The Most Iconic Italian Restaurant in Every State (#16 Makes Its Own Wine)

Embark on a culinary journey through the heart of Italy, state by state.
Updated April 11, 2024
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Every state in the country has its unique culture, from music to dance to dialect and, of course, food. You can experience how unique each cuisine can be when you travel more.

However, one cuisine that can be found in every corner of the U.S., no matter the regional culture, is Italian food.

From mom-and-pop shops to fine dining establishments, keep reading to find out which Italian eatery reigns supreme in your home state.

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Alabama: Gianmarco's Restaurant (Birmingham)

Fxquadro/Adobe pizza and salads

Pizza slice

Beginning in the south is Alabama’s Gianmarco’s Restaurant in Birmingham. The family-owned restaurant was founded in 2003 and prides itself on authentic, fresh food.

The restaurant’s popularity is reflected in its one to two-week reservation schedule and an impressive rating of 4.6 stars on more than a thousand Google reviews.

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Alaska: Sorrento’s (Anchorage)

MAURO/Adobe spaghetti with amatriciana sauce

Alaska’s most popular Italian restaurant is Sorrento’s, a family-owned and operated eatery that’s been a staple of the Anchorage community for more than 45 years.

Their extensive menu, full of beloved Italian classics, can be enjoyed in-house or ordered for delivery. The restaurant has a 4.5-star rating on Google reviews.

Arizona: Marcellino Ristorante (Scottsdale)

Alona/Adobe people in the restaurant

Scottsdale’s Marcellino Ristorante is Arizona’s most popular Italian restaurant and has been a community staple for 20 years.

The Italian eatery is owned and operated by the original chef, Marcellino Verzino. And for a nice ambiance, Sima (Marcellino’s wife) also performs live music at the restaurant.

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Arkansas: Bruno's Little Italy (Little Rock)

grki/Adobe family enjoying pasta

The most popular Italian restaurant in Arkansas is Bruno’s Little Italy, a local favorite since 1949.

The restaurant is still family-run, now headed up by Vincent “Jimmy” Bruno’s sons, Vince and Gio. The acclaimed restaurant has a menu full of delicious, well-loved Italian classics.

California: Angelini Osteria (Los Angeles)

hedgehog94/Adobe woman enjoying in delicious meal

California, and Los Angeles in particular, is a hub for every kind of cuisine imaginable. And that’s no different for Italian bites.

Angelini Osteria’s iconic status comes from its far-reaching influence. For example, it put linguine sea urchin and spaghetti Norcia on the food scene.

Colorado: Bar Dough (Denver)

gkrphoto/Adobe spaghetti served on a black plate

With a 4.4-star rating on Google and over 1,100 reviews, Bar Dough in Denver is Colorado's most popular Italian restaurant.

Bar Dough is loved for its wood-fired pizza. It also features an elevated, modern take on Italian classics, with a traditional spirit from classic cacio e pepe to a chic mushroom ravioli.

Connecticut: Frank Pepe's Pizzeria Napoletana (New Haven)

Pajaros Volando/Adobe classic chicago pizza

Connecticut's most iconic Italian restaurant is also one of its oldest.

Frank Pepe's Pizzeria Napoletana has been a staple in New Haven since 1925 and has locations throughout the northeast, as well as a couple in Florida.

The menu features a variety of delicious homemade pizzas and Italian desserts.

Delaware: Mrs. Robino's (Wilmington)

Brent Hofacker/Adobe yummy homemade macaroni salad

Delaware’s most iconic Italian restaurant is Mrs. Robino’s in Wilmington. The eatery has served delicious, refined Italian classics since 1940 and is still family-owned and operated.

All of their dishes, from meatballs to ravioli, are homemade with traditional family recipes.

Florida: Il Mulino New York (Miami)

AS Photo Family/Adobe brunette girl eating pizza

Italian cuisine may not be the first to come to mind when you think of Florida, but the growth in its Italian population means an increase in Italian food.

Il Mulino New York is a fine dining establishment with roots in Manhattan and a coveted location in Miami.

