The Best Italian Restaurants in New Jersey

If there were four pillars of New Jersey Dining, they’d be represented by Bagel Shops, Diners, Pizzerias, and Italian restaurants. The Garden State has so many incredible Italian eateries that it’s hard to narrow down our favorite ones; but that’s exactly what we did to create our list of The Best Italian Restaurants in New Jersey. 

Whether you’re in the mood for pasta, pizza, or more inventive Italian fare, these Italian Restaurants are the best around. Plus, these options range from white tablecloth fine dining to casual family-style restaurants, so there’s something for everyone. In fact, our statewide list features restaurants from every county in NJ, because you’re never far from great food. 

Quick Click Guide: Select an NJ Region below to find The Best Italian Restaurants near you.

North Jersey | Central Jersey | Jersey Shore | South Jersey

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North Jersey

Pasta from Axton'sPasta from Axton's

Axton’s by Chef Anton

Location: 437 Ringwood Ave, Pompton Lakes
Details: Everything from the mozzarella to the sauces to the bread is made from scratch to ensure freshness (and deliciousness). The menu also caters to a wide variety, with both a vegan and a gluten-free section; something of a rarity for an Italian restaurant, though that is changing. We recommend the Jekyll & Hyde Calamari that “starts off sweet and ends with heat,” or any of the risottos.
Why I like it: Chef Anton creates a menu worthy of his TV appearances on Chopped and Hell’s Kitchen.
More info: Look for them online to learn more.


Location: 219 NJ-3, Secaucus
Details: Customers rave about the amazing service and delicious dishes at Bareli’s. Standouts include the Grilled Pork Chop, served double cut and grilled with a sweet and hot pepper sauce. As for an appetizer, check out the Angry Shrimp Spring Rolls. Besides the white tablecloth fine dining, Bareli’s also offers catering, making it a great option for special occasions.
Why I like it: Live jazz music by local musicians makes Bareli’s not just a meal, but an experience.
More info: Look for them online to learn more.

Belmont Tavern

Location: 12 Bloomfield Ave, Belleville
Details: The Belmont Tavern is an authentic Italian restaurant with original family-style recipes. In fact, the restaurant is so old school that they are cash only and do not accept credit cards. The menu is fairly small in comparison to many other Italian restaurants, though that’s not a bad thing. In addition to a couple of chef specials, their concise entree list consists of pastas, seafood, and meats; but no matter what you order, all dinners come with escarole salad.
Why I like it: Belmont Tavern offers interesting appetizers, such as hot peppers, clam oreganato, and scungilli.
More info: Look for them online to learn more.

La Cambusa

Location: 393 Franklin Ave, Wyckoff
Details: For those that enjoy southern Italian cuisine in particular, La Cambusa offers an authentic experience. In other words, expect a 4-course dinner that goes from antipasto, to salad, to first course, to second course. (First course is typically a pasta dish, while the second course is the main meat or seafood entree.) Menu highlights include breaded pork chops, grilled branzino, lobster tail, and veal cutlets. But we also recommend a side of house meatballs in ragu.
Why I like it: La Cambusa is a family business, and locals love getting to know the owners behind it.
More info: Look for them online to learn more.

Il Capriccio Ristorante

Location: 633 Rt 10 East, Whippany
Details: il Capriccio maintains an atmosphere that is upscale yet relaxed; so it’s no surprise they adhere to a business casual dress code. (Which means collared shirts for the men, and dresses or dark denim for women.) The drink menu provides somewhere in the range of about 15,000 bottles of wine from over 400 selections. In fact, the chefs take wine so seriously they have an exclusive, national deal with Case Paolin; so these wines are only available at il Capriccio.
Why I like it: They serve a linguini with New Zealand clams and light tomato sauce that is *chef’s kiss*.
More info: Look for them online to learn more.


Location: 2230 NJ-10, Morris Plains
Details: Grato serves “fine and elegant Italian dining” that features classic dishes such as pasta, fish, meat, chicken, and pizza. The Day Boat Scallops are always a winner, served with brown butter, crispy prosciutto, farro risotto, and Brussels sprouts. The dessert menu is also out of this world with options like Warm Zeppoles; fried dough with maple sugar and vanilla creme anglaise.
Why I like it: The full bar includes wines from all over Italy, as well as seasonal cocktails.
More info: Look for them online to learn more.

