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Two big humps of red sauce-cloaked eggplant has  ricotta cheese oozing out at the edges.
Bamonte’s eggplant rollatini.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

NYC’s 22 Top Italian Restaurants

Where to find saucy pasta, tender pizza, and old-school hospitality

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Bamonte’s eggplant rollatini.
| Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

New York City excels at many things, but one of its finest achievements: Italian food. As the birthplace of red-sauce, Italian-American fare, there are plenty of top-notch options across the five boroughs. These days, it feels is if all of Italy is represented here, from rustic Tuscan dishes to saucy Sicilian specialties. This list captures the best of the best Italian restaurants, new and old, in New York City — serving up all the pasta, pizza, and seafood any New Yorker (or tourist) could want.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Dominick's

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This unfussy gem located on the Bronx’s Arthur Avenue — otherwise known as the borough’s Little Italy — has been dishing out generous servings of well-sauced pasta for over 50 years. It’s more food hall than restaurant, but the servers are incredibly knowledgeable about the long menu and expertly guide diners along. Other highlights on the menu include the stuffed artichoke, as well as a large sirloin steak served with a solid side of fries.

Roberto's

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Roberto’s modern Italian fare, served on a side street tucked away from the hubbub of the Bronx’s Little Italy, is a welcome contrast to the red sauced Italian-American food common in the neighborhood. The wine list is more sophisticated, too, along with a menu that trumpets dishes like pasta and seasonal vegetables steamed “in cartoccio,” or in a foil pouch, as well as rabbit stewed with potatoes. Roberto Paciullo, a native of Salerno, Italy, is behind the villa-esque Roberto’s, where there’s not a meatball in sight.

The Roberto’s dining room with chandeliers and white arches over tables and chairs.
Roberto’s dining room.
Alex Staniloff/Eater NY

Celeste

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The Upper West Side has no shortage of neighborhood Italian joints, but Celeste rises above them all. Owner Carmine Mitroni rules over the boxy Neapolitan restaurant, greeting regulars and making recommendations to newcomers. Tables can’t go wrong with the pastas, especially the popular tagliatelle with shrimp, cabbage, and sheep’s milk cheese, and the pizzas sport a nice char from the wood-fired oven. Expect a wait, and cash only.

Manetta's

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This Long Island City mainstay, directly across the Pulaski Bridge from Greenpoint, offers classic Italian cuisine with some modern twists, in a casual windowed dining room with a wood-burning oven. On the more expensive end of its menu, find a charcoal-grilled ribeye steak, lamb chops with almond mint pesto, and baked branzino that reminds one of the Greek antecedents of southern Italian cooking. Run-of-the-mill pastas keep pace, from a classic orecchiette with sausage and broccoli rabe to a more innovative spelt spaghetti called contadina, featuring vegetables in tomato sauce. Pizzas done in the wood-fired oven are an added plus.

Don Angie

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Angie Rito and Scott Tacinelli’s West Village restaurant have ushered in a new era for red sauce cooking with a supremely creative take on Italian-American fare. The duo knows how to present the unexpected with pasta, once packing caramelle pasta with pickled cantaloupe and oozy buffalo milk mozzarella. They make a heck of a garlic bread by stuffing sesame-seeded flatbread with stracchino and Parmesan. And the chefs have produced their own amaro out of sarsaparilla, resulting in a lightly boozy beverage that recalls root beer. Warning: Expect long waits if you haven’t secured a reservation.

A green salad showered in cheese shavings with a fork placed to the side of the dish sits on a table.
Chrysanthemum Caesar at Don Angie.
Alex Staniloff/Eater NY

B’Artusi

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This Italian restaurant and bar is the more casual follow-up to the West Village’s popular L’Artusi. Opened in October of last year, B’Artusi is a colorful new addition to the list. The menu includes more classic Italian-leaning dishes like its Sicilian chopped salad, lasagna bolognese, and cacio e pepe with broccoli and Aleppo pepper, while also deviating with an Italian twist on ceviche. For dessert there are affogatos and chocolate mousse with coffee gelato and Kahlúa-laced hot fudge.

The inside of a restaurant showing a yellow bar with red stools and a checkered black and white floor.
Inside the colorful new B’Artusi.
Teddy Wolff/B’Artusi

Via Carota

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Jody Williams and Rita Sodi’s Tuscan destination Via Carota is no longer the secret neighborhood spot it used to be — expect to wait at least an hour at primetime no matter the day, or try for a late-night glass of wine and bowl of chewy cacio e pepe, one of the best in the city. When going for a larger meal, classics like the grilled chicken and tagliatelle with prosciutto are must-tries, but the stars of the show may end up being one of the vegetable dishes. The options change regularly, and it’s hard to go wrong.

