10 Best Italian Restaurants in Columbus

by Shannon Flynn  |  Published June 20, 2023

From old-school Italian restaurants in cozy quarters to fresh takes on the classics in Instagram-worthy settings, Italian restaurants in Columbus offer as much variety as they do deliciousness.

(Photo: Martini Modern Italian)

The capital of the Buckeye State is home to dozens of places that offer mouthwatering Italian dishes. Much like the city itself, Columbus Italian restaurants are incredibly diverse in terms of style and setting. As a result, you’ll have no trouble finding an eatery for any mood and occasion. To help you enjoy your next meal out on the town, we’ve narrowed down the best Italian restaurants in Columbus to ten of the very best.

Martini Modern Italian

Whether you’re looking to celebrate a special occasion or just enjoy happy hour with friends, Martini Modern Italian always gets the food and the vibe just right. Right on High Street near the Short North, this restaurant is conveniently located. The brick exterior is lined with windows that provide a glimpse into the sleek and chandelier-filled bar and dining room. Once inside, diners find that Martini is classy without being pretentious, and once they order, they experience culinary delights that blend classic Italian influences with contemporary takes. As for beverages, Martini serves up delicious cocktails, as suggested by its name, as well as wines that pair nicely with the menu’s dishes.

445 North High Street / Mon-Thurs 4pm-10pm Fri4pm-11pm Sat 3pm-11pm Sun 3pm-9pm

Pasqualone’s Ristorante

(Photo: Pasqualone’s Ristorante)

Located in an unassuming storefront in a shopping center just a few miles from Easton Town Center, you’ll find Pasqualone’s Ristorante. The relaxed family-run eatery is known as “the best-kept secret in Columbus.” David Pasqualone and his wife Lori own and operate this Italian oasis. They provide soothing music and tasteful décor along with dishes inspired by those made in Central Italy, where David’s father was born. The owners and their staff can answer any questions about the family recipes that appear on the menu and help you select the perfect wine to accompany your meal. Keep in mind you’ll have to make a reservation because your table at Pasqualone’s will be yours for the evening.

5766 Emporium Square / Tues-Sat 5pm-9.30pm

Carfagna’s Ristorante

Carfagna’s Ristorante is another family-run Italian restaurant in Columbus, and it has a loyal following. Patrons initially make their way to this eatery near Polaris Fashion Place to try the famous pasta sauces and handmade jumbo ravioli. They then keep coming back to feast on everything from fried calamari to fettuccine alfredo in a beautiful and spacious restaurant and bar. The restaurant also has the added benefit of being in the same building as Carfagna’s Market. Family-owned and operated since 1937, this shop is the ultimate destination for the best homemade Italian foods, fresh hand-cut meats and local produce and products.

1440 Gemini Place / Mon-Thurs 11am-9pm Fri-Sat 11am-10pm

Trattoria Roma

(Photo: Trattoria Roma)

Within the heart of Grandview, you can find classic Italian dishes with a modern twist when you visit Trattoria Roma. This Grandview Avenue restaurant was originally located on Morse Road and was run by the DiPaolo family. Today, General Manager Shawn Mason and Chef Matt Prokopshak work together to bring diners incredible Italian meals that utilize local, seasonal ingredients in a setting that can be described as “classy yet casual.” To enhance the dining experience, the Trattoria Roma team offers a carefully curated wine selection to pair with both classic Italian dishes and modern interpretations.

1447 Grandview Avenue / Sun-Sat 4pm-9pm

Villa Nova Ristorante

No list of Italian restaurants in Columbus would be complete without mentioning Villa Nova Ristorante. As with many of the previous entries on this list, Villa Nova is family-run. Near Worthington, the eatery serves large portions of both Italian and American dishes and offers generous happy-hour specials from 4pm to 9pm on Mondays and 4pm to 7pm Tuesday through Friday. The décor in the restaurant and bar area hasn’t changed in decades and the patrons wouldn’t have it any other way. Aside from going to order the delicious Italian dishes, people love visiting Villa Nova to see the late owner’s extensive and unique collections of teapots in the dining room and pressure gauges in the bar.