LuNello Restaurant

Location: 182 Stevens Ave, Cedar Grove
Details: Classic Italian staples plus inventive dishes featuring locally caught seafood combine to make LuNello a winner. All the pasta is homemade, such as our recommended Papardelle Porcini; fresh, Tuscan-style flat pasta with porcini mushrooms and a hint of cream. Likewise, their Insalata di Mare is a mouthful, with calamari, octopus, shrimp, celery hearts, red onion, EVOO, and herbs.
Why I like it: Their produce comes direct from LuNello Farm, so it’s as fresh as it gets.
More info: Look for them online to learn more.

Nanni Ristorante

Location: 53 W Passaic St, Rochelle Park
Details: Nanni is currently open for indoor dining by reservation only. However, they are open all year round (365 days), and also offer outdoor dining (weather permitting) and takeout. The menu presents traditional Italian fare as well as a few curveballs like calf liver and frog legs. Open for 35 years — since 1986 — and counting, Nanni mixes excellent service with an elegant atmosphere; for instance, there’s a live piano player on Friday & Saturday evenings.
Why I like it: Their dessert and coffee menu is brimming with delights such as chocolate mousse and cappuccino.
More info: Look for them online to learn more.

Nicholas Anthony’s

Location: 450 Main St, West Orange
Details: This “family kitchen” invokes what it feels like to have dinner with the Anthonys at home. As they say, “We cook, we eat, we laugh, we’re loud, and we eat some more”; something anyone familiar with authentic Italian dining can relate to. In terms of menu, they offer starters such as Arancini, calamari, zucchini fritters, and stuffed avocado. Meanwhile, popular starters range from their Chicken Savoy and Seafood Risotto to Scallops and Braised Short Ribs.
Why I like it: They have a great kids’ menu, and a signature made-to-order festival zeppole dessert.
More info: Look for them online to learn more.

Savini Restaurant & Lounge

Location: 168 W Crescent Ave, Allendale
Details: There are no bad options at Saving Restaurant & Lounge. From their simple Penne Vodka to the Chicken Savini, every dish is brimming with flavor. That signature savini features chicken stuffed with ricotta cheese and served in a pink sauce with diced prosciutto and mushrooms. In fact, even the dessert options are the real deal. In particular, we like their berries and cannoli cream.
Why I like it: The customer service at Savini is top notch, and the staff will accommodate most requests.
More info: Look for them online to learn more.

Springs Bistro

Location: Grand Cascades Lodge, 3 Wild Turkey Way, Hamburg
Details: This casual Italian restaurant is inside the expansive Crystal Springs Resort. The menu, however, is far from simple fare with options like pizza, poached swordfish, and Puntarelle Salad; a dish that features chicories, garlic vinaigrette, and day-old bread. Meanwhile, one other unique Italian dish is the Frascatelli, which includes dumplings with sausage and broccoli rabe– yum!
Why I like it: Meals come with an outdoor patio view of the Kittatinny Mountain Range during warmer months.
More info: Look for them online to learn more.

Toscana Trattoria

Location: 223 Main St, Hackettstown
Details: The Fettuccini Bolognese is a standout at Toscana Trattoria, with a scoop of ricotta cheese topping the dish. In addition, they serve classic Italian restaurant options like pasta, chicken, veal, seafood, and beef. There’s also an Arugula Salad with sliced pears, cranberries, crumbled blue cheese, and a honey white balsamic vinaigrette; it’s a tasty way to start a meal.
Why I like it: They accommodate dietary needs, from vegetarian and vegan diets to flour preference.
More info: Look for them online to learn more.

