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Top 10 Best Italian Restaurants in Milwaukee

Top 10 Best Italian Restaurants in Milwaukee

Sometimes you just crave the home comfort of good Italian food.  Maybe you’re craving lasagna, pizza, or risotto. Milwaukee has you covered. If you are searching for the best Italian restaurants in Milwaukee, then look no further.

Italian dishes are some of the most popular types of cuisine in Milwaukee. Therefore, there are numerous authentic Italian restaurants in Milwaukee to try out. Each Milwaukeean has its favorite authentic Italian restaurant.

Check out our list of the top 10 best Italian restaurants in Milwaukee.

Egg & Flour Milwaukee Italian Restaurant

1. Egg and Flour

This is one of the newer Italian restaurants in Milwaukee, but it deserves a spot on our list because it is TASTY! If you watch Hells Kitchen, you would have seen the owner & chef Adam Pawlak, in Season 19. Egg and Flour has an authentic and eclectic Italian food menu, and they serve a different “pasta-of-the-day.” Check their Facebook page for that day’s unique creation.

Egg and Flour are known for their seasonal Italian dishes. You can therefore expect to find some of the freshest ingredients around. Substitute pasta for zucchini noodles if you want authentic Italian food but something lightweight.

If you are visiting on a Friday, be sure to try their Rigatoni Lobster Mac & Cheese. It’s a Friday-only exclusive, so snap it up while you can. Or try the Bucatini, their pesto cream sauce signature pasta.

Chef Pawlak was born and raised with Italian heritage. You can tell because this Italian food tastes good. Of course, all the pasta and sauces are created by hand, fresh to serve.

Sorella Milwaukee Italian restaurant

2. Sorella

Sorella opened in 2020 but has become one of the best Italian restaurants in Milwaukee. They are a dinner-only restaurant, but they have a nice bar that’s worth a drink or two. This has become one of the best restaurants in Milwaukee. This is one of my new favorite restaurants.

Sorella is based on the authenticity of good Southern Italian cooking. It has everything you’d want from a good Italian restaurant. Try the Chicken Parmigiana or the gluten—and dairy-free Wood Roasted Spigola. The menu changes often because they try to source local produce.

The biggest problem at Sorella is deciding what to eat. We recommend ordering a couple of dishes and sharing. It will make the decision easier. On my last visit, my friend and I shared a pizza, a pasta dish, and a bottle of wine.

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  • Address:  2535 S Kinnickinnic Ave, Milwaukee
Penne Vodka Tenuta's Milwaukee Italian Restaurant

3. Tenuta’s

Tenuta’s has been around for more than ten years. It has become a Milwaukee Italian restaurant staple. It is the favorite among many locals and tourists alike. Tenuta’s is always packed no matter what day of the week it is.

Tenuta’s prioritizes a simple and tasty menu over anything flashy. Their classic Italian menu has got all the popular favorites. They also have tons of gluten-free pasta & pizza options and vegetarian options.

For pizza, you can choose a thin or deep dish crust or even a stuffed crust. They’ve got an array of toppings to select from, allowing you to create your own pizza. At Tenuta’s, you can always guarantee that they have the freshest ingredients. I always go for the classic thin-crust pizza with sausage.

With its history, word of mouth has made this a popular evening spot. To avoid disappointment or a seat at the bar, it’s recommended to make a reservation. Parking is super easy in this part of Bay View, which is always a perk.

Bocce Meatball Milwaukee Santino's Little Italy

4. Santino’s Little Italy

Santino’s Little Italy serves up the best wood-fired Neapolitan pizzas in Milwaukee. You just can’t argue with wood-fired pizza. Everything is good on the menu. Make sure to get the Bocce Ball as a starter!

For something meat-free, try the Greek Pizza. It’s served with a housemade garlic sauce, feta, artichokes, olives, and mozzarella. Or if you want a delicious meat pizza, try the Italian Beef Giardiniera. It’s succulent slices of roast beef with giardiniera sauce and mozzarella. This is also Santino’s personal pick!

The ultimate test of how good a pizza restaurant is their Margherita. If they can’t do that, well, then why bother? Santino’s Margherita is the ultimate pizza in Milwaukee. You could easily visit Santino’s time and time again just for a Margherita pizza.

If they can’t decide what you want on your pizza, then create your own. Your creations could rival Santino’s classic favorites. We suggest calling ahead and making reservations. Parking is super easy.

