10 Best and Most Loved Italian Restaurants

Contrary to popular belief, during the big waves of immigration, not all Italians came from the red-sauce south, plenty came from the north as well. Many moved up and out to the suburbs over the last century. Luckily, new waves of chefs have arrived from Italy who display their italianitá through fresh takes on the traditional cuisines from Italy’s 20 distinct regions.

You know the palatial and the gargantuan celebrity dining rooms already: the posh Del Posto and  Mario Batali’s Babbo, but what we have listed here are restaurants that have had and are still having a love affair with New Yorkers. But in between are trattorias that leave the formal behind in favor of something else, amore.

Much of the best Italian food is found in neighborhoods across the city, from the banks of Staten Islande, to Arthur Avenue in the Bronx, where you'll find mainstays like Roberto's, to Astoria’s new chefs at Vesta, to the Upper East Side’s Luna Rossa, and the introduction of Italian Jewish cuisine on Restaurant Row in the Theater District at Lattanzi and love-story-based al di la Trattoria in Brooklyn’s Park Slope.

Michelin-starred Marea leads the way while we've pulled together ten of the best-loved Italian restaurants in New York City. Now, all you have to do is close your eyes, pick your pasta, and try one - or all - of them on for size. 

Staten Island


Joe Scaravella opened Enoteca Maria in 2007, it looked like he put a call out to central casting as Nonnas from 20 regions of Italy marched into the open kitchen to cook every single night. As you might expect, each location and each woman...  Read More

Greenwich Village
Trattoria Spaghetto


You will be welcomed at the door by the maître d', a tall, handsome Albanian gentleman named Norie; and likely be watched over by Renee. Don't be discouraged if you may have to wait 15-20 minutes on a Saturday night, you won't be ignored. If...  Read More



Vesta is a neighborhood place with a mission: childhood friends and now owners Giuseppe Falco and Leo Sacco are also homegrown in Astoria. Their Sicilian ancestors left them with fine palates for food, wine and loyalty. Vesta's products are...  Read More

Theatre District


Paolo Lattanzi brought Cucina Ebraico Romanesca – the classic cuisine of Roman Jews to New York City's Theater District via Trastevere in Rome. From the start, it garnered three stars from the NY Times and was listed as one of the "100 Best...  Read More

West Village


This is the Italian restaurant that has won the respect of restauranteurs and chefs the city over. Spread over two floors, L'Artusi's menu is simplicity personified. Instead of hard-to-pronounce ingredients with something to prove, you'll...  Read More

Upper East Side


Visiting Luna Rossa is like booking a grand tour of Italy from north to south because Chef Paul Floess prides himself on his dexterity in producing specialties from Italy's 20 regions. Snuggle into this narrow space on the Upper East Side where...  Read More

West Village


dell'anima means "of the soul" in Italian and the food features seasonal, eloquent dishes of thoughtful simplicity , including bruschetta and fresh pastas made in-house daily by Executive Chef Andrew Whitney. The wine list features more than 150...  Read More



al di la Trattoria is based on a love story: Venetian Emiliano Copa first met Chef Anna Klinger when she studied at the cooking school he operated. One of the grand dames of our list, this popular trattoria has served a savvy crowd of local NYU...  Read More



Modeled after a classic restaurant in downtown Salerno, Roberto's was an instant success in this corner of likely the most authentic Little Italy in New York right now. The scene is convivial, even a tad rustic thanks to elements like the...  Read More



Marea, meaning "tide" in Italian is a perfectly balanced combination of an ingredients-driven, award-winning Italian menu, impeccable service, and a fantastic wine list with more than 750 selections. At the helm is Chef Michael White. Marea has...  Read More


Meet Maria Lisella

No matter how many countries Maria Lisella has visited (62), this native New Yorker finds the world at her doorstep in amazing Queens where its residents speak 138 languages.

Maria writes...  More About Maria