San Antonio, the second-largest city in Texas, might be known for its Tex-Mex cuisine, but it also has its share of fantastic Italian restaurants. In fact, many people do not realize just how fantastic Italian food is in many of the major cities in Texas. Of course, they are known for barbeque and other southern favorites, but it’s a State that is filled with people of all ethnicities, and in the end, who doesn’t like Italian Food? From family-run spots to more upscale restaurants, there’s something for everyone.
Here are 10 of the best Italian restaurants in San Antonio, Texas, to help you get your fix.
# 10 – Nonna Osteria
If you’re after some Northern Italian cuisine, Nonna Osteria is the place to go. The menu features classic dishes such as homemade Arancini ai Gamberi, Insaccati, and Polpette. The restaurant also has an impressive wine list with over 400 selections. The tagliatelle is a must-try, as it’s made fresh in-house daily.
The beef short ribs are also a popular choice and for a good reason. They’re slow-cooked for hours, making them melt-in-your-mouth tender. They have this romantic setup that creates the perfect ambiance for a night out. Nonna Osteria is open for dinner from Monday to Saturday.
401 S Alamo St, San Antonio, TX 78205
# 9 – Barbaro
Another best Italian restaurant worth mentioning is the Barbaro, popularly known as a pizza speakeasy. It is a neighborhood bar that features craft beer and fantastic pizza. The Barbaro recently moved into the quaint Monte Vista neighborhood next to Lilly’s cookies on McCullough.
The Barbaro strays outside of what is considered traditional Italian pizza, but there’s no denying they make some of the best pies in town. The Lobster and Oyster Mushrooms Pizza are made with Boucheron, porcini oil, Fior de latte, and chives.
2720 McCullough Ave, San Antonio, TX 78212
# 8 – Paesanos Riverwalk
Next up, we have Paesanos Riverwalk, an upscale destination offering both traditional and contemporary Italian fare. It’s more of a hosting private events type of place, but their food is outstanding. According to previous customers, their most popular dishes are the Shrimp Paesano (a must-try) and the bread that comes warm from the oven. Their pasta is also cooked al dente, which is an excellent thing for those who love their pasta slightly firm.
Their Italian bar has a selection of over 160 wines, 33 of which are available by the glass. If you’re there for a private dining event, then you’re in good hands because they have a state-of-the-art Wine Emotion decanting and dispensing system to ensure your drink is perfect. And those who love their liquor also carry large format bottles and half bottles of some of the best brands around.
555 E Basse Rd, San Antonio, TX 78209-8353
Website: Paesanos Riverwalk
# 7 – Battalion
The battalion is one of the most popular Italian restaurants in San Antonio, and for a good reason. It might have a short history, but they serve up some of the best Italian cuisines in the city, and the restaurant’s interior is elegant and welcoming. Their most popular dish is the grilled corn cavatelli, a pasta dish with chili, lime, and other spices.
You can also find other classics on their menu like meatballs, antipasti, salads, and more. Their cocktail and wine list are also extensive, so you can find the perfect drink to accompany your meal. The fact that it’s located in a historic, restored firehouse only adds to the charm.
604 S Alamo St, San Antonio, TX 78205
#6 – Luce Ristorante e Enoteca
Luce Ristorante is a place where you can come to enjoy a delicious meal and some of the best wine in San Antonio as you immerse yourself in an exceptional Italian atmosphere. This restaurant opened its doors in 2006 and has since become a favorite local spot for anyone looking for traditional Italian cuisine. The menu at Luce is full of mouthwatering dishes that are sure to please.
Chef Joe Buonincontri puts his own spin on the classic family to create unique flavor profiles that keep you coming back for more. From fresh fish and meats to homemade mozzarella and gnocchi, you have the chance to enjoy Southern Italy cuisines. With over 125 different wine choices available, you can explore this restaurant’s world of flavor.
Website: Luce Ristorante
# 5 – Little Italy
Owned by a Visocaro family, Little Italy Restaurant is known for its authentic New York-style Italian cuisine. The menu features classic Italian dishes with a Visocaro twist, like homemade mozzarella and gnocchi. The spot isn’t that popular for Italian traditionalists but for those who appreciate a more modern take on Italian classics; Little Italy Restaurant is the place to go.
