Special Report

Best Italian Restaurant in Every State

Courtesy of Muriale's Italkian Kitchen via Facebook

Italian food may or may not still constitute our favorite international fare (there is evidence that younger generations prefer Mexican, for instance), but you have only to glance through the recipes on any cooking site or travel through any restaurant-heavy neighborhood and you’ll see that our love affair with la cucina italiana is far from over. 

The average American eats about 20 pounds of pasta a year, in fact, as well as 23 pounds of pizza – equivalent to about 356,000 acres of it. (Read about the best restaurant for pasta in every state.)

Most likely every city or town in America has at least one Italian restaurant, and probably more. National Geographic reported several years ago that about 100,000 of the nation’s 800,000 or so eating places served Italian food of one kind or another.  

To determine the best Italian restaurant in every state, 24/7 Tempo reviewed and extrapolated from lists and rankings on numerous food and general interest sites, including Eater, Yelp, The Daily Meal, Fodors, and Gayot, as well as a wide range of regional and city-specific sites. We did not consider pizzerias that serve little else, but did include establishments that feature pizza along with other Italian dishes. (If it’s just pizza you’re after, here’s a list of the best pizza place in every state.)

Click here to see the best Italian restaurant in every state

The results reveal a vast and varied landscape of Italian and Italian-American cooking. There are places that strive for authenticity and preserve tradition, like the celebrity-magnet Mother Wolf in Los Angeles, but also high-end restaurants creating imaginative variations on the theme, like Scampo in Boston. 

Some Italian places work local ingredients into the mix and/or specialize in the cooking of specific Italian regions, while others are unapologetically old-fashioned red-sauce eateries serving comfort food Italian style.

Alabama: Bottgega
> Location: Birmingham
> Sample menu items: Tagliatelle with braised Mississippi rabbit ragù; bistecca alla fiorentina

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Alaska: In Bocca al Lupo
> Location: Juneau
> Sample menu items: Pork and ricotta meatballs; mafaldine with Alaska scallops

Arizona: Virtù Honest Craft
> Location: Scottsdale
> Sample menu items: Burrata with ‘nduja and orange salsa verde; branzino with melted leeks and fennel

Arkansas: Ermilio’s Italian Home Cooking
> Location: Eureka Springs
> Sample menu items: Choice of pastas with Mom’s homemade meatballs in red sauce; chicken parmesan

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California: Mother Wolf
> Location: Los Angeles
> Sample menu items: Pizza bianca con porchetta; spaghetti all’arrabbiata

Colorado: Frasca Food & Wine
> Location: Boulder
> Sample menu items: Cotechino with grilled corn polenta; tagliolini neri (with caviar and squid ink)

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Connecticut: Grano Arso
> Location: Chester
> Sample menu items: Green beans with soppressata; spaghetti Fra Diavolo

Delaware: Capers & Lemons
> Location: Wilmington
> Sample menu items: Fig flatbread with prosciutto and gorgonzola; C&L braciole with spicy capicola

Florida: Campiello
> Location: Naples
> Sample menu items: Garganelli with roasted chicken, prosciutto, and peas; sautéed snapper piccata with parsley risotto

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Georgia: Tre Vele
> Location: Atlanta
> Sample menu items: Charred octopus with Tuscan bread pudding; lemon ricotta pizza with prosciutto and fried artichokes

Hawaii: La Cucina Ristorante Italiano
> Location: Honolulu
> Sample menu items: Roasted marrow bone with pesto; risotto norcina with homemade sausage and wild mushrooms

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Idaho: Àlavita
> Location: Boise
> Sample menu items: Calamari fritti; trottole with duck confit and peas

Illinois: RPM Italian
> Location: Chicago
> Sample menu items: Squash blossoms stuffed with mozzarella di bufala; gorgonzola-cured wagyu

Indiana: Roma
> Location: Carmel
> Sample menu items: Brussels sprouts al pecorino; maiale al pistacchio (pork tenderloin in a pistachio crust)

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Iowa: Maggie’s Farm Wood-Fired Pizza
> Location: Iowa City
> Sample menu items: Scampi pizza; seven-layer lasagna bolognese

Kansas: Genovese
> Location: Lawrence
> Sample menu items: Risotto fritters with peas and mozzarella; house-made spinach fettuccine Alfredo

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Kentucky: Pompilio’s
> Location: Newport
> Sample menu items: Toasted beef or cheese ravioli; veal marsala with linguine

Louisiana: Ristorante Gianna
> Location: New Orleans
> Sample menu items: Ribollita soup; lamb lasagna

Maine: Ports of Italy
> Location: Boothbay Harbor & Rockport
> Sample menu items:Mussels with sambuca; pork osso buco with risotto milanese

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Maryland: Cinghiale
> Location: Baltimore
> Sample menu items: Potato gnocchetti with forest mushrooms and favas; grilled Mediterranean branzino with eggplant caponata

Massachusetts: Scampo
> Location: Boston
> Sample menu items: Prime sirloin carpaccio with bottarga and cured egg yolk; grilled pink swordfish with zucchini fritters and ricotta gnocchi

