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The Best Italian Restaurants in New Orleans

New Orleans might be known for its French roots, but it also has strong ties with Italy. In fact, so many Italians moved to NOLA in the 19th and early 20th century that the French Quarter was almost renamed “Little Palermo.” When it comes to food, that Italian heritage is still present—the city’s signature sandwich, the muffaletta, is an Italian invention. But where should you eat when searching for the most outstanding Italian in the city? Ask a local and you’re bound to get the most accurate read on the pulse of the restaurant scene in New Orleans. So, we looked at our data to find where the most in-the-know locals are going for the best Italian food in NOLA —here’s where they’re dining now.

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The OpenTable Team
11 ristoranti
Aggiornato il 26 febbraio 2020
Ristoranti:Pascal's Manale, Josephine Estelle, Domenica
Fascia di prezzo:$$ - $$
Cucine:Italiana, Italiana contemporanea
Quartieri:Uptown, Central Business District
Foto del ristorante Pascal's Manale

Pascal's Manale

$$$$
Italiana
Uptown
4.7
2694 recensioni
A true culinary landmark on the New Orleans culinary map, Pascal’s Manale has been serving Italian-Creole food out of their Napoleon Street location for more than 100 years. Guests can choose between sitting at the raw oyster bar, where hand-shucked Gulf of Mexico specimens are some of the freshest around, or grabbing a wooden seat around an ancient table and going for the house specials. Traditional Italian pastas like creamy Alfredo serve as starters at Pascal’s Manale. Hearty mains run the gambit from veal Gambero topped with peeled BBQ shrimp to the Grilled Fish Orleans, a catch of the day topped with mushrooms, shrimp, and artichoke hearts.

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Foto del ristorante Josephine Estelle

Josephine Estelle

$$$$
Italiana contemporanea
Central Business District
4.2
2119 recensioni
European-style attention to detail applied to full-flavored Southern-style ingredients results in an innovative culinary experience at Josephine Estelle, which serves some of the best Italian in New Orleans for those who want to sample local Louisiana produce, meat, and fish as well. Items like duck hash and hamachi crudo start the evening out with a bang on the antipasto menu, while seconds like swordfish served with polenta and malabar spinach and the short rib with farroto and demi gorgonzola fonduta are part of the reason the chefs here have been nominated for a James Beard Award.

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Foto del ristorante Domenica

Domenica

$$$$
Italiana
Central Business District
4.6
6446 recensioni
A traditional Neopolitan-style Italian eatery located in the heart of New Orlean’s Central Business District (CBD), Domenica has become a favorite among both locals and critics since opening its doors in 2009. With a name that literally means “Sunday” in Italian, Domenica focuses on well-thought-out plates meant to be enjoyed leisurely like the pasta verde lasagna with pork ragu and bechamel sauce. The restaurant is also known for its delightful cheese and salami plates, which come in sizes that feed one, three, or five guests at a time.

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Foto del ristorante Cristiano Ristorante

Cristiano Ristorante

$$$$
Italiana
Houma
4.9
513 recensioni
Located just 15 miles south of New Orleans in the historic town of Houma, Cristiano Ristorante is situated inside of a comfortable house. It offers a large patio with garden side seating, where modern takes on classic Italian dishes are served in the warm tropical air. Family-sized servings of starters like fritto misto, where Louisiana-style fried green tomatoes are served alongside old-world-style almond breaded duck tenderloin, give way to chargrilled main plates like the Piccolo Filetto, a petite filet mignon serves with brie risotto and butter-poached crab meat.

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Foto del ristorante Irene's

Irene's

$$$$
Italiana
French Quarter
4.9
3064 recensioni
Established in 1993, Irene’s does country-style Italian and French fare with a strong dose of New Orleans influence out of a charming "hole in the wall" in the heart of the French Quarter. Known for serving some of the best Italian in New Orleans for those that want something completely creative and new, the menu is small at Irene’s, but focused on well-planned-out items like the Duck St. Phillip, glazed with a pecan and raspberry pancetta demi and served with sweet potato mash and fresh spinach.

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Foto del ristorante Milano

Milano

$$$$
Italiana contemporanea
Houma
4.0
265 recensioni
Serving traditional Italian cuisine in a white tablecloth setting and offering guests an adjoining cocktail lounge called The Patio, where live entertainment often takes place, Milano is a popular culinary destination in downtown Houma. From the duck and bacon kabob bites appetizer to the dinner menu's pork osso buco — served over a creamy mascarpone polenta with roasted apples, carrots, and mushrooms — the restaurant plays with new and unique flavor combinations but sticks to classic preparation strategies.

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Foto del ristorante The Italian Barrel

The Italian Barrel

$$$$
Italiana
French Quarter
4.5
2801 recensioni
An optimal location near the French Market and a chef born in Verona, Italy have placed The Italian Barrel on several lists for the best Italian in New Orleans. Menu items here are crafted in a distinctly Northern Italian style and include house specials like the Chef’s Own Fusili Pasta, served in a light cream sauce with peas, shallots, and Italian speck prosciutto. Wines from the Tuscany and Piemonte regions seldom seen outside of Italy are another draw to this authentic New Orleans Italian eatery.

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Foto del ristorante Tommy's Cuisine

Tommy's Cuisine

$$$$
Italiana
Warehouse District
4.4
1945 recensioni
A fine dining seafood restaurant located in the waterfront warehouse district of New Orleans, Tommy’s Cuisine is also known for their Creole take on classic Italian. Appetizers like the Crab and Avocado Ravigote, made with local blue crab and heirloom cherry tomatoes, and entrees like shrimp fra diavolo, based on gulf shrimp and Calabrian chiles over linguini, showcase just how well traditional New Orleans ingredients can be integrated into high-end Italian cuisine. A great place to grab a bite before checking out some of the live music in the area.

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Foto del ristorante Ristorante Filippo

Ristorante Filippo

$$$$
Italiana
Metairie
4.7
777 recensioni
Located in the historic New Orleans suburb of Metairie, Ristorante Filippo is under the watchful culinary genius of a New Orleans native chef of Italian descent. Known for having some of the best veal parmigiana in the New Orleans area, Ristorante Filippo also does a fresh soup of the day based on the chef’s access to fresh produce (think thick tomato basil and the New Orleans classic "turtle soup"), as well as a fish of the day based on market-fresh local offerings.

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Foto del ristorante Nuvolari's

Nuvolari's

$$$$
Italiana
Mandeville
4.4
1003 recensioni
It's worth a trip across Lake Ponchartrain and over to the “North Shore” to check out Nuvolari’s, a stand-out Italian eatery located in the center of Old Mandeville. Live music and a refreshing outside patio set the perfect scene to try out flavorful selections like the Polpetta Beef, Pork, and Veal Meatballs appetizer, served with marinara, pesto, and Alfredo and Romano cheeses. Or sample the Veal Paneed, a succulent veal cut served with mushroom Alfredo pasta, crabmeat, and lemon butter.

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Foto del ristorante Tony Mandina's Restaurant

Tony Mandina's Restaurant

$$$$
Italiana
Gretna
4.9
424 recensioni
Just over the mighty Mississippi River from New Orleans lies the quiet town of Gretna, home to the old-school Sicilian-style Tony Mandina’s Restaurant. Folks line up here for the mild cherry pepper bombs stuffed with shrimp and crab meat and served with Creole honey mustard sauce, while the house-made Italian sausage meatballs served over angel hair pasta and topped with Tony Mandina’s “red gravy” has its own fan base. Serving the area since 1982, Tony Mandina's is a family-run affair with a loyal local following.

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