Eat Special Issue
Ciao Bella, Della Notte, Milan, and more
Published: March 7, 2012
306 S. High St., (410) 727-0700, aldositaly.com
$$$, D, R
This Little Italy gem assembles choice ingredients in flawless preparations, nimbly negotiating the terrain between respectfulness for old-world tradition and mindfulness of contemporary diners’ expectations.
Amicci’s of Little Italy
231 S. High St., (410) 528-1096, amiccis.com
$$, L, D, R
A no-frills, moderately priced Italian comfort-food wonder palace. Try the luscious eggplant parmigiana along with one of Amicci’s reasonably priced glasses of wine.
223 S. High St., (410) 547-0820, caesarsden.com
$$$, L, D, R
A testament to the pleasures of basic, solidly constructed Neapolitan cuisine. Tender veal and plump shrimp star on a menu that respects traditional preparations with food that feels like the home cooking of a native.
Café Gia Ristorante
410 S. High St., (410) 685-6727, cafegias.com
$$, L, D, R, Out
A happy vibe and hearty Sicilian food without the fussiness (or prices) of most Little Italy restaurants. Nearly everything is made in-house, including traditional desserts like cannoli and tiramisu. If homemade gnocchi is on the menu, try it.
237 S. High St., (410) 837-0309, chiapparellis.com
$$$, L, D, R
The cozy family-style atmosphere in this established Little Italy restaurant screams, “That’s amore!” The legendary Italian house salad is worth the trip, and the generous portions of the very traditional house specialties satisfy.
236 S. High St., (410) 685-7733, cbella.com
$$, L, D, R, Out
All the classic Italian-American dishes served straight up in a friendly environment.
829 Eastern Ave., (410) 539-1965, dalesios.com
$$, L, D, R , Out
The old favorites get some interesting updates and variations in this fine-dining take on the Little Italy usual.
217 S. High St., (410) 727-6876, damimmo.com
$$$, l, D, R, P
Old-school Little Italy luxury dining, serving delectable Italian-American standards and huge platters of the freshest antipasti. The food is fantastic, the wine list long, and the prices more palatable after a stop downstairs for a stiff cocktail.
801 Eastern Ave., (410) 837-5500, dellanotte.com
$$$, L, D, R, P
Free, on-premises parking in Little Italy is but the first happy surprise. The dramatic exterior belies the goodness inside—an intimate dining room, good bread, and a thoughtful mix of the traditional and the ambitious.
300 S. High St., (410) 752-4515, germanostrattoria.com
$$$, L, D, R, Out
Redoubtable Tuscan specialties rule here, along with weekly cabaret performances.
411 S. High St., (410) 385-4900, india-rasoi.com
$$, L, D
Sauces are the hallmark of really good Indian food, and at this Little Italy mainstay rich, spicy masalas and vindaloos and tangy chutneys and raitas dress tender cubes of chicken, beef, or lamb. Creamy, sweet kormas complement peas and veggie dumplings.
Isabella’s Brick Oven Pizza
221 S. High St., (410) 962-8888, isabellasbrickoven.net
$, L, D, BYOB
A brick oven makes almost everything taste a little better, not least Isabella’s focused menu of pies and sandwiches.
313 S. High St., (410) 547-7900, maxempanadas.com
$, L, D
This semi-recent addition to Little Italy brings something to Baltimore we didn’t know we were missing: Argentine empanadas. Max’s wraps delicious savory bits into a tightly wound dough wrapper and bakes ’em to flaky perfection.
1000 Eastern Ave., (410) 685-6111, onemilan.com
$$$, D, Br, R, Out, 10 p.m.
This newish spot boasts a very swank contempo vibe and an ambitious menu of contempo takes on Italian cuisine—including Italian sushi.
Mo’s Crab and Pasta Factory
502 Albemarle St., (410) 837-1600, mosseafood.com
$$$, L, D
Combine traditional Baltimore crab dishes with hearty Italian cuisine and a pub-like atmosphere and you get Mo’s.
1300 Bank St., (410) 522-6900, piedigrottabakery.com
$$, B, L, BYOB, Out
The world’s friendliest bakery offers up not only a full range of breads and sweets, but also filling focaccias, paninis, etc. for lunch. Serves lovely prix fixe dinners on weekends during the summer.
901 Fawn St., (410) 727-9414, sabatinos.com
$$$, L, D, R, 10 p.m.
The menu is a greatest hits of Italian comfort food, with large servings of chicken Parmigiana and fried calamari presented with a large side of spaghetti or salad. The place itself is a Baltimore institution.
1012 Eastern Ave., (410) 783-9209, lascaladining.com
$$$, D, R
Veal-lovers will adore this mid-level Little Italy restaurant. If veal won’t fly, try seafood or, better yet, chicken, which gets the same loving treatment.
248 Albemarle St., (410) 685-1859, la-tavola.com
$$$, L, D, R
An option in Little Italy for diners looking for some innovation, skillful preparations, and a well-dressed but relaxed atmosphere. The fettucine paglia e fieno alla romana is recommended.
Vaccaro’s Italian Pastry Shop
222 Ablemarle St., (410) 685-4905, vaccarospastry.com
$, b, L, D, Out, 10 p.m.
Vaccaro’s gives delightful lie to the notion that Italian sweets go no further than spumoni and cannoli. Buttery cookies in a myriad of shapes, frostings, and flavors, gargantuan éclairs, mountainous ice-cream confections—dessert has never been bigger.