The short pasta and sausage is a must order at Storico Fresco.

Indulge in a cello flight at No. 246.

Portofino's dining room is perfect for an intimate dinner.

Calamari and lasagna get extra special treatment at Campagnolo in Midtown.

The 10 Best Italian Restaurants in Atlanta

It may still be National Pizza Month, but who doesn’t love a bowl of hearty pasta? It’s one of my go-to comfort foods. Many of our city’s best Italian restaurants make their pasta in house. However, there’s so much more to behold at Atlanta’s best Italian restaurants. If you’re looking to get your pasta fix, go no further than this list of the 10 best Italian restaurants in Atlanta.

  1. Boccalupo – The fresh-made pastas by Bruce Logue are delightful. The ambiance at this Old Fourth Ward restaurant definitely has a hipster feel. Logue’s Black Spaghetti with Rock Shrimp, which is his signature dish, is always on the menu. The menu also has a couple “not noodle” dishes and some pleasing desserts. You can’t tell it from the street view, but there’s a lovely patio there as well.
  2. Campagnolo – Located in the heart of Midtown is a quaint Italian restaurant. While calamari may be easily overlooked as it is quite a ubiquitous menu item, don’t miss out as this is definitely a unique version. The orecchiette with sausage is delicious as is the lasagna. Note that the patio is dog friendly.
  3. Cibo E Beve  – The name literally means “eat and drink” at the Italian spot that is a perfect choice for a date night or an intimate gathering of friends. Pizzas are super, and the signature is the Brooklyn, made with house-made sausage. Another signature item is the Lobster Spaghetti. Served with minimal seasoning, it is quite the lobster lover’s special. Of course, Italians classics like chicken piccata and osso buco are on the menu as well.
  4. Colletta – All pasta is not created the same as is evidenced by this standout Alpharetta restaurant. The menu is divided into starters, pizza, pasta and piatti. Start with the arancini. Pizza is good, but the pasta is better. A simple pappardelle with pork, tomato and ricotta impresses as does the agnolotti stuffed with short ribs and salsa verde.
  5. Davio’s – The upscale Italian steak house is the perfect choice for a company dinner or a special occasion. Whatever you order, make sure to sample the gnocchi as it is heavenly. It goes without saying that steaks are magnificent here, but the pastry chef does an outstanding job with sweets, too.
  6. La Tavola – One of the staples of any neighborhood is a solid Italian restaurant, and La Tavola definitely fits the bill. The small dining room can get loud, so opt for patio dining, which is open year-round (there are heaters). The wine list is excellent and lengthy. Dishes are highly creative. One example: pasta with cuttlefish-pancetta ragu. At brunch try the challah French toast with berries and honey mascarpone. Tip: Not feeling that hungry? Pasta entrees are available in appetizer portions for $5 less than the entree portion.
  7. No. 246 – Part of his restaurant empire, Ford Fry’s No. 246 is in Decatur. Pastas and pizzas are stunning. Even simple spaghetti with shrimp is a winner. Pizzas are enough for two to share and are around $20. Don’t miss out on the house-made limoncello, either. Planning a special occasion? Book the chef’s counter for $50 for a five-course menu where you sit overlooking the preparation.
  8. Osteria Mattone – This remodeled house has an open plan that still retains much of the charm it had as a dwelling. At lunch the “Build Your Own Pizza” is a terrific deal. However, this restaurant is certainly romantic as a weekend date option. Snuggle up to your sweetie outside near the fire pit on a cool fall evening while sipping on a glass of red if you have to wait for a table. A short rib agnolotti is magnificent, too.
  9. Portofino – Located on a quiet street in Buckhead, the beautifully designed restaurant features magnificent Italian dishes. Portofino also has a lovely and quite indulgent brunch. Tip: If you like artichokes, they are a secret menu item here.
  10. Storico Fresco – Since the Buckhead restaurant is as much Italian market as it is restaurant, don’t expect low lighting or upscale decor. The lumachelle (short pasta) with Italian sausage and arugula is one of my favorites. There’s much more to Storico Fresco than pastas, though. Mains include pork, veal, duck, steak and the seafood trio. You can’t escape a bit of Italian in each dish though; the pork rib is served with polenta and a tomato ragu. A duck breast is served with pesto, and the steak is porcini rubbed. 

Atlanta is full of great Italian restaurants. See the full list here

Malika Bowling is the author of Food Lovers’ Guide to Atlanta, Food Blogging 101 and founder of Atlanta Restaurant Blog. Malika also has served as a judge at various culinary competitions and food festivals, including Taste of Atlanta. She is the president of the Association of Food Bloggers and her podcast, Just a Byte, can be downloaded from iTunes. Follow her on Twitter @MalikaBowling and Instagram

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