on January 26th. It would be easy to write this restaurant off as another tourist trap, but you'd be wrong.

Through its many incarnations, evolutions, and locations, one thing remains the same: Original Joe's menu features the best of Italian-American favorites, including chicken parmigiana as well as some house specialty steaks, chops, and the Joe's Famous Hamburger Sandwich. Out of all those classics, the Joe's Special may be the restaurant's most iconic dish (via Saveur). It originated in San Francisco at another restaurant named Joe's, but was made famous by Original Joe's. The Joe's Special consists of eggs, spinach, ground beef, and a variety of spices and other vegetables.

BiCE Ristorante - Orlando

You wouldn't necessarily think that high-end Italian food would show up in theme parks, but they're serving all kinds of food at the parks these days. Universal Orlando Resort is home to a number of drool-worthy foodie creations, from butterbeer in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter to over-the-top milkshake creations from the Willa Wonka-esque Toothsome Chocolate Emporium. To get the fanciest food, you have to take a short boat ride to one of the property's official resorts. The Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando is as breathtaking a resort as you'll ever find. The luxury waterside property is reminiscent of the Italian seaside village Portofino and will have you believing that you were instantly transported to the real deal.

The property's signature dining experience, is BiCE Ristorante. Yes, that BiCE. The restaurant is a part of the upscale Milan-based chain that's known for serving classic Northern Italian eats in elevated settings. With outposts in Italy and beyond, you can have a taste of traditional fare just steps from a theme park. The atmosphere is downright romantic and the food is inspired. Open nightly for dinner only, highlights from their menu include a 16 month-aged Parma prosciutto and a downright sinful raw Wagyu beef tartare. It is their handcrafted pastas that are an absolute must, including their signature cappellaccio. These 'little hat' pastas are filled with braised beef short rib, spinach, and fresh mushrooms and topped with a decadent marsala cream sauce.

Carbone - New York City

There are few restaurants that hold as much esteem — and lore — as Carbone. The original outpost in New York City's Greenwich Village neighborhood has served as a hotspot for Manhattan's who's who for years (via The Travel). Guests to land a reservation to catch just a glimpse of its A-list clientele just as much as for one bite of their now-famous spicy rigatoni vodka. The good news? It is not all 'see and be seen.' Run by one of the most successful restaurant groups in New York, according to The Infatuation, the food does, indeed, live up to the hype. We just hope your wallet can keep up with your stomach's demands.

If you can make your way inside its storied walls (and afford it), you'll be tantalized on a mouth-watering journey through its menu while being dazzled by the glitzy surroundings. The menu is vast, but you should absolutely order their famous spicy rigatoni vodka. At over $30, we promise you it's worth it. Also of note are their gigantic meatballs and the $72 veal parmesan. If you come hungry, you'll leave happy (and just a wee bit poorer), but it is oh so worth it.

Osteria Mozza - Los Angeles

Tinseltown lives up to its name with this next spot that has been dazzling diners for over a decade. Helmed by esteemed Chef Nancy Silverton, The James Beard award-winning mind credited with popularizing sourdough bread in the United States, Osteria Mozza is a hallmark in Los Angeles and earns praise from even the hard-to-please Michelin Guide. Osteria Mozza is like a love letter to Italy. Its cozy setting is adorned with modern yet rustic finishings without the least bit of pretentiousness.

The menu reads like a greatest hits of Italian delights. While handmade pastas (order the gnocchi with duck ragu), rosemary olive oil cakes, and even a pizza window, are all great, it's the art of cheese — specifically their mozzarella bar — that is the true standout. The white marble bar is where you can catch Chef Silverton herself creating beautiful dairy masterpieces, from cream-filled burrata to ricotta and fresh mozzarella (via Osteria Mozza). There are now two additional outposts in Los Cabos and Singapore, but the doors on sleek Melrose Avenue continue to beckon in locals and visiting foodies alike. Silverton also didn't stray too far from her carb-filled roots, so expect delicious bread to accompany your meal.

Ravello - Orlando

There are few hotel chains that live up to the luxury of the Four Seasons. With destinations across the globe, a good meal from some very fine dining establishments is expected, but the Four Seasons Orlando may just take the cake — and the pasta. Tucked away on the first floor of the exemplary central Florida property, Ravello offers upscale Italian fare in an atmosphere that's complete with modern finishes and contemporary vibes, including stunning archways and an outdoor terrace. The star of the show is its large open kitchen that offers visitors a thrilling front-row seat to all the action.

