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Closeup shot of a meaty Italian-style slice of lasagna, sitting in a black plastic takeout container
Emiliana-style lasagna from Gran Gusto
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Where to Eat Italian Food in Boston

It’s not all about the North End (but okay, sure, there’s a lot of good Italian food in the North End)

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Emiliana-style lasagna from Gran Gusto
| Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Boston isn’t short on Italian food — it’s easy to find variations inspired by different regions of the old country, as well as the red-sauce variety popularized by so many Italian-American grandmas and grandpas. And the North End doesn’t have a patent on the stuff, either — there are excellent options throughout the city and its surrounding ‘burbs.

Here are 20 restaurants that showcase some of the best Italian and Italian-American food the Boston area has to offer, from Sicilian-inspired seafood to hefty plates of pasta.

Note: While pizza is probably America’s favorite Italian offering, dedicated pizzerias don’t appear on this map; they’ve got their own. We’ve also omitted sub shops, keeping this map to mostly full-service options.

Please note that a number of Boston restaurants have resumed dine-in service, and the level of service offered is indicated on each map point. However, this should not be taken as endorsement for dining in, as there are still safety concerns: For updated information on coronavirus cases in the area, please visit the Massachusetts coronavirus website.

Studies indicate that there is a lower exposure risk when outdoors, but the level of risk involved with patio dining is contingent on restaurants following strict social distancing and other safety guidelines.

See also:

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Bistro 5

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5 Playstead Rd
Medford, MA 02155
(781) 395-7464
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For nearly two decades, Bistro 5 has been serving some of the loveliest Italian food in Medford (and beyond). Get the chef’s tasting menu for an overview of chef and owner Vittorio Ettore’s food, which heavily features local and seasonal ingredients, including herbs grown right onsite.

Bistro 5 is open for indoor dining and takeout.

Fancy Italian dish on a white plate with walnuts, frisee, dollops of a white sauce, and other components
A dish at Bistro 5
Bistro 5/Official Site

2. Real Italian Gusto

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24 High St
Medford, MA 02155
(781) 396-1656
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With owners, a chef, and an oven straight from Italy, Real Italian Gusto aims to prove its name with a wide-ranging menu that covers Neapolitan-style pizza, classic pasta dishes from different regions of Italy, and more.

Real Italian Gusto is open for indoor dining, takeout, and delivery via DoorDash, Grubhub, and Uber Eats.

Overhead view of a quarter of a pizza with pepperoni and basil, served on a white plate
Calabria pizza at Real Italian Gusto
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

3. Posto

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187 Elm St
Somerville, MA 02144
(617) 625-0600
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While Posto may be best known for its outstanding Neapolitan-style pizza, you’ll want to peruse its pastas and meats as well. The Davis Square gem also expanded out to Bedford in late 2019.

Posto is open for indoor dining, and takeout and delivery via its official website.

A chef holds a wood-fired pizza with a puffy, blistered crust at Posto in Somerville
Neapolitan-style pizza at Posto
Brian Samuels

4. Gran Gusto

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90 Sherman St
Cambridge, MA 02140
(617) 441-0400
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Gran Gusto’s menu is all over the Italian map, and that’s a good thing. Start with a Caprese salad, and move onto a pasta dish like paccheri with short rib ragù or the chitarra alla “sciuè sciuè,” which is served out of a cheese wheel. But don’t miss the pizza; it’s one of the best in town.

Gran Gusto is open for indoor dining, takeout, and delivery.

Paccheri garnished with a meaty short rib ragu and a sprig of rosemary sits on a white plate on a dark background
Paccheri with short rib ragù at Gran Gusto
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

5. Fat Hen

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126 Broadway
Somerville, MA 02145
(617) 764-1612
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This Somerville favorite, a sibling and neighbor to La Brasa, is dishing out house-made pasta (gnocchi, gemelli, agnolloti, etc.) and antipasti options such as black bass crudo and arancini. Its beer and wine list is also exceptional. Fat Hen’s small, intimate space makes it a solid pick for a romantic night out — or a buyout for a private event (up to 30 people seated or 50 standing).