Tutto a Modo Mio

Location: 482 Bergen Blvd, Ridgefield
Details: This BYO restaurant presents Southern Italian staples in a romantic setting perfect for date night. We recommend ordering from the regular menu, but they also offer Specials at a premium price. Popular items include the chicken, which they serve six different ways; Francese, Parmigiana, and Marsala, as well as Milanese, Pizzaiola (a tomato-based sauce), and simply grilled. They’ve also got pizza, sandwiches, soups, pastas, desserts, and more.
Why I like it: the Tagliolini Al Tartufo Nero is a pasta dish in homemade black truffle butter sauce.
More info: Look for them online to learn more.

Central Jersey

Agnolotti di CacaoAgnolotti di CacaoAgnolotti di Cacao / Luca’s Ristorante

Cafe Picasso

Location: 81 Main St #1, Somerville
Details: Cafe Picasso is all about true southern Italian cooking, complete with the warm and friendly ambiance that implies. Brothers Michele and Lorenzo DeLuca present a menu full of recipes straight from Calabria, Italy. Patrons go wild for the pasta dishes and, in particular, the lasagna and ravioli options. Of course, it’s hard to beat classics like the chicken parmigiana (or “pollo alla parmigiana” as they call it). There’s even a pretty big lunch menu at this spot.
Why I like it: Cafe Picasso provides weekly specials to keep things interesting for their most loyal customers.
More info: Look for them online to learn more.


Location: 67 Church St, Flemington
Details: Family-friendly, well-priced meals make this a great place to bring the kids for dinner. Capuano’s offers nearly everything on the menu, from antipasto, salads, and subs, to pizza and all kinds of entrees. (Chicken, beef, seafood, pasta, and more.) We recommend Capuano’s eggplant parm or their Cannelloni; hand-rolled pasta with chicken, basil, ricotta, spinach, and tomato vodka sauce.
Why I like it: Capuano’s is BYOB, but there’s a liquor store attached to the restaurant for easy pickup.
More info: Look for them online to learn more.

Dolce Pizzeria & Restaurant

Location: 432 New Brunswick Ave, Fords
Details: Dolce lives up to both the pizzeria and restaurant parts of its name. But for the purpose of this list, we’ll stick to the latter menu. Menu highlights at this relatively recent restaurant include the eggplant rollatini and chicken Francese; but even the Dolce Salad is a hit (with its strawberries, walnuts, and goat cheese over mixed greens). They can also cater events (and will help plan the entire menu) and offer dine-in hosting packages as well.
Why I like it: Those with a sweet tooth simply must try the cannolis or Nutella zeppole at Dolce.
More info: Visit their website | Follow them on Instagram | Click here to call.

Espo’s Restaurant & Bar

Location: 10 2nd St, Raritan
Details: As a first-come, first serve Italian restaurant, Espo’s does not take reservations. However, they offer both indoor and outdoor dining (weather permitting), as well as takeout. Locals love their famous Steak Parm entree, but their braciole and vodka rigatoni dishes are standouts as well. Of course, all great Italian meals are multi-course, and Espo’s has a solid lineup of starters. In particular, try the mozzarella with roasted peppers or “Hotsy Totsy Shrimp”.
Why I like it: They now open early on Fridays — at noon — to offer a special lunch menu.
More info: Look for them online to learn more.


Location: 409 Lincoln Blvd, Middlesex
Details: Jozanna’s is headed by Chef Frank Bozzomo, formerly known as “The Singing Chef”. (Frank used to own Catari’s Restaurant in Bound Brook and also spent time working at a dinner theater in Hampton.) This casual Italian restaurant specializes in classic dishes such as the Ravioli Ragu served with Jozanna’s “Sunday Gravy” sauce; or the Chicken Francesce served with linguini.
Why I like it: The portions are large enough to feed two, so expect to bring home leftovers.
More info: Look for them online to learn more.


Location: 9 Lincoln Hwy, Edison
Details: Chefs Loucas Sofocli and Alex Charlambous combine their talents at LouCas to offer Italian cuisine. In particular, this spot specializes in seafood and even has a Raw Bar with clams, oysters, shrimp, and more. As for entrees, you’ll find Shrimp Scampi, fresh Mainer lobster, and their Swordfish Sicilian; sauteed in olive oil, garlic, capers, lemon, tomato, white wine, and parsley.
Why I like it: LouCas is open for lunch and dinner, but also offers to-go catering and banquet meals.
More info: Look for them online to learn more.

