Best Italian Restaurant in Every State

Source: Courtesy of Muriale's Italkian Kitchen via Facebook

Italian food may or may not still constitute our favorite international fare (there is evidence that younger generations prefer Mexican, for instance), but you have only to glance through the recipes on any cooking site or travel through any restaurant-heavy neighborhood and you’ll see that our love affair with la cucina italiana is far from over. 

The average American eats about 20 pounds of pasta a year, in fact, as well as 23 pounds of pizza – equivalent to about 356,000 acres of it. (Read about the best restaurant for pasta in every state.)

Most likely every city or town in America has at least one Italian restaurant, and probably more. National Geographic reported several years ago that about 100,000 of the nation’s 800,000 or so eating places served Italian food of one kind or another.  

To determine the best Italian restaurant in every state, 24/7 Tempo reviewed and extrapolated from lists and rankings on numerous food and general interest sites, including Eater, Yelp, The Daily Meal, Fodors, and Gayot, as well as a wide range of regional and city-specific sites. We did not consider pizzerias that serve little else, but did include establishments that feature pizza along with other Italian dishes. (If it’s just pizza you’re after, here’s a list of the best pizza place in every state.)

The results reveal a vast and varied landscape of Italian and Italian-American cooking. There are places that strive for authenticity and preserve tradition, like the celebrity-magnet Mother Wolf in Los Angeles, but also high-end restaurants creating imaginative variations on the theme, like Scampo in Boston. 

Some Italian places work local ingredients into the mix and/or specialize in the cooking of specific Italian regions, while others are unapologetically old-fashioned red-sauce eateries serving comfort food Italian style.

Source: Courtesy of Bottega via Facebook

Alabama: Bottgega
> Location: Birmingham
> Sample menu items: Tagliatelle with braised Mississippi rabbit ragù; bistecca alla fiorentina

Source: Courtesy of King L. via Yelp

Alaska: In Bocca al Lupo
> Location: Juneau
> Sample menu items: Pork and ricotta meatballs; mafaldine with Alaska scallops

Source: Photo by Drew D. via Yelp

Arizona: Virtù Honest Craft
> Location: Scottsdale
> Sample menu items: Burrata with ‘nduja and orange salsa verde; branzino with melted leeks and fennel

Source: Photo by Paul M. via Yelp

Arkansas: Ermilio’s Italian Home Cooking
> Location: Eureka Springs
> Sample menu items: Choice of pastas with Mom’s homemade meatballs in red sauce; chicken parmesan

Source: Courtesy of Mother Wolf

California: Mother Wolf
> Location: Los Angeles
> Sample menu items: Pizza bianca con porchetta; spaghetti all’arrabbiata

Source: Courtesy of Pauline M. via Yelp

Colorado: Frasca Food & Wine
> Location: Boulder
> Sample menu items: Cotechino with grilled corn polenta; tagliolini neri (with caviar and squid ink)

Source: Courtesy of Katherine B. via Yelp

Connecticut: Grano Arso
> Location: Chester
> Sample menu items: Green beans with soppressata; spaghetti Fra Diavolo

Source: Courtesy of Capers & Lemons Italian Restaurant & Market via Facebook

Delaware: Capers & Lemons
> Location: Wilmington
> Sample menu items: Fig flatbread with prosciutto and gorgonzola; C&L braciole with spicy capicola

Source: Courtesy of Campiello Naples via Facebook

Florida: Campiello
> Location: Naples
> Sample menu items: Garganelli with roasted chicken, prosciutto, and peas; sautéed snapper piccata with parsley risotto

Source: Courtesy of Tre Vele via Facebook

Georgia: Tre Vele
> Location: Atlanta
> Sample menu items: Charred octopus with Tuscan bread pudding; lemon ricotta pizza with prosciutto and fried artichokes

Source: Courtesy of La Cucina Ristorante Italiano via Facebook

Hawaii: La Cucina Ristorante Italiano
> Location: Honolulu
> Sample menu items: Roasted marrow bone with pesto; risotto norcina with homemade sausage and wild mushrooms

Source: Courtesy of Alavita

Idaho: Àlavita
> Location: Boise
> Sample menu items: Calamari fritti; trottole with duck confit and peas

