Do you love Italian food? We do too, and that's why we dedicate ourselves to finding the best places to enjoy Italian cuisine in Raleigh. We've diligently scouted out the top eateries, and we've listened to our readers and their reviews of Raleigh restaurants. We share the places that get great buzz, like 518 West, and we showcase the ones that have proven themselves over time, like Vivace. We also point out good neighborhoods for Italian restaurants in Raleigh - North Raleigh, for instance. When the craving hits, we'll make sure you get your fix!

A Raleigh favorite, this modern Italian restaurant cooks up enviable fare. Several appealing pastas and wood oven-baked pizzas are listed on the menu, but delectable meat and fish dishes are the main draw. The tantalizing wood-fired steak and wine-braised short rib is served with a delicate accompaniment of mascarpone potato puree and pole beans. Other interesting choices include wood-grilled North Carolina tuna with Sardinian couscous, zucchini and fennel, and pancetta stuffed veal breast with ricotta gnocchi and asparagus. A fine selection of imported wine and distinctive cocktails complement the menu. The decor is upscale casual, with stylish brown furnishings, large windows and a fireplace. (919-787-7747)

Bella Monica
Delicious Neopolitan pizza is this Italian eatery's forte. Design your own with a choice of mozzarella, feta, gorgonzola, or asiago and ricotta cheeses, topped with anything from pesto, garlic, spinach or roasted eggplant to anchovies, chicken, pepperoni or sausage. Specialty flatbreads come in over 15 varieties, and kitchen serves up some other classic dishes such as manicotti and lasagna. The wine list features a good selection of European labels. (919-881-9778)

Cafe Tiramisu
This reputable family-run eatery specializes in Northern Italian cuisine. The osso buco and fried mozzarella soufflé come highly recommended, but pasta lovers won't want to miss the linguini, tossed with sautéed shrimp and scallops, artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, and portobellos in a light red sauce. An assortment of desserts, from the namesake tiramisu to ice cream or sorbet, satiate your sweet tooth. (919-981-0305)

518 West
Exposed brick walls, potted plants and wrought iron décor adorn this charming dining room. Each table receives a basket of crusty Italian bread, with oil and vinegar for dipping, and an array of wood grilled meat and fish, spicy pastas and pizzas line the menu. For a special treat, opt for the wood grilled beef tenderloin, wrapped in prosuitto di parma and topped with an herb parmesan crust and chianti glaze. Savory creamed spinach and potatoes, mashed or oven roasted, round out the meal, and repeat diners anticipate a final course of gelato. (919-829-2518)

Caffé Luna
Yellow marbleized walls, large windows and Mediterranean-style décor make this café an inviting spot to grab a bite to eat. Paired with your favorite wine, a plate of penne, scallops and spinach sautéed in garlic and extra virgin olive oil is a hard to pass up. In addition to a long list of pastas, several meat dishes appear on the menu. If the weather's pleasant, opt for an outdoor table. Wine and beer only. (919-832-6090)

Capri Restaurant
Attentive service and reasonable prices enhance your meal at this Italian kitchen. Antipasti plates, like caprese (fresh mozzarella and tomato) and stuffed eggplant, whet your palate for heaping plates of pasta and other delightful concoctions, from veal piccata to shrimp scampi. The wine list offers a streamlined selection, and the house wine is available by the glass. Lunch features a handful of $8 specials that include a side salad. (919-878-4424)

Maps and Directions

Vivace 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: European, Italian, Vegetarian
Neighborhood: Crabtree
Cost: $$
Bella Monica 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: European, Italian, Pizza
Neighborhood: Hillsborough Street
Cost: $
Cafe Tiramisu 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: European, Italian
Neighborhood: North Raleigh
Cost: $$
518 West 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: European, Italian, Mediterranean
Neighborhood: Downtown
Cost: $$
Caffé Luna 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: European, Italian
Neighborhood: Downtown
Cost: $
Capri Restaurant 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: European, Italian
Neighborhood: North Raleigh
Cost: $$
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