Trust me, when it comes to Italian food, I play no games.
I’m going to be honest with you Columbus, as far as my favorite things go there isn’t much that ranks above cats and tacos. But Italian food cracks its way into the top tier just by being its delicious self.
I’m sure that we can all agree that there are few things better than a post pasta food coma. That’s why I made this list of the best in the city. Next time you get the hankering for the saucy, cheesy, good stuff, you’ll know exactly where to go.
If you combine an Italian pub with a family restaurant, you’ll get Villa Nova Ristorante. Villa Nova is perfect for a hearty fix without all the fuss about dining and ambiance. The restaurant opened back in 1978 and it has stayed in the family ever since. From Chicken Cacciatore to manicotti to good, old-fashioned spaghetti, you’ll find all of your pasta cravings on the menu at Villa Nova.
In fact, if a variety of pasta is what you’re in the mood for, you can order the Pasta Sampler. Of course, you can’t call it dinner at an Italian restaurant if that dinner doesn’t include dessert, so treat yourself to some tiramisu or cannoli and call it a perfect night.
Where: 5545 N High St, Columbus, OH 43214
Website: Villa Nova Ristorante
Carfagna’s is one of the most reliable and iconic Italian eateries in Columbus. The restaurant is located inside their market. Which is pretty darn convenient for when you want to enjoy a meal with the family and when you need supplies for your own creations at home.
The menu at Carfagna’s includes everything from pizza to pasta. And when I say everything, I really mean it. Wanting some chicken parmigiana? They’ve got it. Hoping to start things off with some classic Minestrone? They’ve got that too. A charcuterie board with cheese chosen by Carfagna’s cheesemonger? YUP. See what I mean? They’ve got everything.
Where: 1440 Gemini Place, Columbus OH 43240
Website: Carfagna’s Restaurant
For nearly 100 years, TAT Ristorante di Famiglia has been crafting the perfect pasta dishes for the city of Columbus. When it comes to ordering at TAT, the menu is full of what I like to call the Italian greatest hits.
But when it comes down to it, you really can’t go wrong with keeping it simple. Order the Homemade Italian Spaghetti, which is made with TAT’s own special tomato sauce, and I promise that you’ll leave feeling fully satisfied.
Where: 1210 S James Rd, Columbus, OH 43227
Website: TAT Ristorante di Famiglia
Arranging a meal at Due Amici is a very fast way to become everyone’s favorite friend, colleague, family member, or date. Offering fine Italian dining in the heart of Downtown Columbus, Due Amici utilizes locally sourced foods and ingredients.
Visiting for lunch or dinner is always acceptable at Due Amici, but the real treats happen on the weekend. They’ve got a fantastic brunch menu, or you can place your fate in the capable hands of the experts and order off of the Weekend Chef Feature menu.
Where: 67 E Gay St, Columbus, OH 43215
Website: Due Amici
This mom-and-pop restaurant takes its Italian seriously. Though it may seem a little out of the way it’s definitely a hidden gem worth tracking down for your next night out. The restaurant is reservation only for dine-in, but they do offer a take-and-bake menu if you are hoping to enjoy this yummy cuisine at home.
The menu at Lola & Guiseppe’s Trattoria includes soups, salads, pasta, and other family recipes.
Where: 100 Granville St, Columbus, OH 43230
Website: Lola & Guiseppe’s Trattoria
Marcella’s is a Cameron Mitchell restaurant that has been serving incredible Italian food in the Short North and at Polaris for decades. Accentuated with a list of specialty cocktails and a lively atmosphere, people don’t just come here for fantastic food, they come for a good time.
In addition to classic Italian dishes like tortellini and gnocchi, the restaurant also offers over 50 Italian wines served by the bottle or quartino.
Where: 1319 Polaris Parkway, Columbus, Ohio 43240 and 615 N. High Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215
This neighborhood restaurant has everything the out-and-about city dweller would want in a great dining experience. Amazing menu, trendy but welcoming vibe, all of it. There’s a reason why Giuseppe’s is consistently recommended by residents and visitors to this city alike, and that’s because it’s damn good.
The menu at Giuseppe’s includes some amazing entrees like Veal Piccata, Gamberi Diavola, and Chicken Milanese. No matter what you order, end your visit with a taste of Giuseppe’s Tiramisu. You’ll be really, really happy that you did.
Where: 2268 E Main St, Columbus, OH 43209
Website: Giuseppe’s Ritrovo
Basi Italia has that hidden intimate feel that I just love in Columbus dining locales. Set smack dab in the middle of a brick alleyway, Basi seems more like a secret dining club than one of the city’s most loved Italian spots.
Walking in is a completely different story though. The interior is cozy and inviting, the patio absolutely gorgeous, but best of all is their immaculate and mouthwatering dishes. Genuinely, everything on this menu is out of this world, but the baked ricotta gnocchi might be made out of actual magic.
Where: 811 Highland St, Columbus, OH 43215
Website: Basi Italia
La Tavola is probably Grandview’s best-kept secret and some of the best Italian in the city. Located across from the Grandview Library and next to a dry cleaner, the exterior is pretty nondescript. But inside is a charm all its own, with clean angles, polished wood, and a mellow, calming dining atmosphere.
If creative dishes made with delicious local ingredients sound like it’s up your alley, La Tavola is the spot. The menu changes nightly but you can expect old-world Italian dishes with all of that delicious homemade charm.
Where: 1664 W 1st Ave, Grandview Heights, OH 43212
Website: La Tavola
How does handmade Italian cuisine sound? Moretti’s has been serving up scrumptious tastes of Italy for 40 years now, and they’ve really perfected their craft. There are some really interesting dishes on the menu at Moretti’s in addition to classic options like lasagna, ziti, and ravioli.
In fact, one ravioli dish that is equally part surprising and delicious is Moretti’s vegan Pomodoro. If there’s anyone out there still operating under the assumption that vegan food can’t be delicious should head straight to Moretti’s.
Where: 2124 Tremont Center, Upper Arlington, OH 43221
Pelino’s Pasta may be the newest addition to this list, but it’s already made quite a name for itself. Offering authentic, handcrafted Italian cuisine, Pelino’s is truly one of the best Italian restaurants in town.
The menu at Pelino’s features a monthly rotating three or four-course option that “highlights the beauty and simplicity of quality ingredients and traditional Italian fare.” The dedication to authentic flavors is unparalalled.
Where: 245 King Ave, Columbus, OH 43201
Website: Pelino’s Pasta
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