Antipasti, brick-oven pizza, cannelloni, and traditional Spaghetti and Meatballs. When you are looking for mouthwatering and nostalgia-inducing dishes, Italian cuisine is often among the first that many people think of with its extensive history of simple ingredients and flavors. Today, it is pretty difficult to find people who dislike pizza, and for Bostonians, anyone who has plans to open up their own Italian restaurant better be sure that they really specialize in this cuisine. If you currently reside in Boston or you are planning a vacation to the area and you love Italian fare, Boston is one of the best cities to experience truly authentic Italian food. From upscale establishments to truly authentic trattorias, here is a list of 10 of the very best Italian restaurants that you can find in Boston.
There are no doubts that Boston is definitely the home to a few of the most superior Italian restaurants across the globe outside of Italy. If you are looking for the finest Italian steak, then no other restaurant in Boston compares to Davio’s Italian Steakhouse. Located on the outskirts of Boston’s Theater District, Davio’s is known for its nostalgia when it comes to its highly impressive pedigree and can definitely be compared to Italian grandmother’s cooking. The service at Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse is truly exceptional, with every server that is dedicated to making sure that each visitor to the establishment enjoys their dining experience from the moment that they walk through the door.
Inside the expansive 9,000 square-meter dining area, you are welcomed with an array of delightful appetizers to try such as focaccia bread which is served with hot-pepper goat cheese, eggplant tomato-relish, along with buffalo mozzarella or Kalamata olives, basil, olive oil, and tomatoes. When you move onto your main course some of the top favorites to try include fresh Rigatoni and their famous Niman Ranch pork chop. If you have space for dessert, Davio’s specializes in a cubed-banana croissant served with smooth banana ice-cream or if you are a lover of chocolate, you must try their warmed chocolate cake which comes with a decadent molten-chocolate center.
Antico Forno is one of those Italian establishments that prepares a number of traditional and rustic dishes. From terracotta pot-plate entrees to brick-oven pizzas onto traditional olives and bread, Antico Forno is really proud of their simple yet delicious offerings, and they have featured many times in the top 10 lists of the best Italian restaurants across the world. This establishment also offers a mom-and-pop atmosphere which is loud and lively. At the center of the restaurant, they serve up their traditional and beloved Neapolitan pizzas, prepared in authentic fired-brick ovens, which is what has made Antico Forno a North End mainstay.
Some of the popular entrees Linguine al Frutti di Mare and their Saltimbocca di Pollo, with both dishes helping Antico Forno to earn the award for “The Most Authentic Italian Restaurant” in Boston.
Lucca is definitely not one of the budget-friendly Italian restaurants on this list. However, the true foodies and gastronomes will always advise that the price should not be your first priority when you are looking for a truly fabulous meal that you will remember for a long time after you have left the establishment, and when it comes to Lucca you will be spoiled for choice in this department. Among the most dependable eating establishments in North End, Lucca continues to serve outstanding Italian dishes. They also stand by their philosophy of only sourcing the highest quality ingredients that come from the surrounding local farms. They have also cultivated a strong relationship with fishermen in the area to ensure their guests only receive the very best seafood that the East Coast has on offer.
To put things into perspective, any dish at Lucca is far more than just mouthwatering. Some of their show-stopping entrees include a lobster risotto that comes with a freshly-shucked Maine lobster, served with smoked bacon over a fragrant saffron risotto or their famous sautéed Haricot Vert served with chives. For the pasta lovers, Lucca makes a home-made Rigatoni tossed with Agrodolce Wild Boar along with roasted yellow and red pepper ragout, finished off with Pecorino Toscano.
Carmelina’s first opened in 2012, where they have been serving up traditional Sicilian comfort food combined with their very own unique Mediterranean twist in the center of Boston’s famous Little Italy. Run by Executive Chef Damien DiPaola, he has managed to transform old yet delicious family recipes into tantalizing and modern Italian gastronomic delights along with the assistance of Chef di Cucina Michael Hollenkamp. Carmelina’s features an open kitchen which resembles traditional cooking spaces that mothers used to cook in, with a homey dining area that is filled with family photos that hang from each wall.
Carmelina’s is the type of Italian eatery that will provide you with an intimate and relaxing dining experience where you get to tuck into fresh and inspired dishes. This is one of the best restaurants to visit for large family dinners or a casual romantic date with your significant other. For the lovers of pasta, some of the popular dishes include Tonno Con Pesto Siciliano e Fusilli, mussels and calamari, or a traditional Frutti di Mare. If you are interested in trying out some of their show-stopping entrees you may want to order the stuffed center-cut pork rib chops or their Pesce Pistachio.
This restaurant will transport you on a culinary adventure to the stunning Sicilian countryside along with a few of the other popular regions of Italy. La Summa is an inspiration from memories that Barbara Summa Sullivan the owner of the restaurant had when she used to sit down for a meal at the dining room table in her grandmother’s house. It was over these years that Barbara learned many lessons about friendship and love, along with the important skills required to perfect Italian cooking. From the humble beginnings of this establishment in 1983, it was under the guidance and influence of Barbara’s grandmother which has contributed to what La Summa is today.
