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15 Best Italian Restaurants in Charlotte

tasty parmigiana melanzane at charlotte italian restaurants

In the center of Charlotte, take a gourmet tour via the alluring flavors of Italy. The Queen City is well-known for its extensive and varied dining scene, and it is home to a wide variety of Italian eateries that take patrons to the quaint streets of Rome, Florence, and other places. We explore the essence of Charlotte’s Italian food scene in this culinary tour, which includes both family-run trattorias and sleek, contemporary ristorantes. Each restaurant offers a symphony of flavors that fascinate the senses, capturing the soul of Italy in its meals. An authentic and wonderful journey through the heart of Italian gastronomy is guaranteed by Charlotte’s Italian restaurants, whether you’re craving homemade pasta, relishing the simplicity of a classic Neapolitan pizza, or indulging in regional specialties.


Portofino’s Italian Restaurant

Multiple locations
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Portofino's Italian Restaurant Charlotte
Source: Portofino’s Italian Restaurant

Portofino’s Italian Restaurant is one of Charlotte’s most popular and successful Italian chains. There are several locations spread across the greater Charlotte area. This restaurant prides itself on serving classic Italian fare, pizza, and great wine in a laid-back atmosphere. I like Portofino’s Italian Restaurant because it’s a great place to go with a group of friends. The menu has something for everyone, and the prices are reasonable. I highly recommend the chicken parm and the shrimp scampi. Both are outstanding. Additionally, the décor is casual and inviting, and the service is always good.


AQUA e VINO

4219 Providence Rd #3993, Charlotte, NC 28211
704-364-4445
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AQUA e VINO Charlotte
Source: Instagram

Aqua e Vino or water and wine, is one of the best Italian restaurants in Charlotte, based just on the name. This incredible Italian spot is on the corner of Kingsgate Pl and Old Sardis Rd in the Providence Park neighborhood. It is near the Levine Jewish Community Center and McMullen Creek. I love Aqua e Vino because it’s a small, family-run restaurant with a great atmosphere. The décor is modern and sleek, and the food is always fantastic. The menu features classic Italian dishes with a twist. I highly recommend the tagliolini and the octopus. The service is also excellent.


Mama Ricotta’s

601 S Kings Dr AA, Charlotte, NC 28204
704-343-0148
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Mama Ricotta’s Charlotte
Source: Instagram

Mama Ricotta’s serves classic Italian food the way grandma makes it alone with the best New Haven-style pizza I’ve had outside of Connecticut. You can find this great spot near the intersection of Pearl park Way and S. Kings Dr. It is near Cherry Park and Midtown Park. I go to Mama Ricotta’s for the pizza. The pizza is thin and crispy with delicious, fresh toppings. I highly recommend the white pizza with spinach and mushrooms. The service is also excellent, and the prices are reasonable. If you want pasta, get the penne ala vodka. The vodka sauce is the best in Charlotte.

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Stagioni – Four Seasons of Food

715 Providence Rd, Charlotte, NC 28207
704-372-8110
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Stagioni – Four Seasons of Food Charlotte
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Stagioni – Four Seasons of Food is one of Charlotte’s best-kept secrets when it comes to fantastic restaurants around the city. This excellent Italian spot is tucked away in the Eastover neighborhood on Providence Rd. It is near Freedom Park and the Mint Museum. I love Stagioni – Four Seasons of Food because it’s a small, family-run restaurant with an extensive menu. The food is always fresh and fantastic. I highly recommend the gnocchi and the chicken parm. The service is also outstanding, and the prices are reasonable. Stagioni is a great place to take someone for a celebration or an intimate date.


Angelines

303 S Church St, Charlotte, NC 28202
704-445-2540
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Angelines Charlotte
Source: Instagram

Angelines is one of Charlotte’s newest Italian restaurants. This great spot is in the heart of Third Ward on S Church St and 3rd street and is not far from Trust Field and Romare Bearden Park. Angelines is a stylish restaurant with great decoration. It serves traditional Italian fare with a modern twist. Plus, they have an outstanding beer and wine menu. I highly recommend the spaghetti carbonara and the beef oxtail. The oxtail is incredibly tender, and the sauce it is served with is to die for.


