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The Best Italian Restaurants in Seattle

Seattle's culinary heritage is a fusion of new and old. It drives the creation of what we know today as Pacific Northwest cuisine while embracing flavors brought in by immigrants from all over the world. Italian cuisine wasn’t a huge player in Seattle’s history, but that doesn’t mean the city is lacking top-notch Italian today. With an incredible culinary bounty at its doorstep, world-class chefs are enticed to create some of the best food around. But which restaurants are serving the best of the best? We tapped local Seattle tastemakers on our network to see the best Italian restaurants they’re loving in the Emerald City today. Here’s your list of must-try spots.

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The OpenTable Team
14 Restaurants
Updated February 26, 2020
Restaurants:Spinasse, Il Terrazzo Carmine, Italianissimo Ristorante
Price Range:$$$ - $$$$
Cuisines:Italian
Neighborhoods:Capitol Hill / First Hill, Downtown, Woodinville
A photo of Spinasse restaurant

Spinasse

$$$$
Italian
Capitol Hill / First Hill
4.8
3230 reviews
The cozy, Capitol Hill trattoria Spinasse specializes in Northern Italian cuisine from the Piedmont region, where chef Stuart Lane got his training and culinary inspiration. Of equally significant influence on Spinasse's menus is the fresh, seasonal bounty of select farms across the Pacific Northwest. A signature dish not to be missed is the tajarin al ragu, a comforting dish of slow-cooked beef and pork over house-made, hand-cut egg pasta. Food Network called it one of the top five Italian foods in America, so there should be no doubt whatsoever that Spinasse turns out some of the best Italian in Seattle.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Il Terrazzo Carmine restaurant

Il Terrazzo Carmine

$$$$
Italian
Downtown
4.8
3245 reviews
White-jacketed waiters and starched white tablecloths clearly indicate the traditional, romantic ambiance of Il Terrazzo Carmine, a family-run Pioneer Square restaurant established in 1984. The dinner menu and lengthy wine list lean toward the classics as well, with regulars raving about the risotto. Hand-made pasta dishes are the main focus, though, and range from lighter seafood dishes to substantial options like the ravioli di capriolo with venison and a wild mushroom sauce. An adjacent cocktail bar, Intermezzo Carmine, presents small plates and a happy hour for more casual versions of the fine dining experience.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Italianissimo Ristorante restaurant

Italianissimo Ristorante

$$$$
Italian
Woodinville
4.6
1634 reviews
Northern Italian cuisine from scratch is the specialty at Italianissimo Ristorante, a family-owned eatery in Woodinville. Classics, including a meaty lasagna bolognese and smoky eggplant parmigiana, are prepared using the freshest local ingredients. Seafood is locally sourced as well, including halibut from the San Juan Islands and king salmon from the Columbia River. The restaurant offers a gluten-free menu and both vegetarian and vegan options. The wine list, a recipient of Wine Spectator's Award of Excellence, is lengthy and wide-ranging in price.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Cafe Juanita restaurant

Cafe Juanita

$$$$
Italian
Kirkland
4.9
3085 reviews
At Cafe Juanita in Kirkland, James Beard Award-winning chef-owner Holly Smith presents artistic, North Italian-inspired cuisine with fresh flavors and uncommon components of the highest quality. A chef's tasting menu offers the chance to sample the finest of Smith's creations, while a la carte options are just as intriguing. Among immaculate antipasti are foie gras with quince, candied ginger, and cacao nibs, and octopus with smoked bone marrow, chickpea, and salsa verde. Entree highlights include a squid ink tagliolini with Alaskan spot prawns, and rabbit braised in Arneis with gnocchi all Romana. A seasonal patio and chef's table near the kitchen augment a homey, 40-seat dining room inside a converted house.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?


Experiences available
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A photo of Cantinetta - Wallingford restaurant

Cantinetta - Wallingford

$$$$
Italian
Wallingford
4.6
1181 reviews
Testament to its popularity, the original Cantinetta in Wallingford has launched a second location in Bellevue and a wine bar in Madison Valley. Critics and regulars love its calming, calming rustic-minimalist setting behind a 1920s brick storefront, but mostly rave about the Tuscan cuisine and exclusively handmade pastas. The farm-to-table ethos is evident across the menu, which tempts with just a single page of offerings, among them numerous vegetarian options. Beautifully prepared meat dishes vary with the seasons but might include pork cheeks, Berkshire pork belly, or hangar steak, sometimes with potatoes and olives, sometimes with buttery polenta, and often accented with garlic, lemon, and herbs for a taste of Tuscany in every bite.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?


Experiences available
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Takeout available
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A photo of San Fermo restaurant

San Fermo

$$$$
Italian
Ballard
4.8
1176 reviews
San Fermo boasts a charming venue inside a pair of the two oldest homes in Seattle. Dinner and weekend brunch menus showcasing elevated versions of Italian-American classics certainly do the historic setting justice. Fresh seafood and seasonal, local produce drive menus that change daily and encourage leisurely dining on a series of small courses, starting with a Tall Grass Bakery baguette. San Fermo's cuisine has a signature light, refined touch, most noticeable when it comes to typically heartier fare like osso buco, which sit next to puy lentils and brussels sprouts, and a pork and veal spaghetti bBolognese infused with saffron, rosemary, and fennel. Such quality and creativity put San Fermo solidly among restaurants serving the best Italian in Seattle.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Cinque Terre Ristorante restaurant