With executive chefs straight from Italy, you can expect house-made pastas, pizza, and even limoncello on the menu. Meals begin with tasty appetizers like a burrata salad and hamachi and salmon crudo with olive-pistachio pesto and shaved fennel. The flavors of Florida are celebrated with dishes like the pan-seared local snapper, but it's their house-made signature dish that won our hearts. Their handmade ravioli is stuffed with flavorful veal, spinach, and ricotta, and topped with wild mushrooms, truffle essence, and freshly grated parmesan

Todd English's Olives - Las Vegas

When visiting Sin City, you can roll the dice and bet that any meal you have will be pretty fantastic. Virgin Hotels has an outpost in Vegas that packs some serious culinary star power, including a branch of NOBU and Southern Califonia's acclaimed Night + Market. But it's the latest reincarnation of the popular Todd English's Olives that we're talking about today (via Eater).

The Mediterranean restaurant from the celebrated chef brings new life to the resort with classic dishes of yesteryear and some wildly inventive new additions. The setting is nothing short of stunning, complete with a stone and steel kitchen, moody lighting, and Renaissance-inspired artwork. But just as English is known for, it's the divine dishes that keep folks coming back. From honey cake and Sevruga caviar to approachable flatbreads, there's nothing this Vegas spot can't do. Our favorites include their Italian-centric offerings, like a classic chicken Milanese and a mezza rigatoni alla vodka with just the right amount of Calabrian chili.

Rao's - New York City

If you wanted to determine the most iconic Italian-American restaurant in America, it would be a tough competition, but the winner just might be Rao's, located in Manhattan's Harlem neighborhood (via LA Weekly). The restaurant has been wowing its clients for over a century and has been run by four generations of the same family. The food here is created from recipes passed down generation after generation and inspired by the greatest exports from Southern Italy. If you can make it through its doors (it's nearly impossible, sorry!), you won't find any menus but instead, a personally-curated experience. Your server will ask you about what you like to eat and craft a multi-course dinner just for you.

With the smell of fresh simmering garlic wafting throughout the restaurant, guests here have been visiting for decades to feast on their seafood salad packed with lobster and pastas sitting in the freshest clam sauce, red sauce, olio, or whatever their hearts desire.

Joey's House of Pizza - Nashville

If you have ever wanted a little show with your meal, then look no further than Joey's House of Pizza in Nashville, Tennessee. Nashville might be an unexpected place to find some of the best Italian food in the United States, but one visit to this counter service, lunch-only spot, and you will understand. Per Eater, the family-run business was founded by former New Yorkers — Brooklynites, to be exact — who decided to call the South their home in the late 1980s. The father, Joey Macca, helms the restaurant and then some as the rest of the family dashes around the counter and kitchen in what best could be described as choreographed chaos.

The menu is made up of mostly pizzas with some entree-style dishes, including a standout chicken parmesan. The bucket list item here is their ginormous Gladiator slice — a stuffed slice of pizza chock full of pepperoni, sausage, and mozzarella. If you can look past the hot chicken and honky tonks on your next visit to Music City, this is easily the best pizza in town. Come hungry and a little bit patient, thanks to their outstanding food, in our experience, there is never not a line out the door.

Umberto's of Long Island - Fort Lauderdale, Florida

South Florida is notorious for its incredibly fresh seafood and gorgeous sunshine year-round. But thanks to its large population of ex-pats from New York and New Jersey, you can find standout Italian there as well. Umberto's of Long Island is from — you guessed it — Long Island, New York. The original Umberto's is credited with inventing the grandma pie, according to Eater. Thanks to the branch in Florida, you don't have to brave the pitfalls of Laguardia airport and the manic drivers on New York's tangled web of parkways for a taste of the good stuff.

Located literally down the block from the ocean in Fort Lauderdale, Umberto's of Long Island is a family-run establishment with roots in Naples, Italy. The welcoming, brick-lined restaurant has been bringing the best pizza to South Florida in a family-friendly setting. In addition to its now-famous grandma pizza, the menu has all the classic Italian-American dishes you would expect, including chicken marsala and spaghetti and meatballs. A favorite dish Is their chicken rollatini, which rolls and stuffs chicken breast with mozzarella, prosciutto, and parsley in a savory brown mushroom sauce. Be careful not to fill up on the house-baked garlic knots — they are both complimentary and addictive.

Battista's Hole In The Wall - Las Vegas

We are back in Vegas for one of their best kept secrets. Whoever said nothing in life is free has never been to Battista's Hole In The Wall. Tucked away on the backside of the strip, this longtime Vegas mainstay has been serving hundreds of patrons each night since 1970 — and not much has changed. The food is fantastic as is the old-school Vegas atmosphere, with walls full of celebrity and sports memorabilia. A surprising little perk that first brought us to their doors: free wine. Yep, you read that correctly. Every single meal begins with complimentary house wine. That's not all: You also get salad or minestrone, garlic bread, a side of pasta, and a cappuccino with your entree.

