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Where to Find the Best Italian Food in Reno | 6 Must-Try Places

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Often overshadowed by its glitzy neighbor, Las Vegas, Reno is a hidden gem—especially when it comes to food. If you’re someone who appreciates a good meal, you’re in the right place. 

While the city boasts a diverse culinary scene—from sushi bars to farm-to-table joints—today, we’re focusing on a cuisine that warms the soul: Italian. Who can resist the allure of creamy risottos, heavenly pizzas, and pasta that’s cooked just al dente? Not me, that’s for sure.

Prepare to be pleasantly surprised. The Reno Italian restaurants here are so authentic that you might catch yourself talking with your hands and saying “Ciao, Bella!” before you know it.

So, what’s cooking in Reno’s Italian food scene? Well, a whole lot of deliciousness, if you ask me. Whether it’s an intimate date night you’re planning or just a casual dinner with friends, I’ve got you covered. 

In this article, we’re diving fork-first into the six must-try Italian restaurants in Reno, Nevada. Each place we’ll explore has its own unique charm, from rustic dishes that remind you of grandma’s cooking to modern takes that would make even a Milanese chef nod in approval.

Ready to embark on a culinary journey through Italy, but with a Reno twist? Keep reading! Trust me, by the end of this article, you’ll be reaching for your phone to make a reservation in one of the best Italian restaurants in Reno!

My Top Three Picks of The Best Italian Food In Reno

Restaurant Top PickOur Rating
Johnny’s Ristorante ItalianoVeal5/5
La StradaMushroom Ravioli5/5
Zozo’s RistoranteMarsala Chicken5/5

The Six Best Italian Food Restaurants in Reno, Nevada

Johnny’s Ristorante Italiano

4245 W. 4th St., Reno, NV 89523, United States // +17757474511

You know those restaurants that stand the test of time, becoming almost legendary in the process? Johnny’s Ristorante Italiano is that spot in Reno, and boy, does it live up to its reputation! 

This place has been serving up delectable Italian dishes since 1966. That’s right, 1966! Founded by Johnny and Mary Cassinari, it’s like stepping into a time capsule of culinary excellence, but with a fresh twist that keeps you coming back for more.

From the moment you walk in, you’ll feel elegant yet oh—so—cozy ambiance. It’s the sort of place where you’ll want to dress up but feel completely at home, a perfect blend of upscale and comforting. 

The menu? A mouthwatering journey through Italy’s finest. I had the pesto gnocchi, and let me tell you, each bite was a mini-vacation to the Italian Riviera. Cooked to perfection and oozing with flavors, I had to pause for a moment just to savor it. 

pesto gnocchi Best Italian Food in Reno

And don’t even get me started on the garlic bread. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t consider making a meal solely from it. Crispy, warm, and oh-so-garlicky—it’s the stuff of carb dreams.

But the showstopper, the dish that practically brought a tear to my eye, was the veal. So tender that it practically melted on my tongue. Accompanied by the antipasti platter and a glass of wine that was nothing short of divine, it rounded out a dining experience that was near-perfect. 

I say “near-perfect” only because I couldn’t sample dessert—I was too stuffed!

So, if you find yourself in Reno and want Italian food that will make your heart sing, Johnny’s Ristorante Italiano is a no-brainer!

La Cucina

3600 Lakeside Dr., Reno, NV 89509, United States // +17758263939

If you love Johnny’s Ristorante Italiano, prepare for an encore performance with a casual twist at La Cucina Italian Eatery! Yup, it’s run by the same Cassinari family that gave us the iconic Johnny’s. 

Think of La Cucina as Johnny’s younger, hipper sibling who’s still steeped in the family’s culinary prowess. Casual but not lacking in quality, La Cucina’s atmosphere hits that sweet spot between laid-back and lively. 

Did I mention they have an outdoor patio? Open in spring and summer, it’s a game-changer for al fresco dining. Sip on some good wine, enjoy the open air, and relish the swift, friendly service.

Alright, let’s talk food. They start you off with bread, but it’s not just any bread. This is bread that won’t do a number on the roof of your mouth; it’s soft and uniquely tasty. Dipped in olive oil and balsamic vinegar, it sets the tone for a meal that is, dare I say it, mouthwatering.

Now, for the main event. The spicy angel hair pasta took me by surprise—in the best way. It had a kick but didn’t overpower the freshness of the pasta. 

spicy angel hair pasta

And get this: They’ve got a ton of gluten-free options. How awesome is that? It’s been a hit every time I’ve dined here, but the fresh-made pasta always steals the show for me.

