Italian Restaurants That Offer Authentic Cuisine With A Parisian Flair

Paris offers a handful of superlative choices for Italian restaurants. Many of the best are owned by an Italian or have an Italian chef such as, IDA by Denny Imbroisi, Il Vino by Enrico Bernardo, Il Gelato del Marchese and L'Assaggio. Others,  like L'Enoteca,  Pizzeria Popolare and Pink Mamma have Italians running the day-to-day operations so are every bit as authentic, too. For wine lovers, the two top picks on this list are Il Vino whose mission it is to pair your dining selection with the wine you choose, and also L'Enoteca which boasts one of the cities' most resplendent Italian wine cellars. Their caramelized eggplant served with mascarpone ice cream dessert is worthy of a James Beard award.

There’s not an overwhelmingly large choice of Italian restaurants in Paris, which can work in your favor when trying to narrow down your lunch or dinner reservations. What you’ll find are quality Italian restaurants with talented Italian, and even Spanish and Japanese, chefs in their kitchens offering authentic Italian cuisine.  Enrico Bernardo, the youngest person to ever be anointed the World's Best Sommelier, has crafted an altogether different dining experience at his restaurant,  Il Vino. This restaurant offers an excellent gastronomic dining option near the Eiffel Tower. Here the concept of dining leads with the wines. Hence, you are offered a menu of wines that are organized by varietals. Once you make your wine selection, the chef prepares the dish that pairs the best with it. The wines that are paired with this meal are handpicked by the well-trained, affable, knowledgeable staff. 

For the shoppers and St. Germain-des-Pres thrill seekers, La Bocca Della Verita offers a fresh and healthy take on Italian cuisine such as fish and quinoa and perhaps the lightest, cloud-like tiramisu you'll ever taste. Similarly, Gemini Halles offers gluten-free pasta and pizzas, strategically located close to Les Halles and Chatelet. 


6th Arrondissement - Rive Gauche

People are attracted by the Disney Princess facade of this jewel-like gelateria in the heart of Saint Germain des Pres. But those who have tried the gelato here know that it's the flavorful, all-natural icecream that really keeps the clients loyal. Passion fruit from Ile de Reunion is handpicked, its fruit delicately scooped out and then added to the day's fresh batch of passion fruit sorbet. Rinse and repeat for the diverse other flavors such as kiwi, mango, chocolate and strawberry. The gelato are made with the same attentive care. The creator's philosophy of not overpowering the delicate flavors with too much sugar yields a refined sweet experience. Flavors for the gelato come in the traditional pistachio, chocolate and vanilla (from Madagascar); and also the more fanciful ricotta with chocolate, Greek yogurt, salted caramel and a fair dozen more. All worth trying and coming back for more.

1er Arrondissement
Photo courtesy of Le Fellini copyright 2014

In a cinematic atmosphere with film posters bedecking the walls, Fellini delivers consistently good Italian fare and courteous service. Popular dishes include risotto with lobster and pasta with scallops. The restaurant is known for its antipasti and it also offers a solid selection of fish, from calamari starters to an assorted grilled fish served with market fresh vegetables. Desserts include Sicilian cassata or zabaione that comes with warm Marsala. It's not an inexpensive restaurant so count on enjoying those biscotti and tiny chocolates served with your after-dinner coffee. The wine list here is decent and you will have among your choices a few vintages of Brunello, Sassicaia and even Barbaresco. These accompany well the dishes that represent most of Italy, but especially its southern cuisine.

9éme Arrondissement
Pink Mamma
Photo courtesy of Big Mamma Group

This is even bigger than the rest of 'em. Four floors of pizza and pasta. Wood-fired hot ovens throw seared steak smoky aromas at you the nearer to the atrium-like top floor that you ascend. This is the latest in the string of Big Mamma Group pizzerias that have opened in the city the past year or so and the Pigalle location of this one sets it squarely in the nightlife zone. Tip: It helps if you speak some Italian as the entire staff is Italian straight from Italy. In fact, English at times works better here than French if you've forgotten your bongiorno. Pizzas are good, cheeses are authentic as are the cured cold cuts and you can leave satisfied knowing you dined with Paris' other hipsters and trendy 20-somethings.

Gemini Halles
Photo courtesy of Paige Donner copyright 2016

An Italian family restaurant and what could be more romantic than that in Paris? It's a simple concept: serve excellent products, fresh, that are cooked with the old family recipes from Mama's kitchen. And everyone knows that an Italian mama's food is the best there is. This is one of the few other addresses in Paris where you can find gluten-free pizzas and pastas. What's more, you have the choice - to either order a "regular" pizza (or pasta) or one that is gluten-free. The burrata dish with truffles here is divine and so creamy that you'll wonder why you've never had something so good before. The veal parmesan is made Italian style - pounded into a thin, tenderized slice of veal and then quick-fried and served with a wedge of lemon. Desserts are home -made, too and - spoiler alert - the tirmaisu comes with a little sweet surprise.

