13 Best Italian Restaurants in Seattle

12/10/2023 | by Andy | Bars & Restaurants

Seattle, with its vibrant culinary scene, offers a delightful range of dining experiences, and for those seeking a taste of Italy in the heart of the Pacific Northwest, the city does not disappoint.

For those staying in our vacation rental homes or those contemplating a visit, we’ve curated a list of the finest Italian restaurants that promise an authentic taste of Italy right here in the Pacific Northwest. From mouthwatering meatballs to tagliatelle bolognese, you can’t go wrong with these 13 great Italian restaurant options.

1. Spinasse

Photo Credit: mirepoixgangsta via Flickr CC 2.0
  • Address: 1531 14th Avenue, Seattle, WA
  • Favorite Menu Item: Tajarin al Ragu
  • Website: spinasse.com
  • Price Point: $$$

For more than ten years, this cozy trattoria has been a Capitol Hill beacon for those craving authentic Italian food in Seattle. Head Chef Stuart Lane studied the culinary arts at the Italian Culinary Institute in Piedmont and has brought the mouthwatering flavors back to Seattle.

The Tajarin al Ragu was rated one of the best Italian dishes in the nation by Food Network, so be sure to include that in your order. But then again, if you order any other of the homemade pasta options, you can’t go wrong.

2. Ristorante Machiavelli

If you’re looking for a cozy date night, Ristorante Machiavelli in the Capitol Hill neighborhood offers a warm and welcoming atmosphere reminiscent of a classic fine-dining Italian trattoria. The Veal Saltimbocca, featuring a rich Marsala wine sauce, is a crowd-pleaser. Enjoy the cozy ambiance and personalized service that makes you feel like part of the family. Vegetarians will rejoice in their signature Eggplant Parmesan.

3. Tavolàta

Photo Credit: Mark H. Anbinder via Flickr CC 2.0
  • Address: 2323 2nd Ave, Seattle, WA
  • Favorite Menu Item: Tagliatelle Bolognese
  • Website: tavolata.com
  • Price Point: $$

Located in the heart of Belltown, Tavolàta is a contemporary Italian eatery known for its communal dining experience. The Tagliatelle Bolognese, with its hearty meat sauce, showcases the restaurant’s commitment to using fresh, locally sourced ingredients.

The industrial-chic setting adds a modern touch to the traditional Italian dining experience. Swing by during happy hour to enjoy small plates and an aperitivo. Tavolàta is open from 4 to 6 pm for happy hour every day!

4. How to Cook a Wolf

  • Address: 2208 Queen Anne Ave N, Seattle, WA
  • Favorite Menu Item: Creste de Gallo
  • Website: howtocookawolf.com
  • Price Point: $$$

With a name inspired by the famous book by M.F.K. Fisher, How to Cook a Wolf in Queen Anne crafts a menu that pays homage to rustic Italian cuisine, all by taking simple ingredients and elevating them into culinary masterpieces.

The Creste de Gallo with Wild Boar Bolognese is a testament to the restaurant’s dedication to bold flavors. The intimate and dimly lit space adds to the allure, making it perfect for a special night out. Dive into a bowl of pasta, or diversify your meal with their delectable shared plates.

5. San Fermo

Photo Credit: Kirk K via Flickr CC 2.0
  • Address: 5341 Ballard Ave NW, Seattle, WA
  • Favorite Menu Item: Strozzapreti with Lamb Sumo
  • Website: sanfermoseattle.com
  • Price Point: $$$

The menu at this popular Ballard restaurant is less extensive and lighter compared to more traditional Italian restaurants. It includes standout dishes like Strozzapreti with Lamb Sumo. Ambiance is a given in this historic 1800s house, where you can enjoy neighborhood Italian fare that is truly farm to table, as many of San Fermo’s ingredients come from the restaurant’s 34-acre farm in La Conner, WA.

6. Cafe Lago

  • Address: 2305 24th Ave E, Seattle, WA
  • Favorite Menu Item: Ravioli de Pere
  • Website: cafelago.com
  • Price Point: $$

Cafe Lago in Montlake is a neighborhood Italian restaurant of Tuscan-inspired recipes that offers a slightly upscale atmosphere for special occasions. The restaurant is known for its well-prepared pasta, including two delicious lasagna dishes, which change with the seasons.

Although pizza is obviously the star, don’t pass up a chance to try their Ravioli de Pere in all of its balsamic brown butter glory. If your schedule allows it, swing by on Monday for a $10 pizza night!