Our favorites from the menu include linguine with chopped clams and a classic chicken Alfredo. Many entrees are under $30, even with all the free stuff. If you are looking to let the good times roll in Vegas without obliterating your bank account, this is the spot.

Club Lucky - Chicago

We've visited New York City, Boston, Los Angeles, and even Sin City, but no love has been lost for Chicago. The Windy City gifted us with our beloved deep-dish pizza, and it has a few other tricks up its sleeve in the Italian restaurant department. Club Lucky will immediately draw you in with its lively dining room complete with those big leather booths reminiscent of a mid-century themed supper club. It's been around since 1990, but it feels older — like a relic from the '40s (via Chicago Bar Project).

Once you've thrown back a few dirty martinis, you can feast on their large assortment of old-school Italian delicacies. Meals begin with excellent presentations of crispy fried calamari with house-made spicy cocktail sauce, a standout pasta e fagioli, and table-side prepared selections from their antipasto bar. Wonderfully al dente, home-made pastas are loaded with a number of sauces, including a tangy marinara and a vodka sauce, and serve as the star of the meal. Open for both lunch and dinner with an accompanying lounge, the prices may be as shocking as the food, with many of their house-made pasta dishes under $20.

Vetri - Philadelphia

Chef and restaurant owner Marc Vetri has made a name for himself beyond his hometown of Philadelphia. One of the first ways he did that was with Vetri, or Vetri Cucina, as the Italian restaurant is sometimes called. Just one year after this first business opening in 1998, chef Vetri was named one of the "Ten Best New Chefs" by Food & Wine Magazine (via Vetri Cucina).

The restaurant went on to win "Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic" in the 2005 James Beard Awards. It was later nominated for several other awards and became a semifinalist for even more. Vetri Cucina's Yelp page is full of five-star reviews, glowing ones that go on for several paragraphs praising the business. More than one person says it's the "best meal of their lives." Need we say more?

Bon Appétit described Vetri as a groundbreaking restaurant and said that many other Italian-American restaurants taking on the handmade pasta craft today are simply doing so because of Vetri Cucina.

If you go, expect to spend a lot. The current prix fixe menu is $150 for "antipasti, pasta, secondi, and dessert." According to a 2022 menu, this meal could include classic Italian ingredients like prosciutto di parma or fried polenta dressed up as part of a series of extravagant, experimental dishes. Vetri Cucina is disguised as a traditional Philly-style rowhouse, meaning this restaurant might blend right into the street at first glance, but its unassuming exterior hides deliciousness within.

Bestia - Los Angeles

Bestia, located in Los Angeles, doesn't have a Michelin star. However, the guide still recognizes it for the restaurant's sustainability practices. The Michelin Guide also praises Bestia for the delicious fish dishes and desserts on the Italian food-filled menu.

This restaurant is known for being run by husband-and-wife team Ori Menashe — Bestia's head chef — and Genevieve Gergis — Bestia's pastry chef (via Bestia). The business opened in 2012 and was a James Beard semifinalist by 2016 in the category of "Best Chef." Food critic Jonathan Gold described some menu items as "among the most purely Italian dishes I have ever tasted in Los Angeles," for an LA Times review in 2013.

On Yelp, over 6,000 reviews give Bestia an average of 4.5 out of 5 stars. Reviewers are divided about the dishes, with many disagreeing about which pasta dishes are better than others. But you can tell from the passion that there is something irresistibly exciting about this Italian restaurant. Expect high prices if you're going to eat at Bestia. antipasti, pizze, and paste dishes on the menu will cost between $16 and $30. There are also secondi options that can be as much as $160 per dish.

Coppa - Boston

Boston's Coppa won the James Beard Award for "Best Chef: Northeast" in 2014. That award went to chef Jamie Bissonnette, who now works alongside chef partner Ken Oringer at this celebrated restaurant serving some of the best Italian food in New England.

The menu is divided up into pasta, piatti freddi, pizza, antipasti, and desserts. Compared to other restaurants on this list, you may be less intimidated by the prices. There are multiple antipasti dishes under $10 and most piatti freddi dishes are priced around $20.

In 2010, Boston Magazine applauded the meat on the menu, highlighting dishes like meatballs, beef tongue, and homemade sausages served with cavatelli pasta. Customer reviews on Open Table are also positive. The restaurant earns a 4.8 out of 5 review average, with diners calling it a dependable spot for a great meal. Some took issue with the restaurant's size. Polite Coppa fans called it "cozy," but less positive customers called it "crowded." No matter what, you can expect a small, intimate setting at Coppa.