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Georgia: Il Giallo Osteria & Bar (Sandy Springs)

eskstock/Adobe pulling apart a slice of pizza with melted cheese

Georgians looking for delicious, fresh, handmade pasta need to look no further than Il Giallo Osteria & Bar, an iconic eatery in Sandy Springs.

The menu features a variety of delicious, sophisticated Italian classics. Diners can walk in, book a private dining experience, or order online.

Hawaii: Arancino at The Kahala (Honolulu)

fahrwasser/Adobe traditional pepperoni pizza

While Hawaii may not be a major hub of Italian cuisine, Honolulu is home to one of the most iconic Italian restaurants: Arancino at The Kahala.

This upscale eatery features plenty of delicious Italian dishes, including pasta presented in a parmigiano reggiano cheese wheel.

Idaho: Àlavita (Boise)

Udo/Adobe Spaghetti Bolognese

The name meaning "to life," Àlavita is Idaho's most iconic Italian restaurant. The Boise eatery features fresh and local ingredients, from flour to eggs.

The chefs make all the pasta fresh and in-house, and despite being a pasta-forward restaurant, most of the menu can also be prepared gluten-free.

Illinois: Monteverde (Chicago)

Богдан Маліцький/Adobe group of friends in restaurent picking out pizza slices from the table

Chicago's Monteverde is the most buzzworthy Italian restaurant in Illinois. Head chef Sarah Grueneberg — a "Top Chef" runner-up and James Beard Foundation Award recipient — opened the restaurant in 2015.

Located in the West Loop, Monteverde features an extensive gourmet menu for lunch and dinner and a gluten-free menu.

Indiana: Iozzo's Garden of Italy (Indianapolis)

h2010/Adobe lunch with pasta and fruit tea

Iozzo's Garden of Italy originally opened in Indiana in 1930, the first full-service Italian restaurant in the state and a Midwest staple.

The restaurant closed in 1940 following an incident, reopened in 2009, and quickly reasserted itself in the Indianapolis food scene.

Iowa: Tumea & Sons (Des Moines)

LIGHTFIELD STUDIOS/Adobe serving margherita pizza on table

The owners behind Tumea & Sons, Iowa’s most iconic Italian restaurant, were tailors first, opening the eatery in 1998.

The restaurant is still family-owned and operated. They serve delicious, homemade Italian classics for lunch and dinner, including family-style, to-go, and catering options.

Kansas: Garozzo's Ristorante (Overland Park)

andrew_shots/Adobe pizza in wood fired oven

Head to Garozzo's Ristorante in Overland Park, Kansas, for delicious Italian food. The family-owned business has two locations and a catering option as well.

Aside from the delicious Italian food, owner Michael Garozzo makes and serves his own wine: Garozzo Cellars Chianti Classico.

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Kentucky: Porcini (Louisville)

Syda Productions/Adobe man at pizzeria using cutter to slice margherita pizza

Porcini in Louisville, Kentucky, is a chic Italian restaurant focusing on North Italian food, including calamari, tortellini, gnocchi, and more.

The restaurant has a classic, timeless feel with low lighting, an expansive bar, and private dining options.

Louisiana: Domenica (New Orleans)

Siphosethu Fanti/ food and champagne

New Orleans may be known for its French-inspired cuisine and southern delicacies, but it's also home to Louisiana's most iconic Italian restaurant, Domenica.

The menu features gourmet, artisanal takes on classics like meatballs, pizzas, carbonara, and more. There's also an extensive wine menu.

Maine: Via Vecchia (Portland)

Liudmyla/Adobe homemade chicken alfredo penne

Via Vecchia, Maine's most iconic Italian restaurant, combines the best Italian dishes with delicious coastal flair.

The chefs use local ingredients, like Maine clams and heirloom tomatoes, to elevate and personalize classic, timeless Italian dishes on a small-plate menu style.