Fiaschetteria Pistoia

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Petite Tuscan restaurant Fiaschetteria Pistoia makes up for its size with charm — the servers are brusque yet friendly, slamming down a wooden crate of wine when asked for the list. Still, their recommendations for affordable bottles are on-point, and everything from the salads and pork cheek to the cacio e pepe and spaghetti con bottarga are celebrations of the genre. For dessert, the creamy tiramisu is so ethereally light, it’s worth ordering even if already full.

Forsythia

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Roman newcomer Forsythia hit the ground running with a pandemic pop-up in 2020 that was booked out for weeks, and then followed that up with a Michelin Bib nod at their now-permanent spot on the Lower East Side. In February, the restaurant unveiled a prix fixe menu sprinkled with hits like the suppli, a fried cacio e pepe appetizer, and an agnolotti stuffed with braised short rib. The menu costs $75 for five courses in the dining room, or $40 for two courses (plus a glass of wine or scoop of gelato) at the bar.

A close-up photo of a white bowl filled with a small pile of yellow pasta.
Forsythia’s agnolotti.
Madeline Mark/Forsythia
Read Review |

If Spiaggia in Chicago is what put Missy Robbins on the radar, Lilia in Williamsburg is what rocketed the chef to stardom. Lucky diners might encounter Robbins near the flame-spitting wood grill, the device responsible for singing succulent lamb steaks. Unlucky diners will encounter a host quoting a two-hour wait for walk-ins. Reservations book up far in advance, which is understandable for pastas this good, especially the sheep’s milk ricotta agnolotti, slathered in heady saffron honey sauce.

A yellow pasta with garnishes sits in a shallow grey bowl.
A bowl of agnolotti.
Paul Crispin Quitoriano/Eater NY

Bamonte's

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Over a century in Williamsburg has made old-school, red-sauce Italian restaurant Bamonte’s a legend. Founded in 1900, it’s still in the same family, who serves up the same stately hospitality from servers in suits. Must-orders include briny clams oreganata, spaghetti and meatballs, and the famous pork chops with pickled peppers. Don’t miss the ethereal cannoli, an off-menu dessert. And yes — the ultimate signifier of Italian-American cool — The Sopranos filmed here.

A red frame house is the setting for Bamonte’s, and an old man sits on a bench in front. Robert Sietsema/Eater
Read Review |

Pasta is the reason to come to Faro in Bushwick, the one Michelin-starred venue from Kevin and Debbie Adey. The menu changes frequently, but the options rarely disappoint. Every pasta is made at the restaurant, including past recipes such as mushroom tortelli with truffle butter to the gnocchi with braised pork shank and roasted peppers. Round out the meal at this warmly lit ideal date spot with a bottle of wine.

A mound of cavatelli on a white plate.
Faro’s cavatelli.
Daniel Krieger/Eater NY

This Clinton Hill establishment has been serving homey Italian fare in a cozy setting since 2012. Chef Robert Aita’s menu is particularly known for its vegetable appetizers including the brussels sprout salad and the roasted mushrooms, but the pastas are all made in-house and highlights include the oxtail ravioli, the chestnut gnocchi, and the spinach fettuccine served with a braised duck ragout. The restaurant also serves some of the city’s best pancakes for brunch.

A pile of pasta with white cheese on top on a white plate.
Aita’s pasta.
Aita Trattoria

Ferdinando's Focacceria

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The city’s oldest Sicilian restaurant, dating to 1904, is Ferdinando’s Focacceria in Carroll Gardens. The “focacceria” part of the name doesn’t refer to the familiar southern Italian bread, but to a type of snack shop often found in the island’s capital of Palermo. The menu here, once limited to small sandwiches of cow spleen or chickpeas and composed plates of seafood and vegetables of its prototype Palermo institution, now serves a full-blown Italian-American bill of fare. Depend on baked clams, fried squid or shrimp, and tomato sauce-soaked rice balls, as well as such arcana as squid ink linguine, washed down with coffee soda.