Cinque Terre Ristorante

$$$$
Italian
Downtown
4.6
1648 reviews
Cinque Terre Ristorante, a sleek downtown eatery owned by three Italian brothers, specializes in seafood pasta recipes from the Italian Riviera. From the oyster bar offering raw Northwest oysters and sustainable caviar, to the Neapolitan-style pizzas and complimentary breads made in house from organic flour, the kitchen prepares everything from scratch and sources produce from a network of small Washington farms. Chefs prepare the signature pesto daily, which among other dishes goes into the vongole with a pound of Olympic peninsula clams. The menu always features mussels, shrimp, octopus, anchovies, and a traditional dry-aged cod. Cinque Terre's polished space is drenched in natural light thanks to floor-to-ceiling windows, and features a seasonal patio.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Barolo restaurant

Barolo

$$$$
Italian
Downtown
4.5
2535 reviews
Diners looking for casual happy hour hangs, date nights, and business lunches alike all find a lot to love at Barolo, equal parts romantic and earnest with its white tablecloths and crystal chandeliers. The menus created by Italian chef Maurizio Milazzo ooze sophistication too, dotted with luxurious ingredients like foie gras, truffles, free-range wild boar, and the finest imported prosciutto from Parma. Perfected versions of more humble fare, like pasta e fagioli and simply dressed greens, also shine. Repeat customers rave about the rigatoni with lamb. Barolo is owned by the Varchetta family, who are also responsible for three other top Italian restaurants in Seattle (Mamma Melina, Buongusto, and Leo Melina).

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Assaggio restaurant

Assaggio

$$$$
Italian
Downtown
4.6
3330 reviews
Assaggio's convivial owner, chef, and local legend Mauro Golmarvi greets his guests while strolling from table to table during dinner time at the Belltown restaurant, a habit that makes diners feel welcome and exemplifies the old-school vibe. The cuisine of Golmarvi's hometown, Ancona on Italy's Adriatic coast, inspires the menus at Assaggio, which feature old family recipes and perfected versions of Northern Italian classics. Diners craving comfort food find favorites like linguine alle vongole, homemade gnocchi with toasted walnuts and a gorgonzola cream sauce, and paparadelle with wild boar ragu. Those seeking something lighter might turn to the delicate salads, such as the Francesca with wild greens, green apples, pears, and candied pistachios. Assaggio's desserts are also outstanding.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Vendemmia restaurant

Vendemmia

$$$$
Italian
Leschi / Madrona / Madison Park
4.7
924 reviews
A charming neighborhood restaurant in Medrona, Vendemmia is the brainchild of chef-owner Brian Clevenger, who also happens to own the seafood market next door. This, of course, means the freshest imaginable seafood is a major focus of the Italian-inspired menu, which includes a raw and cured section with such offerings as geoduck crudo with olive, garlic, and chili. More substantial fare comprises house-made artisanal pastas in simple but thoughtful sauces that showcase fresh, seasonal produce at its peak. A popular choice is the nettle pesto tagliatelle. Diners interested in watching the kitchen in action can score a seat at the chef's counter.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Serafina restaurant

Serafina

$$$$
Italian
Lake Union / Eastlake
4.6
2464 reviews
Live jazz singers, a lush courtyard out back (with heaters), and seasonally changing offerings of regional Italian cuisine characterize Serafina, a charming restaurant in the Eastlake neighborhood. A best-seller is bruschetta with smoked fish, and diners with big appetites often go for the lamb pork ragu lasagna. Other interesting options include a braised rabbit with parmesan polenta, and local Penn Cove mussels simmered in vermouth. Serafina has produced such fine Italian cuisine since its opening in 1991, making it something of a Seattle institution.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of The Pink Door restaurant

The Pink Door

$$$$
Italian
Belltown / Pike Place Market
4.8
6912 reviews
If its setting in Pike Place Market weren't iconic enough, The Pink Door claims its own individual cult favorite status by Seattle insiders and visitors in the know. Since its 1981 opening, the restaurant has only been identifiable by its eponymous entrance. Once inside, guests are privy to a cozy restaurant serving fine Italian-American comfort food, a rooftop patio boasting incredible views over Elliott Bay, and even a burlesque review for dinner and a show on Saturday nights. The secret's been out for a while, but the experience remains undiminished. In fact it's amplified by the addition of aerialist performers on Sunday and Mondays.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Tulio restaurant

Tulio

$$$$
Italian
Downtown
4.5
3589 reviews
Tulio, a two-story restaurant attached to the Hotel Vintage in downtown Seattle, presents refined Italian classics in a space adorned with white linens and dark wood panels. Its wood-burning oven produces tender meats and seafood dishes from pork shank and lamb sirloin to duckling and ahi. The sweet potato gnocchi is a best seller. Since its opening in 1992, Tulio has garnered considerable critical acclaim, including Travel + Leisure naming it one of the best Italian restaurants in the United States in 2012 and Seattle Magazine calling it one of the best restaurants of 2009. Tulio's wine list also received Wine Spectator's Award of Excellence.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Staple & Fancy Mercantile restaurant

Staple & Fancy Mercantile

$$$$
Northwest
Ballard
4.5
1331 reviews
Staple & Fancy, from prolific Seattle restaurateur and chef Ethan Stowell, takes its name and many of its fixtures from the historic mercantile in Ballad that previously occupied the same venue. Exposed brick, time-worn paint, and hand-painted signs are original, with a renovation to the restaurant adding an open kitchen and rustic dining room. The chef's choice menu, a multi-course meal served family-style, is a popular option, but there's also an a la carte menu that changes frequently. The cuisine is modern Italian with bold, fresh flavors, prepared with care and beautifully presented.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

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