Maryland: Manalù Italian Restaurant (Frederick)

FornStudio/Adobe wine dinner

Manalù Italian Restaurant in Frederick is Maryland’s most popular Italian dining spot, serving delicious bites inspired by traditional Naples meals.

The family-owned and operated restaurant is named after the founder, Marco, and his wife and daughter, Naomi and Lucia.

Massachusetts: Giacomo's Ristorante (Boston)

djile/Adobe friends eating at a restaurant

Patrons looking for iconic Italian dishes in Massachusetts can head to Giacomo's Ristorante in Boston, a highly acclaimed spot in the North End.

The menu features Italian classics and New England specials, from fresh bruschetta and New England clam chowder to homemade fusilli and a most delicious lobster roll.

Michigan: Mario's Restaurant (Detroit) friends eating pizza

Established in 1948, Mario's Restaurant is Michigan's most iconic restaurant. Located in Detroit, Mario's is a traditional supper club with a vintage, classic atmosphere.

After dining on steak Diane and eggplant parmesan, you can pick up a jar of Mario's Authentic Zip Sauce to take home (or even get it shipped to your doorstep).

Minnesota: Broders' Pasta Bar (Minneapolis)

Minerva Studio/Adobe having dinner in a restaurant

Broders' Pasta Bar has served Minnesota Italian dishes since 1994. Located in south Minneapolis, their ingredients are sourced in the Midwest, but the food is classic Italian.

The restaurant has always been family-owned and operated and makes all the pasta fresh and in-house.

Mississippi: Amerigo (Jackson)

rh2010/Adobe cozy italian restaurant

Amerigo opened in Ridgeland in 1987 and is now a staple in Jackson and beyond, with seven locations across Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee.

The classic Italian menu has plenty of traditional options, some with a southern spin, like crawfish pasta or shrimp and grits.

Missouri: Charlie Gitto's on The Hill (St. Louis)

liliyabatyrova/Adobe fine dining italian restaurant

Missouri's most iconic Italian restaurant in St. Louis is Charlie Gitto's on The Hill. The restaurant opened in 1981 and is highly acclaimed.

Not only is it family-owned, but it also has a familial legacy — owner Charlie Gitto's father was the maître d'hôtel at the previous establishment.

Montana: Ciao Mambo (Whitefish)

Богдан Маліцький/Adobe hands take slices of pizza

Enjoy classic Italian food with a twist at Ciao Mambo in Whitefish, Missoula, or Billings, Montana’s most iconic Italian spot.

Aside from traditional dishes, Mambo also offers unique menu items like Italian nachos and an array of delicious, hand-tossed pizzas.

Nebraska: Spezia (Omaha)

VisualProduction/Adobe eating italian food at home

Dine on humble Italian classics, chic specials, or all-natural steaks at Spezia in Omaha, Nebraska.

The restaurant serves lunch and dinner for dine-in, carry-out, or catering. Their menu also features delicious desserts and a wide variety of cocktails and wines.

Nevada: Nora's Italian Cuisine (Las Vegas)

Davide Angelini/Adobe pasta at a dinner party

In a city as unique as Las Vegas, it's hard to narrow it down to just one amazing Italian restaurant. Still, Nora's Italian Cuisine is undoubtedly one of the most iconic.

Nora's opened in 1992, initially only seating 12. The restaurant is still family-owned and operated and has a much larger dining capacity after 30-plus years of success.

New Hampshire: Piccola Italia Ristorante - Manchester

Drobot Dean/Adobe eating pasta on the kitchen

Another northeast Italian staple is Piccola Italia Ristorante in Manchester, New Hampshire. The fine dining restaurant has been a local destination for over 15 years.

House specials include chicken or veal paolini, frutti di mare, and Sicilian stew.

New Jersey: Luca’s Ristorante (Somerset)

malkovkosta/Adobe spaghetti Bolognese around a fork

Luca’s Ristorante is one of many iconic Italian restaurants in New Jersey. The Somerset eatery was awarded the best meatballs in the state.

Other menu specials include Marsala Arrosto roasted chicken, Costata short ribs, Ossobuco veal shank, and more.