Aria Tuscan Grille

100 N Tryon St, Charlotte, NC 28202
704-376-8880
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Aria Tuscan Grille Charlotte
Source: Instagram

Aria Tuscan Grille is one of Charlotte’s only Tuscan restaurants. This great spot is in the heart of The Charlotte City Center on W Trade St. and S College Street, and it is a short walk from the Discovery Place Science and the Spectrum Center. Tuscan food is my favorite, and Aria Tuscan Grille does not disappoint. The food is always fresh and flavorful. I highly recommend the cacciatore and the caesar salad. The Caesar salad is the best I’ve ever had. The service is also excellent. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for their happy hour specials or the live music performance that they have.


Dolce Osteria

1710 Kenilworth Ave, Charlotte, NC 28203
704-332-7525
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Dolce Osteria Charlotte
Source: Instagram

Dolce Osteria is one of Charlotte’s best hidden gems. This tremendous Italian spot is in the Dilworth neighborhood on Kenilworth Ave and East Blvd, within walking distance from Freedom Park and the Atrium Health Levine Children’s Hospital. I highly recommend the gnocchi and the stuffed mushrooms. The stuffed mushrooms are one of the best appetizers I have ever had at an Italian restaurant. If you want something sweet, they make their gelato that does not disappoint.


Inizio Pizza Napoletana

Multiple locations
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Inizio Pizza Napoletana Charlotte
Source: Instagram

Inizio Pizza Napoletana is one of Charlotte’s most famous pizza spots. They have multiple locations, but my favorite is the one in the Ballantyne neighborhood on Rea Rd. It is near Stonecrest at Piper Glen and the Charlotte Country Club. Inizio is a great place to go for a casual night out with friends. The pizza is fantastic, and the prices are reasonable. I highly recommend the Margherita pizza and the garlic knots. The garlic knots come with a delicious dipping sauce that takes them to the next level.

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Luce

214 N Tryon St J, Charlotte, NC 28202
704-344-9222
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Luce Charlotte
Source: Instagram

Luce is one of Charlotte’s best upscale Italian restaurants. This great spot is in the heart of First Ward on N Tryon St and E 6th St. It is near the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center and the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art. Luce is an excellent place to go for a special occasion. The food is incredible, and the service is outstanding. I highly recommend the filet mignon and the tiramisu. The filet mignon is some of the best I’ve ever had, and the tiramisu is the perfect way to end a meal.


OGGI Ristorante Italiano

16646 Hawfield Way Dr, Charlotte, NC 28277
704-716-9400
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OGGI Ristorante Italiano Charlotte
Source: Instagram

OGGI Ristorante Italiano is one of Charlotte’s best suburban Italian restaurants. This great spot is in the Ballantyne neighborhood on Hawfield Way Dr and Ardrey Kell Rd, near the Ballantyne Village and the Stonecrest at Piper Glen. OGGI is a fantastic place to go for a family meal or a night out with friends. The food is always excellent, and the pasta is second to none. The pasta is all made in-house; you can taste the high-quality ingredients and the time taken to make the pasta in each bite. My personal favorite is the spaghetti and meatballs.


Pizzeria Omaggio

1055 Metropolitan Ave #130, Charlotte, NC 28204
704-370-0777
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Pizzeria Omaggio Charlotte
Source: Instagram

Pizzeria Omaggio is one of Charlotte’s best Neapolitan pizza spots. This great spot is in the Cherry neighborhood on Metropolitan Ave and Charlottetown Ave, and it is within walking distance from BB&T Ballpark and the Charlotte Convention Center. Pizzeria Omaggio is an excellent place for a quick and delicious pizza. The pizza is always perfect, and the ingredients are top-notch. I’m not sure what they do to their pizza dough, but the crust on their pizza is incredible. I like ordering a side of marinara sauce so I can dip the crust.


