Top 8 Best Italian Restaurants in Cincinnati

February 26, 2020
Food & Drink
jason wolfe
Image courtesy of Pixabay

Whether you are moving to a new city, or even just visiting, trying to find the best places to get food can be intimidating with the amount of options that are available, especially in a city as big as Cincinnati. Italian cuisine is very popular all around the United States and finding the perfect one can be quite challenging. This is why you stopped here, because you need the help finding that perfect slice of pizza.

So, say ciao to those other restaurants and step into a world of mouth water pizzerias and savory pastas with these top 8 best Italian restaurants to visit in Cincinnati. After reading this list, you will have a good sense of the best italian food in The Queen City.


Basement dining spot serving rustic Italian Cuisine

Many customers enjoy all of the different italian food options that are offered at Sotto in Cincinnati. Image Courtesy of Sotto. | 118 E 6th Street | Downtown

Looking for some unique rustic cuisine in Cincinnati?

Rated the number one italian restaurant in Cincinnati, Sotto is a unique, high-end restaurant that features it’s well-known rustic italian cuisine. With it being one of the most popular italian restaurants in the city, it is recommended that you make a reservation to enjoy the different options that Sotto has to offer. 

The seats fill up fast at Sotto for the family-style italian eatery with options such as pennette vodka, linguine carbonara, and spaghetti aglio e olio. Sotto also features vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free options as well.

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“Sotto is like dining in a cave with exposed brick pillars amidst a vibrant energy in this popular and crowded restaurant.” - Trip Advisor Review

Nicola’s Ristorante

Contemporary Italian Cuisine at its Finest

Customers at Nicola’s Ristorante enjoy the contemporary feel of the second best rated italian restaurant in Cincinnati. Image Courtesy of Nicola’s Ristorante. | 1420 Sycamore Street | Over-the-Rhine

Do you have your heart set out for a more contemporary italian restaurant?

Nicola’s Ristorante is a contemporary italian restaurant that is known for its elegant setting and delicious and authentic italian cuisine. All of their pastas, desserts, and breads are made fresh every day to ensure its quality and dedication towards great food. 

Only open for the dinner hours, making a reservation is your best option if you wish to eat Nicola’s specialty dishes, such as crispy potato gnocchi and tagliolini ai frutti de mare. Nicola’s is rated the second best italian restaurant in Cincinnati and is perfect to go to if you’re looking for an exquisite italian restaurant to go to!

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“Well-balanced dishes with fresh and high quality ingredients, nothing we had was over-seasoned or under-seasoned. Very satisfying meal!” - Yelp Review

Forno Osteria + Bar

Featuring Signature Pizzas and Craft Cocktails

Customers enjoy the indoor and outdoor seating that is offered at Forno Osteria + Bar along with the signature pizza and craft cocktails that they are known for. Image Courtesy of Forno Osteria + Bar.

3514 Erie Avenue | Hyde Park

Looking for a pizzeria with wine and craft cocktails?

Here at Forno Osteria + Bar, rustic italian entrees and pizza is what is usually served at this bustling and light filled restaurant. Not only is Forno Osteria + Bar known for their delicious pizzas, but they are also known for their craft cocktails, like their signature Fernet cup, with ingredients such as gin, fernet, cucumber, ginger beer, and mint. 

If you choose to come to Forno’s Osteria + Bar earlier in the day on Sunday, they have a brunch menu consisting of french toast, mushroom quiche, and a pork milanese panini.

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“It's cozy, the food is great and they have a good wine selection. The service is always great and I've never had anything but a positive experience.” - Yelp Review

Biagio’s Bistro

Cincinnati’s Neighborhood Hangout for Great Italian Cuisine

Biagio’s Bistro gives customers the view to watch their fresh italian food be cooked by the chef, which is a popular spot in Cincinnati. Image Courtesy of Your Uptown. | 308 Ludlow Avenue | Clifton

Are you searching for a comfortable hangout spot for some classic and delicious italian food?

Located within a half mile of the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, Biagio’s Bistro is a comfy italian hangout that serves all of your favorite, and classic italian dishes at a low cost. Some of their signature dishes are fettuccine alfredo, veggie pasta, italian wedding soup, caesar and greek salads, and many other classic favorites. Biagio’s Bistro has many food options for all italian lovers and includes vegetarian options as well. Biagio’s Bistro also gives customers the feature of watching their food being cooked by the chef!

