16 Best Italian Restaurants in Cleveland, OH [2022 Updated]

Cleveland, the largest city on Lake Erie, has a robust dining scene loved by locals and tourists. It may be miles away from the Mediterranean. Still, it has its own Little Italy that can give you an authentic dining experience. So if you’re craving pizza and pasta, check out the 17 Best Italian Restaurants in Cleveland, OH.

1. Luca Italian Cuisine

$$$$ | 216-862-2761 | Website

Luca Italian Cuisine

Luca Italian Cuisine offers outstanding food and a breathtaking view of Cleveland. This high-end, fine dining restaurant has several awards under its belt. Husband and wife team Luca and Lola Selma realized their lifelong dream and opened this place in 2013.

Since then, they have shared their passion for fine European dining by whipping up fantastic meals. The specials include Pappardelle Alla Bolognese, Cannelloni Di Vitello, and Piccata di Pollo.

All meals are made from the most delicate meat and seafood, handmade pasta, and the freshest herbs. The sommelier, Lola, can help you pair your delectable meals with the perfect wine.

 

2. Mia Bella Restaurant

$$ | 216-795-2355 | Website

Family-owned and operated Mia Bella (named after the owners’ first born) has served the Cleveland community for several years. It makes a wide selection of Italian dishes with a Mediterranean flair. The chef has over 20 years of experience preparing meals in fine dining restaurants.

This vast knowledge of high-end cuisine allows him to express his culinary creativity through contemporary Italian meals. A highly recommended dish is the Mia Bella Especiale.

It’s linguini with chicken, zucchini, peppers, sundried tomatoes, and onions. The wide selection of wines and handcrafted cocktails match the delightful dishes perfectly.

 

3. Osteria Italian

$$$$ | 216- 685-9490 | Website

Osteria, founded in 2005, served traditional Italian cuisine at West 6th. They’ve revitalized the classic restaurant 17 years later at a new place on Walnut and East 9th. All these years. It’s still the same chef who prepares the fantastic dishes that everyone loves.

This posh restaurant is a perfect combination of traditional and modern Italian cuisine. Diners can enjoy an intimate and classy atmosphere combined with excellent service.

The Ossobuco Alla Fiorentina, a slow-roasted veal shank with reduced vegetables, is a known favorite. The Ravioli con Ricotta is also heavenly. You can also revel in live entertainment during throwback Thursdays.

 

4. Michaelangelo’s Italian Restaurant & Wine Bar

$$$ | 216-721-0300 | Website

If you prefer fine dining in a casual environment, then Michaelangelo’s Italian Restaurant is the place for you. Award-winning Executive Chef Michael Annadono creates exquisite Italian cuisine served in Italian style.

The restaurant is famous for its handmade pasta, including the Pappardelle Alla Bolognese. Lobster Ravioli and Veal Stuffed Tortellini. The chef uses fresh and organic produce to prepare sumptuous meals.

This dining spot has a well-curated wine red and white wine collection. Each glass pairs perfectly with any of its dishes. Critics and local publications have praised the authentic food and the relaxing atmosphere.

 

5. Valerio’s Ristorante

$$$ | 216-421-8049 | Website

For more than 24 years, Valerio’s has been an iconic fixture in Cleveland’s Little Italy. It provides authentic Italian dishes partnered with a fine dining experience. The restaurant’s chef/owner from Carbone in Southern Italy brings the flavors of his childhood and learnings from a Florentine culinary school to the Cleveland community.

He uses the freshest produce to create traditional meals from the different Italian regions. The delectable pasta dishes on the menu includes Penne Alla Bolognese, Gnocchi Alla Gorgonzola, and Penne Alla Puttanesca. Its also famous for its chicken, veal, and steak entrees.

 

6. Trattoria on the Hill

$$ | 216-421-2700 | Website

Trattoria on the Hill

You may find this charming restaurant in the heart of Cleveland’s Little Italy. Trattoria on the Hill has served the community authentic Italian food since 1984. This family-owned and operated culinary venture has genuinely great food and exceptional service.

No wonder it belongs to the Top 3 Best Italian Restaurants in Cleveland. House specialties include homemade Vegetarian Lasagna, Eggplant Parmigiano, and Cheese Tortellini.

Meanwhile, several delicious entrees, including chicken, veal, and salmon, are worth trying. If you’re more of a pizza fan, you can choose from a wide array of options.

 

7. Bruno’s Ristorante & Catering

$$ | 216-961-7087 | Website

Bruno's Ristorante & Catering

Stepping into Bruno’s Ristorante is like immersing yourself in Coreno, Italy’s rich landscapes and colorful lifestyle. Its owner Chef Bruno gets inspiration from the traditions of his heritage. You’ll experience a cozy and intimate setting as each meal is prepared specially for you.

Everyone in the restaurant ensures that the food is fresh, delicious, and traditionally cooked. This dining spot’s traditional sauces perfectly compliments the fresh homemade pasta.

The chef carefully picks the meat and seafood to ensure you get the best dishes. Cleveland diners have voted the homemade lasagna as the best in the area.

 

8. Angelo’s Nido Italia Restaurant

$$ | 216-421-0221 | Website

Angelo’s Nido Italia Restaurant

In this upscale yet old-school restaurant, there’s everything for everyone. You can enjoy salads, sandwiches, pasta, and entrees. The dining spot’s warm and cozy interiors are perfect for date nights or family celebrations. You’ll get a soup and salad when you order any of the pasta.

The Jumbo Meat Ravioli, Spaghetti with meatballs, and Fettuccine Alfredo are crowd favorites. It’s best to end your meal with traditional cannoli and other Italian desserts.

The meatball sub or the chicken parmigiana sandwich are perfect options if you’re more of a sandwich person. You can enjoy house specials every Tuesday night.

