'Mangia!' Best Italian Restaurants in Palm Beach/West Palm Beach

By Kristopher Neild, Travel Expert

South Florida may be known for beaches and hard bodies, but the locals and visitors always leave room in their diet for a delicious Italian meal. Thanks to the increased population of Italian descendants during the peak season every year, the Palm Beach/West Palm Beach area has quite a few Italian restaurants that are sure to impress. For a nice family meal after a shopping outing on Worth Avenue in Palm Beach, Pizza Al Fresco is the perfect place to rest your soles and enjoy a large brick oven pizza. The outdoor courtyard is picturesque and the wine list will help put you at ease. With an extensive menu, Pizza Al Fresco offers up lots of salads, sandwiches, and baked pasta meals, as well as breakfast for early birds.

For an authentic Italian experience in West Palm Beach, Zuccarelli’s Italian Restaurant and Bar is a family run restaurant where quality is a top priority. With a wine list boasting over 200 bottles and a menu full of customizable pasta dishes, pleasing everyone in a large group has never been easier. The outdoor courtyard is pet-friendly and beautifully decorated, making it an ideal spot for lunch or dinner. The following list has an additional eight Italian eateries that are not to be missed in the Palm Beach/West Palm Beach area. 

10. Zuccarelli's
Photo courtesy of Zuccarelli's

At Zuccarelli's Italian Restaurant and Bar, the authentic Italian atmosphere and food are sure to impress the spirit and the taste buds. The menu is full of customizable entrees - from the pizza to the pasta dishes - the toppings and sauces available allow for lots of different combinations. The restaurant is inviting, with live music for those seated inside and a pet-friendly outside dining area. Recommendation-wise, the gnocchi is delicious, and there are lots of vegetarian meal choices thanks to the sauces and pastas being mixed fresh. Ask the waiter for the perfect wine pairing to go with your entree, you'll be impressed with the more than 200 selections they have to choose from. This place is a hit for family and date nights alike.

9. Pizza Al Fresco
Photo courtesy of brendan-c

If you find yourself craving pizza on Palm Beach or need a place to relax after shopping on Worth Avenue, Pizza Al Fresco is the place to go. A sprawling courtyard with light-wrapped trees and an expansive menu with a twist on traditional Italian thin crust pizzas are sure to please everyone in your group. The menu also boasts great pasta and salad selections, with the lobster salad being a crowd-pleaser. Of course no Italian meal is complete without an accompanying wine or a gelato to finish the meal. Another perk of this affordable casual dining experience, well-behaved dogs are also welcome to enjoy the courtyard.

8. Trevini
Photo courtesy of Trevini

This elegant, second-floor venue is a welcome addition to the Worth Avenue scene. The two owners hail from Italy and bring to the menu culinary sensibilities from the northern and southern regions. Full-flavored but not overbearing, dishes place a premium on fresh ingredients and careful preparation. Steamed shellfish in chardonnay broth are tender and savory, and Cornish game hen comes with a crisp golden skin, perfectly roasted. Homemade pastas attract a loyal following for their light quality, and fresh fish retains its delicate flavor with attentive cooking. California and Italian wines add a nice layer to the meal and complement the fare beautifully. Terrific antipasti, too.

7. Maison Carlos
Photo courtesy of Maison Carlos

Potted green palms and wrought iron furnishing line this restaurant's cheery, yellow interior. The owner, Carlos, made this place quaint on purpose, so guests receive the hospitality and service they deserve. Chances are, Carlos himself will come by and strike up a conversation with you while you wait for your food. Patrons graze on lovely French and Italian works such as the fusilli di pollo, with grilled chicken, portabella, sun-dried tomato or trout almondine. For added pleasure, the staff will prepare dessert – bananas foster or zabaglione with berries – at your table. A $30 3-course meal is offered before 7pm. Wine list available.

