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12 of the Best Italian Restaurants in Tampa, FL

Bella's Italian Cafe
Bernini
Bavaro's
Vino E Pasta
Timpano Italian Chophouse
Ground Foods Cafe
Cena
Donatello Italian Restaurant
Caffé Paradiso
Osteria Natalina 
Oggi Italian 
Bella's Italian Cafe
Bernini
Timpano Italian Chophouse
Ground Foods Cafe
Cena
Photo Credit: Facebook
Donatello Italian Restaurant
Photo Credit: Facebook
Caffé Paradiso
Photo Credit: Facebook
Osteria Natalina 
Photo Credit: Facebook
Oggi Italian 

If you love Italian food and you’ll be visiting Tampa soon, there are plenty of quality restaurants to choose from. After seeing some of the attractions in the city, you can enjoy a great meal at some of the best Italian restaurants Tampa has to offer. Whether you’re in the mood for a casual Italian meal or you prefer a more refined Italian dinner, here are some exquisite restaurant choices.

 

 

Photo Credit: Facebook

1. Bella’s Italian Cafe

1413 S Howard Ave Ste 100, Tampa, FL
(813) 254-3355

Whether you’re having a family dinner or a casual date night in Tampa, Bella’s Italian Cafe is a perfect choice. Start your meal with fried ravioli and marinara dipping sauce, or you can try the Formaggio al Forno or Caprese salad. The shrimp scampi with garlic, scallions, and crushed red pepper is some of the best in town as well. There are also several meat-free dishes to choose from like the Mateo’s Chik’n which is made from plant-based “chicken” and topped with mushrooms or the vegetarian pizza with veggie sausage, onion, and mushrooms. Other popular dishes include the veal scallopini in a lemon caper sauce and Confetti Spaghetti, which is a Tampa favorite.

 

 

Photo Credit: Facebook

2. Bernini

1702 E 7th Ave, Ybor City, FL
(813) 242-9555

If you’re looking for fresh pasta dishes and hearty meat dishes, Bernini is the place to dine when you’re in Tampa. The bruschetta and calamari are some of the best appetizers in town, and eggplant Bonano is an impressive vegetarian appetizer as well. Fresh soups are prepared at the restaurant daily, and you can pair the soup with a delicious Caesar salad or the Cigar City Chop with provolone, Romaine lettuce, and artichoke hearts. Delicious entrees include the Atlantic blackened salmon with spinach and zucchini or roast chicken with potatoes. Of course, there are several pasta entrees to choose from as well, like the veal lasagna, spaghetti de la Grana, or the Parpadelle Bolognese.

 

 

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3. Bavaro’s

514 N Franklin St, Tampa, FL
(813) 868-4440

Bavaro’s is a trendy pizza spot in Tampa that offers tasty lunch and dinner options. The Tre-Carne pizza is one of the most popular menu items and it’s topped with fior di latte and San Marzano tomatoes. Or, you can order wood-fired paninis like the Pepe with chicken, fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, and greens. The penne ala vodka is some of the best in town, and the eatery offers several small plate options as well, like the ricotta meatballs made with ground beef and pork, wood-roasted gulf oysters, or avocado bruschetta.

 

 

Photo Credit: Facebook

4. Vino E Pasta

3603 W Gandy Blvd, Tampa, FL
(813) 902-8466

Vino E Pasta is one of the best places in Tampa to have — you guessed it — wine and pasta. Pasta entrees include the lasagna of the day, as well as Cannelloni chicken, penne ala vodka, or pasta with an assortment of clams and mussels. Popular chicken dishes include the Pollo Marsala and Pollo Piccata, and you can also enjoy the Piccata with veal. If you prefer a seafood entree, try the grilled snapper bruschetta or the snapper with champagne sauce. If you’re in the mood for something fancier or you’re visiting Vino E Pasta for a date night, try the grilled filet mignon. The eatery also has an extensive selection of red and white wines as the perfect finishing touch to your dinner.

 

 

Photo Credit: Facebook

5. Timpano Italian Chophouse

1610 W Swann Ave, Tampa, FL
(813) 254-5870

Timpano Italian Chophouse has all you need for a delicious and authentic Italian dinner. Start your meal with skillet clams with sea salt, rosemary, and fresh garlic, or try the fried calamari with sweet Pomodoro sauce. You can also choose from the chef’s soup of the day or the traditional minestrone soup filled with hearty vegetables. Popular salads include the BLT with Cajun bacon, arugula, and fresh mozzarella, and the Wedge salad with grape tomatoes and blue cheese is a tasty side dish as well. The restaurant also offers several flatbreads and seafood dishes like roasted salmon or pan-seared scallops, and the chef’s selections include chicken parmesan or marsala with chicken or veal.