 

9. Il Venetian

$$ | 216-241-4800 | Website

Il Venetian

This modern Italian fine-dining restaurant features locally-sourced ingredients and fresh handmade dishes. It offers pasta made daily, fresh seafood, and prime steaks. Its bar carries over 200 wines that pair best with the Italian fare.

Everyone, from the chef to the staff, is committed to highlighting the Italian tradition of preparing food with love and care. This dining spot’s interiors are a creative collaboration of Italian and local designers.

The chandeliers, artwork, glasswork, and sculptures come from Venice and other Italian regions. It aims to make the room comfortable and elegant, eclectic yet classy. All elements are perfect for intimate dinners or family celebrations.

 

10. Cibreo Italian Kitchen

$$$ | 216-862-9212 | Website

Cibreo Italian Kitchen

You can find Cibreo Italian Kitchen in the heart of Cleveland’s Playhouse Square. This Tuscan-themed dining spot offers authentic Italian cuisine and high-quality wines. It’s a Cleveland A-List Establishment and has been chosen as one of Northeast Ohio’s Top Italian Restaurants.

You can enjoy authentic Seafood or Butternut Risotto as well as Ravioli and Lasagna. Its delectable entrees include short ribs, pork, veal, salmon, and chicken.

If you’re planning a private event, you can book its place, the Cibreo Privato, beside the restaurant. The accommodating staff can help you plan the menu, theme, entertainment, and lodging.

 

11. Etna Ristorante and Wine Bar

$$ | 216-791-7670 | Website

Etna Ristorante and Wine Bar

In 2009 Chef Peppe Pilumeli established Etna Ristorante. He brings the culture and culinary traditions of his hometown, Sicily, to the Cleveland community. The restaurant strives to offer a fine dining experience rooted in authentic dishes and friendly service.

The selection of fresh seafood, pasta, appetizers, and meat can satisfy your Italian food cravings. You should try the Spaghetti Pomodoro, Seafood Risotto, and Tortellini in Bolognese Sauce.

On the other hand, all entrees come with roasted potatoes or any vegetables of the day. You can choose Angus Beef Strip Steak, Top Round Veal, or Boneless Chicken Breast.

 

12. La Dolce Vita

$$ | 216-721-8155 | Website

La Dolce Vita is at the heart of Cleveland’s Little Italy in  Murray Hill and Mayfield. For over 30 years, it has been providing the community with authentic Italian cuisine. Its owner Terry Tarantino may not be a professional chef. Still, his background in horticulture can be seen all over the restaurant.

He had made it his life mission to showcase high-quality and precision on all of the dishes. Once you enter the restaurant, an eclectic Tuscan design with abundant greenery will welcome you. It’s great to start your meal with excellent antipasti such as Molto Meatballs, Eggplant Parm, and Unfried Calamari.

 

13. Mamma Santa’s

$$ | 216-231- 9567 | Website

Mamma Santa's

Family-owned Mama Santa’s significantly contributes to Little Italy’s cultural and historical growth. It takes pride in high-quality and authentic Italian meals that have earned various awards.

You’ll taste the fresh flavors of traditional Sicilian cooking in every bite. One exciting feature of this restaurant is that it gives you a chance to build your pizza. You’ll get the choose the size, toppings, and sauce that you want.

There are even gluten-free versions, too. The homemade pasta is also worth trying. They can whip up spaghetti and other delicious pasta with complementing sauces.

 

14. Maxi’s Bistro

$$ | 219-421-1500 | Website

 

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Maxi’s Bistro, located in Cleveland’s historic Little Italy, exudes a welcoming ambiance and vibrant atmosphere. It has a wide array of delectable appetizers that are best paired with a glass of wine from the bar.

You can enjoy various bruschetta creations, escargot, frog legs, and escarole. The Calamari Pasta, Shrimp Marinara, and Bolognese with Pappardelle are unforgettable dishes.

Aside from these authentic Italian fares, you can also revel in the restaurant’s mouthwatering pizzas and meat and poultry dishes. You may stay at the ground level for a livelier evening or on the second floor for a more intimate dining experience.

 

15. Johnny’s Bar on Fulton

$$$ | 216-281 0055 | Website

Johnny's Bar on Fulton

Formerly known as Louise’s Garden in the 1920s, this restaurant grew into one of Cleveland’s most reputable dining spots. It relaunched as Johnny’s Bar in 1952. Since then, it has offered genuine cuisine inspired by the culture of Northern Italy.

Thi iconic landmark has become a must-try for both locals and visitors. The outdoor patio provides a one-of-a-kind dining experience similar to the classic restaurants in New York.

The chef and staff take their food seriously, highlighting local ingredients and natural techniques. Treat yourself to the extensive wine collection, including Italian reds, Piedmontese and Tuscan wines.

 

16. Lago East Bank

$$ | 216-862-8065 | Website

 

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Lago expresses family values, tradition, and love for good food in their dishes. The owner’s family inspires him in all endeavors. His hard work paid off with awards such as Best Happy Hour, Best Patio, and Best Downtown Hotspot from Cleveland magazine.

It also won the Diner’s Choice Award from OpenTable. The decadent dinner menu consists of delicious appetizers, pasta, pizza, and entrees. If you’re looking for a place to relax, you can visit during Happy Hour, where you’ll get good value beer, wines, and other spirits.

 

Summary

You don’t have to visit Italy to enjoy authentic pizza, pasta, and entrees. Cleveland has its own Little Italy, where restaurants offer genuine cuisine rooted in history and tradition.

You’ll feel the warm welcome as you step inside the 17 Best Restaurants in Cleveland, OH. You’ll taste the fresh ingredients and the Italian tradition of good food.

 

Italian Restaurants in Cleveland, OH

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