You can take an Italian out of Italy, but never the Italy out of the Italian. While the USA has numerous cuisines to offer because of the cultural diversity, all places do not have authentic tastes. If you are on your quest to find the best Italian restaurant in Washington DC, you’re at the right place. This article covers all the places in Washington to transport you to Italy without spending on the ticket!
Best Italian Restaurant In Washington State
Washington DC, the capital of the USA, is home to diverse cultures. You will find on-the-go fast food chains, French bakeries, Indian restaurants, and many others. This metropolitan city also has Italian restaurants, but the question is, “Which is the best Italian restaurant in Washington DC?”
The Red Hen, Caruso’s Grocery, Fiola, Stellina Pizzeria, and Filomena are top favorites. But there are more. So, let’s tell you all the authentic Italian eateries in the American capital that make you go, “Fantastico!”
The Red Hen
Washington DC, has an unbelievable number of Italian restaurants, and the Red Hen is a customer favorite. Located in the Bloomingdale neighborhood, this restaurant is always flooded with people who love Italian food. And why wouldn’t it be? It’s a Michelin-star restaurant!
The Red Hen features an open kitchen, showing Chef Mike Friedman spinning magic with the dough and fresh ingredients. They offer a wide variety of Italian dishes, including the most famous mezzi rigatoni with fennel sausage ragu.
Order any of their four toasts to begin your meal, followed by a pasta or antipasto. They also have an extensive list of wines to choose from.
However, the restaurant is always crowded, and you might need to reserve your table a month in advance.
That’s crazy, right? But it’s so worth the wait!
Address: 1822 1st St NW, Washington DC
Phone number: +1 202-525-3021
We the Pizza
If you are looking for some bueno pizza in Washington DC, We The Pizza can be your best pick.
Customers love their pizzas and garlic knots. The pizzas are fresh with rich toppings; some even say it is the best pizza they have had!
You can get a slice, medium, or large pizza in the flavor of your choice. The place offers a wide range of pizza flavors, including the Butcher’s Block, Cheese Pie, Double Pepperoni, and more. Moreover, they also have cinnamon garlic knots for a delicious sweet treat.
Enjoy the pizza with a beer, or add a salad or wings to make it a complete lunch meal. Everything at We The Pizza is absolutely lip-smacking.
Address: 305 Pennsylvania Ave SE, Washington DC
Phone number: +1 -202-544-4008
The quest for the best Italian restaurant in Washington DC is incomplete without mentioning the Michelin Star recipient, Fiola; it ranked among the #5 best Italian restaurants in the world.
The restaurant offers a soothing environment with an attentive, knowledgeable, and welcoming staff. Furthermore, the wine list covers all palettes, including French, Italian, and American.
Fiola can be the perfect pick for an intimate dinner, birthday, formal business lunch, and any other occasion. The food is delicious, and most people enjoy the 9-course tasting menu with wine pairing.
But the portions for dinner are quite small compared to traditional Italian restaurants. At the same time, it can be slightly pricey considering its status.
Address: 601 Pennsylvania Ave NW Enter at 678 Indiana Ave, Washington DC
Phone number: +1 202-628-2888
Sfoglina is another notable mention among the best Italian restaurants in Washington DC. This place suits people who want a balance between Italian and American tastes.
Sfoglina Downtown is a favorite among visitors who want a taste of Italy without experimenting too much. It gives you a sneak peek into Italian cuisine, but not too much traditional.
The menus are versatile and change according to the occasion and season. The pappardelle and ragu are among the best dishes here. Also, you can enjoy a variety of wines.
The restaurant’s fine ambiance and helpful servers elevate the experience.
Address: 1099 New York Ave NW Entrance at 11th and New York Ave NW, Washington DC
Phone number: +1 202-628-1099
Looking like a little Italian cafe, Lavagna is another public-favorite Italian restaurant in Washington DC. The best part is that this cozy restaurant is quite pocket-friendly. Visitors rate this restaurant highly for the ambiance, service, and food.
They have special menus for brunch and dinner. The portions are huge with authentic Italian taste. The restaurant has amazing antipasto boards. Besides the starters and mains, the craft cocktails are also good.
Also, you can enjoy half-priced wine on Wednesday and Sunday; what else do you need?
Address: 539 8th St SE, Washington DC
Phone number: +1 202-546-5006
L’Ardanta is a chic spot in Washington with Italian cuisine. It offers you numerous Italian options to choose from. Some diners also mention that the dishes have a slight French feel in addition to Italian taste.
The duck and desserts are favorites among customers. But the 40-layer lasagna is the star of the show. It is a mouth-watering lasagna with the meatiest beef and a light touch of truffle oil.
The restaurant has various menu options, including brunch, lunch, dinner, drinks, and Thanksgiving.
