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Ciao Bella - Baltimore

3.9
829 reviews
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$30 and under
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Italian
Top Tags:
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Romantic
  • Special Occasion

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About

Offering up classic Italian fare in the Little Italy section of the city, Ciao Bella in Baltimore, MD is a must try destination. Operating for more than 20 years, it is family owned and operated, and emphasizes Southern Italian specialties.

The most popular items on the menu at Ciao Bella in Baltimore are the penne carbonara and the Bolognese. The chicken parmigiana is a huge hit, and the gnocchi alla vodka is a long-standing customer favorite. Of course, diners at Ciao Bella in Baltimore can enjoy traditional appetizers, large salads, seafood and meat dishes, and there is even a great kid's menu to make for the perfect family night out.

Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Italian, Mediterranean, Global, International
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Hours of operation
Monday - Thursday: 11:30am - 10:00pm, Friday - Saturday: 11:30am - 11:00pm, Sunday: 11:30am - 9:00pm
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Phone number
(410) 685-7733
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Payment options
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Business Casual
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Between Stiles St and Fawn Street
Additional
Banquet, Bar Dining, Beer, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Wine
What 829 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
3.9based on all time ratings
3.9
food
4.0
service
3.8
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
86% of people would recommend it to a friend
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4.0Dined on July 7, 2016

My wife and I enjoyed a wonderful dinner at Ciao Bella. Love the fact that they have gluten free pasta since my wife cannot have gluten. Food was fresh, delicious, and abundant portion. Staff was friendly and our server could not have been more cordial and engaging.

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5.0Dined on July 1, 2016

My wife and I went to Ciao Bella to celebrate being back in Charm City. It was exactly how we remembered it. The Gambino family still runs a great restaurant. Our server, Chris was outstanding and the stuffed flounder was outstanding. next time we're in Baltimore, we'll be back.

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3.0Dined on June 28, 2016

Ciao Bella is a nice, quiet restaurant in Little Italy. We went there for a quiet date night. While ambience and service was great, the food was just average. Our portion of lasagna and chicken parmigiana were big but there was nothing that stood out as far as the taste.

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5.0Dined on June 26, 2016

My husband and I enjoyed our lunch date. The ambiance was great and so was service and food.

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5.0Dined on June 25, 2016

Delicious, satisfying food at a fair price. Service above and beyond expectations, even for the large group we had. Mr. Gambino the owner takes time to visit the table. My favorite restaurant in Baltimore's Little Italy.

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5.0Dined on June 16, 2016

We go for our wedding anniversary every year. Always great food! The place is fantastic!

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4.0Dined on June 12, 2016

Nice, casual Italian restaurant with large menu. Friendly servers.

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5.0Dined on June 11, 2016

Hats off to the staff!! The owner and his staff outdid themselves! We are longtime residents of the Baltimore area and have eaten at several of the Little Italy restaurants, but Ciao Bella was still on our to do list and we're sorry we waited so long. We had 10 pm Saturday reservations after a show and were running late. We called the restaurant and they told us not to worry as they still served until 10:45.

When we arrived we were the only table there except one other that was finishing up. Tony Gambino, the owner greeted us at the door and allowed us to choose our table. He welcomed us and chatted awhile about his restaurant and the family business. The wait staff was very prompt and very friendly. Tony's big question was why we waited so long to try his food!

I already knew what I wanted, Tortellini with meat, which was excellent. My husband wanted a veal dish but hadn't decided yet. Tony asked him what flavors he liked and to allow him to create something not on the menu, promising it would knock his socks off. Once again, Tony did not disappoint. The food was excellent down to the bread that was to die for.

Overall, we had a great time and will definitely be back without a doubt. The food is very reasonably priced and very ample portions.

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5.0Dined on May 27, 2016

Food and service was very good. Facility was clean, and comfortable.
Serving size was just right.
Would definitely recommend to friends.
We will definitely visit again.

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5.0Dined on May 6, 2016

Have been there many times in the past and as usual, had another great meal. I had the Tilapia special and my wife had the Chicken Marsala. Both were excellent, as was the service. Our favorite place in Baltimore.

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5.0Dined on May 1, 2016

I enjoyed every aspect. The food and customer service was outstanding. I will return soon.

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3.0Dined on April 17, 2016

This was my fourth time eating there. The quality of the food has seem to go down.

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5.0Dined on April 7, 2016

Lovley dinner with my brother and parents.