All the dishes on offer from La Summa begin with basic yet extremely high-quality ingredients, which bring about memorable and simple flavors linked to Sicilian cuisine. Today, this top-rated Italian restaurant still serves some of the favorites which include Pollo Parmigiana, Salsiccia Pasta, and their famous Pappardelle e Melanzane. Before tucking into one their freshly-made pasta as a main course, we highly recommend trying the Funghi Ripieni or Bruschetta for a starter.
If you are in search of a fine-dining Italian restaurant in the South End of Boston, Da Vinci Ristorante is a renowned and popular eatery that have been serving the more sophisticated tastes across town since 2007. Overall, this establishment oozes class along with a modern and refined interior which features a full-service bar. For this reason, Da Vinci Ristorante is one of the perfect choices for a variety of celebrations, romantic dates, or a great place to go for a meal once you have finished a long day at the office. The kitchen of this exclusive restaurant is operated by Chef Peppino, who continues to perfect his Italian cuisine which has included a number of years of intensive training in some of the best Italian restaurants across Europe. All the entrees and antipasti are presented and plated superbly, while all the homemade bread, pasta, and their desserts are all freshly prepared every day for superior quality and optimal freshness. This restaurant also caters extremely well to the guests that have dietary restrictions. They also offer delicious and carefully prepared vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free dishes.
Teatro is a casually elegant restaurant and every visit will offer you with a vibrant and decadent dining experience situated in the center of Boston’s busy Theater District. This establishment is proudly run by Chef Jamie Mammano. He also helped to start up other famous Italian establishments which included Sorellina and Ostra. Teatro provides a highly inviting bar and dining area in the middle of the Massachusetts capital. Guests are welcomed to Teatro for post-work craft cocktails or extend their stay to experience Chef Mammano’s modern and distinctive approach to some of the long-standing Italian favorites. A few of their popular entrees include gnocchi which is served with a marsala sauce, parmesan cream, ricotta, Reggiano, and mixed mushrooms. Another popular favorite includes their succulent Maine Lobster served in a Vermont butter.
There is definitely something that is close to theatrical when it comes to Nico. Run by the famous chef Salvatore Firicano, some people even go so far to say that Nico would be the North End, the restaurant that ends all the other restaurants in the famed and historic “Italian Restaurant Row” in Boston. When you go inside the aromatic enclave of this restaurant, you will experience how Chef Salvatore goes about performing painstaking tasks every day, with something that constantly shimmers along with spices that are freshly smashed for every preparation.
Local produce is definitely the main attraction when it comes to this highly legendary restaurant, with each table becoming a canvas for remarkable flavors. With so many delectable dishes to choose from a few that stand out and are known as the best include their Crespelle All’aragosta, which are homemade Italian crepes which are generously stuffed with succulent lobster meat followed by a topping of onions covered in lobster-pink sauce. Another firm favorite includes the Costata di Vitello, which is 20-ounce veal chop grilled to perfection and topped with a mixture of wild mushrooms done in a delectable truffle sauce.
This contemporary rosticceria, pizzeria, and grill located in the very heart of Boston’s Little Italy, this restaurant offer a dining atmosphere that is casual with outstanding food that is also locally sourced from the surrounding neighborhoods. The main attraction to Quattro would have t be its rotisserie, where they regularly roast whole chickens, pork loins, beef ribs, and succulent lamb legs. Another attraction to Quattro would be their artisan pasta which is all handmade and sourced from DePasquale’s Homemade Pasta Shop located one block away.
If pizza is one of your favorite Italian dishes you will really enjoy the creative array of choices on offer. The pizzas are prepared in a 900-degree wood-burning Marra Forni brick oven which was flown in directly from Naples. The dinners are completed with several small plate offerings to give you an all-round Italian experience. If you are looking for a great Italian meal for lunch, make sure you try out a roast-meat panini for something satisfying and quick to get you through the rest of a long day at the office or a quick lunch with a group of friends.
Sorellina is one of those Italian restaurants which is totally focused on sophistication. From the chic and stylish white and black dining room to the Italian cuisine which fits the description of classic and posh, Sorellina is all about the finer details, where they really go above-and-beyond to please every guest. Jamie Mammano is the chef that runs Sorellina, and he presents a very contemporary approach on traditional Mediterranean-Italian fare. The finest details are paid to every dish, similar to what you will find in the tender-grilled octopus and squid-ink couscous.
Their Maccheroncelli is an exceptional choice, with the meatballs made from American Wagyu Beef along with a tantalizing glaze of Montepulciano sauce. The dish is finally topped with a tangy and sharp Parmigiano. Yet one of the most popular favorites that many diners are loyal to includes their traditional Milanese, which is a bone-in veal chop which is served with delightful and absolutely delicious oven-cured tomatoes.
With such rich Italian heritage and culture, it comes as no surprise that Boston Massachusetts is the home to such a wide selection of exquisite Italian restaurants. From fine Italio-French establishments to diner-style eateries Boston is well-known for offering every Italian restaurant type that you could think of.