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Pasta with clams on a white plate with white wine on the side.
Linguine alle Vongole at Cantoro Trattoria.
Cantoro Trattoria [Official photo]

17 Essential Italian Restaurants in Metro Detroit

Where to feast on handmade pastas, balsamic panna cotta, and Italian subs

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Linguine alle Vongole at Cantoro Trattoria.
| Cantoro Trattoria [Official photo]

With metro Detroit's rich Italian history, there's a lot of diversity in the offerings when it comes to food from the Boot. The area boasts a wide range of Italian eateries running the gamut from casual pizzerias such as Supino to top-end romantic restaurants restaurants like Bella Piatti and Mexican-Italian establishments like El Barzon. Below, find some of the finest from each category serving up handmade pastas, Neapolitan slices, and more.

Did we overlook your favorite Italian restaurant? Drop a note in the comments or at the tipline and we’ll check it out.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Moro's Dining

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6535 Allen Rd
Allen Park, MI 48101
(313) 382-7152
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Waiters in tuxedos, tableside service, and more food than anyone can reasonably eat in a sitting — Moro's is all that and more. Founded in 1980, this Allen Park gem is old-school all the way from the dim lighting that set the mood to the multi-course meal that includes soup, salad, entree, and complimentary fruit and nut bowl at the end. The clam chowder is legendary as are the flaming desserts such as the cherries jubilee.

2. Giovanni's

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330 Oakwood Boulevard
Detroit, MI 48217
(313) 841-0122
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For years Giovanni's has prided itself on authentic recipes from the old country, with homemade pastas and sauces tracing its roots from the San Marino region of Italy. The daily specials and seasonal desserts reflect a more modern culinary approach. Fun fact: Frank Sinatra once had a dinner party there.

Giovanni’s restaurant has a stone exterior with columns and a green sign with gold writing. Brenna Houck

3. El Barzon

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3710 Junction St
Detroit, MI 48210
(313) 894-2070
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What's better than Italian food? Mexican and Italian food. Where else can diners start a meal with salsa and chips followed by fresh homemade pasta such as the Strozzapretti alla Norccina (twisted pasta with mantovana sausage, tomato and cream sauce)? Chef and proprietor Norberto Garita honed his skills cooking Italian food in New York and at the famed Il Posto Ristorante in Southfield before opening this Southwest Detroit staple. Customers can find a more casual setting with fusion pizzas and sandwiches and cocktails at Garita’s neighboring restaurant La Noria.

4. Ottava Via

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1400 Michigan Ave
Detroit, MI 48216
(313) 962-5500
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This stylish-yet-chill Corktown spot offers a modern spin on Italian favorites. From charcuterie to cocktails to a hearty dinner feast complemented by a glass of wine, Ottava Via hits many notes. There are traditional pastas and pizzas, but don't sleep on the hot plates, where patrons can find tasty dishes like branzino with salsa verde. It’s particularly popular during patio season, thanks to an outdoor fireplace and bocce ball lanes.

5. La Lanterna

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1224 Griswold St
Detroit, MI 48226
(313) 962-8821
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At La Lanterna, the DaEdoardo Restaurant Group pays homage to the Barbieri family’s original restaurant in Capitol Park. The reinvented restaurant debuted in 2017 with a modern Italian menu focused on pizzas. Customers can choose from red sauce and white sauce options as well as a selection of fresh pastas. Round out the meal with a glass of wine or a cocktail.

6. San Morello

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1400 Woodward Ave
Detroit, MI 48226
(313) 209-4700
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This mid-century restaurant from NoHo Hospitality specializes in southern Italian cuisine. San Morello’s menu features options like pizza topped with blue crab, handmade pastas, and wood-fire grilled scallops. As an anchor to the Shinola Hotel, diners also expect hotel restaurant prices.

7. Supino Pizzeria

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2457 Russell St
Detroit, MI 48207
(313) 567-7879
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Massive, thin-crust slices of pizza are what put this Eastern Market hot spot on the map. Owner Dave Mancini also pairs the big slices with tasty northern Italian fare such as meatballs or mushrooms with polenta and daily pasta specials. Leave room for a dessert. The cannolis, prepared with several varieties of cream filling and toppings, are phenomenal.

8. Rocco's Italian Deli

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3627 Cass Ave
Detroit, MI 48201
(313) 315-3033
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This modern, minimalist Italian deli and restaurant sticks to a tight list of items such as the Zio Freddo’s Got Serious Beef with house giardiniera-braised Italian beef and sharp provolone or the Better Than Fried Bologna pan-fried mortadella sandwich. There’s also a handful of salads and antipasto. Dine in with a cup of coffee or a cocktail, or take the meal to-go.

