What’s not to love about Italian food? In our minds this is the la pièce de résistance of food, it doesn’t get much better than a hot pizza straight out of the oven or big bowl of fettuccine smothered in alfredo sauce. We know that you feel the same way about Italian food as we do, so here are our six favorite Italian restaurants found in the Jacksonville area. The next time you’re in town, give one of these locations a try.
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10601 San Jose Blvd Suite #109 | Jacksonville | enzas.net
Enza’s was born in 2004 to owners Enza and Mike Huff with the goal of continuing to serve food the way Enza grew up with it in Italy. Enza was born in Palmero, Sicily, Italy and lived there until the age of 10 when she immigrated to America. She has been in the restaurant business since the age of 14 when she began working in her family bakery. Since then, Enza has learned the desires and expectations of customers and knew exactly what she wanted when she opened her restaurant. Husband Mike, born and raised in an Italian neighborhood, trained as a chef in order to gain the culinary skills needed to carry out his wife’s dream.
With 40 years of culinary experience, Mike has been serving some of the best Italian cuisine around. Enza’s menu serves up traditional Italian fare -- pasta, seafood, baked dinners, chicken, veal, and pizza turnovers. Don’t forget the soups, salads, and appetizers featuring Pomodoro Caprese with homemade mozzarella and a number of other flavorful ingredients. Enza’s is a trip to Italy with great food and authentic hospitality.
“I've been craving authentic Italian since we returned from Italy. I read the reviews for Enza's and was excited to try it! We just got home and I can't wait to go back!!! The live pianist in the bar area was an extra special treat!” - Yelp Review
6943 St Augustine Rd | Jacksonville | sorrentojax.com
Founded by Luciano Russo, born and raised in Sorrento, Italy, the inspiration behind his restaurant was his upbringing. His goal was to create and execute the cuisine of his home and serve it according to that same hospitality. He worked to serve authentic food and create a warm, inviting atmosphere for 34 long years, until passing on the baton to Jonathan Eddy in 2019. But he did so wary of the change, spending weeks training the new team to continue the same wonderful execution of his recipes and techniques.
Today, the cuisine is served by executive chef Nedal Mardini, who continues the concepts of his predecessor. He is committed to serving outstanding food with unique options to compliment their regular menu. You will find fresh pasta, chicken, veal, and seafood on their menu, as well as a fresh catch of the day option. Finish off your meal with limoncello cheesecake or a chocolate covered cannoli.
“Stumbled across Sorrento about a year ago, holy S$&@. What a gem. I haven't had Italian food this good in the US since I was in the North End of Boston a few years back. The pasta is hand made from scratch. The cannelloni is hands down the best I've ever had....ever.” - Yelp Review
108 E Forsyth St | Jacksonville | casadoraitaliancafe.com
Casa Dora’s motto is to serve the best Italian food in downtown Jacksonville! They offer gourmet, specialty pizza, a build your own pizza, and even pizza by the slice. You can make a trip to this restaurant a quick stop for lunch or a full sit down dinner topped off with friendly hospitality and amazing service.
On top of their delicious pizza options, you are welcomed to try one of their many pasta and seafood dinner options. They also offer baked pasta and a warm calzone -- folded pizza stuffed with a blend of ricotta and mozzarella cheeses. Diners rave about the delicious Italian cuisine from this restaurant and now is your chance to get in on the action!
“We absolutely loved this place. Freddy is the best! He has charm and knows how to take care of his guests. The food was on point and oh so delicious. The next time we are putting our picture on your wall of famous celebrities.” - Yelp Review
12220 Atlantic Blvd Unit #114 | Jacksonville | mamamiasjax.com
Mama Mia’s is a family owned and operated business serving Mama’s own personal and secret recipes that represent true, authentic Italian cuisine. They encourage you to bring the kids as they offer a “Kids make their own pizza option,” both entertainment for you and for them! When you visit, they recommend the garlic knots, fettuccine alfredo, tiramisu, and so many others.
They offer hand tossed thick crust Italian pizza, Italian heros, stromboli, and calzones -- the difference between these two is the addition of ricotta. If you’re not in the mood for pizza, or a folded one -- try veal, chicken, seafood, or a pasta entree. Their menu is extensive and sure to have a delicious option for everyone. You won’t be disappointed with a trip to Mama’s and with their huge menu -- you’ll have to keep coming back to try it all!
“I am so excited to write this review. This restaurant was one of the most amazing places that I have tried and loved. I tried several items off of their menu and was surprisingly surprised to see that all the items I tried was fantastic.” - Yelp Review
2771 Monument Rd | Jacksonville | mattsitaliancuisine.com
Matt’s Italian Restaurant serves homemade bread, dough, and dishes that have earned them guest satisfaction since 1993. They have been around so long they had the opportunity to celebrate their 25th anniversary -- as a trusted business and authentic Italian food restaurant. They have passion and dedication to continue serving successful dishes.
Their menu is extensive, so buckle in while we explain what they have to offer. The menu includes a wide selection of salads, hot and cold subs, baked entrees, chicken and veal, seafood and pasta, and of course we can’t forget the pizza. They offer specialty pizzas as well as create your own options, and the classic stromboli and calzone to go along. At Matt’s there is a dish for everyone. Try it for yourself!
“Matt's is a quiet, pretty little Italian restaurant with some good food. The service is quick and friendly. Their pizza is our favorite, and we would rather pick it up from Matt's than order delivery from someone else.” - Yelp Review
1266 Beach Blvd | Jacksonville Beach | gustojax.com
Gusto offers a taste of Rome complete with a hand selected, stocked bar, open viewing pizza kitchen, handmade desserts, and a lunch and dinner menu designed by generations of Italian family members. They served authentic, old world Roman dishes crafted by skilled Italian chefs.
On their menu you will find traditional Italian dishes such as pasta, baked entrees, seafood, mains, pizza, bruschetta, and antipasto with other starters. Their menu is denoted by Gusto recipes and Roman recipes mixed in with other Italian compliments. Try the Gusto goat cheese bruschetta to begin, add classic baked Roman lasagna, and finish it off with a selection from their wine menu.
“Gustos has the best pizza in town. Also, love their eggplant parmesan. Everything we have ever ordered has been delicious. The Groov band plays on Wednesday evenings and they are fantastic. Staff is also superb.” - Yelp Review
We think these are some of the best Italian restaurants you can find in and around the Jacksonville area. If you love Italian food, try one or all of these restaurants and decide for yourself which is the best!