Classic Italian restaurants are a staple of the American landscape.  Wherever you drive, there will be several to choose from near you.  If you are looking for the best of the best, look no farther than these delicious choices.

San Francisco, CA

Acquerello San Francisco

Via Acquerello

In San Francisco, the ultimate experience is Aequerello, with its gorgeous decor reminiscent of a fine country house in Tuscany.  Celebrating 25 years of remarkable fine-dining Italian food, Aequerello is noted for its Porcini and Chanterelle Casonsei.

Boston, MA

Basta Pasta

Via TripAdvisor

In Boston, dine at the cozy and unassuming Basta Pasta Trattoria in Cambridge for homemade Fusilli or Wheat Radiatore, with Putanesca: anchovies, capers, olives, chili, tomato and fresh oregano.  Or have the Chicken Gorgonzola with walnuts in a cream sauce.

Pittsburgh, PA

In Pittsburgh, where there are many fine Italian eateries, head for Mia Madre, when it reopens in its new location in early November 2015 (500 Pine Hollow Road, Kennedy Township in the Kenmawr Plaza). Savor the Mediterranean Pasta: roma tomatoes, kalamata olives, roasted peppers, baby spinach and feta cheese sautéed in olive oil and garlic, or opt for the Pasta Florentine.  Save room for their limoncello cake.  Keep in mind the restaurant has a cash only policy.  For a great second option when in Pittsburgh, dine at Piccolo Forno on Butler Street, and order their Tortelloni di Zucca:   butternut squash tortellini, fontana fonduta, amoretti crumbs, and fried sage.

Orlando, FL


Italian w/ my girls ??#Italian #restaurant #girls #love A photo posted by @violainee__ on

Maitland, Florida, offers Francesco’s Ristorante, an under the radar Orlando area favorite among locals in the know. We have enjoyed many a pasta choice at Francesco’s and somehow always come back to their delectable Lasagna Bolonese.  Their pizzas and salads (try the Quatro Stagioni pizza and the wedge salad) are also superior.  The setting is casual, rusticated and charming.

Chicago, IL

1 Year… Where it all began!! ❤️ #aboutlastnight #oneyear #happyanniversary #mylove

A photo posted by Nailliw Preite (@naipreite) on

Sapori Trattoria in Chicago, is your choice for some delightful taste sensations: Gnocchi al Brinvdo: Semolina gnocchi pasta with chopped chicken breast, sun dried tomatoes, parmesan cheese and pine nuts, and Pennette Cardinale:  penne pasta served with grilled artichokes, chicken, shallots and sun-dried tomatoes in white wine.

Atlanta, GA

Pasta da Pulcinella

Via Pasta da Pulcinella

Pasta da Puicinella in Atlanta, you will enjoy the cozy Italian dining in the little yellow house hidden in the shadow of skyscrapers. The restaurant offers some great specialty pastas including Chicken Ravioli Stuffed with wild mushrooms served in a spicy tomato cream sauce, and. Or Tagliatelle Verdi Alla Bolognese a house made spinach tagliatelle with a hearty ragú made with veal, beef, onions, carrots, celery, tomatoes, and a hint of cream.

St. Louis, MO


At Gian-Tony’s Ristorante on St. Louis’ Hill, we recommend trying the Cavatelli Con Broccoli: cavatelli with broccoli & mushrooms, served in a cream sauce, or the Fettuccine Alla Gian-Tony’s: fettuccine in a cream sauce with shrimp, mushrooms, & parmesan.  Another pasta treasure in St. Louis may be found at Sapore Italian Café:  lobster ravioli in a paprika cream sauce.

Seattle, WA

Il Corvo in Seattle, offers order at the counter hand crafted pastas to tempt the palate: mint basil parsley pasta, beet spaghetti in a caramelized garlic sauce perhaps, or conchiglie seashells wet with meaty ragù, or gnocchetti with sweet corn, fresh sage, and cream.

Denver, CO

Wooden Table Restaurant

Via The Wooden Table

The Wooden Table in Denver offers Italian fare served in an upscale trattoria with minimalist, stylish decor. Go for the Mezzaluna: House Fennel Sausage, Rainbow Chard, Roasted Chicken Brodo, or the Tortelloni Tarragon Mascarpone, with Jumbo Lump Crab, Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes, Red Chili Flake, Marcona Almonds.

Dallas, TX


In Dallas, dine at Carbone’s for their spinach lasagna handmade in the Carbone’s kitchen.  Or for a walk on the wild side, try Paccheri with Rabbit & Italian Sausage.  For dessert have the Peach and Apple Crumble.  So good!  And it is all served in a spare, modern setting with nods to a corner grocery.

Helena, MT

For Italian dishes, plus steaks & chops, served in a petite, contemporary setting with soaring ceilings, visit Lucca’s in Helena, Montana.  Many delighted diners call this the best restaurant in Montana.   Have the Shrimp Fra Diavolo or the Farfalla with Chicken and Pepperoncini.  Plan on the turtle sundae for dessert.

Half Moon Bay, CA

butternut squash and mascarpone ravioli with sage brown butter, parmesan, amaretti

A photo posted by bites in berlin (@bitesinberlin) on

Pasta Moon in Half Moon Bay,  California, is probably the best pasta restaurant in the USA.  You must go.  The décor is gorgeous without overpowering the meals.  The selections on the menu are both time tested favorites and seasonal surprises.  Our hands down favorite pasta dish there is Butternut Squash and Mascarpone Ravioli, closely followed by the lasagna. You will think you have no more room, but you absolutely must have their signature specialty dessert, the Meyer Lemon Parfait. Perfection!

There you have it: pasta at its best.  Enjoy!