The 12 Best Italian Restaurants in Washington, DC

Washington, DC is soon becoming a restaurant mecca – some of the best chefs, who make the greatest food, have found their way to the nation’s capital. That means you’re gonna find some great food in this city. I’m particularly obsessed with pasta, so I’ve found some of the best Italian restaurants in Washington, DC. 

As I’ve eaten my way through DC, one pasta dish at a time, I have stumbled across some truly fantastic Italian restaurants. And it would just be unfair not to share the glorious meals with everyone else. So here’s a list of all the best Italian restaurants in Washington, DC that will satisfy all your carb cravings.

All I have to say is: wow. This restaurant, home to hard-to-get reservations and a Michelin Star, makes it pretty obvious why it’s on almost every list after just one bite. Every dish is giving an intense balance of flavors, leaving your mouth in shock. Yes, it’s that good. Trust me.

#SpoonTip: Get the crispy Brussel sprouts, short-ribs, burrata, or any pasta dish.

Order pasta. Yup. You heard me. Although Sfoglina serves more than just pasta (its 72-hour braised short-ribs are heavenly…), those pasta dishes are something to cherish. You can even split three pasta dishes, family-style for $68. I couldn’t think of a better way to spend $68, to be honest.

This restaurant is down-right famous. From the elderly Italian woman making pasta in the window, to the comedic portions, nothing screams true Italian-American like Filoena. This is a hands-down one of the best Italian restaurants in Washington, DC – grab some chicken parm & a huge cake slice and you’ll be set.

#SpoonTip: Filomena has tons of gluten-free options to satisfy all diets.

DC’s mini version of Eataly, Centrolina is a (female-owned!) restaurant in City Center that is half-bistro and half-marketplace. The food is phenomenal. And always dusted with a heavy sprinkling of parmesan cheese.

Located in Navy Yards, Osteria Morini is flat-out one gorgeous restaurant. The interior is sleek and sophisticated, and the food is rich and flavorful. Plus, the $15 pasta-and-wine lunch deal at the bar is one to not miss.

#SpoonTip: Get an antipasti board (cheese or meats), the burrata, and the Cappelletti or Pappardelle.

A true Italian restaurant is one where all the dishes are served family style – and Casa Luca believes just that. The menu is made of carefully selected dishes, like whole branzino or lobster gnocchi, that showcase Italian food best.

Get the true Italian experience at Masseria – choose between 4, 5, or 6 courses that will take you through antipasti, pasta, main course, and of course, dessert (docli, in Italian). Although it’s a bit pricey, the flavors of each dish makes the experience worth it.

Located on the glorious 14th Street, where there are tons of restaurants, shops, and bars around, Lupo Verde is date-night in a nutshell. I’d recommending grabbing some delicious pasta dishes and a cheese board at Lupo Verde, before heading next door to Colada Shop for a nightcap or Ice Cream Jubliee for some delicious scoops.

The OG Acqua Al 2 is located in Florence, Italy, so you should already know what you’re working with here. The food is straight out of Italy – basically anything you get will be authentic and delectable. This is hands down one of the best Italian restaurants in Washington, DC for classic cuisine. 

It’s pretty clear why this restaurant has a Michelin Star – its menu mixes classic Italian dishes with “evolution” dishes that showcase modern cuisine with Italian flavors. It’s a bougie af dining experience that cannot be missed.

Located right on the waterfront in Georgetown, Fiola Mare is the seafood-centric sibling of Fiola, featuring some of the freshest fish in the District. With outdoor seating when it’s warm, you can dine with a gorgeous view of the Kennedy Center and the Monuments.

Obelisk has been serving a “5-course menu, 5 nights a week, since 1987.” That’s a statistic I can seriously get behind. Although the menu changes daily, for $78 on the weekdays and $88 on the weekends, you can get a delicious 5-course menu featuring all of Italy’s best. 

There you have it – these are the best Italian restaurants in Washington, DC. Once you’ve tried a few of these, you can thank me later. Now, bring on the pasta.