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The Best Italian Restaurants in Tampa

Right in the heart of Florida, Tampa Bay is a natural wonder - a gateway to the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, with a long history, exciting young population, and blossoming cultural and culinary scenes. The best Italian restaurants in Tampa provide a creative and authentic taste of Italy to the Tampa Bay restaurant scene, mixing old-world flavors with the remarkable styles of new-world American and Southern cuisine. But where are the smartest, savviest diners in Tampa heading out to when they're looking for the best Italian restaurants in Tampa? Welcome to the Tastemaker Lists. Here, we've gathered information from diners around the world in order to put together a list of the city's best Italian restaurants. From small neighborhood trattorias to upscale downtown Italian favorites, the best Italian restaurants in Tampa have authentic meals ready for any diner. Grab a table tonight and enjoy!

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The OpenTable Team
10 Restaurants
Updated February 26, 2020
Restaurants:Gratzzi Grille, Bavaro's Pizza Napoletana & Pastaria-St Pete, Caffe Paradiso - Tampa
Price Range:$$ - $$
Cuisines:Italian
Neighborhoods:St. Petersburg, Tampa
A photo of Gratzzi Grille restaurant

Gratzzi Grille

$$$$
Italian
St. Petersburg
4.6
1286 reviews

A highlight of the upscale Waterfront Arts District, the Gratzzi Grille is one of the best Italian restaurants in Tampa. This classically-styled, tablecloth-draped hot spot is the place to go for a traditional Italian meal. Pair a selection from the Grille's excellent wine list with one of the classic dishes on the Gratzzi menu. Try the cavatelli, flambeed tableside inside a Grana Padana wheel with prosciutto, tomatoes, basil, and vodka. The menu also features roasted duck alla arancia with apple-craisin stuffing and a stuffed lobster tail with drawn butter.


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 Bavaro's Pizza Napoletana & Pastaria-St Pete restaurant

Bavaro's Pizza Napoletana & Pastaria-St Pete

$$$$
Italian
St. Petersburg
4.5
529 reviews

The Tampa outpost of this Florida Italian favorite boasts some of the best food in the city. Located right on North Franklin Street, Bavaro's is the place to go for a wide selection of Italian classics. Stat with the wood-fired garlic bread or bruschetta, or the house antipasto with buffalo mozzarella and prosciutto di parma. Try the "Diavola" pizza, with mixed peppers, spicy home-made sausage, basil, and extra-virgin hot olive oil. The spinach pizza, with fior de latte, cherry tomato, ground pepper, and olive oil, is another house specialty.


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 Caffe Paradiso - Tampa restaurant

Caffe Paradiso - Tampa

$$$$
Italian
Tampa
4.9
718 reviews

Only a short walk away from the waterfront, Tampa's Caffe Paradiso is a spot for prime Italian fish, meat, and pasta dishes. Grab a glass of wine from the excellent selection and settle in for a fine Italian meal. The fried mozzarella with anchovy and marinara or the grilled polenta with sausage, mushroom, and sweet peppers make for excellent appetizer dishes. For the main course, try the Vitello Alla siciliana. This dish features thinly-pounded veal with mushrooms, peppers, a tomato sauce, and a touch of garlic. For fish, try the grilled fresh Mediterranean sea bass with tomatoes, capers, and crab meat.


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 Ava Restaurant restaurant

Ava Restaurant

$$$$
Italian
Tampa
4.3
1738 reviews

In the heart of the city's upscale Parkland Estates region, Ava is one of the best Italian restaurants in Tampa. Grab a seat in the comfortable dining room and enjoy the restaurant's lively atmosphere and a menu of Italian classics. The antipasti menu is a standout. Try the crispy pork belly with apple, potato, pancetta hash, and a red wine vinegar glaze. For the main course, go for one of the selections cooked in Ava's authentic wood-fired grill. Try the wood-grilled prime sirloin with grilled asparagus and mushroom sugo. There is also wood-grilled fish with fregola, bitter greens, and orange fennel cream.