New Mexico: M'tucci's Italian (Albuquerque)

Fxquadro/Adobe students eat pizza

While New Mexico is primarily known for its unique southwestern cuisine, there are still iconic Italian restaurants, like M'tucci's Italian, with several locations in the state.

The menus have concise but classic options, including pizzas with artisan dough or flatbread, rich pasta, fresh fish, and more.

New York: Carbone (New York City)

Suriyawut/Adobe eating italian food pasta

There are more iconic Italian restaurants in New York than you can fit into one list, but Carbone is a standout.

It previously held a Michelin star and receives plenty of buzz from casual diners to food reviewers alike.

The menu features gourmet, luxurious Italian eats — elevated versions of Italian classics.

North Carolina: Gravy (Raleigh)

Alex/Adobe people eating pasta and toasting

North Carolina’s Gravy focuses on hearty and welcoming Italian food, starting from the name, a reference to Italian-American “gravy” pasta sauce.

The menu features humble Italian classics with modern flair and freshness. Ingredients are primarily sourced locally and seasonally.

North Dakota: 84 Italian Steakhouse (Fargo)

ltyuan/Adobe spaghetti with pesto sauce

84 Italian Steakhouse is a swanky Italian eatery in Fargo, serving North Dakotans since 1984. The downtown restaurant features a mix of classic Italian dishes and Americana options.

Diners can choose between chicken wings, burgers, shrimp cocktail, carbonara, lobster thermidor, and carpaccio.

Ohio: Marcella's (Columbus)

nerudol/Adobe plate with italian spaghetti

Ohio’s most iconic Italian restaurant is Marcella’s, a southern Italian restaurant located in the heart of downtown Columbus.

The menu features simple yet refined Italian food, including handmade and imported pasta, pizzas, cured meats, elegant cocktails, wines, and beers.

Oklahoma: Vito's Ristorante (Oklahoma City)

exclusive-design/Adobe italian pizza on a paddle

Vito's Ristorante opened in 2004, asserting itself as an iconic Italian restaurant in Oklahoma City.

The owner comes from a line of Italian restaurateurs and aims to create a family-focused environment.

The menu features classics like crab ravioli, shrimp spedini, chicken marsala, and tortellini.

Oregon: Nostrana (Portland)

triocean/Adobe spaghetti and white wine

Nostrana, Oregon’s most popular Italian restaurant, focuses on all things fresh and locally farmed.

Their pizzas are hand-tossed and cooked in a wood-fired pizza oven, and their pasta is tailored to seasonal ingredients.

The restaurant opened in Portland in 2005, and the building was originally built in 1955.

Pennsylvania: Vetri Cucina (Philadelphia)

Holly Hatchett/Adobe spinach greek style pizzas

Vetri Cucina opened in Philadelphia in 1998 and has since been nominated and won several James Beard Foundation Awards.

Aside from dining in, patrons can reserve private dining experiences, take classes, or attend specialty dining events.

Rhode Island: Al Forno (Providence)

bernardbodo/Adobe you had me at pizza

Rhode Island’s Al Forno opened in 1980. The restaurant blends traditional Italian cuisine with New England charm.

Their menu features dishes like clams al forno, dirty steak with hot fanny sauce, and fresh fruit tarts. The food is also locally sourced, and the menu is periodically refreshed to reflect the harvest from local farms.

South Carolina: Travinia (Columbia)

Богдан Маліцький/Adobe friends eat italian pizza

Located in Columbia, South Carolina, Travinia blends Italian culinary tradition with Southern charm.

The menu is humble and hearty but elevated, with options ranging from Italian nachos, crab dip, bolognese, crab cakes, mussels, and more. They also offer catering.

South Dakota: Minervas (Sioux Falls)

top images/Adobe pizza dinner

Sioux Falls is home to South Dakota’s most iconic Italian restaurant — Minerva’s. The restaurant, open in 1977, specializes in steaks that are aged in-house.

Aside from Italian bites, Minerva’s also serves Americana and fusion staples like burgers, Reubens, cajun chicken linguine, and more.

