Ciao Bella: The Top 5 Italian Restaurants in Boston

Say arrivederci to your hunger as we explore the Top 5 Italian restaurants in Boston. Mangia!


Romantic ambiance, accentuated by dark wood and smoldering candles? Check. An attentive staff, with perfunctory service to boot? Check. Some of the most mouthwatering Italian meals you’ve ever feasted on, from house-made pastas to Bolognese?  Check and check. Reservations fill quickly; don’t wait to check Lucca off your list.

Lucca is located at 226 Hanover Street in the North End

Via Matta

While the North End almost exclusively takes the cake on Italian eateries, renowned chef and restauranteur Michael Schlow serves la dolce vita at this Back Bay outpost. Everything about Via Matta (from its award-winning menu to its crisp white linens) whispers, not shouts, contemporary European.

Via Matta is located at 79 Park Plaza in the Back Bay


Everyone has one: a friend who has a friend, who knows someone who knows someone who told them about this amazing little Italian place hidden deep in the heart of a neighborhood, away from the prying eyes of tourists and town gossips. Carmen is that place.

Carmen is located at 33 North Square in the North End


Bricco’s dark, sensual décor will ignite your appetite for its modern Italian fare. We like to start with the truffled polenta ($18), move straight ahead for veal ossobuco ($34), and finish with Bricco’s signature bread pudding ($9). Just be sure to save room for post-dinner cocktails at the restaurant’s sleek bar

Bricco is located at 241 Hanover Street in the North End


Celebrity chef Lydia Shire has cooked up a recipe for success at Scampo (within the Liberty Hotel). Known as much for its house-made pastas and specialty plates (the oysters are simply divine) as much as a celebrity hotspot when the camera reels are rolling, Scampo is Boston’s newest addition to a long history of storied Italian eateries, and we welcome it with an open knife and fork.

Scampo is located within the Liberty Hotel in Beacon Hill