14 Best Italian Restaurants in Dallas | Dallas Observer

14 Essential Italian Restaurants in Dallas

For many, there are few things as comforting as a bowl of pasta. We have put together a list of great Italian restaurants around Dallas.
Almost Nonna-worthy beef and pork meatballs from Dea.
Almost Nonna-worthy beef and pork meatballs from Dea. Hank Vaughn
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Hold onto your meatballs because we’re once again uncovering the sauciest secrets of the city’s best Italian restaurants. From cheesy love affairs to unforgettable tiramisu flings, these restaurants are some of our favorites in the city. Each year we assess the scene anew, looking at both new places and longtime stalwarts. Below is a roundup of what we're most excited about this year.

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Bucatani alla Carbonara from 400 Gradi
Alison McLean

400 Gradi

2000 Ross Ave. (Downtown)
400 Gradi, a culinary masterpiece from Down Under (Melbourne, Australia), owes its inception to Johnny Di Francesco, AKA “The Pizza Maestro.” In 2014, his Margherita Verace pizza won the title of World’s Best Pizza at the Campionato Mondiale della Pizza, making him the first non-Italian to win this prestigious award. While best known for its authentic Neapolitan-style pizzas, 400 Gradi also has an enticing array of antipasti, salads, pastas and desserts. Notably, their lasagne, composed of layers of fresh pasta sheets, velvety bechamel sauce, fresh mozzarella and savory bolognese ragu with grated parmesan cheese, can’t be beaten.

Adelmo’s Ristorante

5450 W. Lovers Lane (Park Cities)
Owner Adelmo Banchetti, originally from Florence, Italy, opened Adelmo’s Ristorante in 1989, and since then the Park Cities restaurant has epitomized refined Italian dining. From-scratch Italian dishes, including pasta, fresh seafood and irresistible desserts along with the cozy atmosphere make it the perfect setting for a romantic date night. The ambiance serves as a true testament to Adelmo's unwavering commitment to delivering exceptional food and wine. Among the favorite dishes are the veal osso buco and gnocchi dish and the signature veal chop, skillfully seasoned and seared along with roasted potatoes and vegetables, all crowned with either a marsala and mushroom sauce or a creamy brandy Dijon green peppercorn sauce.

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Barsotti's Sunday gravy — oh, how we missed thee!
Chris Wolfgang

Avanti Restaurant

2720 McKinney Ave. (Uptown)
For more than three decades, Avanti Restaurant has been an unwavering cornerstone in the Dallas dining scene, with a seamless blend of classic Italian-Mediterranean fare in an alluring Uptown bistro atmosphere complemented by nightly live music. The restaurant offers a variety of pasta dishes, such as three-cheese spinach lasagna, linguine pescatore and wild mushroom risotto. Try the crab meat-crusted sea bass or tagliatelle Bolognese, crafted traditionally with pork loin, pancetta and tenderloin.

Barsotti’s Fine Foods & Liqueurs

4208 Oak Lawn Ave. (Oak Lawn)
Barsotti’s, formerly known as Carbone’s, is a neighborhood Italian American restaurant owned by renowned Dallas chef Julian Barsotti, whose family lineage and recipes draw from Southern Italy. At Barsotti’s, classic Italian comfort food is served in a convivial family atmosphere. The signature Sunday gravy and meatballs is a quintessential Dallas meal. Or soak in a rich plate of vodka tortellini. A chocolate layer cake topped with a rich ganache tastes like a celebration and shouldn't be missed.

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Lynae Fearing's discovery from the isle of Capri: rigatoni Genovese, with alla Genovese, cherry tomatoes, Calabrian chili and Grana Padano.
Hank Vaughn


7709 Inwood Road (Park Cities)
Owned and operated by the dynamic duo of Lynae Fearing and Tracy Rathbun, Dea is quickly emerging as a vibrant addition to the city’s Italian dining scene. Drawing inspiration from the scenic European coastlines of Naples, Ibiza Positano, Palermo and Valencia, Dea embraces the ever-changing seasons with an evolving menu. Each dish pays homage to the vibrant flavors and finest ingredients found along the European coast. Go for the Arrabbiata Casarecce, braised octopus in an arrabbiata sauce with bone marrow-topped, citrus-kissed bread crumbs. If you’re in the mood for an immersive dining experience, secure a seat at the kitchen counter and witness the magic of Dea unfold right before your eyes.


8687 N. Central Expressway (NorthPark Center)
Eataly is an Italian lover’s dream come true. The 46,000-square-foot, three-story space encompasses 10,000 local and Italian products, three restaurants and a cooking school. On the main floor, you’ll find La Pizza & La Pasta, which focuses on authentic Neapolitan pizza and pasta. You’ll also find Il Pastaio, a pasta and wine bar. Customers can order fresh pasta and watch chefs make it. The third-floor rooftop holds Terra, a restaurant with a wood-burning grill offering seasonal dishes, pastas, spiedinis (grilled skewers), smoked cocktails and an extensive wine selection. No time for a sit-down meal? Head to the walk-up counters where you can order sandwiches, pizzas, desserts and espressos to go.