Sorrel - San Francisco

Sorrel is an Italian restaurant with one Michelin star. The guide gives props to the San Francisco restaurant's chef, Alexander Hong, praising his pasta in particular. The James Beard Foundation seems to agree: it nominated Hong for "Rising Star Chef of the Year" in 2019.

The restaurant is typically described as Cal-Italian. What could this mean? According to Sorrel's website, that means "local-Californian inspired cuisine with authentic & vibrant Italian influences." The California side puts an emphasis on utilizing local, organic, seasonal produce. The Italian side means a menu that's filled with recognizable Italian items like a "raviolo al'uovo" — a large pasta pocket filled with whole egg yolks. However, these dishes may not be so recognizable when they appear in front of you. Sorrel's plates, which you can see on its Instagram, are plated like works of art.

Time Out San Francisco agreed with the Michelin Guide about the excellence of Sorrel's pasta. Yelp reviews average 4 out of 5 stars. Many of them show that in addition to stand-out food, going to this pricey Italian restaurant is a memorable occasion. The Infatuation describes Sorrel as a place to go to impress your fellow dinner guests — if you can afford to do so. The tasting menu is $165 per person, with an additional $95 needed for the seasonal wine pairing. If you have a very special San Francisco occasion coming up, Sorrel could be the place to celebrate.

Fiola - Washington, D.C.

Fiola is a Michelin one-star Italian restaurant located in Washington, D.C. The esteemed food guide says the restaurant draws inspiration from both Roman and Venetian cuisine (via Michelin). Having two beloved Italian regional cuisines reflected in its food has worked in Fiola's favor.

Although it's never won a James Beard Award, Fiola has been nominated once and made it to the semifinals four times. Yelp reviews show it to be one of the more universally beloved restaurants on this list. No one is shying away from giving this place five out of five stars. They might be inclined to like their meal after spending $225 per person for a night out. Fiola has one of the most expensive tasting menus on this list. The menu even has a special section called "enhancements" where you can add $75 servings of caviar to your courses. It makes sense that The Washington Post calls it "one of the most indulgent restaurants in town."

Francie - New York City

Francie is a new Italian restaurant located in Brooklyn, New York. The business just opened in December 2020, but it already has one Michelin star. Located on a street corner in the heart of Williamsburg, Francie is more welcoming than other upscale Italian restaurants. The neighborhood eatery strives to project casual energy, inviting diners to step right inside (via Francie).

The Michelin Guide agrees, noting that Francie's open kitchen allows diners to see the chefs at work. The food guide tells Francie customers to expect "a series of gratifying plates" (via Michelin). The menu here is more affordable than some others on this list, with a snack section featuring (relatively) cheap bites. The dishes are twists on Italian favorites like bomboloni (a type of Italian donut), duck mortadella, and "Roman Army" sourdough. The next menu sections are shellfish, starters, and pastas (all of which are under $30). The mains are more expensive, but you'll get a shareable plate of protein for those prices.

TripAdvisor only has five reviews so far, but all of those give Francie five stars. The New York Times gave Francie a glowing review as well, saying that Chef Chris Cipollone is an expert at crafting Italian flavors. The Times recommends getting the dry-aged crown of duck if you visit.

Al Forno - Providence

Al Forno is an Italian restaurant located in Providence, Rhode Island. It is one of the oldest restaurants on this list. Al Forno opened decades ago, in 1980. By 1993, the restaurant had received two James Beard Awards for "Best Chef: Northeast," one for Chef George Germon and one for Chef Johanne Killeen. It continues to be recognized by the James Beard Foundation, with nominations as recent as 2018.

This restaurant is known for grilled pizzas, all of which you can purchase for under $30 (via ExploreTock). There are plenty of grilled vegetables and meats to choose from if you're not into carbs. Of course, you can also get pasta if you want to go carb-wild, including baked pastas.

Eater warns that if you're going to this hidden gem, you should be prepared to wait. The publication says that Al Forno is the most well-known restaurant in Providence, so it might be busy. Luckily, the restaurant takes reservations now. According to its Yelp reviews, the dining experience is appreciated by both locals and diners from out-of-town.

Frasca Food & Wine - Boulder, Colorado

Boulder's Frasca Food & Wine has some of the best Italian food in all of Colorado (and the country). The restaurant has won James Beard Awards for "Best Chef: Southwest" (2008), "Outstanding Wine Program" (2013), and "Outstanding Service" (2019), reports the awards website.