We included Little Italy in the list for their authentic New York-style Italian cuisine that tends to hook you at the first bite. According to the owners, the recipes are passed down from generation to generation in the Visocaro family. They also put their own twist on classic Italian dishes, making each dish more special. It’s one of those places that will make you feel like you’re not in San Antonio anymore.
824 Afterglow St, San Antonio, TX 78216
#4 – Piatti
Decades of Tradition – Piatti has been serving fresh, made-from-scratch Italian cuisine for over 30 years. According to the locals, it’s an Italian anchor for the city, and we couldn’t agree more. The food is fantastic, and the atmosphere is cozy and inviting. Their baked goat cheese and the beef carpaccio are heavenly, not to mention the Italian classic chicken parmigiana and lasagna. The service is excellent, and the staff is always happy to help with menu choices. You can dine-in, take out, or order delivery.
255 E. Basse Road, Suite 500 San Antonio, TX 78209
# 3 – Milano on Wurzbach
History of Milano: Milano on Wurzbach is a San Antonio institution, having served the city’s most discerning Italian food lovers for over 25 years. The restaurant was opened in 1993 by Paolo and Vittoria Galli, who wanted to bring a taste of their native Italy to San Antonio. This commitment to excellence quickly made Milano on Wurzbach a favorite among San Antonio’s Italian dining scene.
One thing that sets Milano on Wurzbach apart is its use of only the freshest, highest-quality ingredients. The restaurant sources its ingredients from all over Italy, as well as from local purveyors. This commitment to quality ensures that each dish is flavor-packed and full of authentic Italian flavor.
In addition to its commitment to quality ingredients, Milano on Wurzbach also takes great care in preparing each dish. The restaurant’s pasta dishes are made fresh daily, and its entrees are cooked to order. San Antonio’s Best Kept Secret – The wine list at Milano on Wurzbach is world-class, and the restaurant has won numerous awards for its extensive collection.
11802 Wurzbach Rd, San Antonio, TX 78230
# 2 – Dough Pizzeria Napoletana
In the second spot, we have a must-visit if you need a bite of authentic Neapolitan pizzas, housemade burrata, salads, and an all-Italian wine list, the Dough Pizzeria Napoletana. They make their Pizzas using local and farm-fresh ingredients combined with authentic Neapolitan techniques. They are mostly praised for the simplicity and quality of their food – delizioso!
Their homemade mozzarella is a favorite among customers and the house specialty – the Margherita Pizza. If you’re not up for the Napolitan pizza, you can enjoy one of their Campania or Southern-Italian cuisines. They also have some special diets, including vegetarian-friendly, vegan, and gluten-free options. They have two pizza places in San Antonio, one at 6989 Blanco Rd and the other at 518 S. Alamo St.
6989 Blanco Rd, San Antonio, TX 78216
#1 – Maggiano’s Little Italy
Our favorite Italian restaurant in San Antonio is Maggiano’s Little Italy. It’s also one of our favorite restaurants in Boston as this is a very upscale chain. The food here is impressive, and the portions are huge. As a semi-upscale restaurant, the prices are a bit higher than average. But, in our opinion, the quality of food and service is more than makeup. The Italian atmosphere in this place is undeniable-you feel like you’re right in the heart of Rome, literally.
The menu features all the classic Italian dishes you would expect, such as Mom’s Lasagna made with Crumbled Meatballs and Sausage or Ricotta and Marinara Sauce. This is one of the classic dishes that Maggiano’s is known for, and it lives up to the hype. Another dish that we love is the Mozzarella Marinara. This dish consists of breaded mozzarella and marinara sauce, which is absolutely delicious.
17603 I-10, San Antonio, TX 78257
Let’s be honest – San Antonio, Texas, has its share of amazing things to do. But, if you’re looking for a truly authentic Italian dining experience, you need to know where to go, or else you’ll be stuck eating at Olive Garden. Don’t sacrifice your cravings for subpar Italian food; go to one of these restaurants and prepare to be amazed. Buon appetite!
Feature Photo: Minerva Studio / Shutterstock
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