10 Best Italian Restaurants in Dallas Perfect for a Night on the Town
By Denise Brandenberg
Dallas Local Expert
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 Dallas. We've diligently scouted out the top eateries, and we've listened to our readers and their reviews of Dallas restaurants.
We share the places that get great buzz, and we showcase the ones that have proven themselves over time, like Arcodoro & Pomodoro. We also point out good neighborhoods for Italian restaurants in the Dallas - Uptown area, for instance. When the craving hits, we'll make sure you get your fix! No matter what you're in the mood for - Dallas has it all!
Looking for a classic, quaint spot that features low lighting and red-and-white checkered tablecloths? Head to Amore or Bellini's Cafe and Pizza. Want to share a pizza with friends and watch the beautiful people of Dallas? Taverna, in the hot Knox-Henderson neighborhood, is the place to be. Planning a romantic night on the town and want to impress your sweetie with a classic Italian restaurant? Go to the intimate, 2-story Adelmo's to impress him or her. If you're traveling with the entire family and want a cost-efficient restaurant that has items the entire family will like, go to Campisi's or Inforzato's.
Bellini's Cafe & Pizza
Located in the Oak Lawn neighborhood, Bellini's Cafe and Pizza specializes in homemade Italian comfort food. Some of the most popular menu items there include the crab cakes, stuffed shrimp, penne pasta dinner, ravioli, eggplant parmesan and the chicken piccata. If you're there for lunch, try one of their delicious sandwiches, such as the grilled chicken and portobello mushroom sandwich. While the outside of the building may look a little shady, the restaurant is charming and clean, and the food here is delicious. It's a great place for a fast work lunch or an intimate dinner with friends or family. (2145282844)
Located in the heart of Highland Park, Nonna opened in 2006. Many Dallasites claim that Nonna's is best Italian place in town. This neighborhood, yet elegant, Italian restaurant serves regional cuisine with a focus on artisanal salumis, pizza and pastas. Nonna also serves only the freshest ingredients, so the menu is seasonal and based on locally-produced meats and vegetables. Some of the most popular menu items there include the lobster ravioli, sweet corn sformatino with rock shrimp, and fresh burrata. Bottles of wine start at around $50, and this restaurant is on the pricey side - but it's worth every penny. ((214) 521-1800)
Taverna Pizzeria and Risotteria
Lively and energetic, this Italian eatery is often packed with customers eager for thin, crisp-crust pizzas and mouthwatering risottos. Ten classic and specialty pizzas tempt diners, ranging from a traditional Margherita (tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil) to the Mezzanotte (eggs, roasted potatoes, pancetta, and mozzarella). Taverna uses carnaroli rice rather than arborio in its famed risottos, preferring the firmness of the grain. Don't miss risotto con salsiccia, enlivened with boar sausage, mushrooms, and cranberries. The restaurant is small, but very cozy. During the spring and autumn seasons, the small patio is the perfect spot to kick back with a bottle of wine and people watch. (214-520-9933)
Not to be confused with Campisi's, and considered a Dallas institution, Campisi's Egyptian has been satisfying Dallas appetites for nearly 50 years. First known as the Egyptian Lounge, this local favorite decided to tack on "Campisi" name and start serving up classic Roman cuisine. Dining options include oval-shaped, thin-crust pizza and traditional pasta dishes. The ambiance is lively, but the decor is dark. This is a popular spot to watch one of many Dallas professional sports teams games while sharing a pitcher of beer and pizza with friends or co-workers. Reservations are accepted for parties of six or more, and they are recommended. (214-827-0355)
Charming and intimate, this Italian restaurant has the look and feel of a neighborhood eatery, thanks to dim lighting, red tablecloths, and exposed brick walls adorned with various interpretations of the "Mona Lisa." It's set in the quaint Snider Plaza in the Park Cities within walking distance of Southern Methodist University. Pleasant servers make patrons feel like long-time regulars and don't mind suggesting time-tested favorites like eggplant parmigiana and linguine with clams. The complimentary garlic bread is addictive, and the calamari and minestrone soup are guaranteed winners to start off your meal. Diners willing to share should consider ordering a wood-fired Neapolitan pizza. (214-739-0502)
The posh shops of Highland Park Village surround this upscale yet family-friendly restaurant. Be forewarned -- portions are huge, so order accordingly. Start off the delicious crab claw appetizer or order the goat cheese appetizer to share with the entire table. Favorites like lasagna, baked ziti, and classic spaghetti and meatballs suit kids and picky eaters; diners looking for something new can sample penne with prosciutto in smoked gouda sauce or open-faced ravioli heaped with asparagus, mushrooms, and artichokes. Get there early and request a seat on the patio, where creeping ivy and a gurgling fountain provide a romantic backdrop. (214-522-7878)
A charming and romantic two-story restaurant, Adelmo's is an ideal date spot. Italian and Mediterranean cooking dominates the menu, and standouts include veal osso buco, ravioli Florentine, seafood linguine and grilled Mediterranean-style salmon. Start out with the grilled portobello mushrooms or the crab cakes, but save room for the complimentary delicious pickled vegetables and bread. For dessert, opt for the heavenly cappuccino ice cream or bread pudding. The wine list is well-selected and reasonably priced with a good number of choices available by the glass. The wonderfully personable staff is helpful and knowledgeable. Portions are decent-sized, so you may want to share. (214-559-0325)
Classic Italian cuisine is Campisi's forte. A local favorite, the restaurant offers delicious pasta and pizza combinations. It even allows patrons to bring their own beer and wine. Some of the most popular menu choices there include the crab claws, combo platters of traditional Italian fare, and excellent thin-crust pizzas. Vegetarians will appreciate the veggie plate, complete with steamed vegetables, eggplant parmesan, spaghetti and cheese ravioli. Lively ambiance ensures that everyone has a good time. There are several Campisi's locations all around the Dallas metroplex, including one in Downtown that gets BUSY during lunch hour, so you can try this great cuisine at your convenience. (972-931-2267)
About Denise Brandenberg
Born and raised in Dallas, Denise Brandenberg has been a self-proclaimed “Dallas Ambassador” for out-of-town friends and colleagues for years. Denise started her career as an advertising agency copywriter, recruiter, and manager of online forums for an international meeting planning association. She ventured off on her own a few years ago, to start an adventurous career as a freelance writer and marketing consultant. Denise’s other work can be found at Global Road Warrior, USA Today, Chron.com, The Motley Fool, LovetoKnow, The Meeting Professional, and several other online publications.
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