The 9 Best Italian Restaurants in St. Louis

best italian food st louis

I spent a summer in college “studying” abroad, and I think that’s when my obsession with Italian food began. (I’ll be honest- as I ate my way through Italy, sampling pizza, pasta, gelato, and cannolis any chance I could get, I was doing way more eating than studying.)

Lucky for me, St. Louis is home to some amazing and authentic Italian restaurants.

Here are my choices for the 9 best Italian restaurants in St. Louis.

Map of the Best Italian Restaurants in St. Louis

Best Italian Restaurant on The Hill: Anthonino’s

As one of my favorite restaurants, I can never stop raving about Anthonino’s. They have fantastic pizza, house-made pasta, and a vast selection of other foods, including Greek cuisine, burgers, steaks, and sandwiches. They also have excellent gluten-free and vegan options, so there is great food here for everyone.

Anthonino’s was founded as a neighborhood pub in 1939, and still carries that vibe today. In 2014, they renovated to increase the seating capacity to 100 people. Even with the renovation, they always have a long wait, so get here early!

  • Address: 2225 Macklind Ave, St. Louis, MO 63110
  • Website: Anthonino’s

Best Italian Restaurant in downtown St. Louis: Lombardo’s Trattoria

Located in the heart of downtown, Lombardo’s is a great place for a nice dinner before going to a nearby show or concert. They specialize in high-quality steaks, seafood, and authentic pasta.

Lombardo’s has been around for 75 years, making this an upscale St. Louis staple. They are open for dinner Tuesday-Saturday, and you’ll definitely want to make a reservation.

Best in the suburbs: Katie’s Pizza and Pasta Osteria

The first time I went to Katie’s was on a bad first date, but at least the food made up for it!

Katie’s offers a wide selection of pizza, pasta, and antipasti. If you can’t decide what to order, they even provide a four-course pizza and pasta tasting menu.

Katie’s Pizza and Pasta was founded by husband and wife duo, Ted and Katie Collier. Their inspiration came from Katie’s time spent in Italy, and they aim to provide a modern take on traditional Italian cuisine.

Best pasta: Pastaria

Pastaria is located in the heart of downtown Clayton, which is known as St. Louis’s second, more upscale, downtown. With delicious and organic pasta, Pastaria lives up to its name. They also offer wood-fired pizza and excellent desserts, like gelato and tiramisu.

Parking can be a nightmare in Clayton, but luckily you can park for free in the garage next door. This joint is busy, so be sure to make a reservation.

  • Address: 7734 Forsyth Blvd, Clayton, MO 63105
  • Website: Pastaria

Most variety: Joey B’s on the Hill

The Gianino family owns many fantastic local restaurants, including Frankie G’s, Billy G’s, Bill Gianino’s, and of course, Joey B’s. When I was an elementary school teacher, one of the Gianino kids was in my class. I really tried to earn her favor so that I could have the chance at a restaurant gift card around the holidays. Did that make me a bad teacher?

Either way, I love all of the Gianino restaurants, especially Joey B’s. Not only does this place serve fantastic Italian staples, but they also have wings, burgers, and sandwiches. When I go to Joey B’s, I can never decide what to order; everything on the menu is delicious!

Best toasted ravioli: Charlie Gitto’s

Is toasted ravioli considered an Italian food? In St. Louis, it is!

This restaurant claims that they invented this St. Louis staple cuisine. According to the current owner, toasted ravioli was created by accident in 1947, after one of their cooks accidentally dropped ravioli in some breadcrumbs and then decided to fry it.

Today, Charlie Gitto’s is known for serving the best t-ravs in town (yes- that’s what the locals call them!). Everything else on the menu is fantastic as well, from 28-day dry-aged steaks to freshly made pasta every day. As St. Louis’s landmark for Italian food, you’ll want to make a reservation.

Best risotto: Trattoria Marcella

Trattoria Marcella has been around since 1995 and is a St. Louis favorite, offering traditional Italian staples.

While Trattoria Marcella has fantastic pizza and pasta, their real specialty lies in something that isn’t on the menu: lobster risotto. This risotto has a cult following, and even though it’s not on the menu, they will make it if you order it. (If you aren’t into seafood, they also serve chicken risotto). Trattoria Marcella also provides house-made toasted ravioli, which is a must-try.

Best happy hour: Basso

Located in the basement of The Cheshire, a quirky and historical inn, Basso has a fun and rustic atmosphere. Basso’s space is impressive, with an open kitchen, a huge bar, and a stone fireplace.

They specialize in homemade pasta and wood-fired pizza, and as delicious as they are, it’s their awesome happy hour that has me coming back. Basso’s happy hour deals include $3 beers, wines, and heavily discounted appetizers and pizza. With a warm atmosphere and great deals, this is a fantastic after-work hangout.

  • Address: 7036 Clayton Ave, St. Louis, MO 63117
  • Website: Basso

Best Italian sandwiches: Amighetti’s

While Amighetti’s was originally founded in The Hill neighborhood, they are now located in the suburb of Rock Hill.

Amighetti’s has fantastic pasta, but they are famous for their “Special Sandwiches.” Amighetti’s serves all of their sandwiches with special sauce, topped on homemade bread. If you want lots of protein, be sure to order “The Amaghetti Special,” which is a salami, ham, and roast beef sandwich topped with all the fixings.

  • Address: 9631 Manchester Rd, St. Louis, MO 63119
  • Website: Amighetti’s