The Infatuation has said it's often called the best restaurant — of any cuisine — in the entire state. The reviewer commended the wine and service, in addition to the food, highlighting dishes such as the salumi charcuterie plate and the formaggi cheese plate that can be ordered at the end of your meal.

Frasca specializes in Northern Italian food, which typically means less olive oil, pasta, and tomato sauce. You'll see more butter, rice, and cheese instead of those former items, according to Life In Italy. Food from Northern Italy also tends to embrace land animals over seafood, says Sardella's Pizza. You'll see this immediately reflected in Frasca's menu, with primi courses of risotto with white truffle butter or triangoli (triangle-shaped pasta) with short ribs.

By the way, the tasting menu is $195. The wine menu is an additional $110. It's a lot of money, but if the reviews are to be believed, it's well worth it.

SPQR - San Francisco

SPQR is an Italian restaurant in San Francisco that's become one of the best in the U.S. since opening in 2007. The name is an acronym for the Latin phrase "Senatus Populusque Romanus," which translates to "The People and Senate of Rome," according to the restaurant. SPQR chose the phrase for the Italian establishment because it was the official slogan of the Roman Empire.

Michelin awarded the restaurant its first star in 2012. SPQR has maintained that star every year since then. The Guide says the space is modern and that the Roman food shows a definite California influence. But for all its contemporary qualities, there's also an appreciation for traditional Italian food at the restaurant. SPQR hasn't won any James Beard Awards. However, the restaurant and chef Matthew Accarrino have been semifinalists multiple times (via James Beard).

The tasting menu is on the affordable side — $88 or $95 per person for a five-course meal (via SPQR). You'll also be able to get a glass of wine for under $10, which is a steal compared to some other Michelin-starred places. Additionally, the minimum gratuity added to your bill is only 8%.

Masseria - Washington, D.C.

Masseria, in Washington, D.C., is an award-winning restaurant with some of the country's best Italian food. Specifically, Masseria serves Pugliese food, meaning cuisine inspired by the food from the Southern Italian region of Puglia. Located at the heel of the boot-shaped country, this region is known for breads like focaccia and pastas like orecchiette, according to The Travel Magazine. The name Masseria even refers to a type of large estate that the area is known for, explains Masseria Chic.

Condé Nast Traveler says Masseria is ideal for a date night — even the Obamas have visited the restaurant to do just that. Tasting Table agrees that it's one of the best romantic restaurants in our nation's capital city. The Michelin Guide gives it one star, calling its focaccia "sinfully delicious" and complementing the business' lively atmosphere.

This D.C. eatery's menu changes often, so it's hard to say what will be provided at any given time. However, you should be able to get the six-course tasting menu when you go. According to Yelp reviews, you should expect a "very pricey" dinner that should be saved for very special occasions.

Don Angie - New York City

Manhattan's Don Angie is a celebrated NYC restaurant serving a contemporary take on Italian-American food inspired by its founders' family history (via Don Angie). Originally started as a speakeasy restaurant project in the East Village, the intimate West Village eatery seats only 19 people. The small size hasn't stopped the founders — the husband-and-wife team of Scott Tacinelli and Angie Rito — from growing a strong reputation for amazing food. Tacinelli and Rito are each two-time James Beard Award semifinalists. Don Angie also has one Michelin star. The Michelin Guide calls the modest space a "darling of a dining room."

The menu prices are easier to stomach than some, but reservations are nearly impossible to come by. Eater says your best bet is to try to get a walk-in reservation if you're comfortable with waiting for around 45 minutes. The Infatuation recommends the chrysanthemum salad (a twist on the classic Caesar), the stuffed garlic flatbread (which is filled with cheese), and the lasagna for two. Whatever you get, you can expect a delicious meal with familiar dishes that have been creatively reimagined at Don Angie.

Monteverde - Chicago

In Chicago, Monteverde's cooking has risen to the top tier of America's best Italian food. Chef Sarah Grueneberg won "Best Chef: Great Lakes" from James Beard in 2017. With the restaurant still standing amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we can assume the Italian restaurant is still serving amazing dishes today.

Chef Grueneberg has brought her restaurant many accolades since Monteverde opened in 2015. However, one of the most impressive was her win on Beat Bobby Flay. In the episode, she made chicken parmesan. If you want to taste the winning dish, you can order a whole bird chicken parm on Monteverde's dinner menu.

Pasta is the centerpiece of any meal at Monteverde. According to the Chicago Tribune, you can see chefs hand-rolling and shaping your pasta from your table. The menu offers familiar shapes like tortellini, tagliatelle, and spaghetti. It also provides Italian flavors and sauces you've probably tasted in your home kitchen, such as Pomodoro, pesto, and "in brodo," (meaning in broth).