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5.0Dined on March 31, 2016

This place is phenomenal. I was recommended by a friend to go there for a birthday dinner. Was greeted first when we entered by the owner extremely nice guy it had rained and he gave me his sports coat while mine dried off.
Food:
They gave us bread and olive oil. Olive oil was great. And the bread was warm and cooked perfectly. 5/5

Bruschetta appetizer was great. Exactly how I expected it to be 5/5

For entree we had the fettuccine Alfredo which was by far the best Alfredo sauce I had scene tasted. I had a bite of it and think I couldn't enjoy the rest of the meal as good cause all I wanted to do was eat my girlfriends food 6/5

I had the penne bolognese which was good as well love the meat in the sauce. 4.5/5

Overall couldn't ask for a better gem in Little Italy

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4.0Dined on March 21, 2016

Food was really good and the cannolis were excellent. The waiter was very personable and funny. Even the owner came out to talk to us and was really nice and funny too.

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3.0Dined on March 19, 2016

Friendly staff good food

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4.0Dined on March 17, 2016

On St. Patrick's Day, we were welcomed immediately and seated promptly. Lovely 2-top overlooking the street. Service was attentive, but in no way intrusive. Food was good. The best item was the shrimp appetizer special. Salad was good, as was the lasagna (we split app, salad and lasagna). Not so great were the bread (fair crust, but like Wonder bread inside) and the house Chianti (a little too fruity for my taste, but not bad enough to prevent a second glass order.) Don't hesitate to try them out.

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4.0Dined on March 11, 2016

Great waiter (Charles). The food was way more exspensive for what it is worth. $9.00 for a piece of cake and $3.50 for a coffee as dessert? That is just insane. The food was good, wouldn't mind eating it again but like I said too expensive for what they gave. Probably would try somewhere else next time.

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5.0Dined on February 27, 2016

We had veal saltimbocca, clams casino, and shrimp fra diavolo. It was all divine. The shrimp fra diavolo was legitimately spicy, which was appreciated. Most food labeled "spicy" is laughably not. The saltimbocca sauce was perfection. Even the bread and garlic-herb olive oil for dipping was phenomenal. Great job!

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5.0Dined on February 27, 2016

Excellent server and food. Best Italian restaurant in Little Italy

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3.0Dined on February 20, 2016

This is one of our favorite places in Little Italy, however, it is under going changes, an not for the better. For example, the chicken parmesan used to be a thick piece of chicken which was lightly breaded. This time, it was a nearly flat frozen chicken patty that barely stood up to the sauce which covered it. My husband loved his dishes, lamb meatballs and tortellini, but I was disappointed with both the minestrone soup and the chicken. The service was also uncharacteristically underwhelming, as our waiter disappeared for long periods of time. It was also the first time since we started going three years ago that neither Tony Jr. or his mother was at the restaurant so it may be a case where ownership needs to be present to ensure both food and service are on point.

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2.0Dined on February 14, 2016

Cold food, compressed menu that offered little selection, slow service

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5.0Dined on February 5, 2016

The food was outstanding & the lamb meatballs are off the charts.
The fish & pasta was first rate. Will be there again.

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5.0Dined on January 19, 2016

Ciao Bella remains my favorite Little Italy spot after many many years of going to eat there.

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4.0Dined on January 19, 2016

This was our first visit to Ciao Bella. We tried it because we had a Living Social voucher. We easily found free, 3 hour, on street parking on a Tuesday night. Valet parking is also available for $10. We were warmly greeted & seated right away. Our waiter, Chris, was excellent - attentive & informative without being intrusive. The other waiter also checked on us several times. Pacing was perfect - time given between the appetizers & main course to settle a little. We were there just about 1 hour for just apps & entree. Too full for dessert. We were served warm, delicious bread on a plate with wonderful oil seasoned with garlic & herbs. Spouse started off with the special appetizer- lamb meatball (3) in marinara sauce - quite good. I had the minestrone soup- loaded with fresh veggies but a touch too sweet. Spouse had the tilapia special with lemon risotto - excellent & nice size portion. I had the seafood tetrazzini which was a huge portion - eating the other half for lunch now. The woman at the next table took 1/2 of hers home also. 4 nice sized shrimp. The crab meat which was listed on the menu as "lump" crabmeat was not lump at all - looked like claw meat - & had several pieces of shell. The taste was fabulous though & the pasta was fresh. We would definitely come back. Staff were very warm & attentive. I'm not a fan of jazz music so that was getting on my nerves. I would have preferred quieter background music.

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5.0Dined on January 9, 2016

This was me and my husband's first time going to Little Italy. Our waiter was so attentive and efficient. We loved the relaxed feel of this place. Will definitely go back to try more dishes. Service was well-timed and friendly. Can get a little costly, but we think it was worth it.

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1.0Dined on January 3, 2016

Second time here. Wanted to give Ciao Bella another chance. It was disappointing. Came with reservations. The maitre didn't even ask if we had one. The waiter was good, but there was a major disconnect with the kitchen. Everything took WAY longer than it should have. There were gaps in between courses. Food was mediocre. Not worth the price. The lamb meatball special was not so special. The shrimp appetizer was so late that it was cold and unappetizing. While they took it off the bill, it led to indigestion. The "soup" was equally unappetizing and I could not finish it. This was a frustrating and disappointing experience. We resorted to Vaccaros for espresso and dessert. Recommend skipping Ciao Bella and trying others in Little Italy that are better...