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“This restaurant was wonderful! From the atmosphere, to the classy waiters, to the chef cooking your meal where you could watch - truly great food & experience at affordable prices.” - Trip Advisor Review

A Tavola Bar + Trattoria

Get Some Famous Wood-Fired Neapolitan Pies

Wood-fired pizzas are what A Tavola Bar + Trattoria is known for and many customers come here to enjoy the unique flavor combinations that they have to offer. Image Courtesy of A Tavola Bar + Trattoria | 1220 Vine Street | Over-the-Rhine

Who wants some famous wood-fired neapolitan pies served with antipasti?

Yes, you heard it here. A Tavola Bar + Trattoria is an industrial chic restaurant that serves it’s famous neapolitan pies, or pizzas that are served with antipasti. Their pizzas are very unique and one of their signature ones has delicious ingredients such as fig jam, prosciutto, fontina, and arugula. 

While A Tavola Bar + Trattoria is famous for its pizzas, they are also known for their craft cocktails, such as their signature Archibald cocktail, with ingredients such as Watershed Four Peel gin, Fernet Branca, and fresh squeezed orange juice. A Tavola is a smaller italian restaurant, but it is filled with many different flavors and options for hungry eaters.

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“If you want to escape and feel like you are eating in Italy go here and enjoy!!” - Yelp Review

Via Vite

Sleek Italian Restaurant with A View of Fountain Square

Indulge in Via Vite’s classic italian menu with a spectacular view of Cincinnati’s own Fountain Square. Image Courtesy of Via Vite | 520 Vine Street | Downtown

Looking for a view of Fountain Square while eating your delicious italian meal?

Via Vite  is a sleek italian restaurant with a beautiful view of Fountain Square with a breathtaking view of the Tyler Davidson fountain among the bustling streets of Cincinnati. Featuring many tuscan traditions with their food, some of their signature dishes feature a seafood risotto, Faroe Island salmon, and lamb shank. 

Via Vite also offers endless options of beer, wine, and cocktails, and reservations are recommended when wanting to eat here. Via Vite also uses all fresh ingredients to prepare their food and it is also a sister company of the famous Nicola’s in Cincinnati.

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“Our meal was delicious and the overall experience was very relaxing and enjoyable. I highly recommend this restaurant to visitors and locals!” - Yelp Review


Elegant and up-scale Italian restaurant with endless delicious meal options

Enjoy an elegant view looking at the Cincinnati skyline while eating delicious italian classics at Primavista. Image Courtesy of Primavista. | 810 Matson Place | Downtown

Want to have a delicious italian dinner with a city view of Cincinnati?

Primavista is an up-scale italian restaurant located in Cincinnati with a beautiful and breathtaking view of the city. They offer endless options for all different kinds of customers, such as classic italian options, and also vegetarian, vegan, and even gluten-free options. 

Primavista is known for its sensational food, along with being named “Best Dining With a View”, “Best Date Spot”, and was also named “Best Italian Restaurant” in Cincinnati Magazine’s Readers Choice. They specialize and are known for their veal and fresh fish dishes, and their sauces and stocks are all handcrafted and made in house. 

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“From the moment you arrive, you receive comfort, beauty, and a glorious dining experience. Prima Vista has been a dining event for 30 years and they are only getting better. Cocktails, wine list, appetizers, entrees and desserts are all worth the trip.” - Yelp Review

Maggiano’s Little Italy

Cincinnati’s Semi Up-Scale Classic Family Style Served Italian Restaurant

Maggiano’s Little Italy is known for its family-style served italian classics that everyone loves and enjoys. Image Courtesy of Maggiano’s Little Italy. | 7875 Montgomery Road | Downtown

Searching for the ultimate classic italian restaurant served family-style?

Maggiano’s Little Italy is a semi up-scale italian restaurant located in Kenwood Towne Centre that serves all the classic italian favorites family-style. In a relaxed environment, customers are able to enjoy season fresh salads, italian sausage flatbreads, and classics such as spaghetti and meatballs and fettuccine alfredo. They also offer different options of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free customers as well. 

“Our whole experience here was absolutely top notch! Great service, great food, great atmosphere.” - Yelp Review

Cincinnati is full of delicious Italian restaurants serving new dishes filled with creative flavor combinations, along with classic Italian food that everybody loves. Did yours make the list?


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