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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
12 Restaurants
Updated 26 February 2020
Restaurants:Pascal's Manale, Josephine Estelle, Domenica
Price Range:$$ - $$
Cuisines:Italian, Contemporary Italian
Neighborhoods:Uptown, Central Business District
A photo of Pascal's Manale restaurant

Pascal's Manale

$$$$
Italian
Uptown
4.6
2548 reviews

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.


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 Josephine Estelle restaurant

Josephine Estelle

$$$$
Contemporary Italian
Central Business District
4.1
2003 reviews

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.


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 Domenica restaurant

Domenica

$$$$
Italian
Central Business District
4.6
6228 reviews

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.


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 Cristiano Ristorante restaurant

Cristiano Ristorante

$$$$
Italian
Houma
4.9
452 reviews

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.


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 Irene's restaurant

Irene's

$$$$
Italian
French Quarter
4.9
2804 reviews

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.


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 Milano restaurant

Milano

$$$$
Contemporary Italian
Houma
4.4
257 reviews

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.


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 Italian Barrel restaurant

The Italian Barrel

$$$$
Italian
French Quarter
4.5
2607 reviews

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.


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 Tommy's Cuisine restaurant

Tommy's Cuisine

$$$$
Italian
Warehouse District
4.2
1821 reviews

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.


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 Ristorante Filippo restaurant

Ristorante Filippo

$$$$
Italian
Metairie
4.7
678 reviews

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.


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 Nuvolari's restaurant

Nuvolari's

$$$$
Italian
Mandeville
4.3
950 reviews

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.


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 Tony Mandina's Restaurant restaurant

Tony Mandina's Restaurant

$$$$
Italian
Gretna
4.8
363 reviews

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.


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 Andrea's restaurant

Andrea's

$$$$
Italian
Metairie
4.3
1029 reviews

With both Louisiana specials and classic Northern Italian cuisine on the menu, Andrea’s in Metairie is designedto please everyone at the dinner table and their massive 500-seat dining room is proof that the formula is working out quite well. The extensive, but chef-curated, menu features New Orleans-influenced items like Louisiana Crabmeat Stuffed Ravioli Andrea, tossed in a crabmeat cream sauce, as well as time-tested standards like Osso Buco Milanese, served with saffron rice or guest's choice of several pasta options.


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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