Luca’s Ristorante

Location: 2019 NJ-27, Somerset
Details: This cozy hole-in-the-wall is a true gem. Luca’s Ristorante takes classic Italian dishes and elevates them with fresh takes from their chef. For instance there’s the Cinquanta, a fifty-layer lasagna with veal tenderloin stew, cheese, mushrooms, and marsala sauce. (You read that right, 50 layers.) Their pizzas are great as well, but they are only available for takeout during dinner hours.
Why I like it: Their Anglonotti pasta features stuffed butternut squash cocoa pasta and pumpkin seeds.
More info: Visit Their Website | See them on Instagram | Click here to call.


Location: 67 Union Pl, Summit
Details: The heart of Piattino is their stone-fired oven imported from Italy. Their specialty pies include the classic Margherita, with San Marzano tomato sauce, torn basil, buffalo mozzarella and olive oil; as well as the Porchetta & Pistachio with buffalo mozzarella, caramelized onions, pistachio pesto, and parmigiano reggiano. Of course, the menu is more than just pizzas.
Why I like it: A second location in Mendham offers Summit favorites like Crispy Carrot Risotto Balls and Duck Maltagliati.
More info: Look for them online to learn more.

Ponte Vecchio Italian Seafood Grille

Location: 3863 County Road 516, Old Bridge
Details: Ponte Vecchio provides fine Italian dining across three elegant dining rooms which also double as private event space. The menu has it all, from a raw bar and hot appetizers to soups, salads, and entrees. (Such as pasta, chicken, meat, and seafood.) We suggest the Lobster Ravioli, saffron pasta filled with lobster meat in tomato basil cream sauce, garnished with baby shrimp.
Why I like it: Next-level service and delicious desserts make Ponte Vecchio a delight from start to finish.
More info: Look for them online to learn more.

Vidalia Restaurant

Location: 21 Phillips Ave, Lawrenceville
Details: Owner and chef Salvatore Scarlata was born and raised in Italy, and now brings authentic cuisine to NJ. We say to start your meal with a Vidalia Loaf for the table; bread stuffed with vidalia onions and seasonal vegetables, drizzled with garlic and oil, then topped with melted mozzarella cheese. Vidalia has excellent pasta dishes on the menu, as well as a Filet Mignon Puff Pastry app.
Why I like it: This BYOB Italian restaurant has both indoor and outdoor garden patio dining.
More info: Look for them online to learn more.

Jersey Shore

Chicken Marsala over pasta from A Touch of ItalyChicken Marsala over pasta from A Touch of ItalyChicken Marsala over Pasta

A Touch of Italy

Location: 6629 E Black Horse Pike, Egg Harbor Township
Details: A Touch of Italy is the quintessential family-owned Italian restaurant; one where the owners visit each table and know your name. Of course, you’ll find all the classic Italian favorites on the menu, plus wood-fired pizza and several House Specialties. The Scallopini Filet Mignon Madeira presents medallions of beef in butter and wine, topped with mushrooms and scallions.
Why I like it: A Touch of Italy also creates special menus for party catering, holidays, and corporate events.
More info: Look for them online to learn more.


Location: 306 Morris Ave, Spring Lake
Details: Fan favorites at Arugula include the Lazy Lasagna, Crispy Pasta, and the Seafood Fra Diavolo. Executive Chef George Edward creates daily specials using his Brazilian roots to add a unique flair to his dishes. Arugula also offers vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options on the menu. (In fact, they can alter most of the menu items by request to fit those three dietary restrictions.)
Why I like it: The relaxed vibe at Arugula makes it a great place to bring the kids.
More info: Look for them online to learn more.

Brando’s Citi Cucina

Location: 162 Main St, Asbury Park
Details: Steven Botta, chef/owner of Brando’s Citi Cucina, provides a fun and welcoming environment in this space. For instance, this time capsule plays classic gangster movies at the bar and Frank Sinatra on the stereo. They specialize in wood-fired pizza, as well as classic Italian pasta and meat dishes. Menu highlights include the Veal Napoleon for dinner and Fried Tortoni dessert.
Why I like it: Their famous homemade Pistachio Caramel Ice Cream Cake is also a fan favorite dessert.
More info: Look for them online to learn more.