Frankies 457 Spuntino

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A picturesque backyard and a neighborhood vibe are the cherries on top at Frankies 457 Spuntino, which launched an empire on its well-executed Italian-American classics in Carroll Gardens. Open for lunch, brunch, and dinner, the restaurant is as well-known for sandwiches (meatball parm as well as the eggplant marinara) as it is for its pastas, particularly the cavatelli with hot sausage and browned sage butter. Wines are affordable, and it’s a great restaurant for groups. Reservations are recommended, but snagging a seat at the wine bar is doable, where the full Frankies menu is served.

A brick-lined dining room with a window to the right.
Inside Frankies 457 Spuntino.
Daniel Krieger/Eater NY

The warm, orange-hued space of Fausto features a tight menu from chef and owner Erin Shambura that rotates regularly based on the nearby Grand Army Plaza Greenmarket — though the crowd-favorite pasta, a housemade orecchiette with pork and wilted greens, is usually available. Many of the dishes lean simple, like a little gem salad or a pork chop with charred apricot mostarda. Definitely get wine, which is natural and culled by sommelier (and co-owner) Joe Campanale, and after dinner, try a vintage amaro; the staff is friendly and ready to educate. Fausto is good both for eating solo at the bar with pasta and a glass of wine and for dinner or brunch when family’s in town.

A table set with wine glasses at Fausto.
Inside Fausto.
Amber-Lynn Taber/Eater NY

Al Di La Trattoria

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The dark, cozy space of Al Di La has been a Park Slope favorite since 1998 — both a date-night destination for Anna Klinger’s northern Italian pastas and a go-to for locals at dinner. Go for the spaghetti neri all chitarra (black spaghetti with octopus confit, basil, and hot chile peppers), tagliatelle, and an order of mussels if it’s a first-time visit, but there’s plenty to explore, too. Listen for the specials, and prepare to wait at primetime, though it won’t be as ridiculous as more high-profile places in Manhattan.

Michael’s of Brooklyn

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If the ideal romantic date spot is a big plate of pasta with a lusty and piquant red sauce, Michael’s is the place. Founded in 1964 with a façade of rusticated stone, the dining room is warm and comfortable, with a pianist playing Sinatra classics and other pop songs on a grand piano on a raised platform above the bar. Linguine with red clam sauce is particularly clam-heavy, the massive veal chop is unparalleled in the borough, and everyone orders a plate of fresh mozzarella with grilled red peppers.

Linguine with red clam sauce is swimming in sauce with a sprig of parsley on the side of the bowl.
Linguine with red clam sauce at Michael’s of Brooklyn.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Joe's of Avenue U

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Joe’s is the city’s quintessential Sicilian spot, straight out of the 1950s located on the cramped streets of Gravesend, Brooklyn. Look at the glass case filled with vegetable and seafood dishes near the entrance, noting which ones appeal, then sit down in a dining room decorated with a delightful mural that depicts an island landscape with century-old themes. Don’t miss the chickpea fritters called panelle, the pasta con sarde loaded with sardines and sweetened with fennel, or the well-oiled octopus salad.

A pile of oiled octopus tentacles points in all directions.
An Sicilian octopus dish at Joe’s of Avenue U.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

L&B Spumoni Gardens

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Red picnic tables on the outdoor patio alert diners to L&B Spumoni Gardens, an iconic Gravesend hangout since 1939. The calling card here is extra-doughy Sicilian-style pizza in square form, topped first with mozzarella and then with tomato sauce and a thin layer of Pecorino Romano. Italian classics like a sausage-and-pepper hero or spaghetti and meatballs are also well-executed, as is the must-get namesake spumoni, a colorful gelato combination with pistachio, chocolate, and fruity cremolata.

A whole Sicilian pie in rectangular form with puffy dough
A whole Sicilian pie at L&B Spumoni Gardens.
Sonia Chopra/Eater NY

Randazzo's Clam Bar

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This Sheepshead Bay establishment has been a neighborhood staple for decades, serving a variety of seafood dishes and pasta and known for its red sauce that comes in a spicy and medium variant. The Randazzo family has been in the seafood business in New York for nearly 100 years, and the family is still involved in all of their seafood-related businesses, including the clam bar. The star attraction here is a fried calamari dish that’s topped with the spicy version of the red sauce. The seafood diavolo, as well as the raw oysters and clam, are also not to be missed.