9. SheWolf Pastificio & Bar

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438 Selden St
Detroit, MI 48201
(313) 315-3992
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This modern Roman restaurant is upping the stakes for Italian cuisine in Detroit by milling its own flour for its pasta and focaccia in-house. Chef Anthony Lombardo’s menu features pasta essentials like cacio e pepe and carbonara as well as intriguing seasonal dishes. For dessert, don’t miss out on the panna cotta and soft serve-style gelato.

Jesse David Green/SheWolf [Official photo]

10. Villa Restaurant & Pizzeria

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21311 Gratiot Ave
Eastpointe, MI 48021
(586) 778-1780
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When going to Nonna’s isn't an option for Sunday dinner, Villa's can help fill the void for old-school Italian. Generations of families have been coming here for decades for traditionally prepared dishes like the antipasto salad with housemade dressing and Tony's combination plate for those who can't decide.

11. La Dolce Vita

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17546 Woodward Ave
Detroit, MI 48203
(313) 865-0331
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La Dolce Vita translates to "the sweet life," which sums up sipping cocktails and dining on the fabulous patio or in the elegant dining room at this traditional, fine-dining Italian eatery near Palmer Park in Detroit. It's also a brunch hotspot with abundant mimosas and live music.

12. Pop's For Italian

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280 W Nine Mile Rd #2
Ferndale, MI 48220
(248) 268-4806
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Pop's for Italian serves up legit Neapolitan pizza and homemade pastas. The U-shaped bar in the middle of the restaurant boasts a fancy wine system that pours wine without opening a bottle, ensuring the wine is always fresh — because there's nothing worse than getting a glass of sour wine. 

13. Due Venti

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220 S Main St
Clawson, MI 48017
(248) 288-0220
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This charming and cozy Clawson eatery specializes in northern Italian cuisine, paying homage to the country's rich culinary history, agriculture and traditions. Helmed by a husband and wife team, Due Venti features a seasonal menu with handmade breads, fresh pasta, and house-smoked fish. A must is the cauliflower frittelle, which is served with garlic and herbs and topped off with a tomato caponata. With its intimate and inviting atmosphere, Du Venti is a good spot for a romantic evening out.

14. Silver Spoon Ristorante

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6830 N Rochester Rd
Rochester Hills, MI 48306
(248) 652-4500
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It may be in a strip mall, but with its top-notch fare and service, Silver Spoon defies expectations. For starters, the prosciutto is a must and don’t skip the freshly made pastas are such as gnocchi in a four cheese sauce, fettuccine with rabbit, and pappardelle with meatballs. High-end offerings such as a 21-day dry-aged tomahawk rib-eye steak and fish deboned table side make this a go-to spot for fancy date nights and important business dinners. Fun fact: The menus are signed by the rich and famous such as Tony Bennett.

15. Bella Piatti

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167 Townsend St
Birmingham, MI 48009
(248) 494-7110
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This sophisticated Birmingham restaurant is always bustling and reservations for one of its 65 seats are never a bad idea. Venice native chef Francesco Apollonia's menu is traditional with a little modern flair with dishes such as octopus carpaccio and quail. The fish specials are also a standout. And with its prime location (just across the street from the tony Townsend Hotel), customers might even spot a celeb or two during dinner.

Michael Raffin/Bella Piatti [Official photo]

16. Bacco Ristorante

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29410 Northwestern Hwy
Southfield, MI 48034
(248) 356-6600
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Opened in 2002, Bacco Ristorante has since become a dining destination with a menu that is constantly evolving to reflect the latest trends in Italian dining. The kitchen doesn't cut corners when it comes to preparation or ingredients, which are as fresh and local as possible (when available, produce comes from the on-site garden). If it isn’t local, it’s because chances are it’s been imported from Italy. Even though he has launched another restaurant (the popular pizza chain Bigalora), chef Luciano DelSignore can still be seen making the rounds at his signature restaurant.

Chef Luciano DelSignore plates a dish with potatoes and greens. Bacco Ristorante [Official photo]

17. Cantoro Trattoria

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15550 N Haggerty Rd
Plymouth, MI 48170
(734) 420-1100
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Go grocery shopping and eat a fantastic Italian meal in one spot. It’s hard to go wrong with the tagliatelle alla bolognese prepared with scratch-made tagliatelle pasta and traditional meat sauce of ground veal, beef, sausage, and pancetta. The trattoria also boasts a fully stocked bar featuring a vast selection of wines, liquors, and beers. For dessert, one of the Italian coffees, espressos or cappuccinos pair perfectly with gelato.