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 Forbici Modern Italian Restaurant restaurant

Forbici Modern Italian Restaurant

$$$$
Contemporary Italian
Tampa
4.7
1023 reviews

This Snow Avenue local favorite boasts is one of the most exciting and best Italian restaurants in Tampa. Designed with Roman flair and an eye-catching interior, the cuisine at Forbici includes everything from pan-seared, wild-caught American snapper to veal parmesan with marinara and house-made mozzarella. Don't miss the house-special Roy & Betty's linguine alle vongole with Cedar Key littleneck clams. There is also risotto made with farro, parsley, and wild mushroom brodo.


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 Timpano Hyde Park restaurant

Timpano Hyde Park

$$$$
Italian
Tampa
4.5
2136 reviews

One of the top restaurants in the city. Timpano is a classic Italian steakhouse with an elegant vibe and exquisite menu. To start the meal, try a selection from the raw bar. A jumbo crab cocktail features Maryland lump crab, cherry tomatoes, seasoned wonton crisps, and fresh herbs. There's also a tuna carpaccio dish, with sriracha-lime aioli and pickled red onion salad. For the main course, try the Australian wagyu beef steak and add on fire-grilled jumbo shrimp, pan-seared sea scallops, or crab Oscar. There are plenty of pasta favorites like lobster ravioli, rigatoni, and fettucini on the menu for a traditional Italian dinner


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 Donatello restaurant

Donatello

$$$$
Italian
Tampa
4.8
2326 reviews

This West Tampa Italian favorite boasts all the traditional Italian dining bells and whistles. Diners will receive an excellent Italian meal served from tuxedoed waiters. There is a classic interior dining room with framed pictures on the wall. Along with that, visitors to Donatello can relax in the live music lounge and listen to fine jazz with a glass of wine or cocktail. Try something off of the authentic pasta menu for an excellent Donatello meal. Favorites include the linguini all'aragosta, with line Maine lobster in a light tomato sauce, or the angel hair pasta with tomato and basil.


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 Oggi Italian - Davis Islands restaurant

Oggi Italian - Davis Islands

$$$$
Italian
Tampa
4.3
631 reviews

Boasting lovely views of the water and a laid-back vibe, the Davis Islands area of Tampa is one of the city's highlights. It's there diners will find Oggi, one of the best Italian restaurants in Tampa. Styled with throwback vibes, Oggi is an elegant and intimate spot for a romantic dinner or a hangout with friends. The menu is full of straightforward Italian favorites and house specials. Try the pistachio chicken cutlet. This is chicken breaded with pistachio breadcrumbs alongside roasted potatoes and sauteed ripini. Take advantage of Oggi's house-made mozzarella. Get the mozzarella wheel of the day with arugula, cherry tomatoes, and glazed balsamic.


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 Brio Italian Grille - Tampa - International restaurant

Brio Italian Grille - Tampa - International

$$$$
Italian
Tampa
4.4
1247 reviews

The elegant, bright BRIO location in the International Mall is a Tuscan-styled hot spot for Italian favorites. Stop into BRIO after a long day of shopping and sightseeing and enjoy specials like New York strip steak, shrimp and lobster fettuccine, and roasted red pepper bruschetta with mozzarella. Seafood favorites include pan-seared salmon, grilled fresh salmon, and shrimp Capri. Stay for dessert and get the restaurant's trademark lemon sorbetto or lemon ricotta cheesecake.


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 Cena restaurant

Cena

$$$$
Italian
Tampa
4.7
1082 reviews

A bustling hot spot in a modern, stylish space, Cena is one of the best Italian restaurants in Tampa. It's also in an excellent place for seeing the sights of the city. Right in the heart of the Channel District, Cena is within walking distance of the Ybor Channel, the Florida Aquarium, and Tampa's Union Station. Stop in after touring Tampa for one of the restaurant's creative, classic dishes. Start with the octopus salad made with Calabrian hot sauce, fried cauliflower, and salsa rosa. The restaurant's risotto is also a standout. Go for the shrimp and scallop risotto, with summer squash, caramelized onions, truffle, and mascarpone.


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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