September 24, 2017

20 Places to Get the Most Authentic Italian Food in Cleveland

You already know Cleveland has a Little Italy, but there's more than just one area of Northeast Ohio to get your authentic Italian fix ... and we're not talking about Olive Garden. Check out these 20 places and slurp up your spaghetti to your heart's content.

You already know Cleveland has a Little Italy, but there's more than just one area of Northeast Ohio to get your authentic Italian fix ... and we're not talking about Olive Garden. Check out these 20 places and slurp up your spaghetti to your heart's content.

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Crostatas
558 Bishop Rd., Highland Hts., 440-449-7800
Aficionados of authentic Neapolitan-style pizza have been claiming this pizzeria serves the best pie in town. That is not a surprise considering that the pizzaioli uses time-tested ingredients, techniques, and equipment, including a 950-degree wood-burning oven. The menu is largely confined to pizza, but does include starters, salads, and desserts.
Photo via thathawaiianguysbbq/Instagram

Crostatas

558 Bishop Rd., Highland Hts., 440-449-7800
Aficionados of authentic Neapolitan-style pizza have been claiming this pizzeria serves the best pie in town. That is not a surprise considering that the pizzaioli uses time-tested ingredients, techniques, and equipment, including a 950-degree wood-burning oven. The menu is largely confined to pizza, but does include starters, salads, and desserts.

Photo via thathawaiianguysbbq/Instagram
Trentina
1902 Ford Dr., 216-421-2900
James Beard-nominated chef Jonathon Sawyer's Italian restaurant brings sparkling life back to the old Sergio's space in University Circle. The attractive 35-seat restaurant is an ideal setting for the northern Italian-inspired foods that Sawyer is creating. Diners can look forward to creative cocktails, fresh pastas, adventurous tasting menus, and al fresco dining on the restaurant's picturesque front patio.
Photo via Scene Archives

Trentina

1902 Ford Dr., 216-421-2900
James Beard-nominated chef Jonathon Sawyer's Italian restaurant brings sparkling life back to the old Sergio's space in University Circle. The attractive 35-seat restaurant is an ideal setting for the northern Italian-inspired foods that Sawyer is creating. Diners can look forward to creative cocktails, fresh pastas, adventurous tasting menus, and al fresco dining on the restaurant's picturesque front patio.

Photo via Scene Archives
Vero Bistro 
12421 Cedar Rd., Cleveland Heights, 216-229-8383
Boasting one of the very few wood-burning ovens in town, Vero turns out some of the most authentic Neapolitan-style pizza around. Owner Marc-Aurele Buholzer inherited the oven – and the space – from the previous tenant, La Gelateria. The gelato is the same, but the pizza is much improved. An airy, chewy edge blistered with char gives way to a thin, crisp inner crust supporting a few choice ingredients. These pies are meant to be enjoyed fresh from the oven.
Photo via verobistro/Instagram

Vero Bistro

12421 Cedar Rd., Cleveland Heights, 216-229-8383
Boasting one of the very few wood-burning ovens in town, Vero turns out some of the most authentic Neapolitan-style pizza around. Owner Marc-Aurele Buholzer inherited the oven – and the space – from the previous tenant, La Gelateria. The gelato is the same, but the pizza is much improved. An airy, chewy edge blistered with char gives way to a thin, crisp inner crust supporting a few choice ingredients. These pies are meant to be enjoyed fresh from the oven.

Photo via verobistro/Instagram
Osteria di Valerio & Al
408 W. St. Clair Ave., 216-685-9490
The anonymous phrasemaker who said "Good things come in small packages" surely didn't have this tiny Italian restaurant in mind, but he could have: The Warehouse District's smallest upscale dining room more than compensates with big quotas of flavor and style.
Photo via nikigig/Instagram

Osteria di Valerio & Al

408 W. St. Clair Ave., 216-685-9490
The anonymous phrasemaker who said "Good things come in small packages" surely didn't have this tiny Italian restaurant in mind, but he could have: The Warehouse District's smallest upscale dining room more than compensates with big quotas of flavor and style.

Photo via nikigig/Instagram
Carrie Cerino's Ristorante 
8922 Ridge Rd., N. Royalton, 440-237-3434
This venerable Italian restaurant features hearty Northern Italian fare, with an expansive menu of made-from-scratch pastas, sauces, breads, and desserts. Plus, you could even have your wedding there. 
Photo via carrie_cerinos/Instagram

Carrie Cerino's Ristorante

8922 Ridge Rd., N. Royalton, 440-237-3434
This venerable Italian restaurant features hearty Northern Italian fare, with an expansive menu of made-from-scratch pastas, sauces, breads, and desserts. Plus, you could even have your wedding there.