 

 

Photo Credit: Facebook

6. Ground Foods Cafe

6428 N Florida Ave, Tampa, FL
(813) 515-7562

Ground Foods Cafe is one of the best Italian restaurants Tampa has to offer when you’re looking for a fancy vegan lunch or dinner with friends. The table bread is a wonderful way to start your meal, and the Italian olive oil for dipping makes you look forward to dinner. You can also choose from the house salad or Caesar salad, which go great with the eatery’s square pizzas like the vegan sausage pizza topped with almond “ricotta” or the Margherita with cashew “mascarpone” cheese. Pasta entrees include the carbonara in a creamy garlic cashew sauce and the bolognese made with seitan crumbles. If you want to end your meal with dessert, try the vegan chocolate olive oil cake topped with coconut whipped cream.

 

 

Photo Credit: Facebook

7. Cena

1208 E Kennedy Blvd, Tampa, FL
(813) 374-8840

Cena is a beautiful Tampa restaurant will a variety of tasty dishes that are filled with Italian flavor. Start your meal with bread service, or you can try the crispy eggplant or fried artichokes. Cena offers several delicious salads as well, like the house salad with tomatoes and gorgonzola, or the baby kale Caesar with chickpeas. The truffle mushroom risotto is some of the best in town and the risotto with shrimp and scallops is impressive as well. Cena is also known for its oxtail and potato gnocchi entree in a tomato braising sauce, and the sausage and mushroom pasta with caramelized onions is a delicious choice, too.

 

Photo Credit: Facebook
Photo Credit: Facebook

8. Donatello Italian Restaurant 

232 N Dale Mabry Hwy, Tampa, FL 33609
(813) 875-6660

If you are looking for some old school fine dining, you need to check out Donatello. From the ambiance to all of the small touches the staff takes here, you are sure to feel like royalty throughout your dining experience. Try the carpaccio di filetto, which is thinly sliced raw beef tenderloin with parmesan cheese, capers, and onions or the ostriche gratinate, which are fresh oysters cooked with garlic, breadcrumbs, and parsley for a delicious starter. For dinner they have so many authentic Italian options from pasta, fish, steak dishes and more. You will leave here full and satisfied and the ladies will be handed a fresh rose when they leave! 

 

Photo Credit: Facebook
Photo Credit: Facebook

9. Caffé Paradiso 

4205 S MacDill Ave, Tampa, FL 33611
(813) 835-6622

For a classic Italian meal at an upscale, yet unpretentious spot, Caffé Paradiso is the place for you. The chefs here take pride in their work and everything is as flavorful as it looks. They also have daily specials so there will always be something fresh and new to try. The burrata makes for a wonderful and light appetizer so you can save some room if you are getting a heavy pasta dish. Every dish on the menu at Caffé Paradiso is fresh, authentic, and sure to have you coming back for more. 

 

Photo Credit: Facebook
Photo Credit: Facebook

10. Osteria Natalina 

3215 S MacDill Ave, Tampa, FL 33629
(813) 831-1210

This hidden gem is one you are not going to want to miss! It is a very small restaurant with big flavor and definitely worth checking out. Always authentic, always fresh and always portions that will leave you full and happy. For your appetizer, Le Cozze alla “Cappa Style,” black mussels with your choice of red or white sauce is a great start, and for your meal try the Ravioli All’ Aragosta, which is lobster and ricotta cheese stuffed ravioli, aka heaven on a plate. To finish off your delicious Italian meal, try the canolois with a nice hot cappuccino. 

 

Photo Credit: Facebook
Photo Credit: Facebook

11. Oggi Italian 

236 E Davis Blvd, Tampa, FL 33606
(813) 252-7778

Go to Oggi for a relaxing, comfortable vibe with wonderful Italian food. They can accommodate large parties so this is the perfect spot for a birthday party or work event. If you sit outside, you will feel like you are really in the streets of Italy enjoying an authentic meal. Try the grilled octopus or charcuterie board filled with the chefs choice of meats and cheeses for your appetizer. For your main course, the creamy smoked salmon or the palermo style pistachio chicken cutlets are both wonderful choices. Or go classic and order the sausage rigatoni for a filling meal that will knock your socks off. 

 

Photo Credit: Roccatampa.com
Photo Credit: Roccatampa.com

12. Rocca

323 W Palm Ave, Tampa, FL 33602
(813) 906-5445

For a special occasion or just simply wanting to go out for a nice meal, Rocca is the place to be. You will want to make reservations as this place fills up fast, and rightfully so! The ambiance is on point from the mood lighting and trendy decorations all throughout the restaurant. You must absolutely without a doubt order the Mozzarella Cart for the table to share. Your server will prepare the dish right in front of you and that alone makes it worth it, but lucky for you it also tastes as delicious as it looks. They have several wonderful pasta dishes like the Gnocchi and Tortello all’ Uovo, as well as meat and fish dishes that are meant to share. From the food to the service and good vibes here, you are bound to have a delightful experience.  

 

Editors Note: This article was originally published on April 22, 2021 and last updated on November 29, 2021. Please refer to restaurant websites and social media pages for the most up-to-date information.