Source: Courtesy of Priyanka R. via Yelp

Illinois: RPM Italian
> Location: Chicago
> Sample menu items: Squash blossoms stuffed with mozzarella di bufala; gorgonzola-cured wagyu

Source: Courtesy of Ristorante Roma via Facebook

Indiana: Roma
> Location: Carmel
> Sample menu items: Brussels sprouts al pecorino; maiale al pistacchio (pork tenderloin in a pistachio crust)

Source: Courtesy of Maggie's Farm Wood-Fired Pizza via Facebook

Iowa: Maggie’s Farm Wood-Fired Pizza
> Location: Iowa City
> Sample menu items: Scampi pizza; seven-layer lasagna bolognese

Source: Courtesy of Genovese via Facebook

Kansas: Genovese
> Location: Lawrence
> Sample menu items: Risotto fritters with peas and mozzarella; house-made spinach fettuccine Alfredo

Source: Photo by Jaes L. via Yelp

Kentucky: Pompilio’s
> Location: Newport
> Sample menu items: Toasted beef or cheese ravioli; veal marsala with linguine

Source: Courtesy of Gianna Restaurant via Facebook

Louisiana: Ristorante Gianna
> Location: New Orleans
> Sample menu items: Ribollita soup; lamb lasagna

Source: Photo by Jane B. via Yelp

Maine: Ports of Italy
> Location: Boothbay Harbor & Rockport
> Sample menu items:Mussels with sambuca; pork osso buco with risotto milanese

Source: Courtesy of Isaiah W. via Yelp

Maryland: Cinghiale
> Location: Baltimore
> Sample menu items: Potato gnocchetti with forest mushrooms and favas; grilled Mediterranean branzino with eggplant caponata

Source: Courtesy of Scampo via Yelp

Massachusetts: Scampo
> Location: Boston
> Sample menu items: Prime sirloin carpaccio with bottarga and cured egg yolk; grilled pink swordfish with zucchini fritters and ricotta gnocchi

Source: Courtesy of Jennifer M. via Yelp

Michigan: SheWolf Pastificio & Bar
> Location: Detroit
> Sample menu items: Farinata (chickpea pancake) with charred corn purée; rigatoni alla gricia (with guanciale and pecorino)

Source: Photo by Monica K. via Yelp

Minnesota: Broders’ Pasta Bar
> Location: Minneapolis
> Sample menu items: Linguine al pesto genovese; lemon chicken risotto

Source: Photo by Robin C. via Yelp

Mississippi: The Sicilian II
> Location: Biloxi
> Sample menu items: House-made mozzarella sticks; stuffed manicotti

Source: Courtesy of Lidia's Restaurant

Missouri: Lidia’s Kansas City
> Location: Kansas City
> Sample menu items: Daily pasta tasting menu; anatra (seared duck breast with stuffed zucchini and soft polenta)

Source: Courtesy of Michelangelo's Ristorante Italiano via Yelp

Montana: Michelangelo’s Big Sky
> Location: Gallatin Gateway
> Sample menu items: Hazelnut-crusted fried jumbo shrimp with basil aïoli; quattro formaggi (four-cheese) ravioli with tomato sauce;

Source: Photo by Jeff K. vie Yelp

Nebraska: MoMo Pizzeria & Ristorante
> Location: Lincoln
> Sample menu items: Prosciutto and egg pizza; baked lobster and shrimp macaroni

Source: Courtesy of Ferraro's Ristorante via Yelp

Nevada: Ferraro’s Ristorante
> Location: Las Vegas
> Sample menu items: Nonna’s peperone ripieno (peppers stuffed with veal and eggplant); coniglio brasato (braised rabbit with soft polenta)

Source: Photo by P M. via Yelp

New Hampshire: Campo Enoteca
> Location: Manchester
> Sample menu items: House-made ricotta with grilled sourdough; chicken piccata tagliatelle

Source: Photo by Chrissy Q. via Yelp

New Jersey: Cafe 2825
> Location: Atlantic City
> Sample menu items: Spicy scungilli; Sunday Gravy (homemade meatballs, pork braciole, and Italian sausage in Old World thick red gravy)

