Best Italian Restaurants in New Orleans

A top-rated taste of Italy
July 21, 2016
by Zagat Staff

Sicilian immigrants brought Italian cuisine to New Orleans in the 1800s and their culinary influence lingers still. Savor everything from pastas to pizza at these top-rated Italian restaurants.

Sal And Judy's Restaurant
Cajun · $$
Food 4.7 · Decor 4.0 · Service 4.3

"Go hungry" advise those acquainted with this veteran Lacombe eatery, where chef-owner Sal Impastato serves up "huge" portions of "scrumptious" "Italian food with a Creole twist" alongside pours from a "great wine list" ; although it's a bit of a hike to get there (the "only drawback" ), the "special" experience is "worth the drive" – just make sure you bring "a pickup truck for the leftovers."
Italian · French Quarter · $$$
Food 4.7 · Decor 4.3 · Service 4.4

Garlic lovers are "unable to pass" by the "delicious" scent "wafting" from this "very special" French Quarter spot without stopping in for some truly "terrific" , "authentic" Italian fare complemented by "world-class" wines; "everyone becomes friends after a few cocktails" in the piano bar, which is an "enjoyable" place to wait for a table (a common occurrence, even with reservations) in the "charming" , "romantic" dining room patrolled by a "wonderful" staff.
Italian · CBD · $$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.4 · Service 4.4

Housed in the CBD's “beautiful” Roosevelt Hotel, this “casual, cosmopolitan” kitchen from John Besh and "talented" chef-owner Alon Shaya features “heavenly good” , wood-fired pizzas (toppings range from “simple and delectable” to “foodie fabulous” ), plus “house-cured meats and sausages” and other “contemporary Italian” dishes, all served by a “well-trained” team; the chic, “high-energy” establishment is “always packed” and “can get a bit loud” , especially during the “can't-be-beat” happy hour, but “that's part of the charm."
Italian · Carrollton · $$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.0 · Service 4.3

"Come hungry" to these veteran spots, where "old-school" Southern Italian plates are served by an "attentive" staff in a "cozy" , "charming" space that makes diners "feel like they are eating in a trattoria" ; add in an "extensive" , "fairly priced" wine list, and fans avow "you can't go wrong" here.
Italian · $$$
Food 4.6 · Decor 3.2 · Service 4.2

If you're visiting this "classic, old-school" Italian "joint" in Avondale, "bring plenty of cash" (no cards accepted) and "go with a group to share" the "garlic and olive oil" –redolent entrees served family-style by "warm, friendly" waitresses who "have been there many years" ; the vintage digs and menu make diners feel they're in a "time warp to a Sicilian grandmother's kitchen" –there's "no way you can leave hungry" from this "escape back to the 1940s."