Tampa's Top Choices for Authentic Italian Cuisine are Delizioso

If you’re looking for a fantastic Italian dinner, Tampa is a good place to look. Thousands of Italians immigrated to Tampa in the late 1800s to find work in the cigar factories of Ybor City. Over time, they have become an important part of Tampa’s ethnic fabric which is evident in the quality and number of Italian restaurants that can be found here.

To help you pick the perfect eatery, 10Best has rounded up a short list of the best Italian restaurants in the city.

The upscale, Rat Pack ambiance of Donatello takes you back to the days of Bogart and Sinatra, providing an evening of nostalgia and romance while dining on expertly prepared Italian classics. Other options, like the ultra-hip 717 South, highlight modern Italian fusion cuisine in a contemporary setting.

Many Italian eateries feature a family-friendly, bistro feel, such as Bella's Italian Cafe. Bella's is a long-time favorite of locals who return again and again for the homemade pasta and freshly prepared sauces.  

This is a tiny sample of the amazing Italian food Tampa has to offer, so feel free to use this list as jumping off point for your own culinary explorations. 

Gio's Italian Restaurant is hidden away in the back portion of a shopping center at the corner of Dale Mabry Highway and Waters Avenue. It can be hard to find, but it's worth the search, offering well-prepared classic Italian favorites such as...  Read More

Timpano Chophouse revives and celebrates the Chicago supper club with an emphasis on martinis, Sinatra and old-school table service. The restaurant specializes in preparing a wide variety of aged, hand-cut steaks, chops, veal and house-made...  Read More

As you would expect from a place named after a famous Italian sculptor, Bernini is going for the classical vibe. Fine art and decorative columns may fill the space, but what we're really interested in is the gourmet food. Dishes include black...  Read More

Osteria Natalina is a casual restaurant located in a strip mall in south Tampa. As its location suggests, the restaurant is unassuming from the outside, and once inside, it's pretty unassuming there as well. But looks are not everything - and in...  Read More

Eclectic and sophisticated describes the scene at this South Howard address. The restaurant features an intimate atmosphere with décor featuring Art Deco paintings, stained wood trim, high ceilings and an open kitchen. But what visitors really...  Read More

Bella's Italian Cafe
Photo courtesy of Skye Rodgers

A favorite of locals in South Tampa, Bella's has been around for 28 years. Although it could easily be pretentious, thanks to subdued lighting and gracious details, Bella's prefers to greet guests with relaxed charm. In fact, it's a delightful...  Read More

La Terrazza is a well-established Italian restaurant located in Tampa's historic Ybor Ctiy neighborhood. Popular with locals and visitors alike, this quaint eatery offers diners some of the most authentic Italian food in town at a surprising...  Read More

Understated elegance and a premiere dining experience await you at this celebrated restaurant. The décor sets the stage for romance with tables set with fresh roses, crystal and china, providing a perfect lead-in for the traditional Italian...  Read More

Airport Area

Pelagia's is located in the Marriott Renaissance Hotel at International Plaza Mall and is the perfect spot to fortify yourself for a long day of shopping. This beautifully decorated trattoria reflects a contemporary Milanese style and the...  Read More

Airport Area

Bright and airy, this chic restaurant rests atop the Hyatt Regency and affords extensive views of the Tampa area. Its menu of northern Italian cuisine centers around seafood, pasta, poultry and steaks, but the specialty of the house is veal,...  Read More


Meet Skye Rodgers

Skye is a freelance writer that adopted Tampa as her hometown over a decade ago and never looked back. As a native of Canada, Skye has happily embraced the no snow climate, and in her spare time...  More About Skye