5545 North High Street / Sun-Thurs 11am-11pm Fri-Sat 11am-12am

Basi Italia

(Photo: Basi Italia)

Basi Italia provides an intimate setting in Victorian Village that’s the perfect place to enjoy Northern Italian dishes and Mediterranean-inspired entrees. The unassuming exterior can make this eatery easy to walk past, but that would be a mistake. The small interior hosts a casual dining space where the staff provides a cozy and approachable dining experience. On nice days in Columbus, the inviting terrace space is the perfect place to enjoy the menu’s culinary delights that are always changing with the seasons. Every detail at Basi Italia reflects the desire of the husband and wife owner-operators to share scrumptious food, good wine and great company.

811 Highland Street / Weds-Sat 4pm-Close

Lola & Giuseppe’s Trattoria

Those seeking authentic Italian cuisine ranging from pasta to seafood don’t need to look any further than Lola & Giuseppe’s Trattoria. Found in Gahanna, this oasis for Italian favorites is nestled among a row of shops. Once you step inside, you’re greeted by an intimate space that features charming details like murals and red and white tablecloths. However, the food is what truly stands out. Favorites among regulars include Giuseppe’s Baked Rigatoni and Veal Marsala. You can also order delightful desserts that range from a slice of tiramisu to a cannoli. This Italian restaurant also offers take-and-bake meals to help you enjoy their dishes from the comfort of your home.

100 Granville Street / Tues-Thurs 5pm-8pm Fri-Sat 5pm-9pm

Z Cucina di Spirito

(Photo: Z Cucina di Spirito)

This Italian restaurant in Columbus has the distinction of having two locations. One in the heart of Grandview near Trattoria Roma, and the other in the suburb of Dublin. Specializing in small plates, salads and main courses, Z Cucina is known as a “scratch kitchen,” meaning the chef makes everything from scratch. Each dish is a blend of modern and traditional Italian and Mediterranean flavors. Diners can enjoy these dishes in the stylish dining room or bar, and when the Columbus weather cooperates, the spacious and airy patio provides a beautiful location to relax with a drink and enjoy a meal.

1368 Grandview Avenue / Mon-Thurs 5pm-9pm, Fri-Sat 5pm-10pm

6584 Riverside Drive, Dublin / Mon-Thurs 5pm-9pm Fri-Sat 5pm-10pm

La Tavola

The Columbus suburb of Grandview is home to many gems in terms of Italian restaurants, and La Tavola is no exception. Don’t be fooled by this eatery’s humble exterior, as it houses a warm restaurant that provides unique takes on Italian favorites. Every dish is made from scratch by Chef Rick Lopez and his team. Together, they create a new menu each night that features fresh ingredients and enticing flavors. After ordering, you’ll enjoy your meal with a beer or a glass of wine at either a private table or the long communal table in the centre of the restaurant.

1664 West 1st Avenue, Grandview Heights /Tues-Thurs 5pm-9pm Fri-Sat 5pm-9.30pm Sun 5pm-8.30pm

Speck Italian Eatery

(Photo: Speck Italian Eatery)

Speck got its start in the Central Ohio restaurant scene just north of Columbus in Delaware, Ohio, before making the move to the downtown area. Chef Josh Dalton strives to serve up modern takes on Italian classics in a way that’s both “delicious and playful.” Much like LaTavola, Speck regularly switches up its menu so that diners can enjoy the freshest ingredients and ideas. The vibrant culture of Italy inspires each dish as well as the eclectic interior design of the space. When you step inside Speck, your eyes will move from the fun murals and wall décorto the plants hanging from the ceiling that provide a touch of the outdoors inside

89 North High Street / Mon-Fri 11am-2pm & 5pm-10pm Sat 5pm-10pm