At 10Best, we're always on the lookout for Cincinnati's best restaurants, and while we appreciate places that have a broad culinary range, we can't help but adore restaurants that specialize in a given cuisine. When we're in the mood for Italian food in Cincinnati, we head to Primavista - a reader favorite - or we count on Arnold's Bar and Grill's solid track record and consistently great dishes. You'll find these places - and any of the restaurants on our list - to be fantastic options for Italian cuisine, and if you're looking to concentrate your efforts, start with the vibrant Downtown area.

Arnold's Bar and Grill
Photo courtesy of Chris Breden

At this spot, you kind of expect Jimmy Olsen to walk in, accompanied by Lois Lane. Lots of reporters and courthouse types hang out at Arnold's Bar and Grill. Originally built in 1861, it's the oldest "saloon" in the city. This historic eatery...  Read More


Order up a steaming dish of Pollo ai Funghi, angel hair pasta with sautÃed chicken breast and mushrooms. Accompany this or any of the other traditional Italian entrees with a bottle of wine from the outstanding list. To finish off with a...  Read More

Barresi's Italian Restaurant

Northern and southern Italian cuisine at its finest. Entrees such as sole petrina poached in lemon garlic butter, accompanied by jumbo shrimp, artichoke hearts and mushrooms, will delight.

Biagio's Bistro

This small bistro is located on trendy Ludlow Street. The aroma draws you in, and the menu makes you stay. The chef has five burners in full view, preparing dishes while chatting with you in between orders. The menu choices range from fettuccine...  Read More

Nicola's Ristorante

An artsy, modern setting showcases elements like exposed brickwork and vaulted ceilings, tying everything together with 6-foot wide clock faces. Attentive service and tasty northern Italian eats make time fly at Nicola's; sample the antipasto...  Read More


A trendy, rather upscale place with a vibe all its own, this Italian eatery has won rave reviews for its contemporary take on the classics. A world traveler who's worked in some of the country's best kitchens, the chef has a passion for Italian...  Read More