A gingham place mat is topped with a plate teeming with fried calamari, with a white paper napkin with a silver fork on the left, and a small dish with marinara sauce to the right. Randazzo’s [Official Photo]

Lobster House Joe's

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Located along Staten Island’s seaboard not far from the Atlantic beaches, Lobster House Joe’s is one of the borough’s premiere Italian seafood restaurants. The double dining room is casual and nautically themed, and you can’t go wrong with one of the perfectly steamed lobsters available in a range of sizes. The place also excels at seafood salads, linguine with any kind of red sauced seafood, chowders and bisques, and anything involving clams — from raw to incorporated into pastas to stuffed and baked. There’s a newer branch on the opposite side of the island on the Arthur Kill.

A bright red lobster with its nose in a bowl of butter.
Lobster at Lobster House Joe’s.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

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Dominick's

This unfussy gem located on the Bronx’s Arthur Avenue — otherwise known as the borough’s Little Italy — has been dishing out generous servings of well-sauced pasta for over 50 years. It’s more food hall than restaurant, but the servers are incredibly knowledgeable about the long menu and expertly guide diners along. Other highlights on the menu include the stuffed artichoke, as well as a large sirloin steak served with a solid side of fries.

Roberto's

The Roberto’s dining room with chandeliers and white arches over tables and chairs.
Roberto’s dining room.
Alex Staniloff/Eater NY

Roberto’s modern Italian fare, served on a side street tucked away from the hubbub of the Bronx’s Little Italy, is a welcome contrast to the red sauced Italian-American food common in the neighborhood. The wine list is more sophisticated, too, along with a menu that trumpets dishes like pasta and seasonal vegetables steamed “in cartoccio,” or in a foil pouch, as well as rabbit stewed with potatoes. Roberto Paciullo, a native of Salerno, Italy, is behind the villa-esque Roberto’s, where there’s not a meatball in sight.

The Roberto’s dining room with chandeliers and white arches over tables and chairs.
Roberto’s dining room.
Alex Staniloff/Eater NY

Celeste

The Upper West Side has no shortage of neighborhood Italian joints, but Celeste rises above them all. Owner Carmine Mitroni rules over the boxy Neapolitan restaurant, greeting regulars and making recommendations to newcomers. Tables can’t go wrong with the pastas, especially the popular tagliatelle with shrimp, cabbage, and sheep’s milk cheese, and the pizzas sport a nice char from the wood-fired oven. Expect a wait, and cash only.

Manetta's

This Long Island City mainstay, directly across the Pulaski Bridge from Greenpoint, offers classic Italian cuisine with some modern twists, in a casual windowed dining room with a wood-burning oven. On the more expensive end of its menu, find a charcoal-grilled ribeye steak, lamb chops with almond mint pesto, and baked branzino that reminds one of the Greek antecedents of southern Italian cooking. Run-of-the-mill pastas keep pace, from a classic orecchiette with sausage and broccoli rabe to a more innovative spelt spaghetti called contadina, featuring vegetables in tomato sauce. Pizzas done in the wood-fired oven are an added plus.

Don Angie

Read Review |
A green salad showered in cheese shavings with a fork placed to the side of the dish sits on a table.
Chrysanthemum Caesar at Don Angie.
Alex Staniloff/Eater NY

Angie Rito and Scott Tacinelli’s West Village restaurant have ushered in a new era for red sauce cooking with a supremely creative take on Italian-American fare. The duo knows how to present the unexpected with pasta, once packing caramelle pasta with pickled cantaloupe and oozy buffalo milk mozzarella. They make a heck of a garlic bread by stuffing sesame-seeded flatbread with stracchino and Parmesan. And the chefs have produced their own amaro out of sarsaparilla, resulting in a lightly boozy beverage that recalls root beer. Warning: Expect long waits if you haven’t secured a reservation.

A green salad showered in cheese shavings with a fork placed to the side of the dish sits on a table.
Chrysanthemum Caesar at Don Angie.
Alex Staniloff/Eater NY

B’Artusi

The inside of a restaurant showing a yellow bar with red stools and a checkered black and white floor.
Inside the colorful new B’Artusi.
Teddy Wolff/B’Artusi

This Italian restaurant and bar is the more casual follow-up to the West Village’s popular L’Artusi. Opened in October of last year, B’Artusi is a colorful new addition to the list. The menu includes more classic Italian-leaning dishes like its Sicilian chopped salad, lasagna bolognese, and cacio e pepe with broccoli and Aleppo pepper, while also deviating with an Italian twist on ceviche. For dessert there are affogatos and chocolate mousse with coffee gelato and Kahlúa-laced hot fudge.