6. Vic and Angelo's
Photo courtesy of Vic and Angelo's

Vic and Angelo's Italian dining strives to bring the New York style food and the atmosphere of Italy to South Florida. One glance at the menu and the familiar recipes of grandma's come into focus. From the appetizers and salads to the entrees, the reasonably priced food makes it impossible not try a little bit of everything. The portions are very generous, especially when ordering one of the coal oven baked pizzas. Vic and Angelo's has two locations; one in Palm Beach Gardens and the other in Delray Beach. Come check it out today to experience a taste of Italy.

5. Rustico Italiano
Photo courtesy of Rustico Italiano

Located in Lake Worth, Rustico Italiano has been providing flavorful Italian fare in an elegant and authentic setting since 2000. The owner is from the Isle of Capri, and opened Rustico Italiano 15 years ago to share the classic dishes from his homeland with the people of South Florida. The restaurant is quaint and reminiscent of Italy thanks to its walls of wine and white linen draped tables. This place is perfect for a date night, as the venue is quite romantic in the evenings. One glance at a neighbor's dinner plate and it's easy to see how much attention goes into each dish; all the way from the appetizers to desserts. No matter what you're in the mood for, the Ravioli with Truffle is a must to start it off.

4. Il Bellagio
Photo courtesy of Il Bellagio

An enviable setting by City Place's courtyard fountain makes Il Bellagio a focal point of the complex. Backed up to the Harriet Himmel Gilman Theater, the restaurant features a loggia that's perfect for outdoor dining and people-watching. Tables shaded by white market umbrellas offer relief from the sun as patrons sip cold drinks and dig into the incredible Italian cuisine. Inside, the open kitchen turns out zesty pizzas from the wood-burning oven, along with veal scaloppini, grilled sirloin steak, and fresh tuna and salmon. Featured pastas include capellini with lobster and shrimp, veal tortellini, seafood linguine, and penne with spinach and pinenuts. Even a simple salad with a cold glass of wine is wonderful in this haven of relaxation.

3. Renato's
Photo courtesy of Renato's

Tucked away beside a charming, flower-bedecked courtyard, Renato's engages diners with its genial atmosphere and gracious surroundings. Inside, pastel tones, a white grand piano, and pink roses on tables promise gentility, and the eminently professional waitstaff attends to every need. Outside, courtyard dining is sublime, complete with the sounds of a fountain and chirping birds. The menu is completely in step with the ambience. Succulent gnocchi, mushroom pappardelle, honey-glazed salmon, rack of lamb, seared diver scallops, and sauteed veal scaloppine hint at the selection and only serve to highlight the delightful alchemy that can occur when first-rate cuisine conspires with natural beauty and service. 4 course prix-fixe: $35.

2. Bice Ristorante
Photo courtesy of Cafe Boulud

Golden-hued and elegant, Bice is a formidable presence on the Palm Beach dining scene. Refinements like crisp linens and fresh flowers provide indication that a meal here will be nothing less than spectacular. Northern Italian cuisine is particularly authentic, given that the restaurant was founded in Milan in 1926 (and still maintains headquarters there). Society folks frequent the place for everything from light pastas to grilled meats and seafood, reveling in impeccable presentation and service. Pasta e fagioli, a favored dish, ranks highly, along with perfectly prepared calamari and great veal cutlets. The outdoor terrace adds romantic ambiance on balmy evenings.

1. Marcello's La Sirena
Photo courtesy of Marcello's La Sirena

Subtlety and grace characterize this established restaurant, well known in the area for its attentive, unobtrusive service and impeccable cuisine. The Northern Italian menu focuses on al dente-perfect pastas, light as air and accompanied by sauces crafted of pungent cheeses, fresh herbs, tomatoes, cream and mushrooms. Just-caught seafood, especially salmon and snapper, benefit from the kitchen's skill, and veal in its variety of incarnations is impossibly tender and satisfying. Salads, crisp and refreshing, are just as you'd hope, and the French onion soup is a house classic. Luckily, desserts follow suit: Everything from zabaglione to tiramisu and fresh fruit is luscious, and there's a great selection of Italian wines and dessert wines as well.