Italian Restaurant Hunting: The Best Choices To Include In Your Bucket List

For the past 50 years, the Italian restaurant scene in America had since then changed. Gone are the days of white and red checkered tablecloths and red sauced menu. Let’s check out this list of the best classic and Michelin-starred Italian restaurants to include in your bucket list.

Lex Restaurant

New York, NY

If you’re in New York, Lex Restaurant is where you’ll find the best Italian food. They serve mouth-watering dishes like homemade pappardelle — slowly cooked veal with sage; grilled shrimp salad with spinach, mandarin orange, goat cheese, and walnuts; or tickle your palate with their chicken Caesar salad. Their food is served on fine china and white tablecloths to make you feel like you’re at home away from home.


San Francisco, CA

This Italian restaurant, owned by chef Michael Tusk and wife Lindsay, has been Jackson Square’s famous casual restaurant since its opening in 2010. Known for their mouth-watering agnolotti dal plin, ravioli with brown butter, focaccia, wood-fired dishes, and cocktails; this casual restaurant has the best plates of pasta outside of North Beach.


Cambridge, MA

If your craving Italian food in Boston, Italian restaurant Giulia is your best bet. Chef Micheal Pagliarini’s Italian joint has been New England’s staple for pasta-linked food. Since 2013, Guilia had been serving the best spaghetti con Alici — pasta with pangrattato, chilies, garlic, fennel, and white anchovies cured in-house; and warm dipping sauces made with their special anchovies.


Chicago, IL

This Michelin-starred and James Beard award-winning Italian restaurant have undoubtedly captured the Chicagoans love for pasta. Owned by chef Sarah Grueneberg, this Italian joint features a mirrored kitchen which allows its diners to see the process of how they make their mouth-watering dishes. However, if you don’t mind the process, the restaurant serves their famous handmade agnolotti with preserved plum and chanterelles.


Portland, OR

An epitome of Portland’s Italian dining scene, Nostrana had been serving Italian dishes since 2005. This Italian restaurant sources its ingredients locally to make upscale dining more affordable. Feast on Nostrana’s famous wood-fired oven specialties like pappardelle with goat cheese stuffings or any of their excellent hand-tossed pizzas. Also, their charcuterie menu features their mouth-watering rillettes and hams.

Ristorante Bartolotta

Wauwatosa, WI

This rustic Italian restaurant is situated in a historical establishment in a Milwaukee suburb. Its chef, Juan Urbieta, had cooked for Michelin-starred Italian diners in Italy and Chicago before entering the Milwaukee restaurant scene. Ristorante Bartolotta serves sumptuous handmade dishes like pappardelle with duck ragu, spaghetti with lobsters, and a chef’s menu that only cost $60.

Vetri Cucina

Philadelphia, PA

Vetri Cucina is a restaurant exhibiting the finest Italian luxuries, where you’d be enveloped by the smell of the finest ingredients and wines. Chef Marc Vetri offers custom-tailored and seasonal dishes like prosciutto cotto, tortellini in white truffle, and duck osso buco. Whether it’s a celebration for your birthday or anniversary, this Italian restaurant is the best place to commemorate any occasion.


Westwego, LA

Mosca’s is a family-owned restaurant since 1946 and has served generations of New Orleanians. This restaurant offers Creole-Italian dishes like spaghetti bordelaise, shrimp Mosca and oyster Mosca. If you’re not familiar with the restaurant’s dishes, their creations are made with a lot of garlic, olive oil, and mind-boggling secret ingredients.

La Ciccia

San Francisco, CA

This Sardinian restaurant is located on the outskirts of Noe Valley; the neighborhood loves La Ciccia for their creations like pezza de angioni sa saba and pani guttiau; then chase that sumptuous food with Sardinian wine and understand why this restaurant is loved by many.


Over the years many italian restaurants have come and gone, however there are some that have stood the test of time. Are you ready to visit any of these above?

We are happy to present this collaborative post to offer valuable information to our readers.

Delve Deeper: Tags

Did you enjoy what you just read? Then you'll LOVE our book!
Going Gypsy: One Couple's Adventure from Empty Nest to No Nest at All Going Gypsy One Couple's Adventure from Empty Nest to No Nest at All 

- See how it all began!
ORDER NOW - Wherever Books Are Sold!
Amazon - Barnes & Noble - IndieBound - Books-a-Million
Also available as an audiobook from

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.