Bringing Italy to Salt Lake, from Tuscany to Molise

At 10Best, we're always on the lookout for Salt Lake City'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 niche. When we're in the mood for Italian food in Salt Lake City, we head to Caffe Molise – a reader favorite – or we count on Fresco Italian Café'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.

We also understand that not every meal should be a five-course, five-star affair, and that a clever bargain or a hidden gem can provide as much gastronomical satisfaction as a three-digit tab. For this reason, the list includes the area's less pricey favorites alongside its spendy options. If you want to be kind to your bank account, try the three-decade Salt Lake Classic, Al Forno's.

Finally, Italian food is synonymous with wine for many people. And in an area with rather scanty public transportation, it is wise to consider dining close to your hotel or restaurant. While downtown visitors will find plenty of restaurants within walking distance of most hotels, those in the southern – and more residential – portion of Salt Lake Valley will have to do a more deliberate, pre-dinner research job to pinpoint the eatery nearest them. And they would be wise to designate a sober driver for the evening.

Prepare to enjoy yourself! Salt Lake City's Italian restaurants await your visit.

Al Forno's Ristorante
Photo courtesy of Keren_

It's a good thing that Al Forno's has friendly, efficient service at lunchtime, because a crowd always gathers for the midday meal. Differentiating itself from many of Salt Lake's Italian eateries, Al Forno's has been specializing in affordable...  Read More

Temple Square
Caffe Molise
Photo courtesy of Jennifer Boren

Specializing in Italian cuisine from Italy's Molise region, this full-service restaurant serves fresh, brilliantly simple cuisine in a handsome, upscale enviornment. During any month, you can enjoy dinner accompanied by live, Friday night jazz...  Read More

Cannella's has become a true classic in Salt Lake City, in operation for more than three decades. In a culinary market with such strong competition, this longevity says enormous amounts about the reliable quality of food, reasonable pricing,...  Read More

Photo courtesy of Jennifer Boren

In a sea of fabulous restaurants, Tuscany manages to be among Salt Lake's best. Winning four Utah Best of State awards in 2010, including "Best Chef," "Best Tuscan," and "Best Hospitality," Tuscany has also earned recognition from Zagat as one...  Read More

Tony Caputo's Market & Deli
Photo courtesy of Jennifer Boren

This is one of the most unique places in Utah to get Italian food. Whereas most specialize in pasta dishes, meat entrees, and slow dinners – or pizza --, Tony Caputo's instead offers deli-style eating and imported Italian foods for...  Read More

Self-described as a "true Tuscan Trattoria," Cucina Toscana is one of Salt Lake's finest restaurants � in any category. Established by an Italian gentleman, and drawing from Tuscan gastronomical traditions, Cucina Toscana creates an...  Read More

Café Trio
Photo courtesy of Jennifer Boren

Many people associate Italian food with heavy meals, old traditions, dark restaurants, and Grandma's secret recipes. However, Salt Lake's extremely popular Cafe Trio does a full 180 on this stereotype. Serving light and fresh cuisine in an open,...  Read More

Salt Lake Pizza & Pasta
Photo courtesy of jeffreyw

Specializing in pizza, pasta, sandwiches, and burgers, this Italian restaurant can please any palette. Pizzas and burgers can be custom-ordered, and built with a generous selection of toppings. On the menu, you'll see many year-round items in...  Read More


Lugano offers a diverse menu ranging from wood-fired pizzas, to linguini and clams, grilled Atlantic salmon, and braised lamb shank. In the spotlight of many publications, Lugano has won numerous awards every year since its Salt Lake Magazine...  Read More

Located in Cottonwood Heights ヨ near the mouths of Big and Little Cottonwood canyons ヨ this modern, spacious restaurant is the second generation of a successful, locally-owned restaurant family. Originating in north Sugarhouse, the...  Read More


Meet Christine Balaz

Christine Balaz began her unexpected writing career in Salt Lake City with her first book on Wasatch Skiing and Travel in 2006. On the subject of Utah, Christine has written numerous...  More About Christine
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