The inside of a restaurant showing a yellow bar with red stools and a checkered black and white floor.
Inside the colorful new B’Artusi.
Teddy Wolff/B’Artusi

Via Carota

Jody Williams and Rita Sodi’s Tuscan destination Via Carota is no longer the secret neighborhood spot it used to be — expect to wait at least an hour at primetime no matter the day, or try for a late-night glass of wine and bowl of chewy cacio e pepe, one of the best in the city. When going for a larger meal, classics like the grilled chicken and tagliatelle with prosciutto are must-tries, but the stars of the show may end up being one of the vegetable dishes. The options change regularly, and it’s hard to go wrong.

Fiaschetteria Pistoia

Read Review |

Petite Tuscan restaurant Fiaschetteria Pistoia makes up for its size with charm — the servers are brusque yet friendly, slamming down a wooden crate of wine when asked for the list. Still, their recommendations for affordable bottles are on-point, and everything from the salads and pork cheek to the cacio e pepe and spaghetti con bottarga are celebrations of the genre. For dessert, the creamy tiramisu is so ethereally light, it’s worth ordering even if already full.

Forsythia

A close-up photo of a white bowl filled with a small pile of yellow pasta.
Forsythia’s agnolotti.
Madeline Mark/Forsythia

Roman newcomer Forsythia hit the ground running with a pandemic pop-up in 2020 that was booked out for weeks, and then followed that up with a Michelin Bib nod at their now-permanent spot on the Lower East Side. In February, the restaurant unveiled a prix fixe menu sprinkled with hits like the suppli, a fried cacio e pepe appetizer, and an agnolotti stuffed with braised short rib. The menu costs $75 for five courses in the dining room, or $40 for two courses (plus a glass of wine or scoop of gelato) at the bar.

A close-up photo of a white bowl filled with a small pile of yellow pasta.
Forsythia’s agnolotti.
Madeline Mark/Forsythia

Lilia

Read Review |
A yellow pasta with garnishes sits in a shallow grey bowl.
A bowl of agnolotti.
Paul Crispin Quitoriano/Eater NY

If Spiaggia in Chicago is what put Missy Robbins on the radar, Lilia in Williamsburg is what rocketed the chef to stardom. Lucky diners might encounter Robbins near the flame-spitting wood grill, the device responsible for singing succulent lamb steaks. Unlucky diners will encounter a host quoting a two-hour wait for walk-ins. Reservations book up far in advance, which is understandable for pastas this good, especially the sheep’s milk ricotta agnolotti, slathered in heady saffron honey sauce.

A yellow pasta with garnishes sits in a shallow grey bowl.
A bowl of agnolotti.
Paul Crispin Quitoriano/Eater NY

Bamonte's

A red frame house is the setting for Bamonte’s, and an old man sits on a bench in front. Robert Sietsema/Eater

Over a century in Williamsburg has made old-school, red-sauce Italian restaurant Bamonte’s a legend. Founded in 1900, it’s still in the same family, who serves up the same stately hospitality from servers in suits. Must-orders include briny clams oreganata, spaghetti and meatballs, and the famous pork chops with pickled peppers. Don’t miss the ethereal cannoli, an off-menu dessert. And yes — the ultimate signifier of Italian-American cool — The Sopranos filmed here.

A red frame house is the setting for Bamonte’s, and an old man sits on a bench in front. Robert Sietsema/Eater

Faro

Read Review |
A mound of cavatelli on a white plate.
Faro’s cavatelli.
Daniel Krieger/Eater NY

Pasta is the reason to come to Faro in Bushwick, the one Michelin-starred venue from Kevin and Debbie Adey. The menu changes frequently, but the options rarely disappoint. Every pasta is made at the restaurant, including past recipes such as mushroom tortelli with truffle butter to the gnocchi with braised pork shank and roasted peppers. Round out the meal at this warmly lit ideal date spot with a bottle of wine.

A mound of cavatelli on a white plate.
Faro’s cavatelli.
Daniel Krieger/Eater NY

Aita

A pile of pasta with white cheese on top on a white plate.
Aita’s pasta.
Aita Trattoria

This Clinton Hill establishment has been serving homey Italian fare in a cozy setting since 2012. Chef Robert Aita’s menu is particularly known for its vegetable appetizers including the brussels sprout salad and the roasted mushrooms, but the pastas are all made in-house and highlights include the oxtail ravioli, the chestnut gnocchi, and the spinach fettuccine served with a braised duck ragout. The restaurant also serves some of the city’s best pancakes for brunch.

