There is so much to do in Detroit, from the Detroit Industry Murals to the Motown Museum. End your busy day with a visit to one of the best Italian restaurants in town.
Experience an unforgettable night and taste the best pasta, pizza and beer in town.
These restaurants have an amazing atmosphere, staff and location and I recommend trying as many of them as possible.
Check out my list of the best Italian restaurants in Detroit below!
When in Detroit, you must visit Giovanni’s Ristorante. This is a family owned Italian restaurant in Oakwood with handmade pasta.
Frank Sinatra once ate at this famous place and it is a must visit. Giovanni’s Ristorante is located right on the Rouge River, a few blocks from the iconic Fort St. Apple juice.
It has a rustic, homely atmosphere and the cuisine follows classic Italian traditions.
I love the old Italian feel and always visit Giovanni’s when I’m in town. I usually order the Pesto al Pomodoro, a cheesy pasta dish with sweet basil and olive oil. Or try the delicious ricotta dumplings.
Looking for the best pizza in town? I caught you
PizzaPapalis is a local favorite in the metro Detroit area and consistently wins awards at many of its locations. PizzaPapalis in Detroit is located on E Jefferson Street in Rivertown, near the Detroit River.
The atmosphere is trendy and casual, and the pizzeria is great for families with children.
Order a deep dish or thin crust pizza drizzled with cheese and your favorite toppings. I recommend the Detroit style pizza.
It’s a rectangular pizza with a thick, chewy crust – a pizza you don’t want to miss. Buddy’s Pizza
Looking for a restaurant that specializes in Detroit-style pizza? Check out Buddy’s, Detroit’s square-slice pizza staple.
Buddy’s has several locations, including Downtown and Six Mile Detroit.
The classic restaurant proudly serves pizza and American bar food in a historic, casual atmosphere.
I like to make a personal pizza with Wisconsin brick cheese, tomato basil sauce and Italian sausage. Try spaghetti with marinara, soft fried garlic sticks, and a meatball sandwich on grilled Italian bread.
Top it off with a cream sundae. It even includes local ice cream!
La Dolce Vita
La Dolce Vita is a unique terrace restaurant near Palmer Park.
Locals say it’s the best terrace spot in town and the atmosphere is luxurious and romantic with old Italian cuisine.
In their Sunday brunch, they offer fresh local ingredients, regional Italian cuisine and bottomless mimosa specialties. The restaurant has a dress code, and this is a fun opportunity to dress up. If you find the right dress, make a reservation and view the offer.
I recommend the traditional lasagna, but the lobster ravioli with saffron is also amazing.
Don’t forget to try the New York strip steak with gorgonzola sauce.
SheWolf Detroit is a trendy spot with contemporary Italian cuisine and wines. Located in Midtown, in the music area of Old Miami, it has Roman food.
The atmosphere is sophisticated with great cocktails. Be sure to make a reservation and get ready to enjoy this amazing restaurant and bar.
I love Francobolli, a pasta dish with ricotta and corn filling.
The Polenta Fritte is also good and has ramps and crispy corn polenta. Try the vegan gelato for dessert.
This is a traditional Italian dessert with fresh strawberries and chopped pistachios. Or try the blueberry olive oil cake.
El Barzon has fusion cuisine with Italian and Mexican traditions. It has an intimate, romantic atmosphere and you can eat in or order takeout. The restaurant is located in the Michigan-Martin neighborhood, off the freeway on Michigan Ave.
James Beard-nominated chef Noberto Garita is at the helm of the kitchen.
Start with a hot appetizer like Pulpo al Ajillo, a dish of octopus with chili, garlic and Italian white wine.
I love Mexican-Italian Chiles Rellenos with cheese and tomato sauce.
Order the ravioli with handmade pasta, butter, sage and ricotta, or try the sautéed spaghetti with Italian bacon and Pecorino cheese. Enjoy with a side of parmesan asparagus.
Gonellas Foods is the perfect place for a quick, casual bite. It’s in Oakwood across the river and it’s been in Detroit for over 75 years.
Veterans love this place and it’s a restaurant that speaks to the community.
Order casual Italian cuisine such as sandwiches, enjoy comfort food and sample decadent desserts. Try authentic Italian meats such as smoked salami, smoked ham and Mortadella. I recommend the 8-layer meat sandwich.