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plates of pasta at Zarletti Italian restaurant in Milwaukee

5. Zarletti

Set in the heart of downtown, it attracts a lively crowd. If you’ve been busy with Milwaukee activities, head to this perfectly located Italian restaurant.

If you like seafood, start with the Gamberi Pancetta or the shrimp-wrapped pancetta. For your entree, ask your waiter about the Ravioli del Giorno. They have a ton of flavor combinations and are always experimenting with new flavors. Their stuffed handmade pasta changes daily, giving you refreshing new flavors.

Carbonara pasta in Milwaukee

6. Barbiere’s Italian Restaurant on Bluemound

Barbiere’s is an authentic Italian restaurant in Milwaukee dating back to 1963. Sal Barbiere opened this restaurant with his wife and son. They created all the classic Italian dishes they would serve at home. Word traveled quickly about Barbiere’s impressive food, and people started showing up.

After 34 years in the service industry, Barbiere decided to retire. They sold the place to long-time employee Mark Dempsey. He had worked in the restaurant since he was 16, so he knew a thing or two.

Barbiere’s offers sandwiches, pizza, pasta, and yummy desserts. Its meat Lasagna is made with the same authentic recipe. There’s even a Veggie Lasagna, so vegetarians don’t miss out on that sauce!

DiGiorgios Cafe Key Largo Veal Chop

7. Balistreri’s

This Italian restaurant is located within Balistreri’s Bluemound Inn. They serve up a mixture of Italian and American fares. They’ve got authentic Italian dishes, seafood, steak, and Milwaukee favorites.

You have to try the lasagna, one of their most requested dishes. The lasagna is large, cheesy, and the sauce is everything. The lasagna dinner also comes with soup, garlic bread, and salad and is super affordable.

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  • Address:  6501 W Bluemound Rd, Milwaukee

8. Onesto

Onesto literally means honest in Italian. This restaurant prides itself on its authentic Italian food and from-scratch cooking. Onesto offers a variety of shareable plates and sizeable entrees.

Some of the most unique items on the menu are the stuffed jars. The Homemade Ricotta, English Pea, Mint, and Lemon Zest are perfection in a jar. Why not pick the Olive Tapenade Herbed Cheese? They serve all the classic Italian dishes, as well as steak, halibut, and salmon.

They have an extensive wine list to accompany your meal. Ask the wait staff for pairing recommendations. If you have room left for dessert, be sure to order the tiramisu. You can never go wrong with tiramisu in an Italian restaurant.

You can make reservations online. Parking can be tough over here, especially if there is a festival going on at the Summerfest grounds. Give yourself ample time for parking.

Lamb at the Spring house restaurant in winston Salem

9. Tre Rivali

You’ll find Tre Rivali beneath the Kimpton Journeyman Hotel. This elegant dining space serves up a variety of wood-fired pizzas and pasta. I really enjoy the Crispy Pork Belly Pizza.

They have several shareable bites, perfect for a group of friends. Or try their small platters, which include Grilled Peaches, Mussels, and Pulpo.nYou’ve got to try one of their handmade pasta dishes. The Ricotta Dumplings are stuffed with mushrooms, kale, and truffled ricotta.

One of Tre Rivali’s aims is to use the highest quality ingredients. They try to use as many products as possible from Wisconsin farmers, fishermen, and artisanal dealers.

You can make reservations online. Parking can be tough over here, especially if a festival occurs at the Summerfest grounds. Give yourself ample time for parking.

10. Dorsia

Sometimes, deciding on the right pasta dish is just too difficult. Dorsia solved this common restaurant-goer problem by serving pasta flights! Dorsia is completely one of a kind, serving this innovative option. Pick two, three, or all four pasta options.

This Italian restaurant serves tons of classic dishes, and they are even open for brunch. You have to start your dinner off the Italian way with a shot of Limoncello. Afterward, try one of Dorsia’s many starters, perhaps the Burratta Bruschetta or Eggplant chips.

If you crave pizza, try The Jeno, pomodoro, sausage, and mushroom. Or the Biancellino, which is covered in irresistible parmesan fonduta and pulled bacon. If you need a gluten-free crust, they also offer this alternative.

You should definitely try the Duck Carbonara, which is melt-in-the-mouth perfection. You also can’t go wrong with the Dorsia Lasagna or the Alfredo.

What do you think is the best Italian restaurant in Milwaukee?

We are always up for trying new restaurants in Milwaukee.