Sometimes, the urge to have Italian food strikes, and nothing satisfies until you get it. When that happens, count on 10Best to point you in the direction of Birmingham's best Italian restaurants. We understand the desire to have a great meal, and we work hard to bring you the top places to eat in Birmingham. We vet restaurants carefully for quality, and when we recommend popular eateries like Lovoy's or tell you that GianMarco's gets good reader feedback, you can believe it. We'll make sure you get - and eat - what's best.

8 Nabeel's Café & Market
Locals have named this restaurant "Birmingham's Favorite," and it's no wonder why. The Krontiras family has diligently worked to bring the most authentic Greek and Northern Italian food to your table. Nabeel's is a neighborhood café and market all in one. So, if you love the food (as most do), you can pick up some of the hard-to-find spices and seasonings in the market. (205-879-9292)

7 Bottega
Some of the finest Italian food you'll ever find. Expertly prepared homemade ravioli, veal and seafood satisfy the most discriminating palate. One of the top spots for Birmingham locals. For a more casual experience, dine in the sister café next door. (205-939-1000)

6 Bottega Café
More laid-back and casual than big sister Bottega, this café serves contemporary Italian dishes and cuisine from the wood-fired oven and rotisserie grill, with an emphasis on pizzas (either gourmet or traditional), chicken, and beef. Al fresco dining is also available. (205-933-2001)

5 Bettola
Located in the old Martin Biscuit Building (now part of the Pepper Place development), this neat little trattoria is one of the best places Birmingham has to offer when it comes to pizza. What sets Bettola's pie apart from the pack? Their pies are made Neapolitan-style — thin, wood-fired wheat crusts, San Marzano tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella, and fresh basil — and that makes all the difference in the world. In addition to the tremendous pizza, Bettola's open kitchen also serves up traditional antipasti and several dinner mains. (205-731-6499)

4 GianMarco's
With its comfortable dining room, friendly bar area, and homey vibe, GianMarco is a perfect fit for the old residential neighborhood surrounding it. Indeed, this is the type of place (and setting) that you could stroll to in the evening and expect to enjoy a first-class seafood risotto, steak, or osso bucco accompanied by a moderately priced bottle of wine. Be sure to save some room for dessert, as leaving without a bite of their cheesecake or tiramisu would be a tragedy. (205-871-9622)

3 La Dolce Vita
Within the sleek, stylish environs of La Dolce Vita, well-heeled patrons sip full-bodied wines and expertly-mixed cocktails in anticipation of the artistic fare crafted in Chef Bernard Tamburello's kitchen. Feeling vealish? Try the saltimbocca or Toscana (sautéed with shallots and brandy.) If your cravings lean toward the sea, look to linguine alla clam sauce or mussels marinara. As if that's not enough, Tamburello's delish pasta creations are beautifully presented, particularly the breaded eggplant with mushrooms, prosciutto and pomodoro sauce. (205-985-2909)

2 Giuseppe's Cafe
Taking into account the classic green, white and red signage and old school brick exterior, it's not surprising that this Gable Square establishment has been on the scene for quite a while. Homemade sauces, pizzas, calzones and pasta dishes dominate the menu, and all of them are fairly priced. If you come in with a group, go for the 16-inch Greek Delight (a pie topped with fresh feta, garlic, black olives, tomatoes, onions and oregano), or you can even build your own pizza. (205-324-2626)

1 Amore Ristorante Italiano
You'll need to make reservations if you plan to dine at this intimate Italian eatery in Greystone Center. Dim lighting and small, candle-lit tables help make the place exteremly popular with local romantics. Best of all, the homemade Old Country fare rarely disappoints, and it never bruises the bank. (205-437-1005)

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Maps and Directions

Nabeel's Café & Market 10Best List Arrow
Dining Options: Catering, Non-Smoking, Take Out
Cuisine: European, Greek, Italian, Mediterranean
Neighborhood: Homewood
Bottega 10Best List Arrow
Dining Options: Bar / Lounge, Bar Dining, Family Friendly, Non-Smoking, Parties / Private Rooms, Take Out, Wine Cellar
Cuisine: European, Italian
Neighborhood: Five Points South
COST: $$$
Bottega Café 10Best List Arrow
Dining Options: Bar / Lounge, Bar Dining, Non-Smoking, Take Out
Cuisine: European, Italian
Neighborhood: Five Points South
COST: $$
Bettola 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: European, Italian, Pizza
Neighborhood: Lakeview District
GianMarco's 10Best List Arrow
Dining Options: Bar / Lounge
Cuisine: European, Italian
Neighborhood: Homewood
COST: $$
La Dolce Vita 10Best List Arrow
Dining Options: Bar / Lounge, Bar Dining
Cuisine: European, Italian
Neighborhood: Hoover
COST: $$
Giuseppe's Cafe 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: European, Italian, Pizza
Dining Options: Family Friendly, Take Out
Neighborhood: Downtown
Amore Ristorante Italiano 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: European, Italian
Neighborhood: INVERNESS