Grand Rapids Food Series: Italian
We know Grand Rapids as the beer city, but the city's selection of food can almost top it. We’re kicking off the end of the year with a Grand Rapids food series highlighting the city's most popular restaurants. This week we’re beginning with my favorite food that’s also one of the most abundant, Italian. Italian is my comfort food. It is one of those meals that requires you to undo the first button of your pants once done and you can never leave without having a glass of wine or a delectable dessert that you always find room for.
Walking into an Italian restaurant is a breath of fresh air. The romantic atmosphere invites everyone into the softly lit dining room where finely wrapped cutlery is placed on rich wooden tables. You can smell the distinctive aroma of cream sauce and garlic. Warm, perfectly baked bread is brought to tables with seasoned olive oil and a glass of red to wash it down. Visiting an Italian restaurant for dinner is the epitome of a perfect night and I've piled together some of the best Grand Rapids has to offer.
Noto's Old World Italian Dining $$$
This Italian restaurant has graced Grand Rapids since 1997 with its rich wine and old world Italian cuisine. This atmospheric gem brings the perfect setting for that special date night or a fun night out with friends. Noto's menu offers something for everyone to enjoy. With being family owned, the Noto family cherishes their customers and treats them like part of their own. They ensure everyone that walks through their doors loves their meal and experiences only the best service.
Pietro's Italian Restaurant $$
You have not experienced Italian until you have visited Pietro’s. Founded by Pietro, an Italian immigrant in the early 1900’s, his restaurant carries on the Italian traditions of using locally grown ingredients and making fresh, homemade entrees for all his friends and family. Pietro’s takes pride in their quality which has never faltered and the restaurant has over 15 awards and recognitions to prove it. Step into Pietro’s to be swept away to a rustic eatery straight out of Italy, right here in Grand Rapids.
Named from the famous horse race in Siena, Italy, Palio’s atmosphere and menu match the vibrant energy and traditional spirit of this well-loved event. Opened only a few years ago, this Grand Rapids eatery has already received the love and support of Italian food lovers as most historic restaurants do today. Palio is a wonderful place to enjoy happy hour drinks with friends and experience classic and eclectic meals.
Amore Trattoria Italiana $$
This beautiful restaurant has a story to make every romantic's heart flutter. A West Michigan woman and an Italian man fell in love and Amore was born right outside the city in Comstock Park. Sticking to the tradition of sourcing ingredients locally, Amore takes pride in their transparency. They have created relationships all over West Michigan and in Italy where their wine is sourced. Amore has created a diverse menu that brings an unforgettable taste to Italian food.
Fred's Italian Restaurant $$
A young man named Fred brought a slice of Sicily with him to Grand Rapids in the early 60’s and we can’t thank him enough. Once a pizzeria, this now full-fledged restaurant has a large menu with classic and original Italian dishes that has put Fred’s on the map and has allowed Fred’s family to carry on the tradition.
Salvatore's Italian Restaurant & Pizza $$
Like many other Italian restaurants, Salvatore's is proudly family-owned and takes Italy's old world recipes and makes them specially their own. This hardworking family has made Salvatore's a place to remember with a homey environment, welcoming atmosphere and its superior menu. The family prides itself on quality while sticking to tradition and that is why they won many awards showcasing their determination in making Salvatore's one of the best Italian restaurants in Grand Rapids. There's a reason this place is well-loved amongst West Michigan customers, so stop by to be welcomed into their family and taste all they have to offer.
Carlos Italian Pizzeria $$
Are you looking for a new pizza place that’s outside the major chains? Carlos’s is a small pizzeria that has a large selection of specialty pizzas and a build your own option that will satisfy any pizza lovers craving. Alongside pizza, subs, wings and Stromboli's are available also to pick up as take-out or dine in. If you want to broaden your pizza horizons, order from Carlos Italian Pizzeria on Plainfield Avenue to experience a little slice of Italy’s pizza.
Uccello’s Ristorante $$
We all know and love this Italian chain restaurant. While it separates itself from many others on this list, Uccello’s dishes are delicious and memorable with its classic Italian entrees and American and Mexican choices for a bit of diversity. Family's flock to this well-known restaurant to enjoy some bites and laughs.