7. Raccolto

Photo Credit: Jameson Fink via Flickr CC 2.0
  • Address: 4147 California Ave SW, Seattle, WA
  • Favorite Menu Item: Strozzapreti with Lamb
  • Website: raccoltoseattle.com
  • Price Point: $$$

This Italian restaurant in West Seattle, owned by Brian Clevenger, who also owns Vendemmia and other restaurants, offers a variety of creative pasta dishes. Some examples include Tonnarelli with manilla clams or Strozzapreti with lamb bolognese. For an extra touch, you can add a shaved truffle.

Immaculately plated but not ostentatious, the goal of Raccolto is to make you good food, simply served. Additionally, most areas of the small dining room provide a view of the cooks tossing the pasta in the sauce.

8. Donna’s

  • Address: 1355 E Olive Way, Seattle, WA
  • Favorite Menu Item: Black Pepper Fettucine
  • Website: donnasseattle.com
  • Price Point: $$

Donna’s is the new hot spot in Seattle, serving up old-school pasta dishes with a twist. Chef Peaches, once the culinary mastermind behind Vito’s, is now leading the charge in the kitchen.

The Black Pepper Fettucine is a game changer, smothered in a creamy lemon sauce. And the best part? All their pastas are budget-friendly, priced under $15. Donna’s is all about celebrating the humble origins of pasta, creating a tantalizing and inclusive dining experience for everyone.

Swing by for happy hour from 4 to 6 to snag a deal on their cheesy “Poutine”esca Loaded Fries – not to mention all pasta is $10!

9. La Medusa

Photo Credit: Bruce Ryan via Flickr CC 2.0
  • Address: 4857 Rainier Ave S, Seattle, WA
  • Favorite Menu Item: Changes Weekly
  • Website: lamedusaseattle.com
  • Price Point: $$

La Medusa stands out for its commitment to using locally sourced, organic ingredients, so you’re always getting the freshest of the season. The cozy ambiance and warm service make it a favorite among locals. Since the menu changes weekly, you’ll need to show up and be surprised! After your meal, snag another little taste of Italy by heading next door to their mini grocery store and Amaro bar, Persephone.

10. Salumi

  • Address: 404 Occidental Ave S. Seattle, WA
  • Favorite Menu Item: Braised Porchetta Sandwich
  • Website: salumideli.com
  • Price Point: $-$$

Salumi, founded by Armandino Batali (yes, father of the famous chef Mario Batali), is a cherished Seattle institution. The artisanal cured meats, particularly the Braised Porchetta sandwich, are a must-try. The intimate setting and communal tables create a convivial atmosphere. Stop by for a casual lunch and dig into some of the best sandwiches in Seattle!

11. Cantinetta

Photo Credit: Anna Shepulova
  • Address: 3650 Wallingford Ave N, Seattle, WA
  • Favorite Menu Item: Pumpkin Risotto
  • Website: cantinetta.com
  • Price Point: $$$

Nestled in the Wallingford neighborhood (with another location in Bellevue), Cantinetta impresses with its dedication to handmade pasta and seasonal, locally sourced ingredients. The Pumpkin Risotto is a standout dish, and the inviting atmosphere makes it an excellent choice for a special night out.

12. Pasta Casalinga

  • Address: 1721 Queen Anne Ave N, Seattle, WA
  • Favorite Menu Item: Changes Weekly
  • Website: pastacasalingaseattle.com
  • Price Point: $-$$

This is the perfect opportunity to try handcrafted pasta in the heart of Seattle. Stop by after you’ve worked up a hearty appetite, walking around the famous Pike Place Market. Pasta Casalinga offers a cozy and casual setting with an emphasis on fresh, house-made pasta. The menu changes weekly, and the friendly staff enhances the welcoming atmosphere.

13. The Pink Door

Photo Credit: bonchan
  • Address: 1919 Post Alley, Seattle, WA
  • Favorite Menu Item: Linguine Alla Vongole
  • Website: thepinkdoor.net
  • Price Point: $$$

An enduring staple of Italian cuisine in Seattle, the Pink Door offers not only delectable Italian cuisine but also live entertainment. Nestled in the iconic Pike Place Market, this restaurant boasts a lively cabaret-style atmosphere.

The Linguine Alla Vongole, loaded with baby clams, is a standout dish, and the live performances add an extra layer of entertainment to your dining experience. Plan ahead so that you can reserve a seat on the outdoor deck, dining in view of Elliot Bay.

Pro Tip: Almost any menu item here can be made gluten-free!

Eat and Stay in Seattle

Indulge your senses in the rich flavors of Italy without leaving the vibrant city of Seattle. Each of these Italian restaurants has its own unique charm, offering a delightful blend of traditional and modern culinary experiences. Whether you’re a food enthusiast or just seeking a memorable meal, dive into some of the best Italian food in Seattle. Buon viaggio e buon appetito!

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