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Crispy baby artichokes at Il Bracco.
Courtesy of Il Bracco

Il Bracco

8416 Preston Center Plaza (Park Cities)
Nestled among fancy shops like Kendra Scott and Bachendorf’s in Preston Center is Il Bracco, the perfect place to lunch with the ladies and enjoy a glass of Champagne or rosé while indulging in homemade pasta and other Italian fare. The crispy baby artichokes with olive aioli and fresh-squeezed lemon is a perfect start to a meal and is the most popular appetizer at Il Bracco. The pasta is homemade, including five different styles and five sauces. The cacio e pepe is saucy and spectacular, and the pasta al limone is especially refreshing on a hot summer day.

La Stella Cucina Verace

2330 Flora St. (Arts District)
In the heart of the Dallas Arts District, La Stella Cucina Verace shines as one of Dallas’ top-rated fine-dining Italian destinations. Old-world traditional regional Italian cooking blends with renowned hospitality to deliver an unparalleled experience. Among the standout dishes, the osso buco ($68) reigns supreme, with slow-braised, cross-cut veal shank that melts in your mouth, accompanied by risotto alla Milanese adorned with gremolata.

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They even spin vinyl at Lucia.
Lauren Drewes Daniels


287 N. Bishop Ave. (Bishop Arts District)
Situated in the bustling Bishop Arts District, Lucia reigns as a highly acclaimed Italian haven, indisputaby ranking among the city’s finest. Chef David Uygur and his wife, Jennifer, founded Lucia in 2010, infusing it with a passion for traditional Italian cooking and a dedication to sourcing the finest local and seasonal ingredients. Such dedication to culinary excellence has garnered Lucia numerous accolades and widespread acclaim, including a James Beard nomination this year. The menu changes frequently but includes an array of house-made pasta dishes, and meticulously crafted antipasti and secondi dishes. Given Lucia's intimate setting and popularity, reservations are a must.

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Whole Maine lobster spaghetti at Monarch.
Hank Vaughn


1401 Elm St. (Downtown Dallas)
Perched on the 49th floor of The National residences in downtown Dallas, Monarch has great views of the city skyline, setting the stage for a unique dining experience. This wood-fired, modern Italian restaurant is ideal for special occasions, business dinners or perhaps just happy hour. The fire-roasted lasagna Diane is highly recommended; it's served in a skillet with sheets of lasagna noodles wrapped vertically and stuffed with small meatballs, ricotta cheese, savory tomato sauce and a crispy cheese crust. The enormous veal chop Parmesan comes with tomato crudo, fresh mozzarella and basil, and is served sliced on the plate with the veal bone intact.

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Nonna's stuffed quail.
Kathy Tran


4115 Lomo Alto Drive (Park Cities)
Nonna, another Italian restaurant from Chef Julian Barsotti, has been a beloved neighborhood dining destination since 2016. Barsotti's passion for regional Italian cuisine and his commitment to high-quality ingredients are evident in Nonna’s menu. A wood-burning oven is a focal point for the restaurant, both aesthetically and for the food. Artisanal salumi, pasta and pizzas dominate the menu. The white clam pie with fresh clams, garlic, olive oil and oregano is a treat. Given its widespread popularity, securing reservations, especially during peak dining hours, is highly recommended.

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Margherita pizza at Partenope.
Alison McLean

Partenope Ristorante

1903 Main St. (Downtown Dallas)
Partenope Ristorante earned a well-deserved spot as No. 17 in the prestigious 50 Top Pizza world rankings in 2022 thanks to its outstanding Neapolitan-style pizza and authentic Italian dishes. From meticulously crafted antipasti dishes, like the polpette al sugo (beef and pork meatballs, marinara and house bread) to the Super Jeff sandwich (soppressata, prosciutto, provolone, mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, Calabrian chili may, giardiniera and balsamic) and pasta dishes, you can taste the love in each bite. Partenope Ristorante is a charming spot, blending comfort and style. There are plans for a second location in Richardson later this year.


3219 Knox Street (Knox-Henderson)
Hailing from Hollywood, Pizzana pizzeria is the collaborative creation of Italian Master Pizzaiolo Daniele Uditi and Candace Nelson, the visionary behind Sprinkles Cupcakes. Pizzana is known for its authentic “Neo-Neapolitan-style” pizzas, which ferments dough for 48 hours to impart true Neapolitan pizza qualities with a firm, not floppy, base. The menu offers antipasti, pizza, salads and desserts. For antipasti, you can’t go wrong with the Caprese di bufala, with large chunks of fresh mozzarella, heirloom tomatoes, basil, oregano, garlic and olive oil. For pizzas, go for the cacio e pepe pizza, a signature pie that offers a unique twist on the original pasta dish. Be sure to save room for dessert because the panna cotta with salted caramel and caramelized pretzels is simple but so decadent and should not be missed.

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Half order of pappardelle at Quartino.
Hank Vaughn

Quartino Ristorante

5754 Grandscape Blvd., The Colony
Quartino Ristorante is a new addition to The Granscape in The Colony, courtesy of Chicago. The menu is inspired by the traditional “osterias” of Italy, where guests can enjoy a variety of small plates, known as “cicchetti,” as well as classic Italian dishes. Hank Vaughn recently got a full taste of the menu that includes a wide range of antipasti, salads, risotto, pasta dishes and wood-fired pizzas, all made with fresh and high-quality ingredients. A standout feature of Quartino is its curated wine list, boasting an extensive selection of fine Italian wines. Guests have the option to order wine by the quartino, a quarter-liter carafe, allowing them to try multiple wines during a meal. The emphasis on sharing plates encourages a communal dining experience and creates an atmosphere that beckons friends and family to come together. It all makes this place a truly enticing dining destination.
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