So, if you’re not in the mood to go full-blown gourmet but still want authentic Italian food in Reno, La Cucina is your spot.

You get the family heritage of Johnny’s but in a more relaxed environment. It’s the perfect Italian eatery to keep things chill without skimping on the quality. Seriously, what’s not to love?

Mario’s Portofino Ristorante

1505 S. Virginia St., Reno, NV 89502, United States // +17758257779

This spot is old-school Italian, and I mean that with the utmost respect. Think booths that look like they’ve been lifted straight from a Rat Pack hangout and decor that screams ’60s chic but in a way that’s charmingly vintage.

So, what’s the vibe? Picture being enveloped in a warm hug the moment you walk through the door. Everyone from the staff to fellow diners makes you feel like you’re part of the family. 

Now, for the food! I kicked off my culinary adventure with a Caprese salad. Simple? Maybe. Delicious? Absolutely. A classic done well sets the stage, and Mario’s did not disappoint. 

seafood risotto

But hold on because the seafood risotto is a showstopper. I’d go as far as saying it’s an opera of flavors and textures, from the perfectly cooked rice to the succulent seafood. Add some cheese? Why not? When in Reno—scratch that—when in Mario’s, do as the Romans do.

Let’s talk drinks, shall we? Whatever concoction they’re mixing up behind that bar, it’s doing the trick. I mean, what’s an Italian feast without some fine vino or a killer cocktail? 

Now, brace yourselves for dessert. The panna cotta is like the mic drop at the end of a jaw-dropping concert.

Word to the wise: Mario’s is a hotspot, so reservations are highly recommended. Trust me, this is one chapter in Reno’s Italian food story you won’t want to skip!

La Strada

345 N. Virginia St., Reno, NV 89501, United States // +17753483401

Let’s talk about a place where you might want to put on your finest attire and make it a date night to remember. I’m pointing my gastronomic compass toward La Strada, nested like a hidden gem within the Eldorado Resort Casino. 

Fancy? You bet. Stuffy? Not a chance. La Strada marries sophistication with warmth in a way that only an Italian restaurant can.

From the get-go, you’re welcomed into a space that oozes elegance but maintains an intimate charm. You feel like you’re part of an exclusive club—but a really friendly one, where everyone knows the secret handshake is just a fork poised for some divine eats.

Okay, let’s dive straight into the dish that I still dream about, the Mushroom Ravioli. I can see why people rave that it’s one of the best in the country. Each ravioli is a cloud-like pocket of earthy, rich flavors, practically melting on the tongue.

mushroom ravioli

And for my fellow carnivores, the Lamb Chops are a must-try. Pan-seared to perfection and served with cremini mushrooms and a demi glaze that should probably have its own fan club.

Ready for a sugar high? Don’t skip the Tiramisu paired with coffee Espresso gelato. It’s the dessert equivalent of a standing ovation. I’ll even go on record and give both the food and the service a resounding 10 out of 10.

Since we’re talking about a hot ticket in town, reservations are pretty much mandatory. Believe me, a table at La Strada is a Reno Italian jackpot you’ll definitely want to hit!

La Famiglia

170 S. Virginia St., Reno, NV 89501, United States // +17753241414

Say “ciao” to La Famiglia Ristorante Italiano, a spot that manages to be both laid-back and oh-so-elegant. 

Now, I don’t use the word “tradition” lightly, but La Famiglia embodies it in every sense. Picture an Old-World-inspired menu that could rival your Italian grandma’s recipe book, a wine list that reads like a sommelier’s dream, and an ambiance that immediately makes you think, “I’m gonna like it here.” And you will. Trust me!

The moment of truth comes when you take that first bite. For me, it was the Beef Carpaccio. Fresh, thinly sliced, and seasoned to perfection. It’s the sort of dish that makes you pause and appreciate the culinary artistry at play.

As for the entrées? Allow me to sing the praises of the special Ciopino and a Caesar salad that’s anything but ordinary. The Ciopino brims with the kind of deep, seafood-infused flavors that leave you scooping up every last morsel.

Beef Carpaccio

 And the Caesar salad? It’s the understated backup singer who totally deserves their own solo.

Now, a word on the wine. La Famiglia’s wine list is like an Italian treasure map, where X marks the perfect pairing for your meal. I found a gem that elevated my dinner from great to unforgettable.