Fat Hen is open for indoor dining, and takeout and delivery via its official website.

Interior of a small restaurant with dark teal walls and light wooden accents.
Fat Hen
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

6. Giulia

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1682 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 441-2800
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Giulia is serving some of the best fresh pasta in the city, especially the pappardelle with wild boar, a year-round menu mainstay.

Giulia is open for indoor dining, outdoor dining (weather permitting), and takeout.

Thick pasta noodles covered in red sauce and grated parmesan cheese
Giulia’s fresh-made pasta is hard to beat
Giulia/Official Site

7. Rino's Place

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258 Saratoga St
Boston, MA 02128
(617) 567-7412
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Rino’s Place in Eastie has the Guy Fieri “Triple D” seal of approval, not to mention the love of crowds of locals and tourists alike. The ravioli is made to order, and the veal osso bucco isn’t half bad either.

Rino’s Place is open for indoor dining and takeout.

A white plate full of plump, round ravioli, topped with lobster
Lobster ravioli at Rino’s Place
Rino’s Place/Official Site

8. Pammy's

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928 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02139
(617) 945-1761
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Pammy’s is not quite Italian — the restaurant describes itself as “a New American restaurant inspired by the feel of an Italian neighborhood trattoria” — but it pulls from Italian cuisine enough (and is good enough) that it’s worth including here. Negronis are served on draft, and the pasta is made from scratch, down to the flour being milled in-house. Don’t ignore the lumache, served with a Bolognese sauce that’s kicked up with spicy Korean gochujang.

Pammy’s is open for indoor dining and takeout.

A big white bowl on a white tiled surface, filled with lumache in a red sauce and garnished with a thinly sliced green herb.
Lumache Bolognese with gochujang at Pammy’s
Natasha Moustache

9. Giacomo's

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355 Hanover St
Boston, MA 02113
(617) 523-9026

The portions at Giacomo’s are huge, and the wine is relatively cheap. Everything is good, but go for some seafood. Giacomo’s is all about the seafood.

Giacomo’s is open for indoor dining and takeout.

Spaghetti in a tomato sauce, piled on a white plate and topped with clams and other seafood. A basket of bread and glass of wine are visible in the background.
Frutti di mare at Giacomo’s
Brando/Flickr (Creative Commons)

10. The Daily Catch

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323 Hanover St
Boston, MA 02113
(617) 523-8567
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The calamari at the Daily Catch is the truth. (Try the location on Harvard Street in Brookline as well.)

The Daily Catch is open for indoor dining and takeout.

Plate of fried calamari
Calamari at the Daily Catch
The Daily Catch/Official Site

11. Carmelina's

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307 Hanover St
Boston, MA 02113
(617) 742-0020
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Carmelina’s menu is inspired by Sicilian fare. If you’re hungry, try the Sunday macaroni: meatballs, sausage, and beef rib served with macaroni, tossed with tomato sauce, and topped with ricotta. It’s a lot of a good thing.

Carmelina’s is open for indoor dining, takeout, and delivery.

Closeup overhead view of a plate of mussels in a red sauce with a green herb garnish
Mussels at Carmelina’s
Carmelina’s/Official Site

12. Galleria Umberto

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289 Hanover St
Boston, MA 02113
(617) 227-5709
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While the rules of this map prohibit places that are primarily pizzerias, Galleria Umberto gets a pass for one reason: the arancini. Get there early — food tends to sell out before 1 p.m. Note that Umberto is counter-service, cash only, open for lunch only, and closed on Sundays and for much of the summer. This might seem fussy, but it’s worth it.

Galleria Umberto is open for indoor dining and takeout.