A plate of linguine alle vongole with a glass of wine. Cantoro Trattoria [Official photo]

1. Moro's Dining

6535 Allen Rd, Allen Park, MI 48101

Waiters in tuxedos, tableside service, and more food than anyone can reasonably eat in a sitting — Moro's is all that and more. Founded in 1980, this Allen Park gem is old-school all the way from the dim lighting that set the mood to the multi-course meal that includes soup, salad, entree, and complimentary fruit and nut bowl at the end. The clam chowder is legendary as are the flaming desserts such as the cherries jubilee.

6535 Allen Rd
Allen Park, MI 48101

2. Giovanni's

330 Oakwood Boulevard, Detroit, MI 48217
Giovanni’s restaurant has a stone exterior with columns and a green sign with gold writing. Brenna Houck

For years Giovanni's has prided itself on authentic recipes from the old country, with homemade pastas and sauces tracing its roots from the San Marino region of Italy. The daily specials and seasonal desserts reflect a more modern culinary approach. Fun fact: Frank Sinatra once had a dinner party there.

330 Oakwood Boulevard
Detroit, MI 48217

3. El Barzon

3710 Junction St, Detroit, MI 48210

What's better than Italian food? Mexican and Italian food. Where else can diners start a meal with salsa and chips followed by fresh homemade pasta such as the Strozzapretti alla Norccina (twisted pasta with mantovana sausage, tomato and cream sauce)? Chef and proprietor Norberto Garita honed his skills cooking Italian food in New York and at the famed Il Posto Ristorante in Southfield before opening this Southwest Detroit staple. Customers can find a more casual setting with fusion pizzas and sandwiches and cocktails at Garita’s neighboring restaurant La Noria.

3710 Junction St
Detroit, MI 48210

4. Ottava Via

1400 Michigan Ave, Detroit, MI 48216

This stylish-yet-chill Corktown spot offers a modern spin on Italian favorites. From charcuterie to cocktails to a hearty dinner feast complemented by a glass of wine, Ottava Via hits many notes. There are traditional pastas and pizzas, but don't sleep on the hot plates, where patrons can find tasty dishes like branzino with salsa verde. It’s particularly popular during patio season, thanks to an outdoor fireplace and bocce ball lanes.

1400 Michigan Ave
Detroit, MI 48216

5. La Lanterna

1224 Griswold St, Detroit, MI 48226

At La Lanterna, the DaEdoardo Restaurant Group pays homage to the Barbieri family’s original restaurant in Capitol Park. The reinvented restaurant debuted in 2017 with a modern Italian menu focused on pizzas. Customers can choose from red sauce and white sauce options as well as a selection of fresh pastas. Round out the meal with a glass of wine or a cocktail.

1224 Griswold St
Detroit, MI 48226

6. San Morello

1400 Woodward Ave, Detroit, MI 48226

This mid-century restaurant from NoHo Hospitality specializes in southern Italian cuisine. San Morello’s menu features options like pizza topped with blue crab, handmade pastas, and wood-fire grilled scallops. As an anchor to the Shinola Hotel, diners also expect hotel restaurant prices.

1400 Woodward Ave
Detroit, MI 48226

7. Supino Pizzeria

2457 Russell St, Detroit, MI 48207

Massive, thin-crust slices of pizza are what put this Eastern Market hot spot on the map. Owner Dave Mancini also pairs the big slices with tasty northern Italian fare such as meatballs or mushrooms with polenta and daily pasta specials. Leave room for a dessert. The cannolis, prepared with several varieties of cream filling and toppings, are phenomenal.

2457 Russell St
Detroit, MI 48207

8. Rocco's Italian Deli

3627 Cass Ave, Detroit, MI 48201

This modern, minimalist Italian deli and restaurant sticks to a tight list of items such as the Zio Freddo’s Got Serious Beef with house giardiniera-braised Italian beef and sharp provolone or the Better Than Fried Bologna pan-fried mortadella sandwich. There’s also a handful of salads and antipasto. Dine in with a cup of coffee or a cocktail, or take the meal to-go.

3627 Cass Ave
Detroit, MI 48201

9. SheWolf Pastificio & Bar

438 Selden St, Detroit, MI 48201
Jesse David Green/SheWolf [Official photo]

This modern Roman restaurant is upping the stakes for Italian cuisine in Detroit by milling its own flour for its pasta and focaccia in-house. Chef Anthony Lombardo’s menu features pasta essentials like cacio e pepe and carbonara as well as intriguing seasonal dishes. For dessert, don’t miss out on the panna cotta and soft serve-style gelato.

