Boston's Best Italian Restaurants: Enjoy Authentic Pasta in the City

Jessica Polizzotti

By , Local Expert, Boston
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Italian food is a Boston staple. With a large population of residents of Italian descent, you can be sure you'll find plenty of choices, but only few that will transport you to Italy. Ranging in style, cost and atmosphere, you'll find a selection of Italian restaurants to suit your tastes.

The mecca of Italian restaurants is the former home of many Italian immigrants: the North End. Here the streets are lined with Italian options that are sure to make you smile. You'll find diners waiting outside, in line, for hours, just to sample Giacomo's perfectly prepared classic Italian dishes. And others lounging window-side at Quattro...  Read more »

  • 1

    Nebo Restaurant and Bar

    Nebo serves homestyle Italian recipes in a chic setting; their meatballs & red sauce are as close to home as they come.

    Local Expert Tip: "Save room for a gluten free dessert like the sinfully rich flourless chocolate cake or the airy panna cotta."

  • 2

    Mamma Maria

    Mamma Maria serves upscale Italian food in a setting to match, providing diners with a sampling of Northern specialties.

    Local Expert Tip: "Request a half order of pasta as an appetizer, and indulge in the Osso Bucco as your entree. "

  • 3


    Casual in nature Giacomo's is the place to go for some of the best pasta dishes in the city with quick service.

    Local Expert Tip: "The line is always long and starts before the North End spot opens. Avoid the line and enjoy the food of the same quality and a slightly enhanced menu at the South End location, just be sure to order pasta."

  • 4

    Rialto Restaurant

    Rialto's atmosphere is rivaled only by its menu, an ever changing trip through Italy that highlights smaller portions of Northern Italian dishes.

    Local Expert Tip: "The Bucatini is a signature item that is a must try for anyone visiting Rialto. "

  • 5


    A compilation of DePasquale's "best dishes", and several new ideas, meld together to form Quattro's pleasing menu of pizza, pasta, meats and seafood.

    Local Expert Tip: "Order a selection from each category and share among your table. The lamb is a must try-seasoned to perfection, allowing the tender cut to melt in your mouth and leave behind just enough of a hint of garlic."

  • 6

    Strega Waterfront

    Strega Waterfront is Italian done "his way". Large portions of fresh meat, plates of pasta and meal sized appetizers as served with flair.

    Local Expert Tip: "Order the daily special as it is always the best thing on the menu."

  • 7

    Via Matta

    Via Matta is the place for jazzed-up homemade pasta and expertly crafted specialties from Piedmont, Tuscany and Liguria and Emilia Romagna.

    Local Expert Tip: "There is a secret chef's table in the kitchen available for private dining events for parties as small as 2 or as big as 10; it's not promoted anywhere but is available upon request. You can get a front row view of the kitchen action, and if you're interested, can even go behind the line with Chef to prepare an authentic Italian dish."

  • 8


    Teatro creates an impressive selection of homemade sausages, pastas and pizzas. All served in a romantic setting ideal for a date night.

    Local Expert Tip: "Teatro's menu boasts a few pasta favorites like the Orecchiette and traditional Bolognese, while their pizzas, especially the Sausage pizza are crowd pleasers."

  • 9

    Da Vinci

    Da Vinci Ristorante is one of Boston's most unique restaurants as it blends Italian with Indian creating something amazing.

    Local Expert Tip: "From 5-7pm, Monday-Friday, you can enjoy complimentary Tapas at Da Vinci's bar. "

  • 10


    An old school luncheonette setting serving high-end "light" Italian specialties is what makes Sportello a must try.

    Local Expert Tip: "Sportello serves on of the best Bolognese sauces in the city, but all of the pasta dishes are worth a try. "



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