Best Italian Restaurants in Cincinnati

Exploring the Best Italian Restaurants in Cincinnati: Top Picks and Local Favorites.

When indulging in mouthwatering Italian cuisine, Cincinnati offers an array of options that satisfy every craving. Whether you’re in the mood for classic pasta dishes, perfectly cooked pizza, or savory meat entrées, the Queen City boasts some exceptional Italian restaurants. This guide will take you through the top Italian restaurants in Cincinnati that you must visit for an authentic and delicious Italian dining experience.

1. Nicola’s Ristorante Italiano

Located in Over-the-Rhine, Nicola’s Ristorante Italiano is a beloved spot for locals and visitors alike. The restaurant boasts an elegant atmosphere and a menu that blends traditional Italian recipes with modern culinary trends. From the rich flavors of the Bolognese to the delicate tastes of the seafood risotto, Nicola’s is known for using the finest ingredients to create memorable meals.

2. Sotto

Sotto offers a cozy and intimate dining experience in downtown Cincinnati. The restaurant focuses on homemade pasta and traditional Italian recipes with a twist. Whether you opt for the rigatoni with short rib ragù or the wood-fired pizza, every dish is a testament to the chef’s dedication to quality. Don’t forget to pair your meal with a glass of wine from their extensive selection.

3. Primavista

For Italian dining with a view, Primavista is the place to go. Perched atop Price Hill, this restaurant offers stunning views of the Cincinnati skyline. The menu features classic Italian dishes such as veal piccata, osso buco, and homemade pastas. The combination of excellent service and breathtaking scenery makes Primavista a standout choice for a special night out.

4. Zula Bistro

While not exclusively Italian, Zula Bistro in Over-the-Rhine deserves a spot on this list for its innovative take on Mediterranean and Italian fusion cuisine. The menu features delicious dishes like duck ravioli and roasted pork belly with polenta. With a cozy atmosphere and a rotating selection of craft cocktails, Zula offers a unique dining experience in Cincinnati.

5. Forno Osteria & Bar

Located in Hyde Park, Forno Osteria & Bar offers a casual yet sophisticated dining atmosphere. The restaurant’s wood-fired pizzas are a must-try, with options ranging from classic Margherita to unique creations like the fig and prosciutto pizza. Forno also serves various pasta dishes, salads, and meat entrées highlighting traditional Italian flavors.


Cincinnati’s Italian restaurants offer various flavors and experiences, from upscale dining establishments to cozy cafes. Whether you’re seeking an elegant night out or a casual meal with friends, these top Italian restaurants in Cincinnati have something for everyone. Make sure to visit these spots to enjoy the city’s best Italian cuisine!