Source: Photo by Kinnie I. via Yelp

New Mexico: Osteria d’Assisi
> Location: Santa Fe
> Sample menu items: Margherita pizza; veal osso buco with farro risotto

Source: bexwalton / Flickr

New York: Via Carota
> Location: New York City
> Sample menu items: Peas with lettuce and prosciutto; grilled sea bream with charred escarole

Source: Courtesy of Eva D. via Yelp

North Carolina: Ristorante Paoletti
> Location: Highlands
> Sample menu items: Cannelloni all’Emiliana; cioppino Paoletti

Source: Courtesy of Anima Cucina

North Dakota: Anima Cucina
> Location: Bismarck
> Sample menu items: Adult mac’n’cheese; porchetta with fried polenta cake

Source: Photo by Alexa N. via Yelp

Ohio: Martini Modern Italian
> Location: Columbus
> Sample menu items: Tomato soup with pesto and goat cheese; fettuccine with clams

Source: Courtesy of Victoria N. via Yelp

Oklahoma: Stella Modern Italian Cuisine
> Location: Oklahoma City
> Sample menu items: Oak-fired apple and prosciutto pizza; limoncello ricotta cheesecake

Source: stevekc / Flickr

Oregon: Nostrana
> Location: Portland
> Sample menu items: Oregon albacore tuna crudo; overnight-roasted pork shoulder with salsa verde and creamy scallion polenta

Source: Vetri Cucina / Facebook

Pennsylvania: Vetri Cucina
> Location: Philadelphia
> Sample menu items: Sweet onion crêpe with truffle and parmesan fondue; smoked baby goat with house-milled polenta

Source: Photo by Sally C. via Yelp

Rhode Island: Al Forno
> Location: Providence
> Sample menu items: Clams al forno; pappardelle with Venetian chicken meatballs

Source: Courtesy of Victoria B. via Yelp

South Carolina: Le Farfalle
> Location: Charleston
> Sample menu items: Umbrian-style stewed chickpeas; lamb chops scottadito

Source: Courtesy of Desiree B. via Yelp

South Dakota: Sabatino’s Italian
> Location: Rapid City
> Sample menu items: burrata and prosciutto; spaghetti primavera

Source: Courtesy of Yolan via Facebook

Tennessee: Yolan
> Location: Nashville
> Sample menu items: Gnocchi with black winter truffle and ricotta; breaded veal chop

Source: Courtesy of Jolene J. via Yelp

Texas: Lucia
> Location: Dallas
> Sample menu items: Mortadella ravioli with pistachio pesto; wild striped bass with tomatoes, cream peas, and clams

Source: Photo by Andrew S. via Yelp

Utah: Valter’s Osteria
> Location: Salt Lake City
> Sample menu items: Zuppa cotta (cannellini beans, mushrooms, and truffles); chicken piccata with artichokes and lemon sauce

Source: Photo by Tim M. via Yelp

Vermont: Sarducci’s
> Location: Montpelier
> Sample menu items: Mussels al diablo with linguine; eggplant alla parmigiana

Source: Courtesy of Carmen H. via Yelp

Virginia: Edo’s Squid
> Location: Richmond
> Sample menu items: Squid with white beans and arugula; penne with sausage, ricotta, and broccoli rabe

Source: Courtesy of Amy C. via Yelp

Washington: Spinasse
> Location: Seattle
> Sample menu items: Risotto with Alaskan spot prawns; pan-seared quail with cherries, radicchio, and thyme

Source: Courtesy of Muriale's Italkian Kitchen via Facebook

West Virginia: Muriale’s
> Location: Fairmont
> Sample menu items: Spicy Italian sausage and peppers; linguine with white clam sauce

Source: Courtesy of Ristorante Bartolotta dal 1993 via Yelp

Wisconsin: Ristorante Bartolotta
> Location: Wauwatosa
> Sample menu items: Frittatina di maccheroni (fried croquette of pasta, ham, peas, and pecorino); fried meatballs with tomato-basil sauce

Source: Photo by Trattoria via Yelp

Wyoming: Glorietta Trattoria
> Location: Jackson
> Sample menu items: Glorietta’s classic Caesar salad; wood-fired Idaho red trout with house-made sausage

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