Italian Restaurants in Salt Lake City: 10 Best Restaurant Reviews


At 10Best, we’re always on the lookout for the best restaurants in Salt Lake City, and while we appreciate places that have a wide culinary range, we can’t help but adore restaurants that specialize in a given niche. When we crave Italian food in Salt Lake City, we head to Caffe Molise – a reader favorite – or rely on Fresco Italian Café’s solid background and consistently excellent dishes. You’ll find these places – and all of the restaurants on our list – to be fantastic options for Italian food, and if you’re looking to focus your efforts, start with the bustling downtown area.

We also understand that not every meal has to be a five-star, five-course affair, and that a bargain or hidden gem can provide as much dining satisfaction as a triple-digit tab. For this reason, the list includes the region’s cheapest favorites alongside its pricey options. If you want to be kind to your bank account, try the three-decade Salt Lake Classic, Al Forno’s.

Finally, Italian cuisine is synonymous with wine for many people. And in an area where public transport is rather scarce, it’s wise to consider dining near your hotel or restaurant. While visitors to the city center will find plenty of restaurants within walking distance of most hotels, those in the southern – and more residential – part of the Salt Lake Valley will need to do more deliberate pre-dinner research for identify the nearest restaurant. And they would be wise to appoint a sober driver for the evening.

Get ready to have fun! Salt Lake City’s Italian restaurants await your visit.

Al Forno Restaurant

Al Forno

It’s a good thing that Al Forno’s has friendly and efficient service at lunchtime, as a crowd always gathers for lunch. Differentiating itself from many Italian restaurants in Salt Lake, Al Forno’s specializes in affordable yet delicious Italian dishes. The menu includes 18 varieties of pastas, salads and pizzas. Chicken and veal dishes are succulent and flavorful, and if you need a carb fix, treat yourself to the signature lasagna or fettuccine with Bolognese or puttanesca sauce. Although the exterior may look unattractive, don’t be discouraged; Al Forno’s is one of the best restaurants in Salt Lake City.

Christine’s expert advice: Al Forno’s is one of the best bargains in Salt Lake City.

Cafe Molise

Cafe Molise

Specializing in Italian cuisine from Italy’s Molise region, this full-service restaurant serves fresh, brilliantly simple cuisine in a beautiful, upscale environment. In any month, you can enjoy dinner accompanied by Friday night live jazz performed by the John Flander Trio; in summer you can eat outside on the covered terrace. Given its location, artistic decor, and quality food, Caffé Molise is a great place to dine before a Salt Lake Symphony concert or a downtown outing. The Caffé Molise menu offers dishes such as polenta con funghi, bruchetta misto, gnocchi di patate, lasagna, pollo marsala. Walk-ins are welcome, but due to the restaurant’s relatively small size, reservations might come in handy.

Christine’s expert advice: Keep your eyes and ears open for Salt Lake City’s Spring and Fall Dine-o-Round; Caffé Molise is a regular participant in this fantastic event.



Cannella’s has become a true classic in Salt Lake City, having been in business for over three decades. In a culinary market with such fierce competition, this longevity speaks volumes about the reliable quality of food, reasonable prices, service that this restaurant consistently delivers. On the menu, a robust selection of pasta dishes, several entrees and salads, and a handful of sandwiches. Offering full service in a refined yet casual dining room, this restaurant has created an atmosphere that everyone can feel comfortable in, whether totally casual or dressed up for a night out. The clean and beautiful dining room has brick floors, dozens of black and white photographs, and wooden columns. Private parties and large groups can happily be accommodated with advance notice.

Christine’s expert advice: Check online the day of your visit for a list of daily specials.



In a sea of ​​fabulous restaurants, Tuscany manages to be among the best in Salt Lake. Winner of four Utah Best of State awards in 2010, including “Best Chef”, “Best Tuscan” and “Best Hospitality”, Tuscany has also been recognized by Zagat as one of “America’s Best Restaurants” and by Utah Business Magazine as “The best place to impress customers.” Offering an ever-changing menu, the cuisine of Tuscany draws on the freshest ingredients available to create dishes in tune with the seasons. Located towards the southern end of the Salt Lake Valley and operating out of a converted mill, Tuscany offers guests a unique ambience and off-the-beaten-path location that enhances its excellent cuisine.