A slice of cheese pizza and an open arancino, stuffed with rice, cheese, beef, and peas, at Galleria Umberto North End
Arancini from Umberto
Terrence B. Doyle/Eater

13. Carlo’s Cucina Italiana

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131 Brighton Ave
Allston, MA 02134
(617) 254-9759
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Allston is probably best known for its Korean food, but Carlo’s is serving some damn good Italian on Brighton Avenue (and has been for over 40 years). The Boston Globe once called Carlo’s one of the 10 most underrated restaurants in the city, and the restaurant’s loyal fanbase agrees.

Carlo’s is open for indoor dining, takeout, and delivery.

A lasagna-style dish is topped with brown cheese and sits in a tomato sauce with a sprinkling of parsley
A dish at Carlo’s Cucina Italiana
Carlo’s Cucina Italiana/Official Site

14. Anchovies

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433 Columbus Ave
Boston, MA 02116
(617) 266-5088
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Anchovies is the best dive bar/delicious restaurant in the city. It’s all good, but try the mussels and the chicken parm.

Anchovies is open for indoor dining, takeout, and delivery.

A restaurant exterior by night. Neon signage in its window reads Anchovies Food & Spirits.
Anchovies
Katie Chudy/Eater

15. Coppa

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253 Shawmut Ave
Boston, MA 02118
(617) 391-0902
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This South End Italian spot from Jamie Bissonnette and Ken Oringer has been open for more than a decade. It does cheese and cured meats especially well; definitely get the beef heart pastrami. But don’t forget the pastas: The cavatelli is a must.

Coppa is open for indoor dining, takeout, and delivery.

A white bowl of cavatelli in an orange-ish sauce sits on a wooden table
Cavatelli with slow cooked broccoli and chicken sausage, tomato, fennel pollen, and parmesan at Coppa
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

16. Fox & the Knife

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28 W Broadway
Boston, MA 02127
(617) 766-8630
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Fox & the Knife is the brainchild of chef and owner Karen Akunowicz (of Top Chef and Myers + Chang fame). The menu is inspired by her time spent living in Modena, Italy, and features pasta dishes like wild boar Bolognese and bucatini with goat butter and pink peppercorns. Its spritz menu is vast (and surprisingly affordable for Boston), and its focaccia is irresistibly cheese-stuffed.

Fox & the Knife is open for indoor dining and takeout.

A plate of bright green twists of campanelle al pesto di pistacchio at Fox and the Knife
Campanelle al pesto di pistacchio at Fox & the Knife
Sarah Storrer/Eater

17. Mida

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782 Tremont St
Boston, MA 02118
(617) 936-3490
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Mida features must-eat pasta and more. Carb lovers with gigantic appetites will love Monday nights at Mida, which feature a pasta feast situation — $70 includes pasta galore for two, as well as salad and bread.

Mida is open for indoor dining, takeout, and delivery via Caviar and DoorDash.

A della casa tasting at Mida
Overhead view of a wooden table covered with plates of Italian food. Arms reach in from all sides.
Emily Kan

18. La Morra

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48 Boylston St
Brookline, MA 02445
(617) 739-0007
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This Brookline mainstay features everything from Venetian cicchetti to grilled meats. For a taste of as much of the menu as possible, try the three-course prix fixe menu with optional wine pairings.

La Morra is open for indoor dining, takeout, and delivery.

A large piece of pork belly sits on a plate with a jammy sauce and thinly sliced radishes and other vegetables
A smoked and braised pork belly special at La Morra
La Morra/Facebook

19. Delfino

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754 South St
Roslindale, MA 02131
(617) 327-8359
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From exceptional ravioli to seafood fra diavolo, Delfino in Roslindale is a crowd-pleaser. It’s been open since 2001, serving a menu that touches on Rome, Naples, and Bologna.

Delfino is open for indoor dining and takeout.