9éme Arrondissement
I Golosi
Photo courtesy of I Golosi

No pizzas here...this Italian restaurant boasts a delicious menu, which changes every week to offer a wide variety of exquisite Italian dishes. Diners are also greeted by friendly servers when they dine at I Golosi, a feature which goes a long way towards making meals here a pleasure. One of the best Italian wine menus of Paris. Join them in embracing their name: "i golosi" means "the ones fond of good food." A boutique selling pastas, olive oils and other products is also available. As of February this year it celebrated its 20th anniversary in this location. This location being a very convenient one, just off the Grands Boulevards, which perfectly places it for before or after theater dining. METRO: Richelieu-Drouot (line 8 or 9)

2éme Arrondissement

The biggest and shiniest so far from the Big Mamma Group, this location has an altogether different feel from the others. Though there are still some touches that stay consistent: the all Italian staff (parlez vous Italian?) and the awesome wood-fired-oven pizzas. The walls are decorated with thousands of filled liquor bottles which give an amber reflective tint to the interior. It also makes you feel like you are in party central, with pizza and pasta along for the ride. This location, the Big Mamma Group's (Victor Lugger and Tigrane Seydoux) latest one has both upstairs seating and a downstairs seating/bar area. The menu also features salads like Caesar's with the real anchovy/egg yolk blend. And for dessert the Italian gelato is a hit though the profiteroles are super famous, as is the lemon tiramisu. This is a sun place with loud music, Italian good vibes and great food.

15th Arrondissement - Vaugirard

This restaurant is by rising star Chef Denny Imbroisi, a true Italian from Calabre who makes his home in Paris. The restaurant is named after his sister, Ida, who, according to the Chef, more or less raised him while he worked alongside his father in Italian kitchens. Here you will find refined and slightly Frenchified Italian cuisine which means a bit on the lighter side, with accents of some of the best virgin olive oil - made expressly for the Chef - you'll ever get to taste. He's also fond of white balsamic vinegar and truffles. Don't even think about not indulging in dessert. Here the signature after-dinner sweet is the Capucc'IDA, a chocolate-coffee flavored mousse with a ganache base served in a coffee cup and eaten with a spoon. Other indulgences: the housemade foccaccia, served warm upon seating.

7th Arondissement - Eiffel Tower
Il Vino
Photo courtesy of Il Vino d'Enrico Bernardo copyright

This is a wine lover's Italian restaurant. Enrico Bernardo, named the World's Best Sommelier in 2004, opened Il Vino on the Left Bank in September 2007 following his stint at the George V as their Head Sommelier where he built up a cellar of 60,000 wine bottles. Il Vino sports one Michelin star and is one of the first establishments created where wine leads the culinary dance. That's to say, choose your wine first and then the chef, who trained at a 3-star restaurant, pairs your food with those choices. It's a concept that became very popular and has even caught on elsewhere in Paris. The wines here are not just Italian wines, but from around the world. Enrico Bernardo was just 27 - the youngest ever - when he was named the World's Best

1er Arrondissement

Blessed by a pleasant Florentine courtyard, white linens and sophisticated charm, this restaurant delivers a little slice of Italy in the midst of Paris's busy shopping district. Indeed, the restaurant is just next door to Chanel's iconic rue Cambon original address. The regional cuisine, courtesy of Piedmont-born Chef Ugo Alciati, is crafted with a sure hand. Italian wines, such as from Barolo, maintain the theme in style. The restaurant itself is located in the gurgling-fountain courtyard of this luxury hotel, as well as the interior dining room. It offers a menu rich with pastas and also lighter, flavorful fare.METRO: Concorde, Madeleine

4éme Arrondissement
Photo courtesy of Enoteca

An Italian restaurant in the Marais neighborhood of Paris, and that's not all. The menu here features lovelies such as wild boar in red wine sauce served with creamy polenta, or perhaps the lamb lacquered in honey and roasted in rosemary is more to your taste? Whichever dish you decide to lavish on your tastebuds, you will have plenty of choices with which to wash it down: their wine cellar here was voted the world's best Italian wine cellar. The quiet, rustic ambiance, accented with 15th c. exposed wooden beams and stonework is soothing and even a touch seductive, lending a perfect atmosphere for your Italian meal. Not to miss is the dessert of caramelized eggplant served with mascarpone ice cream. It is one of those sweet masterpieces that defies description and simply must be tasted.


Meet Paige Donner

Paige's latest book, The Romantic Couple's Guide To The City of Love, Sexy Paris follows her earlier guidebook Paris On 4 Paws, A Dog Lover's Guide To The City of Light and her acclaimed...  More About Paige