306 S. High St., (410) 727-0700, aldositaly.com
Start with cream of asparagus soup and the wild mushroom risotto, then splurge with the tournedos Rossini filet mignon dish, holding your nose over the foie gras.
231 S. High St., (410) 528-1096, amiccis.com
Totally affordable Italian entrees in a friendly, casual atmosphere. A big "yes, please" to tortellini with peas and ham.
410 S. High St., (410) 685-6727, cafegiabaltimore.com/
The toasted lunch sandwiches, especially the eggplant alla parmigiana, are classics. For dinner, the ravioli pescatore is a highlight.
237 S. High St., (410) 837-0309, chiapparellis.com
Since 1940, the familial atmosphere and great service here have passed through the generations. The garlicky salad has long made Little Italy proud.
236 S. High St., (410) 685-7733, therealciaobella.com
Ciao Bella takes the best from up and down the Boot. Its veal saltimbocca—veal with prosciutto and saged mushroom Marsala sauce—is to die for.
217 S. High St., (410) 727-6876, damimmo.com
Upscale Italian serving both family specialties and finely executed classics—don't know into which category the divine porcini mushroom risotto falls, but it hardly matters.
829 Eastern Ave., (410) 539-1965, dalesios.com
Unlike some of Little Italy's options, this Northern Italian-focused mainstay emphasizes flavor over portion size. A favorite for large parties.
300 S. High St., (410) 752-4515, germanospiattini.com
Get dolled up for a night at Germano's, especially if you're seeing one of its many shows, be it cabaret or otherwise. Pair up a nice cheese with a cured meat or olive, and then pick an entree from the contemporary Italian menu, like the maiale al forno: braised pork, a fried egg, and a blood orange glaze.
1300 Bank St., (410) 753-1403, heavyseasalehouse.com
The downtown outpost of the Halethorpe brewery serves up a mix of dressed-up bar food—like spicy beer nuts and soft pretzel sticks—and fine cuisine, like flat-iron steak and shepherd's pie. Beer pairings are suggested for each entree.
221 S. High St., (410) 962-8888, isabellas.biz
This cozy Little Italy eatery arguably bakes up the best pizza in the neighborhood. Crusts have that nice crispy char, the sauce has a little zip, and the toppings are plentiful.
313 S. High St., (443) 835-4866, joebennys.com
Sometimes a thin crust just doesn't cut it. Thankfully, the specialty here is focaccia (aka super thick, breadlike dough for Sicilian-style pizza). It also serves other Southern Italian small plates and paninis—don't miss out on the meatballs.
1012 Eastern Ave., (410) 783-9209, lascaladining.com
An indoor bocce court rounds out the experience here, which, if you're willing to lay out some extra cash, should include the amazing brodetto alla vastese—a light, spicy broth served over seasonal seafood and linguine.
248 Albemarle St., (410) 685-1859, la-tavola.com
Fresh house-made pasta and sauces make for good eats, but the thinly sliced veal in the vitello alla norcina here is truly divine.
Mo’s Crab and Pasta Factory
502 Albemarle St., (410) 837-1600, mosseafood.com
Crab dip and clams casino meet ravioli and angel hair at this Italian-and-seafood hub.
300 S. Exeter St., (410) 685-6847, mugsbistro.com
Marion Mugavero (or Mugs, as he is known) set up a sandwich shop in Little Italy almost 70 years ago. Over the last couple years it has been renovated by his son, Greg Mugavero, and still provides the same great breakfast and lunch sandwiches.
323 S. Central Ave., (410) 327-0023, mythaibaltimore.com
This authentic Thai spot adds some variety to Little Italy's selections. The ka pow really lives up to its name with garlic and chili flavors—and if you get it "Thai style" it comes with sliced beef, crispy shallots, and a fried egg. Careful: The curries can get tongue-numbingly spicy.
806 Stiles St., (410) 528-2710, ozra.us
A stylish and simple modern restaurant that serves traditional Persian and Mediterranean fare. Tender and succulent skewered items—jujeh (Cornish hen), barg (marinated tenderloin), and beef kubideh (ground sirloin with onions)—won't fail you. Lunch is served Friday through Sunday.
Piedigrotta Italian Bakery and Pasta Shop
1300 Bank St., Suite 140, (410) 522-6900, piedigrottabakery.com
$$, B, L, D, BYOB, Out, R
A vast array of Italian treats—including the owner—greets customers of this Little Italy staple: pane, grottoni, crostates, tortes, and more. You can also buy some freshly prepared lasagna to pass off as your own at home. Piedigrotta also serves sit-down dinners year-round.
Sabatino’s Italian Restaurant
901 Fawn St., (410) 727-9414, sabatinos.com
Southern/Central Italian specialties, but a good bet is the bookmaker salad to open, with the fettuccine Felicia to close.
Vaccaro’s Italian Pastry Shop
222 Albemarle St., (410) 685-4905, vaccarospastry.com
From cannolis to cakes, and paninis to muffuletta, there's no other place like this to have a light Italian meal or dessert, washed down with a cappuccino or specialty cocktail.
411 S. High St., (410) 385-4900
This place, which opened last spring, has a pretty delectable lamb-centric menu (with a free lamb soup for a starter) and is a good dining option if you want to pass on pasta.