Two slices of toast are topped with halved cherry tomatoes, goat cheese, a balsamic drizzle, and more
Bruschetta at Delfino
Delfino/Official Site

20. Tavolo Ristorante

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1918 Dorchester Ave
Dorchester, MA 02124
(617) 822-1918
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This neighborhood spot — sibling to Ashmont Grill — calls its food “Dorchester Italian,” which includes everything from spicy mussels to chicken parm to lasagna Bolognese, not to mention pizzas.

Tavolo is open for indoor dining and takeout.

Overhead view of a light wooden table covered with small white plates of Italian appetizers
A selection of small plates at Tavolo
Tavolo/Facebook

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1. Bistro 5

5 Playstead Rd, Medford, MA 02155
Fancy Italian dish on a white plate with walnuts, frisee, dollops of a white sauce, and other components
A dish at Bistro 5
Bistro 5/Official Site

For nearly two decades, Bistro 5 has been serving some of the loveliest Italian food in Medford (and beyond). Get the chef’s tasting menu for an overview of chef and owner Vittorio Ettore’s food, which heavily features local and seasonal ingredients, including herbs grown right onsite.

Bistro 5 is open for indoor dining and takeout.

5 Playstead Rd
Medford, MA 02155

2. Real Italian Gusto

24 High St, Medford, MA 02155
Overhead view of a quarter of a pizza with pepperoni and basil, served on a white plate
Calabria pizza at Real Italian Gusto
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

With owners, a chef, and an oven straight from Italy, Real Italian Gusto aims to prove its name with a wide-ranging menu that covers Neapolitan-style pizza, classic pasta dishes from different regions of Italy, and more.

Real Italian Gusto is open for indoor dining, takeout, and delivery via DoorDash, Grubhub, and Uber Eats.

24 High St
Medford, MA 02155

3. Posto

187 Elm St, Somerville, MA 02144
A chef holds a wood-fired pizza with a puffy, blistered crust at Posto in Somerville
Neapolitan-style pizza at Posto
Brian Samuels

While Posto may be best known for its outstanding Neapolitan-style pizza, you’ll want to peruse its pastas and meats as well. The Davis Square gem also expanded out to Bedford in late 2019.

Posto is open for indoor dining, and takeout and delivery via its official website.

187 Elm St
Somerville, MA 02144

4. Gran Gusto

90 Sherman St, Cambridge, MA 02140
Paccheri garnished with a meaty short rib ragu and a sprig of rosemary sits on a white plate on a dark background
Paccheri with short rib ragù at Gran Gusto
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Gran Gusto’s menu is all over the Italian map, and that’s a good thing. Start with a Caprese salad, and move onto a pasta dish like paccheri with short rib ragù or the chitarra alla “sciuè sciuè,” which is served out of a cheese wheel. But don’t miss the pizza; it’s one of the best in town.

Gran Gusto is open for indoor dining, takeout, and delivery.

90 Sherman St
Cambridge, MA 02140

5. Fat Hen

126 Broadway, Somerville, MA 02145
Interior of a small restaurant with dark teal walls and light wooden accents.
Fat Hen
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

This Somerville favorite, a sibling and neighbor to La Brasa, is dishing out house-made pasta (gnocchi, gemelli, agnolloti, etc.) and antipasti options such as black bass crudo and arancini. Its beer and wine list is also exceptional. Fat Hen’s small, intimate space makes it a solid pick for a romantic night out — or a buyout for a private event (up to 30 people seated or 50 standing).

Fat Hen is open for indoor dining, and takeout and delivery via its official website.

126 Broadway
Somerville, MA 02145

6. Giulia

1682 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138
Thick pasta noodles covered in red sauce and grated parmesan cheese
Giulia’s fresh-made pasta is hard to beat
Giulia/Official Site

Giulia is serving some of the best fresh pasta in the city, especially the pappardelle with wild boar, a year-round menu mainstay.

Giulia is open for indoor dining, outdoor dining (weather permitting), and takeout.

