Comedian John Pinette used to joke how he would go into Italian restaurants, and then in Italian, say “sono affamato,” or roughly “feed me, I'm hungry.” Italian restaurants in Michigan have long succeeded in satisfying customers with truly authentic cuisine. So settle in, tuck in your bib, loosen your belt a notch or two and try 10 great Italian restaurants in Michigan.
While Three Rivers mainstay Paisano's may not be long on anyone's list, it's a personal favorite of mine for one particularly good reason. The food at Paisano's is sound food. From bruschetta to cheeseburgers and a variety of pasta dishes are on hand here. Paisano's, however, ratchets things up a step by throwing in a delivery option, and even extends that delivery to beer and wine. So for anyone who's planning a night in, making Paisano's the restaurant of choice just got a whole lot easier.
It's the third and fourth words on this one that really sell it. Holland's Pereddie's Restaurant and Deli gives us not only all the best of an Italian restaurant—down to fresh-made house bread—but also a complete deli thrown in. So whether you're hungry for a full plate of pasta or some faster sandwich options, the full array of options at Pereddie's will do the job. Throw in a dining room that features an indoor patio umbrella and the casual elegance will make an already exciting experience even better.
If the name sounds way too kid-friendly for anyone's own good, never fear. Muskegon's Teddy Spaghetti's will deliver plenty of adult-friendly fare as well. Best known for its toasted ravioli—it says as much right on the sign—Teddy Spaghetti's offers a range of pizza, pasta, and appetizer options. An array of house wines make it clearly adult, while a children's menu augments the experience for the younger set as well, making it a fully family-friendly option.
Tuscan Bistro is an nassuming spot tucked away in Traverse City. Providing a particular focus on Northern Italian dishes, Tuscan Bistro is a must-visit for any Italian food lover. According to their site, they have “a dedication to fresh, seasonal ingredients and excellent serve, and a casual atmosphere.”
Italian in Escanaba? It's not as outlandish as you might think thanks to Crispigna's, a restaurant that's been cooking its food much the same way for the last four decades. A highly popular location in Escanaba, it offers a variety of appetizers—from mussels to calamari and fried ravioli—and carries on into dinner from pizza to pasta. There's even a slate of desserts from cannoli to gelato to round out the meal.
Head on out to Midland to check out Villa D' Alessandro, an Italian restaurant operating there for over 30 years. That kind of longevity speaks well of any restaurant, especially one in a comparatively cosmopolitan area like Midland. Throw in the fact that a good chunk of Villa D' Alessandro's food—including meats, cheeses and wines—are directly imported from Italy itself, and it grows much of its own produce in its own gardens, that adds up to an experience you can't readily beat.
Marro's in Saugatuck has a unique point to distinguish it: It’s only open from April through the end of September. So if you want to try some absolutely spectacular Italian, from braciole to shrimp fra diavolo, you'll have to make the trip in short order. Pizzas, appetizers and a slate of desserts including such classics as cannoli and tiramisu—try the “adults only” torta limon made with Lemoncello liquor—will have you on your feet applauding by the end of the meal.
Southfield's Bacco Ristorante has won its share of awards, and when looking closely at it, you'll see just why it's won those awards. Start with a top-notch wine list, and follow it up with hand-rolled pasta. Now that's the kind of thing that will make you look twice. When you take your third look, however, focus on the menu itself; check out authentic dishes like pappardelle and tagliatelle to realize you're dealing with a real winner.
Bravo!, a restaurant in Kalamazoo, derives some of its acclaim from its sheer versatility. Home to its own handcrafted beer line, as well as a slate of dishes ranging its calamari and a pumpkin ravioli to a slate of pizza and pasta dishes, this one has no shortage of exciting things to try. Where it really shines, though, is every Sunday morning, where it switches over to a spectacular brunch buffet menu, offering all-you-can-eat for around $20. Featuring desserts from white chocolate mousse and fruit trifle to waffles, omelets, bacon, sausage and roast beef au jus, there's plenty to like at Bravo!.
Ann Arbor's Paesano restaurant takes Italian food seriously. How seriously? Seriously enough to offer three different levels of Italian language classes, that's how seriously. A complete wine list, a gluten-free menu, and dishes ranging from the Bucatini Rustichella to the Pork Arista with Dried Fig Au Jus, all come together to make Paesano a thoroughly formidable Italian dining experience.