However, it’s best to check the wine list online first, as they do not have an extensive variety.
Address: 200 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington DC
Phone number: +1 202-448-0450
If you come across a busy setting on 31st Street, it could be your next favorite best Italian restaurant in Washington DC.
Despite the crowd of customers seated outside and inside, the servers get you seated quickly at Il Canale. Furthermore, they are quite helpful in selecting popular menu items and ensuring you have a pleasant experience.
The restaurant is widely known for its Napolitana pizza and a wide range of Sicilian food. You will find dishes filled with clams, mussels, shrimp, and white wine. It is undoubtedly one of the best places for Pizza in DC.
Visitors can also enjoy the Happy Hour 3-6 pm Monday to Friday, at the bar and outside seating. Yet you must make reservations for dinner in advance so you do not have to wait for a spot.
Address: 1065 31st St NW Georgetown, Washington DC
Phone number: +1 202-337-4444
This exquisite-looking restaurant on Wisconsin Avenue does not only look fancy but also feels wonderful!
The restaurant has been serving DCers since 1983. Regular customers love the impressive portions of authentic Italian cuisine with fresh ingredients. Filomena is slightly expensive, yet that does not stop it from being the best Italian restaurant in Washington DC.
They have specific lunch, dinner, and dessert menus. They typically comprise pasta, antipasti, salads, and pizza. You can also pick your favorites from their wine list.
Address: 1063 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington DC
Phone number: +1 202-338-8800
Caruso’s Grocery is a little hidden gem in Washington DC that takes you back to Italy on every bite.
This Italian restaurant offers delectable dinners, drinks, desserts, and wine. They have pasta, antipasti, salads, entrees, and sides. The restaurant is a tribute to Italian food everyone has had during their childhood.
The Chef, Matt Adler, makes fresh pasta in the kitchen and adds his unique sauces to make it even more delicious. Meanwhile, the dining room gives classic vibes with vintage photos that combine perfectly well with the food.
Address: 914 14th St SE, Washington, DC
Phone number: +1 202-661-0148
You might also hear ‘RPM’ when you ask DCers about the best Italian restaurant in Washington DC. It is popular among people looking to enjoy Italian food in a less traditional setting.
While the restaurant looks less like an Italian cafe and more like a modern fine dining space, you will love the food.
They have everything you look forward to in an Italian restaurant, including a dining menu, lunch express, and a cocktail menu. They offer numerous wine choices to choose from. Also, RPM Italian has a separate gluten-free menu.
So, do not wait any further to try this amazing Italian place!
Address: 650 K St NW, Washington DC
Phone number: +1 202-204-4480
If you are in Shaw or Navy Yard and looking for the best Italian restaurant in Washington DC around you, look no further; All-purpose is indeed an all-purpose Italian restaurant!
All-purpose pizza is a favorite among the young and old. The dough is fermented for three days and baked perfectly with a crispy yet chewy crust. The Buono pizza is a fan favorite, made with fresh basil, pepperoni, and chili honey.
All-purpose also offers gluten-free pizza options, which are no less delicious than regular pizzas. Most visitors are returning customers, and you will know why when you visit this pizzeria.
Address: 1250 9th St NW, Washington DC
Phone number: +1 202-849-6174
2 Amys is the perfect pick when looking for something filling without denting your pocket. It is a small yet cozy space that offers yummy food. You get three pieces of durum bread for as little as a dollar and a half. The pizza crust is perfectly cooked, crispy, chewy, and charred in the right places.
The place has delicious pizzas for an economical price. But you can enjoy various other Italian delicacies. The fish meatballs, deviled eggs, almond cake, and everything else are yummy!
Moreover, they do not have a tip line on the credit card receipts; they believe the servers must be paid like professionals.
Address: 3715 Macomb St NW Lowr, Washington DC
Phone number: +1 202-885-5700
This cute Italian pizza spot lives up to its name; it is a small pizza joint between the 909 apartments on New Jersey Avenue SE and Scarlet Oak Restaurant.
You will find simple yet yummy Detroit-style pizza with a thick, square crust that is crunchy and soft – just like Detroit pizza should be!
Side Door offered the classic pepperoni and cheese pizzas before introducing their vegetarian pick with BBQ jackfruit and smoked gouda.
Stop by this Italian spot to enjoy a pizza you will relish for a long time.
Address: 909 New Jersey Ave SE, Washington DC
Phone number: +1 202-817-9302
If you see someone say, “The best lasagna ever!!!” We believe they must be talking about Floriana. Floriana is the best Italian restaurant in Washington DC, for many Italian lovers, mainly for its lasagna.