So, the verdict? High marks all around for food, ambiance, and service. At La Famiglia, you’re not just a customer; you’re part of the famiglia. And once you dine here, you’ll definitely want to keep it in the family!

Zozo’s Ristorante

3446 Lakeside Dr., Reno, NV 89509, United States // +17758299449

If you’re after an Italian eatery that feels like you’ve just stepped into a rustic Roman trattoria, then look no further. Welcome to Zozo’s Ristorante—Reno’s ultimate foodie sanctuary. 

The vibe here? Cozy to the core. Think exposed-brick walls, a relaxed atmosphere, and service that makes you feel like the guest of honor at an Italian feast.

Let’s cut to the chase—the food is jaw-dropping good. Generous portions? Oh, you better believe it. Our waiter was a culinary Sherpa, guiding us through the menu with expertise. 

We kicked off the feast with their appetizer, Lobster Ravioli. Folks, this was the real deal. Perfectly cooked, gorgeously presented, and bursting with rich lobster goodness.

Marsala Chicken

Now, I’ve got to talk about their bruschetta—served warm! If bruschetta had a glow-up, this is it. 

Moving on to mains, I was caught between the Marsala Chicken and the Calamari Steak. So, I tried both. Zero regrets. Each bite was like a mini-vacation to the Italian countryside.

So, if you’re looking for your new “it” spot in Reno for Italian fare, Zozo’s Ristorante has got to be on your radar. It’s not just a meal; it’s an experience, one that’ll have you rushing back for an encore.

Frequently Asked Questions About Italian Food In Reno: Foodies Also Ask

Why is Reno considered a good place for Italian cuisine?

Reno may be known for its casinos and the “Biggest Little City” vibe, but it’s also a hidden gem for Italian food lovers. The Reno Italian food scene here is rich and diverse, blending old-world traditions with innovative twists. It’s a culinary roulette where you almost always win!

What kinds of Italian restaurants can I find in Reno?

The spectrum is broad and delicious! From family-run spots like Johnny’s Ristorante Italiano to the upscale elegance of La Strada inside Eldorado Resort, you’ve got options. Whether you’re craving hearty pasta dishes, gourmet pizzas, or fine Italian wines, Reno has got you covered.

Are there gluten-free Italian options available?

Absolutely! Places like La Cucina Italian Eatery offer a variety of gluten-free dishes so you can enjoy Italian flavors without the worry. Gluten-free pasta, anyone?

Do these restaurants offer vegetarian or vegan options?

Yes, most of Reno’s Italian joints are happy to accommodate vegetarians and often vegans, too. From plant-based pasta dishes to meat-free pizzas, you can still experience the essence of Italy without the meat.

Do I need to make reservations?

Some of the more upscale or popular spots definitely recommend it, especially on weekends. If you’ve got your heart set on a place like Mario’s Portofino Ristorante, it’s a good idea to book ahead.

Wrapping Up: Where to Find the Best Italian Food in Reno

So, there you have it, folks—a whirlwind tour of Reno’s absolutely irresistible Italian food landscape. The “Biggest Little City in the World” might be renowned for its glittering casinos and electrifying nightlife, but let me tell you, the culinary scene is no less dazzling, especially when it comes to Italian cuisine.

 What makes this place truly stand out is the variety and authenticity on offer. Whether you’re looking for a casual spot to chow down on some spaghetti with the fam or seeking a romantic evening enveloped by soft lighting and the aroma of truffle oil, Reno has something to suit every taste and occasion.

Now, if you’re like me, part of the joy of eating Italian food is the vibrant atmosphere that usually comes with it. And Reno delivers on that front, too. Reno’s Italian dining isn’t just about filling your belly; it’s a full-on experience. 

Think curated wine lists, warm and welcoming staff, and spaces designed with the kind of charm that’ll make you want to linger over that last sip of espresso just a little bit longer.

Don’t forget that Italian cuisine is as much about the ingredients as it is about love and tradition. From freshly made pasta to organically sourced vegetables, you’re not just eating a meal; you’re partaking in a culinary story that spans generations.

 As you can probably tell, I’m more than a little passionate about this topic. So, take my advice: don’t let the neon lights of Reno distract you too much. In between the slots and the shows, make sure to pull up a chair at one of its many Italian eateries. Your taste buds will thank you!

While in Reno don’t miss out on activities that will help immerse yourself with the city (hurry while they’re hot!):

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