1682 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02138

7. Rino's Place

258 Saratoga St, Boston, MA 02128
A white plate full of plump, round ravioli, topped with lobster
Lobster ravioli at Rino’s Place
Rino’s Place/Official Site

Rino’s Place in Eastie has the Guy Fieri “Triple D” seal of approval, not to mention the love of crowds of locals and tourists alike. The ravioli is made to order, and the veal osso bucco isn’t half bad either.

Rino’s Place is open for indoor dining and takeout.

258 Saratoga St
Boston, MA 02128

8. Pammy's

928 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139
A big white bowl on a white tiled surface, filled with lumache in a red sauce and garnished with a thinly sliced green herb.
Lumache Bolognese with gochujang at Pammy’s
Natasha Moustache

Pammy’s is not quite Italian — the restaurant describes itself as “a New American restaurant inspired by the feel of an Italian neighborhood trattoria” — but it pulls from Italian cuisine enough (and is good enough) that it’s worth including here. Negronis are served on draft, and the pasta is made from scratch, down to the flour being milled in-house. Don’t ignore the lumache, served with a Bolognese sauce that’s kicked up with spicy Korean gochujang.

Pammy’s is open for indoor dining and takeout.

928 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02139

9. Giacomo's

355 Hanover St, Boston, MA 02113
Spaghetti in a tomato sauce, piled on a white plate and topped with clams and other seafood. A basket of bread and glass of wine are visible in the background.
Frutti di mare at Giacomo’s
Brando/Flickr (Creative Commons)

The portions at Giacomo’s are huge, and the wine is relatively cheap. Everything is good, but go for some seafood. Giacomo’s is all about the seafood.

Giacomo’s is open for indoor dining and takeout.

355 Hanover St
Boston, MA 02113

10. The Daily Catch

323 Hanover St, Boston, MA 02113
Plate of fried calamari
Calamari at the Daily Catch
The Daily Catch/Official Site

The calamari at the Daily Catch is the truth. (Try the location on Harvard Street in Brookline as well.)

The Daily Catch is open for indoor dining and takeout.

323 Hanover St
Boston, MA 02113

11. Carmelina's

307 Hanover St, Boston, MA 02113
Closeup overhead view of a plate of mussels in a red sauce with a green herb garnish
Mussels at Carmelina’s
Carmelina’s/Official Site

Carmelina’s menu is inspired by Sicilian fare. If you’re hungry, try the Sunday macaroni: meatballs, sausage, and beef rib served with macaroni, tossed with tomato sauce, and topped with ricotta. It’s a lot of a good thing.

Carmelina’s is open for indoor dining, takeout, and delivery.

307 Hanover St
Boston, MA 02113

12. Galleria Umberto

289 Hanover St, Boston, MA 02113
A slice of cheese pizza and an open arancino, stuffed with rice, cheese, beef, and peas, at Galleria Umberto North End
Arancini from Umberto
Terrence B. Doyle/Eater

While the rules of this map prohibit places that are primarily pizzerias, Galleria Umberto gets a pass for one reason: the arancini. Get there early — food tends to sell out before 1 p.m. Note that Umberto is counter-service, cash only, open for lunch only, and closed on Sundays and for much of the summer. This might seem fussy, but it’s worth it.

Galleria Umberto is open for indoor dining and takeout.

289 Hanover St
Boston, MA 02113

13. Carlo’s Cucina Italiana

131 Brighton Ave, Allston, MA 02134
A lasagna-style dish is topped with brown cheese and sits in a tomato sauce with a sprinkling of parsley
A dish at Carlo’s Cucina Italiana
Carlo’s Cucina Italiana/Official Site

Allston is probably best known for its Korean food, but Carlo’s is serving some damn good Italian on Brighton Avenue (and has been for over 40 years). The Boston Globe once called Carlo’s one of the 10 most underrated restaurants in the city, and the restaurant’s loyal fanbase agrees.

Carlo’s is open for indoor dining, takeout, and delivery.