Customers love Monteverde, according to the restaurant's Yelp page. The business has nearly 1,000 reviews that average 4.5 stars. Per these reviews, the service is "impeccable" and the Italian food is so spot on it's hard to find anything else like it in the United States.

Acquerello - San Francisco

Acquerello is the only Italian food restaurant in the U.S. with two Michelin stars (as of early 2022). There are only 36 restaurants in the entire country with two stars, according to Michelin. The guide describes this San Francisco restaurant as a refined dining room with avant-garde dishes.

This Italian restaurant is also a two-time James Beard Award nominee and a five-time semifinalist. With those nominations coming as early as 2008 and as recently as 2016, you can tell Acquerello has stayed on the mind of the culinary world. As Tasting Table put it, Acquerello "continues to serve some of the city's finest Italian food more than 20 years after its debut."

Prices are on the higher, more outrageous end of costs on this list. SF Gate called it "very expensive," and we would agree with that rating. Acquerello has several tasting or prix fixe menus ranging from $150 to $495 per person (without drinks), per its website. However, the different menus are specialized, allowing you to focus on vegetables, seasonal ingredients, or even white truffles. If you're not ready to splurge at this level — and we don't blame you — you can become one of the restaurant's more than 30,000 Instagram followers or catch Chef Suzette Gresham on a recent episode of Masterchef.

City House - Nashville

In the South, Nashville's City House is known for having some of the best Italian food in the region. The restaurant has one James Beard Award: "Best Chef: Southeast," which was awarded to chef Tandy Wilson in 2016. According to Condé Nast Traveler, he was a semifinalist for this award nine times before. The magazine recommended City House's specialty: pizza.

There are five different brick oven-baked pizzas available on City House's current menu. Each is topped with classic Italian cheeses such as mozzarella, parm, ricotta, and pecorino. If you're hungry before or after your pizza, there are some inventive Southern-influenced dishes on the rest of the menu to enjoy. Catfish, sour corn cake, and grits are all incorporated into the Nashville eatery's dishes.

One of the many complimentary Yelp reviews summed up a visit to City House by saying, "This was on a list of the best restaurants in Nashville. I can see why! Everything we had was spectacular!" The love from locals and tourists alike makes City House's Italian food a treasure for the entire U.S.

Marea - New York City

Marea is another high-end, white-tablecloth Italian restaurant located in Manhattan. It has one Michelin star. This New York City joint was also recognized by James Beard in 2010 when it won "Best New Restaurant."

This eatery is similar to many other top Italian spots in the U.S. in that it highlights homemade pasta dishes, but it also specializes in seafood. On its website, Marea advertises its "composed fish dishes," "whole fish preparations," oysters, and crudo (raw fish). Marea's outstanding food has earned accolades from the New York Times, which called Marea a superb restaurant and praised the chef for the food's bold flavors.

Yelp reviews of Marea are mostly outstanding. Lobster dishes are frequently mentioned in four or five-star reviews. If you want to listen to these folks, get one of the three lobster plates: the astice antipasto with Nova Scotia lobster and burrata cheese; pansotti, a squid ink lobster ravioli; or aragosta," a grilled lobster dish (via Marea).

Domenica - New Orleans

Domenica is an Italian restaurant located in New Orleans. This restaurant seems on the casual side at first — there isn't a looming Michelin star putting extra pressure on both diners and staff. However, the dishes offered at Domenica are just as elegant. The James Beard Foundation agreed and gave Chef Alon Shaya the "Best Chef: South" award in 2015. The New Orleans tourism website recommends Domenica as well as its home, The Roosevelt Hotel (via New Orleans). Reviews on Yelp are, for the most part, outstanding, describing Domenica as "excellent," "fantastic," and "the best pizza this side of Naples."

The menu at Domenica consists of a lot of Italian words along with helpful translations. Guests are offered a wide variety of meats and cheeses. Meat-eaters may sample traditional Italian charcuterie meats such as prosciutto (ham aged 12 months) or coppa (a six-month aged pork shoulder). There are three different categories of cheese — soft, hard, or blue — to suit your palate. Following that, you can move on to additional small antipasti plates, pasta, pizza, and a small selection of meat dishes (via Domenica).

Gucci Osteria da Massimo Bottura - Los Angeles

Let's get some things out of the way, first. This is a restaurant located inside a Gucci store. This Gucci store is in Beverly Hills. Massimo Bottura, whose name is prominently included, is one of the most talented and well-known chefs in the world. Gucci Osteria da Massimo Bottura seems to be trying to become one of the most coveted places for Italian food in America.

