Aldo’s306 S. High St., (410) 727-0700, aldositaly.com$$$, D, R
Start with cream of asparagus soup and the cold cheese-cave antipasto, then splurge with the tournedos Rossini filet mignon dish, holding your nose over the foie gras.
Amicci’s of Little Italy231 S. High St., (410) 528-1096, amiccis.com$$, L, D, Out, R, DV
Totally affordable Italian entrees in a friendly, casual atmosphere. A big “yes, please” to tortellini with peas and ham.
Café Gia Ristorante410 S. High St., (410) 685-6727, cafegias.com$$, L, D, Out, R, DV
The toasted lunch sandwiches, especially the eggplant parmigiana, are classics. For dinner, the ravioli pescatore is a highlight.
Chiapparelli’s Restaurant237 S. High St., (410) 837-0309, chiapparellis.com$$$, L, D, R, DV
Same as it ever was, since 1940—except now it’s wind-powered. The garlicky salad has long made Little Italy proud.
Ciao Bella236 S. High St., (410) 685-7733, therealciaobella.com$$$, L, D, Out, R
Taking the best from up and down the Boot, its veal saltimbocca—veal with prosciutto and saged mushroom Marsala sauce—is to die for.
Da Mimmo217 S. High St., (410) 727-6876, damimmo.com$$$, L, D, P, R
Upscale Italian serving both family specialties and finely executed classics—don’t know into which category the divine porcini mushroom risotto falls, but it hardly matters.
Dalesio’s829 Eastern Ave., (410) 539-1965, dalesios.com$$, L, D, R
Unlike some of Little Italy’s options, this Northern Italian-focused mainstay emphasizes flavor over portion size. A favorite for large parties.
Germano’s Piattini300 S. High St., (410) 752-4515, germanospiattini.com$$$, L, D, Out, R
Get dolled up for a night at Germano’s, especially if you’re seeing one of their almost-nightly shows, be it cabaret or otherwise. The recently revamped menu incorporates more contemporary Italian dishes that match well with a solid wine selection.
Heavy Seas Alehouse1300 Bank St., (410) 753-1403, heavyseasalehouse.com$$$, L, D
The downtown outpost of the Halethorpe brewery serves up a mix of dressed-up bar food—like spiced beer nuts and soft pretzels—and fine cuisine, like rabbit fettuccine and leg of lamb. Beer pairings are suggested for each entree.
Isabella’s Brick Oven221 S. High St., (410) 962-8888, isabellas.biz$$, L, D, BYOB
This cozy Little Italy eatery arguably bakes up the best pizza in the neighborhood. Crusts have that nice crispy char, the sauce has a little zip, and the toppings are plentiful.
La Scala1012 Eastern Ave., (410) 783-9209, lascaladining.com$$$, D, Out, R
An indoor bocce court rounds out the experience here, which, if you’re willing to lay out some extra cash, should include the amazing brodetto alla vastese—an Italian-style bouillabaisse served over linguine.
La Tavola248 Albemarle St., (410) 685-1859, la-tavola.com$$$, L, D, Out, R, DV
Fresh house-made pasta and sauces make for good eats, but the thinly sliced veal here is truly divine.
Mo’s Crab and Pasta Factory502 Albemarle St., (410) 837-1600, mosseafood.com$$$, L, D, Br, R, DV
Crab dip and clams casino meet ravioli and angel hair at this hybrid Italian-and-seafood hub.
My Thai1300 Bank St., (410) 327-0023, mythaibaltimore.com$$, L, D, R
This Mount Vernon transplant adds some variety to Little Italy’s selections. Beef tongue served with a mango salad and a grilled rice-ball blends exquisitely. Beware: Their curries can get tongue-numbingly spicy.
Ozra806 Stiles St., (410) 528-2710, ozra.us$$$, L, D, Out
A stylish and simple modern restaurant that serves traditional Persian and Mediterranean fare. Tender and succulent skewered items—jujeh (Cornish hen), barg (marinated tenderloin), and beef kubideh (ground beef with onions)—won’t fail you.
Piedigrotta Italian Bakery and Pasta Shop1300 Bank St., Suite 140, (410) 522-6900, piedigrottabakery.com$$, B, L, D, BYOB, Out, R
A vast array of Italian treats—including the owner—greets customers of this Little Italy staple: pane, grottoni, crostates, tortes, and more. You can also buy some freshly prepared lasagna to pass off as your own at home. The unbelievably friendly owners here recently started serving sit-down dinners year-round.
Sabatino’s Italian Restaurant901 Fawn St., (410) 727-9414, sabatinos.com$$$, L, D, 10 p.m., R
Southern/Central Italian specialties, but a good bet is the bookmaker salad to open, with the fettucine felicia to close.
Vaccaro’s Italian Pastry Shop222 Albemarle St., (410) 685-4905, vaccarospastry.com$, B, L, D, Out
From cannolis to cakes, and paninis to muffuletta, there’s no other place like this to have a light Italian meal or dessert, washed down with a cappuccino or specialty cocktail.Copyright © 2015, Baltimore City Paper