131 Brighton Ave
Allston, MA 02134

14. Anchovies

433 Columbus Ave, Boston, MA 02116
A restaurant exterior by night. Neon signage in its window reads Anchovies Food & Spirits.
Anchovies
Katie Chudy/Eater

Anchovies is the best dive bar/delicious restaurant in the city. It’s all good, but try the mussels and the chicken parm.

Anchovies is open for indoor dining, takeout, and delivery.

433 Columbus Ave
Boston, MA 02116

15. Coppa

253 Shawmut Ave, Boston, MA 02118
A white bowl of cavatelli in an orange-ish sauce sits on a wooden table
Cavatelli with slow cooked broccoli and chicken sausage, tomato, fennel pollen, and parmesan at Coppa
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

This South End Italian spot from Jamie Bissonnette and Ken Oringer has been open for more than a decade. It does cheese and cured meats especially well; definitely get the beef heart pastrami. But don’t forget the pastas: The cavatelli is a must.

Coppa is open for indoor dining, takeout, and delivery.

253 Shawmut Ave
Boston, MA 02118

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16. Fox & the Knife

28 W Broadway, Boston, MA 02127
A plate of bright green twists of campanelle al pesto di pistacchio at Fox and the Knife
Campanelle al pesto di pistacchio at Fox & the Knife
Sarah Storrer/Eater

Fox & the Knife is the brainchild of chef and owner Karen Akunowicz (of Top Chef and Myers + Chang fame). The menu is inspired by her time spent living in Modena, Italy, and features pasta dishes like wild boar Bolognese and bucatini with goat butter and pink peppercorns. Its spritz menu is vast (and surprisingly affordable for Boston), and its focaccia is irresistibly cheese-stuffed.

Fox & the Knife is open for indoor dining and takeout.

28 W Broadway
Boston, MA 02127

17. Mida

782 Tremont St, Boston, MA 02118
A della casa tasting at Mida
Overhead view of a wooden table covered with plates of Italian food. Arms reach in from all sides.
Emily Kan

Mida features must-eat pasta and more. Carb lovers with gigantic appetites will love Monday nights at Mida, which feature a pasta feast situation — $70 includes pasta galore for two, as well as salad and bread.

Mida is open for indoor dining, takeout, and delivery via Caviar and DoorDash.

782 Tremont St
Boston, MA 02118

18. La Morra

48 Boylston St, Brookline, MA 02445
A large piece of pork belly sits on a plate with a jammy sauce and thinly sliced radishes and other vegetables
A smoked and braised pork belly special at La Morra
La Morra/Facebook

This Brookline mainstay features everything from Venetian cicchetti to grilled meats. For a taste of as much of the menu as possible, try the three-course prix fixe menu with optional wine pairings.

La Morra is open for indoor dining, takeout, and delivery.

48 Boylston St
Brookline, MA 02445

19. Delfino

754 South St, Roslindale, MA 02131
Two slices of toast are topped with halved cherry tomatoes, goat cheese, a balsamic drizzle, and more
Bruschetta at Delfino
Delfino/Official Site

From exceptional ravioli to seafood fra diavolo, Delfino in Roslindale is a crowd-pleaser. It’s been open since 2001, serving a menu that touches on Rome, Naples, and Bologna.

Delfino is open for indoor dining and takeout.

754 South St
Roslindale, MA 02131

20. Tavolo Ristorante

1918 Dorchester Ave, Dorchester, MA 02124
Overhead view of a light wooden table covered with small white plates of Italian appetizers
A selection of small plates at Tavolo
Tavolo/Facebook

This neighborhood spot — sibling to Ashmont Grill — calls its food “Dorchester Italian,” which includes everything from spicy mussels to chicken parm to lasagna Bolognese, not to mention pizzas.

Tavolo is open for indoor dining and takeout.

1918 Dorchester Ave
Dorchester, MA 02124

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