When I was growing up, my parents would order takeout every Friday night. My sisters and I usually opted for Chinese food or pizza, which is still true today. There’s nothing I love more than a good slice of pizza, and I try to eat at a local pizza place anytime I travel. (Hot take: Chicago pizza is better than New York, but Detroit wins them all). I’ve said this in other posts, but I’m finally realizing that I don’t need to hop on a plane to have excellent food from different cultures. Tampa has become a culinary city, and there are so many Tampa Italian restaurants that I had a hard time narrowing a few to feature. Thankfully, my followers helped curate the list below. My Tampa hidden gems series has been a lot of fun so far, and I can’t wait to continue sharing my finds with you all. You can find other roundups in this series here.
10 Tampa Italian Restaurants You’ll Absolutely Love
I haven’t visited all of these spots myself, but I only included the recommendations that come from people I trust. I also checked Yelp and Trip Advisor reviews because people are usually brutally honest when reviewing restaurants online. I want to include a range of price points, and I’ll denote how expensive a restaurant is below.
One dollar sign: $1-$10 per person
Two dollar signs: $11-$30 per person
Three dollar signs: $31-$60
Four dollar signs: $61+
H2 Kitchen Pizzeria
One reviewer describes H2 Kitchen and Pizzeria as “well worth the wait,” and the pictures make me believe it. Hand-tossed pizza, wings, and pasta — it’s hard to beat that. After looking at the menu (I’m eyeing the buffalo chicken pizza myself), I’ve added it to our must-try takeout list.
4.5/5 stars on Yelp, $, 6113 North Florida Ave, Tampa
The NONA Slice House
I spend almost all of my time in Hillsborough and Pasco counties, so it can be challenging to find Pinellas restaurants I love. However, I have friends who live in St. Pete, so I always try new places while I’m in the area. NONA offers a crafted cocktail menu, live music, and an impressive pizza menu. It’s also family-owned, so you get to support a small business.
4.5/5 stars on Yelp, $$, 997 Main St, Safety Harbor
Seminole Heights has its fair share of really great restaurants, and Lee’s Grocery is no exception. Originally built in 1884, it’s a cozy space with an extensive craft beer selection. This isn’t a spot with a huge menu, so if you’re picky, I’d check the menu out ahead of time. But I’d try it anyway — the items that are on the menu all look divine.
4.5/5 stars on Yelp, $$, 2210 N Central Ave, Tampa
Bravo NY Pizzeria
Located in downtown Safety Harbor, Bravo NY Pizzeria is a no-nonsense spot with some delicious pizza. They also have strombolis, ravioli, calzones, hoagies, and Italian desserts. It’s also down the road from NONA, so if you want to take a tour of Safety Harbor’s Italian fare, you can walk Main Street and find yummy treats.
4/5 stars on Yelp, $, 100 Main St Ste 104, Safety Harbor
Calling Cappy’s a hidden gem might be a stretch, but it’s so good that I had to include it in this roundup of Tampa Italian restaurants. They have five Tampa locations — New Tampa, Riverview, South Tampa, St. Pete, and Seminole Heights — which means you can find it pretty much wherever you are in the area. Cappy’s has also won a Best of the Bay award from Creative Loafing Tampa nine times, which is an impressive feat.
4/5 stars on Yelp, $$, various locations
Santoro’s is brand new in the area, and it’s already becoming a beloved spot. I have to share one of the funniest Yelp reviews I’ve ever read that tells you all you need to know: “I wanted to hate this place. You walk into a harshly lit concrete block of NY sports crap. This only appeals to a tiny fraction around here. […] How can they make a decent pizza? But holy shit. This pizza is good. Im talking top 3 in Tampa where, contrary to popular opinion, theres tons of decent pizza.”
4.5/5 stars on Yelp, $, 1329 W Cass St, Tampa
Old Northeast Pizza
Even looking at this picture makes me drool. Old Northeast is open until 2AM, making it great fare for late-night drunk food, but it’s just as good during the day. You can get a slice for $3, and they only accept cash, although there’s an ATM on site. It isn’t the chicest spot in town, but the food lives up to the hype.
4/5 stars on Yelp, $, 718 2nd St N, St. Petersburg
Mazzaro’s Italian Market
Mazzaro’s offers some of the best homemade bread and pastries in Tampa Bay. Go during the week for a chiller vibe, because weekends are pretty busy here. Even though they’re known for their bread, there’s a sandwich menu with nearly 30 options. Mazzaro’s is a grocery store at heart, so be ready to shop.
4.5/5 stars on Yelp, $$, 2909 22nd Ave N, Saint Petersburg
Moschella’s Italian Eatery & Market
Moschella’s hasn’t been open for long, but it’s been a welcome addition to Wesley Chapel. Be prepared to wait in line when you go — it’s pretty busy around lunchtime. It’s worth the wait, though. The dessert and sandwiches we’ve gotten from here are legendary.
4.5/5 stars on Yelp, $$, 5648 Post Oak Blvd, Wesley Chapel
Vino E Pasta
South Tampa readers, this suggestion is for you! Vino E Pasta offers an authentic Italian experience with more than 50 wine selections and delicious meals made from scratch. You get to build your own pasta dish, picking from a wide range of noodles and sauces. I’ll be dreaming of their pesto bolognese.
4/5 stars on Yelp, $$, 3603 W Gandy Blvd, Tampa