You can customize your mat and fill it with your favorite meats, vegetables and cheese. I always enjoy the homemade dressing and it’s a local favorite.
Mario’s is a retro restaurant in Detroit. It has a real old school feel, formal atmosphere and tuxedoed staff and the cuisine is upscale Italian with an extensive drinks menu.
The restaurant is in Midtown, so it’s perfect if you want to see local landmarks like the nearby Detroit Design Center.
This dinner is a great way to end the day, especially if you order cognac to take home.
I love homemade cheese and charcuterie with macadamia espresso.
Ottava Via is a modern restaurant in Corktown, Detroit. The cuisine is traditional Italian with old school pasta and the atmosphere is romantic and cozy.
Sit around the fireplace and drink wine or eat pizza.
The restaurant has antique decor and is in a rustic brick building with great photo opportunities.
I like to order a selection of small plates to have at my table. Try Tuscan potatoes with chilli and oregano, calamari with lemon aioli and garlic and shallot prawns. Arugula pizza is the best. The chefs load it with Serrano ham, aged provolone and arugula.
San Morello is a modern stylish restaurant with seasonal Italian cuisine.
Chef Andrew Carmellini cooks wood-fired pizza, homemade pasta and traditional Italian dishes, and the restaurant has a local neighborhood feel.
This stylish restaurant is located in the Hudson district, close to the city center. It is ideally located for visitors who want to spend the day exploring downtown Detroit and ending up in a cozy Italian restaurant.
I recommend the Sicilian wood-fired pizza. Contains fresh provolone cheese, pistachio pesto and seasoned fennel sausage.
Also try the homemade risotto, mussels with peas and grilled trout with Agrumato olive oil and fennel.
Visit Supino Pizzeria in the Eastern Market district. It’s a seamless pairing of thin crust pizza and creative cuisine.
The pizza restaurant is casual, comfortable and ideal for entertaining families or large groups. You can order pizza with new toppings such as egg, smoked ham or feta.
Spice it up and try a white pizza like the Smokey with ricotta, ham and gouda.
My favorite is the San Gennaro pizza, a thin crust with onions, Italian sausage and red peppers roasted to perfection. Also try the Funghi vegetarian pizza with mushrooms, fresh mozzarella and vegetables. Finish with a decadent chocolate cannoli.
Amore da Roma
Head to the Eastern Market district and dine at Amore da Roma, a historic Italian cafe restaurant.
It is the oldest Italian restaurant in the city and has an old decor and vintage feel. Start with Italian sausage with onions and peppers fresh off the grill. Top a romaine salad with grilled chicken and cheese or try a daily soup.
I like potato gnocchi dumplings, but beef tortellini are also excellent.
Don’t forget to try the Caprese sandwich with tomatoes, basil pesto and grilled onions before you leave.
Let’s go to the Detroit waterfront
Andiamo is a waterfront restaurant a few blocks from downtown Detroit.
Located on the Detroit River, not far from the Canadian border, it is a restaurant with a beautiful view of the river. Order the roasted portobello mushroom with Andiamo sauce or try the plate of Italian rice balls with risotto, Mozzarella cheese filling, tomato sauce and fresh basil pesto.
I love the Brodo di Pollo, a herbed chicken soup with root vegetables and gooey cheese tortellini.
Order a seasonal dish and try the Frutti di Mare, a fruit of the sea pasta.
Try handcrafted Italian cuisine at Bacco Ristorante, an elegant venue with a cozy dining atmosphere.
The restaurant is in Southfield, so it’s perfect if you’re traveling to the northeast side of Detroit. Get a reservation or call for delivery and enjoy a hearty pasta or grass-fed burger. I love grilled lamb chops with asparagus and crispy potatoes.
Be sure to try the popular wild mushroom ragout and black linguine with mussels and garlic. The Italian coffee is amazing as is the wine selection.
Drive to Grosse Pointe Farms in Northeast Detroit and enjoy Neapolitan pizza at Cafe Nini. The restaurant is tall with a romantic atmosphere and is an ideal place for dessert and coffee with friends.
It’s on Kercheval Ave, a few blocks from Lake St. Clair, and if you visit on a Friday night, you can enjoy live performances.
I love pairing craft beer with a Margherita pizza. Try the Caesar salad with chicken and blue cheese or go for the fresh salmon filet.
I always love the Gnocchi di Patate plate which includes potato dumplings and meat sauce.