The restaurant appears to be succeeding. It was granted one Michelin star in 2021, just one year after it opened its doors in 2020. It's also Bottura's first U.S. restaurant. While it's too soon to say if his L.A. business will reach the three-star status of the chef's other business, Osteria Francescana, the Michelin Guide likes it. The Guide calls the food "at once whimsical and grounded."

Like other Los Angeles restaurants, this business advertises its use of both California ingredients and Italian recipes, Vogue explains. Compared to other top Cal-Italian restaurants, you'll see an even smaller amount of food on your plate. The menu says things like "insalata di mare" (seafood salad), but you are not going to get a messy pile of creamy shrimp on your plate. The tiny dishes are so small, that they look like they've been arranged with toothpicks (via Yelp). Gucci Osteria da Massimo Bottura offers five, seven, and nine-course dinner tasting menus ranging from $150 to $275 per person.

Pizzeria Bianco - Phoenix

Pizzeria Bianco is an Italian restaurant located in Phoenix. It doesn't have a Michelin star, but its chef-owner Chris Bianco took home the James Beard Award for "Best Chef: Southwest" in 2003. The Arizona restaurant earned national acclaim thanks to Bianco's reputation for making each pizza by hand. Pre-pandemic, this led to three-hour waits for food, according to Tasting Table. Bianco's pizza has even been called "the best in America" by the New York Times. Certainly, all of this makes Pizzeria Bianco one of the best places to get Italian food in the U.S.

Over the last 20 years, Bianco has opened several additional restaurants in the Phoenix area (via Eater). However, Pizzeria Bianco remains the popular, original spot. Six Neopolitan-style pizzas form the foundation of the menu: marinara, margherita, the "sonny boy" (with salami and olives), the "rosa" (with red onion, Parmigiano Reggiano, rosemary, and AZ pistachios), the "biancoverde" (with ricotta and arugula), and the "wiseguy" (with onion and fennel sausage), per Pizzeria Bianco.

The eatery's Yelp is full of reviews from loyal regulars who swear by Bianco's pizza. Not everyone agrees that Pizzeria Bianco has the best pies in the country. But even the pickier reviews say this pizza won't leave a bad taste in your mouth. If you can stand to wait a few hours, this Italian spot is worth a stop the next time you're in the Southwest.

Quince - San Francisco

If you're noticing a lot of San Francisco on this list, you are paying attention. Quince is one of five top-notch Bay Area Italian restaurants included in this round-up. This restaurant even outdoes Acquerello's two Michelin stars — it has three, in addition to one Michelin green star. That is saying a lot. Quince is one of only 13 American restaurants to earn three of these stars (via Michelin). It is considered by the guide to be a contemporary Californian restaurant — not Italian. However, the restaurant's website explains that Quince has "Italian influences" (via Quince).

Some of these Italian influences can be seen in the menu. Per Quince's Instagram, the restaurant serves dishes like pasta with tartufi bianchi (a kind of Italian white truffle). They also incorporate fennel into desserts and make a seemingly Caprese-inspired dish of cherry tomatoes, pine nuts, and arugula. None of these dishes may be available today. Quince's menus "evolve daily." According to the restaurant, you can get an eight to ten-course dinner for $360, or a five-course menu for $240.

Yelp might not be the best place to read about a three Michelin-star restaurant, but the reviews for Quince are positive there as well. If you don't believe them, check out this review from SF Gate, which called the atmosphere and service of Quince "supporting players to Michael Tusk's menu, which unfolds like Mozart's 'Paris' symphony'."

Nostrana - Portland, Oregon

Nostrana is a Portland restaurant with a positive fan base and seven James Beard Award nominations. OregonLive called it "the neighborhood Italian restaurant you've been dreaming of." The Infatuation said it was "a wise elder of Portland's Italian restaurants." This spot serves up classic food that doesn't disappoint the surrounding community. That's probably why the restaurant founders named their business as such: Nostrana translates to "local" in Italian.

Nostrana's menu is composed of familiar sections of antipasti, primi, and secondi, as well as pizze and contorni (sides, according to Par Taste). Italian favorites like arancini (fried rice balls), grilled octopus, rigatoni alla bolognese, and beef tagliata (sliced, grilled steak) all make appearances. For dessert, you can order a seasonal fruit crisp at the beginning of your meal (as it takes a while to make) to enjoy once you've finished the main courses. Overall, there's a lot of variety and ample opportunities for sharing. At Oregon's Nostrana, you'll get a more affordable meal and you might leave more stuffed than at the other top Italian restaurants in America.