Chef Vola’s

Location: 111 S Albion Pl, Atlantic City
Details: Chef Vola’s claim to fame is that ol’ blue eyes himself — The legendary Frank Sinatra — used to eat here. The cash-only restaurant is tiny and, as a result, there’s typically a wait list that can be months long. (But this may be a blessing, as it gives patrons time to save up for the pricey menu.) But for those that manage to get in, the portions are large and the desserts are can’t-miss. In fact, Sinatra was a fan of the banana cream pie. The drinks, however, are BYOB.
Why I like it: After the hassle of getting in, the service is excellent and the food is phenomenal.
More info: Look for them online to learn more.

La Piazza

Location: 11 Church St, Allentown
Details: La Piazza aims to provide great food with great portions at a great price. They specialize in pizzas, pastas, and traditional Italian dishes, in addition to sides and salads. Their signature pies and specialty Sicilian pizzas come with a variety of toppings, and they also offer gluten-free pies. Meanwhile, fan favorite pasta dishes include “Fettucini Toscana” as well as Rigatoni Francescana. Veal, steak, seafood, and more are also on the menu at La Piazza.
Why I like it: With a menu as large as this one, there really is something for everyone here.
More info: Look for them online to learn more.


Location: 5119 Asbury Ave, Tinton Falls
Details: Nettie’s , aka the “house of spaghetti”, creates plant-based dishes in addition to Italian American classics. For instance, their sides include broccoli rabe, zucchini parmesan, fried mushrooms, roasted fennel, and white beans. But they also serve sweet or hot Italian sausages, meatballs, fresh pasta, and four additional types of spaghetti; Marinara, meat sauce, Limone, and Arrabbiata. For dessert, we recommend the Sicilian Orange Cake.
Why I like it: Cheese lovers will delight in antipasti options like whipped buttermilk ricotta and their aged prosciutto.
More info: Look for them online to learn more.

Pagano’s UVA Ristorante

Location: 800 Main St, Bradley Beach
Details: Residents of Bradley Beach already know the Pagano name from a previous restaurant in the area. Then, after a brief hiatus, Raffaella Pagano and her son Anthony returned in 2009 to open UVA. This Italian restaurant serves a mix of traditional and contemporary dishes that feel both familiar and innovative. The robust menu includes specialty pizzas and pastas, as well as chicken, beef, veal, and seafood. There’s also a dog-friendly tiki bar out back.
Why I like it: Nothing beats a classic Margarita pie when done right, and UVA delivers on that front.
More info: Look for them online to learn more.

Sapore Italiano

Location: 416 S Broadway, West Cape May
Details: Attentive service and decadent dishes are the marquee qualities of Sapore Italiano. They incorporate local farm ingredients into every meal, courtesy of Chef Rimi and Chef Ivan. We suggest starting with the classic Bruschette alla Sapore, or the Arugula Salad. As for the main course, there is plenty to choose from, such as pasta, seafood, risotto, chicken and veal.
Why I like it: Sapore Italiano is built in a beautifully restored Victorian home, offering a unique dining experience.
More info: Look for them online to learn more.

Spano’s Ristorante Italiano

Location: 719 Arnold Ave, Point Pleasant Beach
Details: This BYOB joint is open seven days a week, but by reservation only, so remember to call ahead. Chef Spano makes his signature pasta dishes fresh daily, for example, the Mafalde con Gamberi; mafalde pasta tossed with jumbo shrimp and roasted garlic in a lemon and butter emulsion. Likewise, the Gnocchi Pomodori sautees ricotta gnocchi with homemade tomato sauce and basil.
Why I like it: Our top three desserts are the pistachio gelato, ricotta cheesecake, and Carmela’s Nutella Bread Pudding.
More info: Look for them online to learn more.


