A Taste of Italy – 25 Italian Favorites

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There’s more to Italian food than pasta and sauce. Luckily for diners in the DC area there are a host of talented chefs who bring authentic and adventurous Italian food to restaurant tables from Penn Quarter to Arlington. Whether you’re in search of the perfect wood-fired pizza, the creamiest risotto or handmade pasta, there’s something for Italian food lovers all over town. Here are 26 of our favorites and the neighborhoods where you can find them.

ADAMS MORGAN

Pasta Mia
1790 Columbia Rd NW
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 328-9114

This unassuming neighborhood restaurant is an Adams Morgan institution, with its large pasta portions, low prices and legendary red sauce.

BLOOMINGDALE

The Red Hen
1822 First St NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 525-3021

Diners at this Italian-influenced American restaurant can also enjoy selections from the restaurant’s eclectic wine list.

CAPITOL HILL

Acqua Al 2
212 7th St SE
Washington, DC 20003
(202) 525-4375

Acqua Al 2 is the American outpost of a restaurant in Florence, Italy, which explains the menu’s true Tuscan authenticity. The chef’s choice samplers make it easy to small portions of several dishes.

DOWNTOWN

Bibiana
1100 New York Ave NW
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 216-9550

Chefs at Bibiana have crafted a sophisticated Italian menu to match the restaurant’s stylish decor. Cap off your meal with one of their innovative Italian desserts.

Siroc
915 15th St NW
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 628-2220

This casual, cozy trattoria offers a moderately priced menu featuring house-made pasta and sauces. Half-sized pasta portions make it possible to try two pastas for the price of one.

Tosca
1112 F St NW
Washington, DC 20004
(202) 367-1990

Tosca is all about fine Northern Italian dining. Fresh house-made pasta dishes are prepared with local produce and farm-raised local protein; all of which combine to create a sublime dining experience.

DUPONT CIRCLE

Al Tiramisu
2014 P St NW
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 467-4466

Seafood dishes are the standout at Al Tiramisu. The restaurant’s charm, consistently outstanding service and numerous daily specials are also highlights.

Floriana
1602 17th St NW
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 667-5937

This comfortable Italian bistro serves dishes made with ingredients sourced from local producers. The menu changes seasonally so there’s always something fresh and delicious to enjoy.

I Ricchi
1220 19th St NW
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 835-0459

The Tuscan and regional Italian menu at I Ricchi is inspired by the 18 years restaurateur Christianna Ricchi spent in Tuscany. Look for Old World Italian classics and their signature tortelloni is not to be missed.

Obelisk
2029 P St NW
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 872-1180

Obelisk has been serving a 5-course dinner, 5 nights a week, since 1987 so come ready to experience decadent Italian dishes from their hand-written menu, which changes daily.

GEORGETOWN

Filomena Ristorante
1063 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington, DC 20007
(202) 338-8800

Filomena first opened its doors in 1983 and it has been serving Old World regional Italian specialties ever since. Arrive early to watch the restaurant’s “Pasta Mamas” make fresh pasta in the storefront kitchen.

Il Canale
1063 31st St NW
Washington, DC 20007
(202) 337-4444

Stop in at Il Canale for Neapolitan wood-fired pizza so authentic it’s certified by the Italian Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana.

Ristorante La Perla
2600 Pennsylvania Ave NW #101
Washington, DC 20037
(202) 333-1767

The focus is on simple, fresh ingredients and traditional Italian cooking methods at Ristorante La Perla. Fresh pastas are made in-house daily, and dried pastas are imported from Italy.

H STREET

Toscana Café
601 2nd St NE,
Washington, DC 20002
(202) 525-2693

This friendly, affordable gathering place offers generous portions and outstanding house-made pastas in an upscale casual restaurant.

LOGAN CIRCLE

Tortino
1228 11th St NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 312-5570

Designed to transport diners to a trattoria in Tuscany, Tortino serves up authentic Italian dishes. The fetuccine alla bolognese is a must try.

PENN QUARTER

Fiola
601 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20004
(202) 628-2888

Only the freshest ingredients grace the daily changing lunch and dinner menus at Fiola, an upscale trattoria with an extensive wine list.

Graffiato
707 6th St NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 289-3600

Chef Mike Isabella cooks up small plates inspired by the food he grew up eating in New Jersey prepared by his Italian-American grandmother. Look for small plates and seasonal artisanal pizzas at this Italian-inspired restaurant.

UNION MARKET

A Litteri
517 Morse St NE
Washington, DC 20002
(202) 544-0183

A Litteri is Washington’s oldest Italian market. It features a large selection of Italian products from every part of Italy at reasonable prices. You can choose from six brands of pasta in more than 200 shapes.

ALEXANDRIA

Geranio Ristorante
722 King St
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 548-0088

Perfect for a family outing or a romantic evening, you’ll find fresh, seasonal Italian ingredients and a chef committed to the craft of fine Italian cooking.

Landini Brothers
115 King St
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 836-8404

A favorite spot for locals and tourists, Landini Brothers is known for preparing Italian dishes featuring the flavors of Tuscany in a casual, but elegant environment.

Paradiso Italian Restaurant
6124 Franconia Rd
Alexandria, VA 22310
(703) 922-6222

Paradiso is the place for traditional Italian food in a family friendly setting. Ideally located minutes from Springfield hotels,  their bountiful Sunday brunch is a must try.

Tempo
4231 Duke St,
Alexandria, VA 22304
(703) 370-7900

The Northern Italian entries on Tempo’s menu draw loyal locals and tourists alike. One of Alexandria’s best kept secrets,  Tempo gives diners Italian classics like carpaccio, caprese and fresh egg pastas.

ARLINGTON

Mele Bistro (formerly Village Bistro)
Colonial Village Shopping Center
1723 Wilson Blvd
Arlington, VA 22209
(703) 522-0284

Italian food shares the menu with dishes from France at Mele Bistro, the restaurant formerly known as Village Bistro. Mele’s focus is serving creative, healthy dishes that show respect for nature.

FAIRFAX

Dolce Vita
10824 Fairfax Boulevard
Fairfax, VA 22030
(703) 385-1530

Chefs at Dolce Vita bring a little corner of Italy to the suburbs, where they prepare authentic Italians food in a setting reminiscent of  true Italian gathering spots.

RESTON

Il Fornaio
11990 Market Street, Suite 106
Reston Town Center
Reston, VA 20190
(703) 437-5544

Il Fornaio is part of a chain of  21 Italian restaurants but the menu reads like that of a boutique Italian trattoria.  Antipastas, pizzas and pastas all bear the hallmark of traditional Italian cuisine in a lively setting.

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