Tennessee: Amerigo Italian Restaurant (Nashville)

alfa27/Adobe pizza on light wooden table

Amerigo Italian Restaurant opened in Nashville in 1991 and has since expanded to seven total locations in three states, including two other restaurants in the state.

The extensive menu, full of Italian staples, has several gluten-free options. The restaurants also offer private dining options and catering.

Texas: Jimmy's Food Store (Dallas)

pressmaster/Adobe guy giving slice of pizza

As the name suggests, Texas' best Italian restaurant is less of an actual dine-in experience but a store with food options.

Jimmy's Food Store, located in Dallas, has a takeout menu with decadent Italian subs.

You can visit the store in person to peruse their wine selection or order pasta, olive oils, and vinegar online.

Utah: Valter's Osteria (Salt Lake City)

Pixel-Shot/Adobe eating tasty pasta in cafe

Utah's most iconic Italian restaurant is Valter's Osteria in Salt Lake City. The dishes are inspired by the owner's mother's cooking, such as Valter's Mother's Meat Sauce.

The restaurant is inspired by Tuscan granaries but has a unique modern edge.

Vermont: Trattoria Delia (Burlington)

psphotography/Adobe spaghetti with cup of tea

Trattoria Delia opened in 1993 in the historic Vermont House in Burlington. The restaurant was family-owned and is now owned and operated by close family friends.

The menu features fresh, locally sourced, and farmed ingredients, and as such, it changes seasonally, offering a unique dining experience.

Virginia: Thompson Italian (Falls Church)

Drobot Dean/Adobe man cooking pasta

Thompson Italian is a newer eatery that opened in 2019 but quickly garnered local acclaim and several awards, including a James Beard nomination. They have another location in Alexandria.

The menu features rich but modern Italian bites, like squid ink bucatini, mezzaluna, and roasted beets.

Washington: Il Terrazzo Carmine (Seattle)

marysckin/Adobe homemade pasta carbonara

Il Terrazzo Carmine opened in Seattle in 1984. It was opened by a Naples native and is dedicated to providing an authentic Italian fine dining experience.

The menu takes advantage of its coastal proximity, with dishes like cioppino northwest, pesce del giorno, and grilled king salmon battuto.

West Virginia: Fratelli’s (Barboursville)

Tan Kian Khoon/Adobe daughter eating spaghetti bolognese

Fratelli’s is a casual, delicious Italian restaurant in West Virginia featuring dishes like bruschetta, stuffed mushrooms, flatbreads, shrimp scampi, and more.

There’s also a small wine, beer, and cocktail menu. Plus, Fratelli’s offers catering options.

Wisconsin: Ristorante Bartolotta (Wauwatosa)

Drazen/Adobe man serves pasta

Ristorante Bartolotta opened in 1993, originally located in Milwaukee.

The restaurant has been listed on multiple best restaurant lists and has been the recipient of the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence since 2003.

Aside from award-winning wines, patrons can enjoy a four-course meal customized to their liking.

Wyoming: Racca's Pizzeria Napoletana - Casper

vefimov/Adobe chicken and pasta dish

Racca's Pizzeria Napoletana opened in 2016 in Casper, Wyoming. The original owner and head chef trained in Naples to learn the true art of pizza making.

Racca's is Wyoming's only certified Neapolitan pizzeria.

The original owners recently stepped down and sold the restaurant to their general manager.

Bottom line

Davide Zanin/Adobe taking selfie for lunch

Italian or not, people are passionate and protective of the delicious comfort food from Italy.

While you may be looking to step up your travel game and enjoy food in Italy, it’s possible to find incredible and authentic Italian restaurants right here in America.

There are some whose legacy and iconography stand heads above the rest. Take a tour of the country’s noteworthy eateries or visit your local Italian staple.

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Lucy Clark Lucy Clark has considerable experience writing about real estate, as well as homes and gardens, home value, and more. She is savvy and resourceful, and she aims to ensure others can be, as well.

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