Location: 11 W River Road, Rumson
Details: Reminiscent of a Tuscan farmhouse, Undici serves up rustic Italian cuisine to the Jersey Shore area. The name, which means eleven in Italian, matches the street address. Their menu includes unique options such as quinoa meatballs and grilled octopus. In addition, they serve an Osso Bucco (lamb shank) with roasted beet and butternut squash farrotto, and mint gremolata.
Why I like it: Undici boasts the largest selection of Italian wines in New Jersey, full stop.
More info: Look for them online to learn more.

South Jersey

Zeppoli Antipasti PlateZeppoli Antipasti PlateAntipasti Plate

Blue Monkey Tavern

Location: 2 S Center Street, Merchantville
Details: The Blue Monkey Tavern may not sound like an Italian restaurant, but the menu is full of Italian classics. Menu highlights include the Mediterranean Vegetable & Goat Cheese Ravioli, as well as the Iberian Fantasia; shrimp, sausage, and scallops in a spicy tomato, white wine, and cream sauce over angel hair. Mussels fans can check out the six types they offer on the menu.
Why I like it: Non-Italian options include the Blue Monkey Burger, fried dumplings, and pulled pork sandwich.
More info: Look for them online to learn more.

Di Paolo’s Restaurant

Location: 28 S Broad St, Penns Grove
Details: Di Paolo’s is a double threat, working just as well for either an intimate dinner or special occasion. The menus (both for food and drinks) change with the season, so there’s always something new to try. But no matter what you order, we say to start with the Traditional Italian Arancini; these crispy rice balls can’t be missed! They also offer a large selection of family meal deals to-go.
Why I like it: Di Paolo’s frequently hosts live entertainment on the patio, and posts the schedule online.
More info: Look for them online to learn more.

Filomena Lakeview

Location: 1738 Cooper St, Deptford
Details: Filomena Lakeview is named after the owner’s mother, Filomena, who came to the US from Italy; bringing generations of homemade recipes with her to a new country. Those same recipes fill the menu at Filomena today, like the rich and flavorful Penne Bolognese. Other customer favorites include the Veal Parmigiana with linguini, Eggplant Rollatini, Shrimp Vestito, and Filet Mignon.
Why I like it: The restaurant earns its namesake with a beautiful lake view, warm fireplaces, and intricate stonework.
More info: Look for them online to learn more.


Location: 1414 US-130, Burlington
Details: Fratelli’s may seem unassuming on the outside, but this intimate, family-run BYOB restaurant is the real deal. The portions are large and the dishes are as authentically Italian as it gets. Locals love the stuffed mushrooms, lasagna, and cannoli options. Meanwhile, we appreciate the “Light Menu” section with chicken or fish options served with whole wheat penne and salad.
Why I like it: Their thin-crust tomato pie boasts chunks of tomato, garlic, basil, and mounds of fresh mozzarella.
More info: Look for them online to learn more.

The Green Olive Restaurant

Location: 610 Shiloh Pike, Bridgeton
Details: Green Olive is more than just Italian food, you’ll also find ribs, nachos, and meatloaf on the menu. However, when it comes to authentic Italian options, they are no slouches. They serve traditional Italian dishes such as Lobster Ravioli and a Tortellini Della Mamma; the latter is mouth-watering tri-colored tortellini pasta hats tossed with prosciutto and peas in a creamy alfredo sauce.
Why I like it: In addition to dinner, The Green Olive also has breakfast, lunch, and happy hour menus.
More info: Look for them online to learn more.


Location: 618 W Collings Avenue, Collingswood
Details: If you’re looking for a cozy, romantic dinner spot, look no further than Zeppoli. The menu is compact, but every dish is exceptional. For example, the Pesto Trapanese — fusilli pasta with almond-pistachio pesto — is a true delight. Aside from classic Italian fare, they create adventurous choices like The Coniglio Pizzaiola; stewed rabbit, tomato, and oregano with rosemary roasted potatoes.
Why I like it: The menu draws heavily from Sicilian culture, with items like Sicilian Fisherman Stew and Panzanella Catania.
More info: Look for them online to learn more.

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Top (Hero) Photo: © Piattino / Website
Other Photos (in Order):
Axton’s by Chef Anton Testino / Facebook
Luca’s Ristorante / Instagram
A Touch of Italy / Facebook
Zeppoli / Facebook