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5.0Dined on January 2, 2016

Great food! My wife said it was her second best meal in recent history! A true endorsement. :-)

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5.0Dined on December 31, 2015

This was such a quaint and heartwarming restaurant! The ambiance was beautiful and the staff was very attentive to all of our needs. The food was exquisite and the wine selection was fantastic. We ordered a bottle of the Chianti reserve and loved it! My husband and I ordered the Frutti de Mare and Lobster ravioli and it was amazing. The location is perfect and parking was easy to find however they have valet if you prefer to not have to find a parking space. Overall this was an amazing experience and we will be returning here again!

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3.0Dined on December 27, 2015

Waiter was disinterested - food was only fair (sauce on chicken piccata was heavy and tasteless). Gluten-free food order was messed up.

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1.0Dined on December 25, 2015

did not get to try the food, awful experience
had reservation for 8:30, arrived at 8:50, several tables available (in fact online reservation was available until 9:30).
wait about five minutes, waiter fully aware of our presence but not talking to us. Waiter finally says, without even turning towards us, that the restaurant is closed. I mention I had confirmed reservation for 8:30 for 7 people. Instead of answering or even turning towards us, the waiter tells another staff member to deal with us, adding (I quote) " I am not talking to that guy"...
Then another waiter comes, I again try to mention that we had a table booked for 8:30, she answers "the kitchen is closed and it is 8:50 anyway."
We leave very unhappy and, as we are outside looking for another place to eat, the second waiter comes out to announce that the kitchen is now open...
at that time, just to check, I had already been able to book a second table at ciao Bella for 9 pm!
we declined that offer and went instead to RA sushi bar, where both the food and the service turned out to be excellent

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5.0Dined on December 24, 2015

We had a fantastic family dinner on Christmas Eve; great service, warm and relaxed atmosphere, and all six of us agreed it was one of the best meals we had had in years. I'd highly recommend this restaurant!

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4.0Dined on December 24, 2015

I have been to Ciao Bella in the past and it was good. I was very disappointed overall. The house salad had way too many onions, big chunks of julienned carrots and celery. My 2 dining companions had one tomato and one olive in their salads. They were both missing from mine. The house creamy italian was loaded with sugar. The bread and olive oil were both good. I was interested in fish. The only fish offered was tilapia. Please tilapia is so gross and i would not have expected to find it on the menu at a "fine" restaurant. I had the shrimp fra diavolo. The pasta was good, sauce mediocre and the shrimp were small and tasteless and not cooked enough. My 2 dining companions got shrimp in orange red pepper sauce. Our server, who was very nice and attentive, told them it was made with orange juice and red pepper flakes. They thought it sounded interesting. I thought it sounded very odd. It was pasta swimming in orange juice with lots of extra added sugar. They sent it back and decided to get the mediocre fra diavolo. Our server was the redeeming factor of the evening. She was very gracious and attentive. We didn't order dessert as we were so disappointed with our dinners.

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4.0Dined on December 24, 2015

Absolutely the best linguine with white clam sauce I have ever had, anywhere. I cannot tell you why this is so. But it is true. I know, it's "just" linguine with clam sauce! But it was spectacular. Everything else was excellent as well.

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5.0Dined on December 19, 2015

The meatball appetizer & calamari were awesome. My fish was delicious & the broccoli with chicken & risotto was mouthwatering
Topped off with a cannoli & coffee- bellisimo

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5.0Dined on December 5, 2015

The food was delicious and the service was impeccable.

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2.0Dined on December 5, 2015

My family and I have been to this restaurant on multiple occasions over the years. Although we are not from Baltimore, we do try to frequent this restaurant. Unfortunately it does not meet my expectations any longer. Although the price point is acceptable, the food is not. That being said the service is adequate.

Back to the food. Today, I ordered seafood pasta. I received one scallop and two shrimp! The pasta was over cooked.

Maybe next time it'll be back to what I expect.

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5.0Dined on December 4, 2015

Ciao Bella is such a lovely place. The service was excellent, the house wine was perfect, and the food was even better. Will be going back soon.

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3.0Dined on November 17, 2015

The food was not flavored and we asked about the escargot they were out and the waiter suggested the fried calamari which didn't taste so good.
Never go back again

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4.0Dined on November 14, 2015

We went on Saturday (11/14/15) to spend some quality time together and had a nice time. Only thing that caught me off guard was that the waiter asked us after we ordered if we would like a salad. I said sure and was shocked when the $7 side salad showed up on our check. It was offered to us as if it came with our meal. I didn't like that at all but other than that, it was a good meal.

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