The servers are friendly and help you choose the right items for your meal. Their cheese and meat boards are a hit among visitors. Moreover, the entrees and desserts are also delicious.
Floriana also offers half-priced wine on Wednesday and Sunday, making it a lunch and dinner favorite.
One visit to this wonderful restaurant is enough to add to your favorites.
Address: 1602 17th St NW, Washington DC
Phone number: +1 202-667-5937
Retrobottega is perfect for days when you want to enjoy an Italian meal without reserving a table days in advance. As the restaurant is not mainstream, you will likely find a table without waiting.
Despite a funky pub décor, the restaurant has a very tasteful ambiance that feels fresh and welcoming. The staff gives a welcoming and helpful vibe as well. Retrobottega has an impressive wine collection to serve different palettes.
Plus, the food is tasty, creative, and impressive. The most popular choices are the charred calamari, sea bass over creamy risotto, and lamb skewers.
You can find antipasti, pasta, and a second for dinner. They also have cicchetti, Affettati, Formaggi, and tasty desserts.
Address: 2435 18th St NW, Washington DC
Phone number: +1 202-450-5219
Al Volo Osteria
One thing you will find everyone telling you about this restaurant is their unmatched customer service. The food is no doubt good, but it is different from the usual high-end, chaotic Italian restaurants. Many people consider it their best Italian restaurant in Washington DC, because of the service.
Everything on the menu, from the appetizers to the entrees, pizzas, and desserts, is worth every cent. The pasta options are scrumptious; choose freely as all of them are very good. Also, the portion sizes are generous, making it quite pocket-friendly for family dinners and parties.
If you do not have Al Volo Osteria on the list of Italian restaurants to try in Washington, we suggest you add it right away!
Address: 1790 Columbia Rd NW, Washington DC
Phone number: +1 202-758-0759
How could we discuss the best Italian restaurant in Washington DC, without mentioning the Michelin Stellina Pizzeria?
This place is not only a customer favorite but also stamped by the critics. The place offers a lively atmosphere with flavorful food at reasonable prices. The taste is to die for, but it might not suit your choice if you prefer an American–style pizza.
The best part is that they have a speedy service with attentive servers always ready to listen to your concerns.
Address: 399 Morse St NE, Washington DC
Phone number: +1 202-851-3995
Officina is an excellent choice when looking forward to a fancy Italian dinner. They have numerous choices to choose from; enjoy their hand-made pasta, the most popular branzino, or the pork chop.
Their seasonal salads and dishes are another interesting element that makes you go there throughout the year. You get to try something new from the chef.
The service is exceptional, with a fresh vibe welcoming you to enjoy your favorite Italian dishes. Also, the views from the Wharf are breathtaking. Head out to this gorgeous location for your next Italian dinner!
Address: 1120 Maine Ave SW, Washington
Phone number: (202) 747-5222
The second last on this list of the best Italian restaurants in Washington DC is Pupatellas. It is another local favorite known for its Neapolitan pizza. The pizzas have a soft crust charred in a hot wood oven enough to give it an authentic Italian feel.
You can never go wrong with their eggplant parm pie, pizza fritta, and burrata pizza. When going for the first time to Pupatellas, these are safe choices besides the Calabrese.
Pupatellas also offers a yummy selection of house-made gelato that reminds you of Italian gelatos.
However, this restaurant is a favorite among people who visit frequently. So, it’s best to call in advance and reserve a table.
Address: 1801 18th St NW, Washington DC
Phone number: +1 202-506-1999
What makes a restaurant the best Italian restaurant in Washington, DC, if not authentic Italian food?
Tortino restaurant understands it and offers the best Italian that will have you licking your fingers. This lovely little restaurant offers an extensive choice of dishes to choose from. They have pasta, soup, salads, steak, lamb, pork, duck, risotto, salmon, and top-notch wine.
Order anything that sounds good without hesitation; everything tastes amazing!
Address: 1228 11th St NW, Washington DC
Phone number: +1 202-312-5570
The Bottom Line
The Red Hen, Sfoglina, RPM Italian, Officina, All-purpose, and Filomena are among the top choices for the best Italian restaurant in Washington DC. Moreover, Two Amys, Side Door, Lavagna, Tortino, and Caruso’s Grocery are notable mentions if you prefer small Italian pizzerias and restaurants. Choose from these Italian places and enjoy a hearty dinner with your friends, family, or partner. You can also enjoy the 40-layer lasagna at L’Ardente. But remember that some require a prior booking, or you might not get a table.
Diana was an active fitness model in the past. She has had numerous shoots done at different locations and found out that her true interest was in exploring the world! Later on, this passion motivated her to write multiple tarvel blogs about whatever place she visited and discovered, and here it is! Enjoy reading a variety of blogs by Diana to get a lively experience of several places.