Christine’s expert advice: When making a reservation during the summer, find out about the outdoor terrace.

Tony Caputo’s Market and Charcuterie

Tony Caputo

This is one of the most unique places in Utah to get Italian food. While most specialize in pasta dishes, meat dishes, and slow dinners — or pizzas — Tony Caputo instead offers deli-style dishes and imported Italian foods for sale. Lunch is the busiest meal at Cuputo, as this downtown establishment has the best reputation in town for its fresh, filling and flavorful sandwiches. These are made with homemade bread, gourmet and imported meats and cheeses, delicious sauces and fresh vegetables. On your way out, consider buying produce from the market to take home. Italian olives, truffles, chocolates, olive oils, honey, preserves, coffee, nuts and meats can be taken home to add to your own meals.

Christine’s expert advice: Check out Tony Caputo’s website to buy their many Italian imports online.

Kitchen Toscana

Kitchen Toscana

Describing itself as a “true Tuscan trattoria,” Cucina Toscana is one of Salt Lake’s top restaurants — in every category. Established by an Italian gentleman and drawing inspiration from Tuscan gastronomic traditions, Cucina Toscana creates an often-changing menu that incorporates cheeses, vegetables, pasta, legumes, mushrooms, fresh fruit and olive oil. Many main courses also include top-notch meats and seafood. Winner of dozens and dozens of awards, Cucina Toscana was honored by Salt Lake Magazine as “Best Restaurant” and “Best Italian” in Salt Lake City in 2008 and by Zagat Review as “One of the Best Restaurants of America” ​​in 2005. Cucina Toscana also hosts special occasions and parties.

Christine’s expert advice: Located in one of Salt Lake’s liveliest artsy neighborhoods, this restaurant pairs well with a stroll through a gallery.

Threesome Coffee

Threesome Coffee

Many people associate Italian cuisine with hearty meals, old traditions, dark restaurants and grandma’s secret recipes. However, Salt Lake’s wildly popular Cafe Trio does a full 180 on this stereotype. Serving light and fresh cuisine in an open, bright and modern environment, Cafe Trio has strong Italian roots and draws inspiration from it to create a simplistic and delicious à la carte menu. At Trio, you can mix and match your dishes and sides in exactly the order you want. If you’re hungry, order two main courses in a row; otherwise, order a salad and follow it with a first course. If you’re in the southern part of the Salt Lake Valley, head to Cafe Trio – Cottonwoods near the Wasatch Mountains.

Christine’s expert advice: Discover Trio’s delicious brunch.

Salt Lake Pizza and Pasta

Salt Lake Pizza and Pasta

Specializing in pizzas, pastas, sandwiches and burgers, this Italian restaurant can appeal to all palettes. Pizzas and burgers can be custom ordered and prepared with a generous selection of toppings. On the menu, you’ll see plenty of year-round items in each of these groups, as well as a separate list of seasonal items. In addition to these main food categories, Salt Lake Pizza & Pasta offers a handful of appetizers, salads, and soups. Salt Lake Pizza & Pasta offers a full bar, as well as over 30 different beers. On the way out, you can order beer growlers to take home, along with other souvenirs like pints, t-shirts, tank tops and trucker caps.

Christine’s expert advice: Check online for instructions on how to text for promotions.


Lugano offers a varied menu ranging from wood-fired pizzas and linguine and clams to grilled Atlantic salmon and braised lamb shank. Under the spotlight of numerous publications, Lugano has won numerous awards every year since being recognized as “Best New Restaurant” by Salt Lake Magazine in 2001. Among these are several nods from Zagat, Wine Spectator, Utah Best of State and Salt Lake Magazine. Lugano is about 15 minutes southeast of downtown Salt Lake City. Combining a bistro-style Italian menu with a refined, attractive and aesthetically clean interior, Lugano offers an ideal venue for a romantic date, business dinner or group gathering.

Christine’s expert advice: If you absolutely loved your meal, check out the Lugano website; dozens of recipes are displayed there.


Meet Christine Balaz

Christine Balaz began her writing career unexpectedly in Salt Lake City with her first book on skiing and travel in Wasatch in 2006. About Utah, Christine has written many articles. Learn more about Christina


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