The Twin Cities’ Top 10 Italian Restaurants

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As a lifelong Midwesterner, my ears have heard far too many instances of “EYE”-talian when it comes to salad dressing, restaurants, or cars.

In fact, for those of us who grew up eating spaghetti salad with WishBone Italian Dressing, tomatoes, and black olives from a can, it’s time we discard the past and embrace some of the top Italian gems here in the Twin Cities.

La Grolla

452 Selby Avenue, Saint Paul, MN 55102 • (651) 221-1061 • www.lagrollastpaul.com

With special Fritture, Carpacci, Pasta Fresca, Homemade Mozzarelle (including Burrata), and a generous wine list — there are not-to-be missed opportunities to experience Chef Antonio Tettamanzi’s neighborhood cuisine.

Rinata

2451 Hennepin Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55405 • (612) 374-8998 • www.rinataresaturant.com

Experience a four-course dinner with your new or long-time sweetheart for data night at Rinata any Sunday night to regroup and recharge before the week begins. Highlights include Eggplant Involtini, Baked Bulgarian Feta, Bucatini with housemade pancetta, or Steak Rollatini.

Nonna Rosa’s Ristorante Italiano

4168 West Broadway Avenue, Robbinsdale, MN 55422 • (763) 537-3700 • www.nonnarosaswinebar.com

From Chef Francesco and Tina Suglia, this neighborhood spot is in the middle of Robbinsdale’s historic business district. Serving classic dishes like Lasagne, Eggplant Parmigiana, and Spaghetti Carbonara, you too can experience the wonders of an Italian grandma’s love through food.

Terzo

2221 West 50th Street, Minneapolis, MN 55419 • (612) 925-0330 •  www.terzompls.com

Beautiful, unusual, and fresh — the trio that Terzo offers. Nestled in the corner of a small Italian village that includes Broder’s Pasta Bar, Broder’s Cucina Italiana, and Terzo plus its Porchetteria, the casual observer might miss the bounty that is produced here.

The Butcher Block

308 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55414 • (612) 455-1080 • www.thebutcherblockrestaurant.com

The simplicity of its name tells you everything. From Pork and Ricotta Meatballs and Grilled Octopus to Lamb Scottadito and Chicken Marsala, Executive Chef Filippo Caffari brings a cozy neighborhood Trattoria to Northeast Minneapolis.

Monello (at the Hotel Ivy)

1115 2nd Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55403 • (612) 353-6207 • www.monellompls.com

During your weekend staycation, prepare to Invigorate your food imagination with Tuna with strawberry and cucumber, Burnt Wheat Campanile, or Poached King Crab with jasmine tea, asparagus, yogurt and black sesame — all without stepping foot outside the beautiful Ivy Hotel.

Yarusso-Bros Italian Restaurant

635 Payne Avenue, Saint Paul, MN 55130 • (651) 776-4848 • www.yarussos.com

Skip the fancy and go for the gusto of homemade Italian favorites for the entire family where a Dago can arrive with fries, spaghetti, cheese sticks, garlic toast, soup or salad or where Two Meatballs are on the list of must-haves for lunch.

Zelo

831 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55402 • (612) 333-7000 • www.zelomn.com

A downtown institution that never disappoints in fresh and local Italian cuisine for lunch or dinner. Simply, but expertly, prepared pasta, vegetables, pizzas, and salads hardly describe the vast menu that is delivered with sophisticated and friendly service.

Giuseppe’s Italian Ristorante

1435 Silver Lake Road, New Brighton, MN 55112 • (651) 631-2744 • www.giuseppesnewbrighton.com

Another family-minded dining spot that has almost every dish you imagine on an Italian menu — spaghetti, gnocchi, tortellini, rigatoni, manicotti, ravioli, ziti and the list goes on. Unusual items from its kitchen include Liver and Onions, Pepper and Egg Sandwich, and an Italian Doughnut.

Caffe Biaggio

2356 University Avenue, West Saint Paul, MN 55114 • (651) 917-7997 • www.caffebiaggio.com

The simple streamlined exterior of Caffe Biaggio celebrates dishes from across Italy. You can choose such delights as their Goat cheese Torta, Arancine (fried risotto balls), Grilled Romaine Heart, Cioppino, Mama’s Meatballs, or Basil Ricotta Gnocchi.

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Sarah Steil is a Minnesotan by way of Denver, CO and hails from the metropolis of Algona, IA (once home to the world’s largest Cheeto). Sarah puts her visual and communication nose to the design and brand grindstone each day as founder of a local brand and design agency.