Photo via carrie_cerinos/Instagram
Mama Santa's 
12305 Mayfield Rd., 216-421-2159
Every college campus needs a nearby spot like Mama Santa's, with its retro vibe, cheap wine, and stunningly inexpensive Italian eats. Thin, greaseless, crisp-crusted pizza is the specialty of the casa; when you and the gang can score a 15-incher for less than 10 bucks, who cares if there's a wait for a table?
Photo via thescottobrien3/Instagram

Mama Santa's

12305 Mayfield Rd., 216-421-2159
Every college campus needs a nearby spot like Mama Santa's, with its retro vibe, cheap wine, and stunningly inexpensive Italian eats. Thin, greaseless, crisp-crusted pizza is the specialty of the casa; when you and the gang can score a 15-incher for less than 10 bucks, who cares if there's a wait for a table?

Photo via thescottobrien3/Instagram
D.C. Pasta Co. 
12214 Pearl Rd., Strongsville, 440-238-8500
As Chef Dante Boccuzzi's third Cleveland restaurant, D.C. makes high-quality, house-made pastas fun and affordable. Sold by portion size – taste, appetizer, or main – the various combinations can be mixed and matched to create a wide-ranging feast. The rest of the menu is equally accessible, with sections for cured meats, Italian cheeses, marinated veggies, meatballs, entrées – even olives. Top it all off with 25 bottles of Italian wine priced south of $25 and you have the makings of an affordable Italian banquet.
Photo via tastingcleveland/Instagram

D.C. Pasta Co.

12214 Pearl Rd., Strongsville, 440-238-8500
As Chef Dante Boccuzzi's third Cleveland restaurant, D.C. makes high-quality, house-made pastas fun and affordable. Sold by portion size – taste, appetizer, or main – the various combinations can be mixed and matched to create a wide-ranging feast. The rest of the menu is equally accessible, with sections for cured meats, Italian cheeses, marinated veggies, meatballs, entrées – even olives. Top it all off with 25 bottles of Italian wine priced south of $25 and you have the makings of an affordable Italian banquet.

Photo via tastingcleveland/Instagram
Eddie's Pizzeria Cerino
7305 Broadview Rd., Seven Hills, 216-236-6007
Too often, Italian joints go heavy on the comfort and light on the quality. Not so here where owner Eddie Cerino approaches traditional Italian food less like a grandmother and more like a chef. And thanks to half orders of salad and pasta, diners have control over portion size and price. The same goes for Cerino's Lakewood outpost, which is cozy, busy, and slings a perfect menu of Italian favorites that don't skimp on quality.
Photo via Scene Archives

Eddie's Pizzeria Cerino

7305 Broadview Rd., Seven Hills, 216-236-6007
Too often, Italian joints go heavy on the comfort and light on the quality. Not so here where owner Eddie Cerino approaches traditional Italian food less like a grandmother and more like a chef. And thanks to half orders of salad and pasta, diners have control over portion size and price. The same goes for Cerino's Lakewood outpost, which is cozy, busy, and slings a perfect menu of Italian favorites that don't skimp on quality.

Photo via Scene Archives
Dewey's Pizza 
Multiple locations
A fine choice for families, this bright, contemporary pizza parlor offers freshly made pies, wholesome salads and a concise selection of beer and wine, including eight microbrews on draft. Friendly staffers take small fry in stride, and while Mom and Dad unwind, the kiddies can stuff their faces with pizza.
Photo via deweyspizza/Instagram

Dewey's Pizza

Multiple locations
A fine choice for families, this bright, contemporary pizza parlor offers freshly made pies, wholesome salads and a concise selection of beer and wine, including eight microbrews on draft. Friendly staffers take small fry in stride, and while Mom and Dad unwind, the kiddies can stuff their faces with pizza.

Photo via deweyspizza/Instagram
Maxi's 
12113 Mayfield Rd. 216-421-1500
Like an old friend, Maxi's is always there when you need her. For 15 years, this romantic Little Italy gem has been keeping neighbors and visitors happy the easy way: by dishing up consistently delicious plates of soul satisfying Italian foods, namely pastas, pizza and veal-based entrees. Dim, slim and sexy, Maxi's is always the right choice for date night.
Photo via bigalseats/Instagram

Maxi's

12113 Mayfield Rd. 216-421-1500
Like an old friend, Maxi's is always there when you need her. For 15 years, this romantic Little Italy gem has been keeping neighbors and visitors happy the easy way: by dishing up consistently delicious plates of soul satisfying Italian foods, namely pastas, pizza and veal-based entrees. Dim, slim and sexy, Maxi's is always the right choice for date night.

Photo via bigalseats/Instagram