438 Selden St
Detroit, MI 48201

10. Villa Restaurant & Pizzeria

21311 Gratiot Ave, Eastpointe, MI 48021

When going to Nonna’s isn't an option for Sunday dinner, Villa's can help fill the void for old-school Italian. Generations of families have been coming here for decades for traditionally prepared dishes like the antipasto salad with housemade dressing and Tony's combination plate for those who can't decide.

21311 Gratiot Ave
Eastpointe, MI 48021

11. La Dolce Vita

17546 Woodward Ave, Detroit, MI 48203

La Dolce Vita translates to "the sweet life," which sums up sipping cocktails and dining on the fabulous patio or in the elegant dining room at this traditional, fine-dining Italian eatery near Palmer Park in Detroit. It's also a brunch hotspot with abundant mimosas and live music.

17546 Woodward Ave
Detroit, MI 48203

12. Pop's For Italian

280 W Nine Mile Rd #2, Ferndale, MI 48220

Pop's for Italian serves up legit Neapolitan pizza and homemade pastas. The U-shaped bar in the middle of the restaurant boasts a fancy wine system that pours wine without opening a bottle, ensuring the wine is always fresh — because there's nothing worse than getting a glass of sour wine. 

280 W Nine Mile Rd #2
Ferndale, MI 48220

13. Due Venti

220 S Main St, Clawson, MI 48017

This charming and cozy Clawson eatery specializes in northern Italian cuisine, paying homage to the country's rich culinary history, agriculture and traditions. Helmed by a husband and wife team, Due Venti features a seasonal menu with handmade breads, fresh pasta, and house-smoked fish. A must is the cauliflower frittelle, which is served with garlic and herbs and topped off with a tomato caponata. With its intimate and inviting atmosphere, Du Venti is a good spot for a romantic evening out.

220 S Main St
Clawson, MI 48017

14. Silver Spoon Ristorante

6830 N Rochester Rd, Rochester Hills, MI 48306

It may be in a strip mall, but with its top-notch fare and service, Silver Spoon defies expectations. For starters, the prosciutto is a must and don’t skip the freshly made pastas are such as gnocchi in a four cheese sauce, fettuccine with rabbit, and pappardelle with meatballs. High-end offerings such as a 21-day dry-aged tomahawk rib-eye steak and fish deboned table side make this a go-to spot for fancy date nights and important business dinners. Fun fact: The menus are signed by the rich and famous such as Tony Bennett.

6830 N Rochester Rd
Rochester Hills, MI 48306

15. Bella Piatti

167 Townsend St, Birmingham, MI 48009
Michael Raffin/Bella Piatti [Official photo]

This sophisticated Birmingham restaurant is always bustling and reservations for one of its 65 seats are never a bad idea. Venice native chef Francesco Apollonia's menu is traditional with a little modern flair with dishes such as octopus carpaccio and quail. The fish specials are also a standout. And with its prime location (just across the street from the tony Townsend Hotel), customers might even spot a celeb or two during dinner.

167 Townsend St
Birmingham, MI 48009

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16. Bacco Ristorante

29410 Northwestern Hwy, Southfield, MI 48034
Chef Luciano DelSignore plates a dish with potatoes and greens. Bacco Ristorante [Official photo]

Opened in 2002, Bacco Ristorante has since become a dining destination with a menu that is constantly evolving to reflect the latest trends in Italian dining. The kitchen doesn't cut corners when it comes to preparation or ingredients, which are as fresh and local as possible (when available, produce comes from the on-site garden). If it isn’t local, it’s because chances are it’s been imported from Italy. Even though he has launched another restaurant (the popular pizza chain Bigalora), chef Luciano DelSignore can still be seen making the rounds at his signature restaurant.

29410 Northwestern Hwy
Southfield, MI 48034

17. Cantoro Trattoria

15550 N Haggerty Rd, Plymouth, MI 48170
A plate of linguine alle vongole with a glass of wine. Cantoro Trattoria [Official photo]

Go grocery shopping and eat a fantastic Italian meal in one spot. It’s hard to go wrong with the tagliatelle alla bolognese prepared with scratch-made tagliatelle pasta and traditional meat sauce of ground veal, beef, sausage, and pancetta. The trattoria also boasts a fully stocked bar featuring a vast selection of wines, liquors, and beers. For dessert, one of the Italian coffees, espressos or cappuccinos pair perfectly with gelato.

15550 N Haggerty Rd
Plymouth, MI 48170

Related Maps