Italian-American food has a large-known influence from traditional southern immigrants of southern Italy. The first wave of immigrants from Italy found a home in the major cities in the United States, but in Minnesota, there is an impressive list of authentic Italian dining places with original recipes. Each has a rich history with variations on the menu and all of them are known to offer exceptional fresh food at the right price.
625 Marquette Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55402
Sorrento Cucina has been an authentic Italian restaurant located in the heart of downtown Minneapolis since 1992. It is a family owned and operated restaurant that has earned a respectful presence in the Minneapolis skyway system. Sorrento offers delicious, fresh and quickly made original food (pastas, sausages, pizza and more) that meets the needs of busy, hardworking Minnesotans. It also provides exceptional customer service and serves up large portions for a reasonable price. It is a cozy location, but definitely becomes crowded during peak lunch hours.
Yarusso-Bros. Italian Restaurant
635 Payne Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55130
Yarusso is a signature Italian restaurant in the Twin Cities that has been around for many generations. First founded in 1933 by Francesco Yarusso, the restaurant has evolved over time and continues to proudly serve the community of St. Paul. The family-owned restaurant is your typical Italian joint, with a grandma-style of cooking that includes large pasta portions fused with a signature secret sauce that differentiates the taste from the competition. The items on the menu are reasonably priced as well. Check out the pasta bucket specials, grab dinner on Thursday with a complimentary glass of wine and bring the kids in to eat free on Sundays.
981 Sibley Memorial Highway
Lilydale, MN 55118
I Nonni is an award-winning spot and one of the best Italian restaurants Minnesota has to offer. Every dish is an authentic Italian original cooked with ultimate care and absolute passion. I Nonni has an extraordinary menu selection of Italian wines along with a superb lineup of main courses like the beef carpaccio, the calamari fritti and a fresh selection of seafood goodies. With a modern design, nice decor, a chic layout and high vaulted ceilings, it’s an attractive high-end dining place to grab the most delicious original recipes in town.
2451 Hennepin Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55405
Rinata Restaurant, the name Rinata signifies the word rebirth, is another Italian standout located in Uptown Minneapolis. It can be quickly separated from other neighboring competitors that consist of coffee shops and pizzerias. The menu is the byproduct of and inspired from the different corners of Italy. But at the core of its successful enterprise lies its stellar and fresh pasta. Rinata changes its main dishes on a regular basis, offering a completely innovative eating experience of various Italian recipes. The spaghetti and meatballs or the oxtail agnolotti are well-priced items definitely worth a try.
360 St. Peter St.
St. Paul, MN 55102
Pazzaluna is another award-winning and critically acclaimed location that has been business since 1998. Considered to be a top-notch Italian favorite, it has managed to capture the hearts of hungry Italian-eating Minnesotans for years. Pazzaluna has a beautiful decor, not to mention the eye-catching mural-adorned dining room, and includes signature dishes like the grilled calamari, fresh gnocchi and the veal chops stuffed with prosciutto and fontina.
Anthony Carranza is a freelance writer covering all things Minnesota related to tech, social media, news, and local happenings around the Twin Cities. His work can be found at Examiner.com.