A pile of pasta with white cheese on top on a white plate.
Aita’s pasta.
Aita Trattoria

Ferdinando's Focacceria

The city’s oldest Sicilian restaurant, dating to 1904, is Ferdinando’s Focacceria in Carroll Gardens. The “focacceria” part of the name doesn’t refer to the familiar southern Italian bread, but to a type of snack shop often found in the island’s capital of Palermo. The menu here, once limited to small sandwiches of cow spleen or chickpeas and composed plates of seafood and vegetables of its prototype Palermo institution, now serves a full-blown Italian-American bill of fare. Depend on baked clams, fried squid or shrimp, and tomato sauce-soaked rice balls, as well as such arcana as squid ink linguine, washed down with coffee soda.

Frankies 457 Spuntino

A brick-lined dining room with a window to the right.
Inside Frankies 457 Spuntino.
Daniel Krieger/Eater NY

A picturesque backyard and a neighborhood vibe are the cherries on top at Frankies 457 Spuntino, which launched an empire on its well-executed Italian-American classics in Carroll Gardens. Open for lunch, brunch, and dinner, the restaurant is as well-known for sandwiches (meatball parm as well as the eggplant marinara) as it is for its pastas, particularly the cavatelli with hot sausage and browned sage butter. Wines are affordable, and it’s a great restaurant for groups. Reservations are recommended, but snagging a seat at the wine bar is doable, where the full Frankies menu is served.

A brick-lined dining room with a window to the right.
Inside Frankies 457 Spuntino.
Daniel Krieger/Eater NY

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Fausto

A table set with wine glasses at Fausto.
Inside Fausto.
Amber-Lynn Taber/Eater NY

The warm, orange-hued space of Fausto features a tight menu from chef and owner Erin Shambura that rotates regularly based on the nearby Grand Army Plaza Greenmarket — though the crowd-favorite pasta, a housemade orecchiette with pork and wilted greens, is usually available. Many of the dishes lean simple, like a little gem salad or a pork chop with charred apricot mostarda. Definitely get wine, which is natural and culled by sommelier (and co-owner) Joe Campanale, and after dinner, try a vintage amaro; the staff is friendly and ready to educate. Fausto is good both for eating solo at the bar with pasta and a glass of wine and for dinner or brunch when family’s in town.

A table set with wine glasses at Fausto.
Inside Fausto.
Amber-Lynn Taber/Eater NY

Al Di La Trattoria

The dark, cozy space of Al Di La has been a Park Slope favorite since 1998 — both a date-night destination for Anna Klinger’s northern Italian pastas and a go-to for locals at dinner. Go for the spaghetti neri all chitarra (black spaghetti with octopus confit, basil, and hot chile peppers), tagliatelle, and an order of mussels if it’s a first-time visit, but there’s plenty to explore, too. Listen for the specials, and prepare to wait at primetime, though it won’t be as ridiculous as more high-profile places in Manhattan.

Michael’s of Brooklyn

Linguine with red clam sauce is swimming in sauce with a sprig of parsley on the side of the bowl.
Linguine with red clam sauce at Michael’s of Brooklyn.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

If the ideal romantic date spot is a big plate of pasta with a lusty and piquant red sauce, Michael’s is the place. Founded in 1964 with a façade of rusticated stone, the dining room is warm and comfortable, with a pianist playing Sinatra classics and other pop songs on a grand piano on a raised platform above the bar. Linguine with red clam sauce is particularly clam-heavy, the massive veal chop is unparalleled in the borough, and everyone orders a plate of fresh mozzarella with grilled red peppers.

Linguine with red clam sauce is swimming in sauce with a sprig of parsley on the side of the bowl.
Linguine with red clam sauce at Michael’s of Brooklyn.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Joe's of Avenue U

A pile of oiled octopus tentacles points in all directions.
An Sicilian octopus dish at Joe’s of Avenue U.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Joe’s is the city’s quintessential Sicilian spot, straight out of the 1950s located on the cramped streets of Gravesend, Brooklyn. Look at the glass case filled with vegetable and seafood dishes near the entrance, noting which ones appeal, then sit down in a dining room decorated with a delightful mural that depicts an island landscape with century-old themes. Don’t miss the chickpea fritters called panelle, the pasta con sarde loaded with sardines and sweetened with fennel, or the well-oiled octopus salad.

A pile of oiled octopus tentacles points in all directions.
An Sicilian octopus dish at Joe’s of Avenue U.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

L&B Spumoni Gardens