Bar La Grassa - Minneapolis

Minneapolis, Minnesota is home to at least one special Italian restaurant. Bar La Grassa, which opened in 2009, has its share of national and local recognition. In 2010, Zagat ranked in the top ten best eateries in the Twin Cities (via Twin Cities Business). That same year, Bar La Grassa was a James Beard Foundation semifinalist for the "Best New Restaurant" award.

Bar La Grassa is one of those locally-beloved eateries that's been able to remain open for over a decade, so it must be doing something right. The restaurant's classic Italian menu is a big part of its success. You'll find recognizable dishes from the cuisine like pappardelle with veal ragu, spaghetti carbonara, polenta morbida (a creamy, soft polenta dish), and risotto Milanese (risotto made in the regional style of Milan, which typically includes saffron). There are also more Italian-American options, such as Caesar salad, fettuccine Alfredo, and meatballs. Bar La Grassa also has several different types of bruschetta for purchase.

Lilia - New York City

One of the most social media-famous restaurants on this list is Lilia. The Brooklyn restaurant known for its pastas has over 100,000 followers on its Instagram account. Lilia is also a newer restaurant — the doors opened in 2016 — and it still hasn't been awarded a Michelin star. Diners on this Reddit thread have debated why that is, and they're not the first to entertain that question. In 2017, Eater called it "an underrated gem." Still, Lilia has garnered a lot of positive attention. The chef Missy Robbins was awarded "Best Chef: New York City" by the James Beard Foundation in 2018.

The largest and maybe most popular component of Lilia's dining experience is the pasta. As the New York Times wrote, "Lilia's menu has many other very good things, but pasta made by Ms. Robbins is a direct route to happiness." You'll find an array of classic Italian shapes in this menu section, per Lilia. There's gnocchi, fettuccine, tortellini, rigatoni, spaghetti, mafaldini (a long, ribboned noodle), and pappardelle (the wider version of fettuccine, via MasterClass). All of these pastas are handmade, cooked with fresh ingredients, and thrown together with only a few toppings to emphasize simplicity.

Many of the positive reviews on Yelp give it four, instead of five stars. Lilia does some specific things that please most people — but rub others the wrong way. One reviewer warned that there is parmesan cheese on "everything," so if that's not your thing, this is not the Italian restaurant for you.

St. Cecilia - Atlanta

St. Cecilia, a restaurant located in Atlanta, Georgia, describes itself as a "coastal European restaurant," (via St. Cecilia). Although the menu appears classically Italian — with titles like "salumi e formaggi" and "pasta e riso" — the restaurant puts a twist on this with its use of local, Southern ingredients and an emphasis on seafood. Although it's mostly an Italian restaurant, St. Cecilia's pan-European branding seems to be working out well.

Travel + Leisure called it "a popular gathering spot for the after-work crowd." Atlanta Magazine described it as a place that brings in "throngs" and "mobs." Part of that could be the large size of the restaurant. Per Eater, St. Cecilia can accommodate 160 people. However, the appeal could also be how attractive that large space is. The James Beard Foundation gave St. Cecilia the 2017 award for "Outstanding Restaurant Design" for eateries with 76 seats and more. Tripadvisor reflects this. Reviewers for St. Cecilia are mostly positive but call the busy place "lively" at its best and "noisy" at its worst.

Cafe Juanita - Kirkland, Washington

Cafe Juanita is the only Italian restaurant on this list not located in a major U.S. city. It had to have done something pretty good to get noticed, then. The restaurant is located in Kirkland, Washington, a suburb of Seattle. Cafe Juanita is a three-time James Beard Award nominee, eleven-time semifinalist, and the 2008 winner of "Best Chef: Northwest," according to the Foundation. It is doing a lot of things right.

In 2000, when Cafe Juanita opened, they wanted to emulate Northern Italian food. After two decades of doing just that, they continue to succeed, per Seattle Times. The regional influence comes across in dishes like risotto mantecato (a buttery, cheesy risotto) and "ravioli doppi" (a pasta shape that originated in the North, per Eataly).

Along with specific nods to Italian cooking traditions, Cafe Juanita's menu attempts to be accommodating with diet-specific tasting menus. There are menus for pescatarians, vegetarians, vegans, and omnivores. Unfortunately, all diners will have to pay at least $140 per person to eat. If you choose to drink, you will get to sample a range of wines from the Pacific Northwest. The Yelp reviews are even better than others on this list (and that's saying a lot considering the top restaurants discussed, not to mention the hard-to-please attitude of many Yelpers). Cafe Juanita is surely one of the absolute best places to get Italian food in the U.S.