Mama Mia, Here We Go Again with the Best Italian Restaurants in San Antonio

November 6, 2020
Food & Drink
jason wolfe

For most people, barbeque is probably the first type of restaurant that comes to mind when they think of food they absolutely have to try while in Texas. While barbeque is definitely pretty high on that list no matter where you travel throughout the state, one type of cuisine that might surprise you with how good it is amongst all the barbeque you could imagine is Italian food! Particularly in San Antonio Texas, where you’re closer to the Mexican border than you would be in many of Texas’s other major cities, the Italian food is absolutely divine. Not sure where to start on your quest to find Italian cuisine in San Antonio? We’ve got you covered.

Slice of Pizza
Who Needs Barbeque When You Can Indulge in Some of the Best Pastas and Pizzas in the City! Image courtesy of Little Italy Restaurant

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Umberto’s Italian Grill

Who said Mexican immigrants can’t do Italian food? Umberto’s Italian Grill is here to prove you wrong! Image courtesy of Umberto’s Italian Grill Instagram

7616 Culebra Rd | Crown Meadows | umbertositaliangrill.net

There’s no rule that says Italian food must be made by someone of Italian descent. In fact, sometimes having had the opportunity to grow up amidst a different culinary tradition altogether is precisely the edge that the chefs at Italian restaurants need to truly stand out from the rest.

At Umberto’s Italian Grill, you won’t find the staff at this family owned and operated restaurant speaking Italian behind the scenes, but Spanish Instead! Hailing from Satillo in Coahuila Mexico, the couple who owns the restaurant has brought along their own Mexican cooking methods and fused them with Italian fare

Can it get more Texan than that? You’ll find any number of traditional Italian dishes here - from chicken francesca to fettuccine alfredo - and each and every one of them is so good that regulars find themselves coming back for more pretty frequently.

“I had the fettuccini alfredo with grilled chicken and the minestrone. Everything was delicious! Super big portions for a very low price, and I can't get enough of the food!” - Yelp Review

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Little Italy Restaurant

Is that a spice meatball? Stop in to find out! Image courtesy of LIttle Italy Restaurant Instagram

824 Afterglow St | Enchanted Village | littleitalysatx.com

Everything might be big in Texas, but that doesn’t mean you should completely forget about the little guys. Small businesses are the backbone of any community, so if you really want to give back to the community that gives so much to you, support your local, family-owned Italian restaurants the next time you get a craving. 

At San Antonio’s Little Italy Italian Restaurant, the food doesn’t just have that homemade feel you’ll get from a lot of family-owned restaurants - it’s also 100% authentic! Originally from Palermo on the Italian island Sicily, this family has brought their own twist on traditional Sicilian fare right to your backyard in San Antonio.

You’ll find an overwhelming variety of traditional Italian food here - from chicken piccata to Siciliana pizza - and each one has been fused with the slight kick of spice that is traditional to Sicilian fare.

“Omg the food is so delicious! I had the four seasons and it was sooo good! The crust is thin and the edge is huge. Ask for dipping sauce for it turns into bread sticks.. :)” - Yelp Review

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La Sorrentina

You too can experience the creamy goodness that is La Sorrentina’s shrimp alfredo! Image courtesy of La Sorrentina Facebook

3330 Culebra Rd | Memoria Heights | lasorrentinasa.com

Looking for something a little off the beaten path of what most people around San Antonio would usually flock to for good Italian food? La Sorrentina might not look like much from the outside, but inside its doors, you’ll find a hidden gem of some of the most delicious food in the city.

Though the family who runs La Sorrentina is originally from Mexico, they’re not too shabby when it comes to cooking up some traditional Italian cuisine, as well. All of their food is made in-house, and they love to source all of their ingredients locally to give back to the community that’s given so much to them.

The next time you’re on the west side of San Antonio and find yourself craving Italian food, be sure that you don’t pass up on La Sorrentina. From garlic bread to pasta primavera, everything here will make your mouth water just thinking about it.

“This was not the first time I've eaten here but just my first time to review and my opinion hasn't changed. La Sorrentina is a hidden Westside gem.” - Yelp Review

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Piatti

It’s time to bust out your sweatpants because these pretty plates are worth a couple extra calories! Image courtesy of Piatti Instagram

255 E Basse Rd, Ste 500 | Alamo Heights | sanantonio.piatti.com

If you’re not yet familiar with the benefits of fresh pasta made in-house daily, prepare yourself for one of the most delicious meals you’ve had in a long time when you drop by Piatti in the Quarry for your latest Italian fix.

Anytime you’re hoping to get your hands on some of the most flavorful pasta, you’ll definitely want to make your way to a restaurant that makes their pasta in house. While you can definitely add any number of different ingredients to your pasta dish to add flavor, what brings about the most flavor is actually the use of fresh pasta.

When pasta is made by hand and in house at the restaurant you’re visiting, any of the other ingredients that have been added - and particularly the sauces - will actually soak into the pasta to create a flavor stronger than any other. That’s exactly what they have to offer you at Piatti!

“Wow! Piatti serves an amazing chicken parmesan. It's as simple as that...the food was packed with flavor and the service was top notch...Definitely give this place a try if you enjoy Italian cuisine.” - Yelp Review

Buy a GiftYa to Piatti >

Tre Trattoria

Would you like some pasta to go with your wine? Image courtesy of Tre Trattoria Instagram

200 W Jones Ave | Downtown | tretrattoria.com

Just as you’ll find that the food most commonly served up in Maine isn’t much like the food you see in restaurants down in San Antonio, not every region throughout Italy makes their Italian cuisine in exactly the same way - or even uses the same ingredients.

San Antonio’s Tre Trattoria, which roughly translates to “three caterers,” features a wide selection of traditional Tuscan food, which may not be entirely the same as the Italian food you’re used to eating.

In the tradition of Tuscan cooking, their motto is to not let anything go to waste. You’ll find that a lot of the things that many restaurants would consider waste after a certain period of time are actually repurposed here at Tre Trattoria. Stale bread? It might just be chunked, seasoned and baked again to make some croutons for your salad!

“Gorgeous view of the riverwalk. I was very tempted to try this bolognese plate that I saw several people eating. It looked very good. Will definitely go back to try it on a hungrier day.” - Yelp Review

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Dough Pizzeria Napoletana

You won’t regret trying this pizza cooked up in a wood fire oven. Image courtesy of Dough Pizzeria Napoletana Instagram

6989 Blanco Rd | Castle Hills | doughpizzeria.com

Here in the great United States of America, you can’t think about Italian food without your mind immediately jumping to pizza. Pizza is a staple here in the States, and while many different variations have evolved over time and distance here, it’s important that we don’t forget just where the pizza tradition started.

In Italy, pizza first started appearing in its modern form as far back as 1889, although it’s believed that street vendors were serving up flatbreads with many of our favorite toppings long before then. While you can definitely find pizza all over in San Antonio, we think it’s imperative that you tuck in for some made the traditional way before going back to your usual haunts.

A traditional Italian pizza is made using a wood-burning oven that’s kind of similar to a kiln. The pizza is slid inside to be cooked over a fire, and the exposure to actual flames gives the dough a different texture and flavor to anything you’re probably used to.

“The ambience at Dough is relaxed, especially in the patio where every seat has a personal blanket...Everything was delicious including the lemon soda made in-house.” - Yelp Review

Buy a GiftYa to Dough Pizzeria Napoletana >

Barbeque is always a good choice, but if you’re looking for something that requires a few less napkins and a few more tablecloths, San Antonio has no shortage of amazing Italian restaurants. These are our favorites. Let us know which one made your new favorite pasta dish in the comments below!

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