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Michigan: SheWolf Pastificio & Bar
> Location: Detroit
> Sample menu items: Farinata (chickpea pancake) with charred corn purée; rigatoni alla gricia (with guanciale and pecorino)

Minnesota: Broders’ Pasta Bar
> Location: Minneapolis
> Sample menu items: Linguine al pesto genovese; lemon chicken risotto

Mississippi: The Sicilian II
> Location: Biloxi
> Sample menu items: House-made mozzarella sticks; stuffed manicotti

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Missouri: Lidia’s Kansas City
> Location: Kansas City
> Sample menu items: Daily pasta tasting menu; anatra (seared duck breast with stuffed zucchini and soft polenta)

Montana: Michelangelo’s Big Sky
> Location: Gallatin Gateway
> Sample menu items: Hazelnut-crusted fried jumbo shrimp with basil aïoli; quattro formaggi (four-cheese) ravioli with tomato sauce;

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Nebraska: MoMo Pizzeria & Ristorante
> Location: Lincoln
> Sample menu items: Prosciutto and egg pizza; baked lobster and shrimp macaroni

Nevada: Ferraro’s Ristorante
> Location: Las Vegas
> Sample menu items: Nonna’s peperone ripieno (peppers stuffed with veal and eggplant); coniglio brasato (braised rabbit with soft polenta)

New Hampshire: Campo Enoteca
> Location: Manchester
> Sample menu items: House-made ricotta with grilled sourdough; chicken piccata tagliatelle

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New Jersey: Cafe 2825
> Location: Atlantic City
> Sample menu items: Spicy scungilli; Sunday Gravy (homemade meatballs, pork braciole, and Italian sausage in Old World thick red gravy)

New Mexico: Osteria d’Assisi
> Location: Santa Fe
> Sample menu items: Margherita pizza; veal osso buco with farro risotto

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New York: Via Carota
> Location: New York City
> Sample menu items: Peas with lettuce and prosciutto; grilled sea bream with charred escarole

North Carolina: Ristorante Paoletti
> Location: Highlands
> Sample menu items: Cannelloni all’Emiliana; cioppino Paoletti

North Dakota: Anima Cucina
> Location: Bismarck
> Sample menu items: Adult mac’n’cheese; porchetta with fried polenta cake

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Ohio: Martini Modern Italian
> Location: Columbus
> Sample menu items: Tomato soup with pesto and goat cheese; fettuccine with clams

Oklahoma: Stella Modern Italian Cuisine
> Location: Oklahoma City
> Sample menu items: Oak-fired apple and prosciutto pizza; limoncello ricotta cheesecake

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Oregon: Nostrana
> Location: Portland
> Sample menu items: Oregon albacore tuna crudo; overnight-roasted pork shoulder with salsa verde and creamy scallion polenta

Pennsylvania: Vetri Cucina
> Location: Philadelphia
> Sample menu items: Sweet onion crêpe with truffle and parmesan fondue; smoked baby goat with house-milled polenta

Rhode Island: Al Forno
> Location: Providence
> Sample menu items: Clams al forno; pappardelle with Venetian chicken meatballs

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South Carolina: Le Farfalle
> Location: Charleston
> Sample menu items: Umbrian-style stewed chickpeas; lamb chops scottadito

South Dakota: Sabatino’s Italian
> Location: Rapid City
> Sample menu items: burrata and prosciutto; spaghetti primavera

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Tennessee: Yolan
> Location: Nashville
> Sample menu items: Gnocchi with black winter truffle and ricotta; breaded veal chop

Texas: Lucia
> Location: Dallas
> Sample menu items: Mortadella ravioli with pistachio pesto; wild striped bass with tomatoes, cream peas, and clams

Utah: Valter’s Osteria
> Location: Salt Lake City
> Sample menu items: Zuppa cotta (cannellini beans, mushrooms, and truffles); chicken piccata with artichokes and lemon sauce

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Vermont: Sarducci’s
> Location: Montpelier
> Sample menu items: Mussels al diablo with linguine; eggplant alla parmigiana

Virginia: Edo’s Squid
> Location: Richmond
> Sample menu items: Squid with white beans and arugula; penne with sausage, ricotta, and broccoli rabe

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Washington: Spinasse
> Location: Seattle
> Sample menu items: Risotto with Alaskan spot prawns; pan-seared quail with cherries, radicchio, and thyme

West Virginia: Muriale’s
> Location: Fairmont
> Sample menu items: Spicy Italian sausage and peppers; linguine with white clam sauce

Wisconsin: Ristorante Bartolotta
> Location: Wauwatosa
> Sample menu items: Frittatina di maccheroni (fried croquette of pasta, ham, peas, and pecorino); fried meatballs with tomato-basil sauce

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Wyoming: Glorietta Trattoria
> Location: Jackson
> Sample menu items: Glorietta’s classic Caesar salad; wood-fired Idaho red trout with house-made sausage

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