These are the best trattorias, red sauce joints, and Italian delis in Dallas.
1/12 ● Thrillist
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Serves a 100-layer lasagna.
We could probably stop there, but...
📍 Highland Park
but in case you need more convincing, chef Julian Barsotti—who’s responsible for a handful of the city’s best Italian spots—also plies diners with Lobster Ravioli, Veal Chop Marsala, and Flounder Piccata in this stylish second-floor eatery.
But seriously, get the lasagna.
Impossibly thin pasta sheets are lovingly layered with sauce and cooked until the edges are crispy, and there’s nothing in that sentence you don’t want to eat.
You can’t go wrong with the Charred Octopus, Grilled Halibut, Sausage and Pepper Meatballs, or any of the seven pastas topping the menu.
Start your evening at the handsome bar, which is pouring Cynar-laced Old Fashioneds, Cold Brew Negronis, and Aperol Spritzes.
Once you get a drink or two under your belt, move to a table and dive into plates that merge Italian inspiration with pops of Texas flair.
Hailing from Naples, chef-owner Dino Santonicola is wood-firing Neapolitan pizza in giant ovens.
By all means, get a pizza—there are more than a dozen of them.
But also leave room for Santonicola’s roster of other Southern Italian favorites, like bruschetta and burrata. And gnocchi and ziti.
And slow-cooked ragu. Always leave room for slow-cooked ragu.
Nearly four decades old, Momo still makes one of the best plates of pasta in town and serves it in a friendly bistro setting.
📍 Lake Highlands
Under new ownership since 2017 (the husband-and-wife duo have longtime ties to the restaurant), the interior has been updated and the bar now serves booze, but the food has largely stayed the same under the if-it-ain’t-broke philosophy.
Expect fine vermouth and aperitivo-style cocktails, fresh salads, housemade pastas, and an entire section dedicated to risotto.
Located on the top floor of Eataly, Terra is awash in earth tones and lush hanging plants.
Photo: Eataly Dallas.
The bar’s a great place to kill time if you accidentally wandered into the connected mall, but if you’re in for lunch or dinner, order something straight off the wood-burning grill, like the Duroc Pork Chop with smoked sunchokes or the 48-ounce Dry-aged Fiorentina Steak.
Other good decisions include the Rabbit Agnolotti and the Arrosticini (AKA grilled lamb skewers).
And if you’re feeling fancy, you can add fresh-shaved black or white truffles to just about anything in sight.
In business since 1985, this family-owned establishment dishes up solid Italian food with a few fun twists.
There’s a Caesar Salad and Lobster Ravioli, of course, along with Pan-seared Sea Bass and Roasted Pork Osso Bucco.
But there’s also the Italchos (Italian nachos), a popular pizza-esque appetizer consisting of housemade chips topped with cheese, red sauce, meat, and roasted veggies.
Saint Rocco’s takes its inspiration from its founders Italian-American roots and family dinner tables.
Photo: Saint Rocco's at Trinity Groves.
📍 Trinity Groves
The decor is anchored by wall-to-wall vintage photos, and the menu sports classics like Linguini and Clams, Shrimp Scampi, and Spaghetti and Meatballs.
If you’re willing to climb a few stairs after all that food, the third-floor deck offers prime views of the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge and downtown skyline.
If you see an unfamiliar dish, eat it. If you see an amaro you can’t pronounce, drink it.
Photo: Lucia Dallas.
📍 Bishop Arts
Once famously hard to get into, Lucia is now more accessible thanks to a recent move into larger digs around the corner.
Expect the same freshmade pasta, freshly baked bread, and house-cured salumi as before, plus a regularly evolving menu of antipasti, primi, and secondi.
Julian Barsotti’s diminutive ode to regional Italian deliciousness has been slinging fresh pasta, salumi, and pizzas since 2006.
The wood-burning oven is the focal point of the open kitchen—which, curiously, also houses a yakitori grill—and is responsible for firing steaks, chicken, and sausages.
Ordering at least one plate from the rotating pasta menu is a must—it usually features about 10 options, including a few lesser-known variations like anolini, garganelli, and lumache.
This neighborhood icon opened in 1966. It’s more of a shop than a restaurant, but it gets the nod here because the food is just so damn good.
Photo: Jimmy's Food Store.
📍 East Dallas
Stroll the narrow aisles and pick up a few cans of whole Italian tomatoes and some vino for tonight’s dinner, or leave it all up to the professionals with a bag of housemade pasta and sauce.
The freezers are stocked with pizzas and lasagnas, and the sandwich counter makes some of the best overstuffed subs in town.
If you’re new here, get an Italian Stallion, stacked with—get this—mortadella, capicola, soppressata, pepperoni, provolone, porchetta, prosciutto, coppa, and mozzarella.
Take a seat at one of the small tables in the back room or post up outside the front door and dive into all that meat.
This Barsotti-run Italian stunner is the most casual among his mini-empire, pairing a small market with sit-down dining.
📍 Oak Lawn
Nab some olive oil, cherry peppers, and bread, plus a frozen lasagna and a jar of marinara to take home for later.
And while you’re here, you might as well treat yourself to lunch or dinner.
Spaghetti and Meatballs is a classic choice, while the meaty, slow-cooked Sunday Gravy is basically a hug for your arteries.
From modern takes in the Arts District to ambitious tasting menus on the Westside, get your dose of French fare at these top spots.