Food

100 Very Best Restaurants: The Best Italian Food in the DC Area

Where can you find the best Italian food in Washington? At these 16 top spots from our 100 Very Best Restaurants list, including the #1 dining room in Washington this year: Fiola Mare.

Casa Luca

Campanelle pasta with prawns. Photograph by Scott Suchman.
Campanelle pasta with prawns. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

“There’s a rigor and a passion that lift the place above a casual trattoria.”

1099 New York Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20001

Masseria

Photo by Scott Suchman
Photo by Scott Suchman.

“Whatever you opt for, make sure pasta plays a role.”

1340 Fourth St., NE, Washington, DC 20002

Fiola

Photo by Scott Suchman
Fiola’s signature lobster ravioli. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

“Pastas are lovely across the board, whether delicate ravioli stuffed with lobster or pappardelle with deeply flavorful wild-boar ragu.”

601 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, (entrance at 678 Indiana Ave.) Washington, DC 20004

Fiola Mare

Photograph by Scott Suchman.
Bucatini with sea urchin and prawns. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

“This is a luxury restaurant, and it’s extravagantly expensive. But the quality of the fish is extraordinary…and no restaurant in the area will spoil you more.”

3050 K St., NW, Washington, DC 20007

Bibiana

BIBIANA_012-994x559
Photograph by Scott Suchman.

“[Chef Jake Addeo’s] kitchen shows deftness with crudos—try hamachi drizzled with fruity olive oil, preserved citrus, and pink peppercorns—and more robust dishes, such as dry-aged duck breast with Italian prunes…”

1100 New York Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20005

2Amys

2AMYSPIZZA_056-994x559
Photograph by Scott Suchman.

“These are simple dishes that rely on top-quality ingredients and studious technique.”

3715 Macomb St., NW, Washington, DC 20016

Obelisk

Bigoli pasta with duck ragout. Photograph by Scott Suchman.
Bigoli pasta with duck ragout. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

“Linger over the antipasti…the generous wine pairings, and the pastas, such as house-made noodles with squid.”

2029 P St., NW, Washington, DC 20036

The Red Hen

Photograph by Scott Suchman.
Photograph by Scott Suchman.

“Yes, the pastas are both imaginative and fulfilling, but get a load of the wooden tables and chairs, the most handsome pieces of restaurant furniture in the area.”

1822 First St., NW, Washington, DC 20001

Inferno Pizzeria Napoletana

infernopizzeria_2016_featured-994x559
Photo by Scott Suchman.

“What’s a three-star chef doing running a pizza joint in a Gaithersburg shopping plaza? Having a blast.”

12207 Darnestown Rd., Gaithersburg, MD 20878

Osteria Morini

Photograph by Scott Suchman.
Photograph by Scott Suchman.

 

“Morini possesses the spirit of a full-fledged neighborhood Italian joint.”

301 Water St., SE, Washington, DC 20003

Etto

Photograph by Scott Suchman.
White pizza with sausage and bitter greens. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

“Your best move is to treat dinner as a snackfest of cured meats, cheeses, and small plates from the chalkboard menu.”

1541 14th Street NW, Washington, DC 20005

Ghibellina

Photograph by Andrew Propp.
Photograph by Andrew Propp.

“The secret is out about this darkly minimalist restaurant’s happy hour, which lasts from 4 to 6:30 weekdays and starts at 3 on weekends.”

1610 14th St., NW, Washington, DC 20009

Graffiato

The fried calamari-topped Jersey Shore pie from Graffiato. Photograph by Scott Suchman.
The fried calamari-topped Jersey Shore pie from Graffiato. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

“It’s prone to unevenness, and the prices can get up there in a hurry. But there are more than enough thrills to make it worth seeking out.”

707 Sixth St., NW, Washington, DC 20001

Centrolina

A dish from Centrolina
Chef Amy Brandwein brings a seasonal Italian restaurant and market to CityCenterDC. Photography by Andrew Propp.
“She can take a pasta you might never have heard of and turn it into something just as comforting as a soulful bowl of spaghetti.”

974 Palmer Alley, NW, Washington, DC 20001

G by Mike Isabella

G by Mike Isabella often has guest chefs deem up sandwiches. This one, a Kim-fil-A--a mess of fried chicken, bacon, and fermented-chili slaw--was created by Jonah Kim. Photograph by Scott Suchman.
G by Mike Isabella often has guest chefs deem up sandwiches. This one, a Kim-fil-A–a mess of fried chicken, bacon, and fermented-chili slaw–was created by Jonah Kim. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

“By day, this narrow shop slings some of the top sandwiches in town. At night, chef/owner Mike Isabella’s crew cranks out a more ambitious roster of Italian pastas and roasts.”

2201 14th St., NW, Washington, DC 20009

Lupo Verde

Salt-baked branzino for two. Photograph by Scott Suchman.
Salt-baked branzino for two. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

“With its tucked-away alcoves and ruddy brick walls, this rowhouse is one of the more romantic addresses in the 14th Street corridor.”

1401 T St., NW, Washington, DC 20009

Don’t Miss a Great New Restaurant Again: Get Our Food Newsletter

Questions or comments? You can reach us on Twitter, via e-mail, or by contacting the author directly:
Web producer/writer

Greta started as an editorial fellow in January 2016 and joined as a full-time staff member that August. She now works as a web producer and writer. She was previously an intern at Slate and National Geographic and graduated from the University of Missouri’s Journalism School. She lives in Adams Morgan.