Where to Enjoy Italian Cuisine in Pittsburgh

We’ve never met anyone who doesn’t like pasta, pizza, and Italian wine. Grazie a Dio, we have a variety of excellent Italian cuisine restaurants in and around Pittsburgh. Each one, infused with the passions and personalities of its owners, offers something special. When the pang for pasta strikes, book a table and head out to one of these spots for a bit of la dolce vita.

Italian Cuisine in Pittsburgh

Bar Marco 

Strip District 

Bar Marco’s Strip District building exudes atmosphere inside and out. A robust natural wine list and appetizer menu settle you in nicely. Share Chef/Owner Justin Steel’s Pork Tonnato, whose delicate flavor you can balance with a round of crispy-fried arancini. While sipping, tasting, and chatting, contemplate the entrées at your own pace. Lean into pasta if that’s your passion: the vodka sauce, finished with freshly grated Gran Padano, is wonderful.   

Della Terra 

Zelienople 

Meaning of the earth in Italian, the name reveals that menu is grounded in locally farmed ingredients. An important part of jovial co-owner Fiore Moletz’s professional experience came from Lidia Bastianich’s restaurant group. As a result, the pasta and pizza game here are top-notch. Try the charcoal spaghetti, black as night. Order both red and white pizzas because their house-made flavors are unique and delicious. Better yet: try the five-course menu for two and let Fiore or Executive Chef Rich Burns choose everything for you. Are you still feeling hesitant to drive to Zelienople for dinner? Respectfully: Get over it. It’s worth it.  

DiAnoia’s Eatery 

Strip District 

A playful, casual daytime vibe gives way in the evenings to a full-service restaurant. At all hours, the constant here is the food, cooked with care by a team headed by co-owner Dave DiAnoia. For breakfast, you need zeppole and coffee. Enjoying lunch? Try a meatball panini. Or for dinner, start with any of the delicious pastas, and continue with Steak Florentine and a robust side of roasted rapini with chili and garlic. This is a place for hearty appetites, a bottle of red, and a lot of laughter around the table. 

Dish Osteria and Bar 

South Side 

Dish’s mission is simple: allow customers to connect over wine and food. A dinner at Dish goes much further than that, however. Upon arrival, try a cocktail or mocktail from their excellent bar: perhaps Signorina Ciccia, a blend of vodka, prickly pear syrup, lemon juice and prosecco. As you sip, order absolutely anything and everything on the menu that appeals to you. Each dish is an opportunity to taste authentic Italian cooking, unburdened by American compromises. Many key ingredients are brought in from Italy, resulting in exquisite flavors. Ask the staff for a wine recommendation: to a person, they are warm, unhurried, and knowledgeable. If you see co-founder Michele Savoia lingering at the bar as you leave, he deserves a cordial tip of the hat.   

Fish Nor Fowl 

Garfield   

To borrow an idea from another part of the Mediterranean, a tapas-style Italian mean at Fish Nor Fowl is a great idea. Share a chef-curated appetizer board of dips, delicacies, meats, and cheeses. Continue sharing with an assortment of small plates, pastas, sides, and entrées. Example: a small plate of mussels, entrées of wild mushroom pappardelle and branzino, and sides of broccolini and polenta, will likely satisfy a table of four. You’ll have room for dessert and an after-dinner amaro.   

Il Pizzaiolo  

Mt. Lebanon  

At Il Pizzaiolo, Fior di latte mozarella and fresh pastas are made in-house, every day—as is the pizza dough, which follows a 300-year-old recipe. Mozzarella di Bufala and San Marzano tomatoes arrive regularly from Italy. Add a Neapolitan-style wood-fired pizza oven, and the promise of an excellent Italian meal comes into focus. Whether you opt for pizza or pasta, Veal Milanese or Pollo Scarpariello, the memory of a visit here will linger in the mind. You’ll be back for more.  

Story by TABLE Team / Photography by Laura Petrilla / Graphite Matte Black Stoneware courtesy of Hudson Grace

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