Toscana

6401 Carnegie Blvd #6-B, Charlotte, NC 28211
704-367-1808
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Toscana Charlotte
Source: Instagram

Toscana is one of Charlotte’s best high-end Italian restaurants. This great spot is in the Barclay Down neighborhood on Carnegie Blvd and Roxborough Rd, and it is a short walk from the Charlotte Country Club and Symphony Park. Toscana is a perfect place to go for a romantic dinner or a night out with friends. The food is fantastic, and the service is outstanding. I highly recommend the scallops and the other seafood dishes on the menu. The seafood is delivered daily.


Brixx Wood Fired Pizza + Craft Bar

Multiple locations
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Brixx Wood Fired Pizza + Craft Bar Charlotte
Source: Instagram

Brixx Wood Fired Pizza + Craft Bar is another excellent pizza joint. Brixx has multiple locations, but my favorite is in the Dilworth neighborhood on East Blvd and Scott Ave. It is near Freedom Park and the Charlotte Memorial Hospital. Brixx is a great place to go for a casual night out with friends or family. The pizza is tasty, and the prices are reasonable. The pizza is cooked in a wood-fired brick oven, and you can smell the cooking pizzas as soon as you walk in. I highly recommend the Hawaiian pizza and the artichoke dip. It is a match made in heaven.

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Cicchetti

100 N Tryon St, Charlotte, NC 28202
980-299-0039
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Cicchetti Charlotte
Source: Instagram

Cicchetti is one of Charlotte’s best Italian restaurants for Happy Hour. This great spot is in the heart of Uptown Charlotte on the corner of S College St and E Trade St. It is near the Spectrum Center and the Epicenter. Cicchetti is a perfect place to go for after-work drinks or a light dinner. The Happy Hour specials are excellent, and the food is fantastic. I highly recommend the calamari and the bruschetta. The calamari is some of the best I’ve ever had, and the bruschetta is the perfect way to start a meal.


Flour Shop

530 A Brandywine Rd, Charlotte, NC 28209
980-299-3754
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Flour Shop Charlotte
Source: Instagram

Flour Shop is one of Charlotte’s best bakeries. However, they also make incredible homemade pasta. This great spot is in the Montford neighborhood on Reece Rd. It is on Little Sugar Creek, a few blocks from the Myers Park Country Club. Flour Shop is an excellent place for a quick lunch or a snack. The pasta is delicious, and the prices are very reasonable. I highly recommend the squid ink gnocchi and the ravioli. The squid ink gnocchi is a work of art, and the ravioli is some of the best I’ve ever had.

Why Trust Us?

When it comes to local restaurant recommendations, we pride ourselves on being a reliable and trustworthy resource. Our suggestions are not just based on our personal experiences, ensuring a more authentic and well-rounded perspective, but also on extensive online research. We diligently searched the internet and reviewed 6 credible sites and blogs, including Tripadvisor.com and Foursquare.com. 

We compiled all the findings in one location and sorted them by the frequency of mentions to ensure you receive top-notch recommendations. We strive to present you with a curated list of establishments that truly stand out, allowing you to enjoy the best dining experiences possible. 

Interested in the sources we consulted? Check out the list of all 6 sites we referenced below this paragraph, offering transparency and an opportunity for our readers to explore further. Our commitment is to deliver trustworthy and unparalleled recommendations, helping you make informed decisions on your culinary journeys.

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurants-g49022-c26-Charlotte_North_Carolina.html
https://www.opentable.com/cuisine/best-italian-restaurants-charlotte-nc
https://www.charlottemagazine.com/a-guide-to-charlottes-best-italian-restaurants/
https://qcexclusive.com/complete-guide-to-italian-restaurants-in-charlotte-nc-and-what-to-order/
https://foursquare.com/top-places/charlotte/best-italian-restaurants
https://secretcharlotte.co/italian-restaurants-charlotte/

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Written by Brian Nagele

Brian attended West Virginia University, then started his career in the IT industry before following his passion for marketing and hospitality. He has over 20 years experience in the restaurant and bar industry.

As a former restaurant owner, he knows about running a food business and loves to eat and enjoy cocktails on a regular basis. He constantly travels to new cities tasting and reviewing the most popular spots.

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