I have a confession. I’m a carboholic.
One of my absolute favorite things to do on a weekend night is for Lily and I to head to any of the fantastic Italian restaurants in Minneapolis and load up on delicious pasta.
Over the years, that’s been a LOT of pasta. (With some pizza and Italian appetizers thrown in for good measure!) But it also means that we’ve curated a list of our go-to favorites.
In this post, Lily and I are sharing that list with you. Read on for our 6 best Italian restaurants in Minneapolis.
(PS – Willing to make the 10 minute drive to the other Twin City? St. Paul has a rich Italian history, and we’d argue is the undisputed King of Italian food in the Twin Cites. So of course, we wrote a guide for the best Italian restaurants in St. Paul, too.)
Map of the Best Italian Restaurants in Minneapolis
Bar La Grasa
In our opinion, Bar La Grasa is not just the best Italian restaurant in North Loop, Minneapolis, but it’s probably our favorite in all of Minneapolis.
The vibe of this super cool spot is everything you’d expect from its warehouse district location. Brick walls, massive wooden beams, exposed ductwork. But as fun as that is, we really don’t care, because it’s all about the amazing Italian food at “BLG.”
Their now-famous Bruschetta has taken the Twin Cities by storm. Their most popular version, by far, is the one with soft eggs and lobster. But don’t sleep on the ricotta with pickled tomato bruschetta either.
As far as pasta, it’s pretty much perfection. The pillow soft Gnocchi with Cauliflower and Orange is the fan favorite. That said, we can’t seem to avoid ordering the simple yet amazing Fettucinne Alfredo on each visit. And we’re always surprised by some unusual combinations, like Cavatelli with Rabbit, Parpardelle with Veal Ragu, or even some of their raw tuna pasta.
- Address: 800 N Washington Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55401
- Website: Bar La Grassa
Broders’ Pasta Bar (and Broders’ Cucina Italiana, plus Terzo!)
Broder’s is a Twin Cities legend that just keeps getting better. Broders’ Cucina Italiana opened in 1982. In 1994, the Broder family doubled down on delicious Italian food by opening up Broders’ Pasta bar, right across the street. Then, in 2013, the family tripled down by opening up a third spot next to both those restaurants, with their newest concept, Terzo.
If you’re finding it hard to keep up with three separate Italian restaurants within a 100 foot radius, here’s the breakdown:
- Broders’ Cucina Italiana: A casual Italian deli. Order delicious pasta, salads, and pizza by the slice at the counter, take a number, then browse the fully stocked Italian grocery store while you wait for a table to open up and your food to be delivered.
- Broders’ Pasta Bar: A more formal sit-down Italian restaurant. Pricier pasta plates with full service, including a fancy machine with multiple choices of “tap wine.” Great service, delicious meals.
- Terzo: A wine bar concept famous for their Italian Porchetta Sandwiches. They also have a collection of appetizers, small plates, and large plates.
They’re all fantastic, so it really just depends on what you’re in the mood for.
Our personal favorite is the casual atmosphere of Broder’s Cucina Italiana. The fact this reasonably priced menu also serves some of the most legendary pasta around is just icing on the cake. For me, it’s all about their number one seller, the fresh and saucy Fettuccine Bolognese. Guy Fieri from Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives and agrees.
- Broders Cucina Italiana Address: 2308 W 50th St, Minneapolis, MN 55410
- Broders Cucina Italiana Website: Broders’
- Broders Pasta Bar Address: 5000 Penn Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55419
- Broders Pasta Bar Website: Broders’ Pasta Bar
- Terzo Address: 2221 W 50th St, Minneapolis, MN 55419
- Terzo Website: Terzo
Zelo is a fantastic Italian restaurant in Minneapolis that’s also a critic’s favorite. Known for seasonal ingredients, top notch service, and a beautiful space, it’s hard to beat Zelo for a perfect night out.
Try the ultra popular Butternut Squash Ravioli for a unique spin, or the Tortiglioni Rossa for a spicy kick.
- Address: 831 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55402
- Website: Zelo
ie Italian Eatery
Located near Lake Nakomis, ie Italian Eatery is a neighborhood favorite. You wouldn’t guess from the well-designed space, but this is a mom and pop shop through and through. We especially love the rustic touches inside and the beautiful patio outside. (Complete with greenery and string lights!) Perfect for a laid-back date night.
As far as the food, they’re doing pasta right. Mushroom Cappalletti is the #1 hit, and one bite into this rich and creamy filled-pasta, and you’ll be singing its praises. We’ll also throw a shoutout to the popular Steamed Mussels, which are elevated to that next level with some limoncello butter.
- Address: 4724 Cedar Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55407
- Website: ie Italian Eatery
Mucci’s has been Lily’s favorite Italian restaurant in St. Paul for a while. Now that they’ve expanded to a second location in Uptown, we’re happy to add them to the Minneapolis list, too!
Mucci’s is a trendy spot with a short Italian menu, where single every item is a total home run.
The handful of pastas are all fantastic, although we have trouble prying ourselves away from their now legendary Lasagna Mucci. Their woodfired pizzas come with a fried crust (yes, you read that right…) which puts them on our list of best pizza in Minneapolis. And their appetizer menu is packed with all sorts of winners, like a delicious Garlic Montanara bread or the unexpectedly awesome Hangover Kale.
- Address: 901 W Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55408
- Website: Mucci’s Minneapolis
This super popular Downtown/North Loop Minneapolis restaurant has some of the city’s best pizza and pasta. From Spaghetti and Meatballs to Spicy Salami Pizza, Red Rabbit serves simple Italian food done right.
Although they’ve recently expanded to St. Paul, this Minneapolis location is the original. With concrete floors, brick walls, and a zinc-coutertop bar, Red Rabbit has a warm and approachable atmosphere with a hangout feel.
- Address: 201 N Washington Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55401
- Website: Red Rabbit