Italian cuisine is the number one choice of food for dinning out in Florida and the rest of the nation. Therefore, there are hundreds of pasta and pizza serving restaurants in the Tampa Bay area. With so many to choose from it can get confusing trying to figure out which are the best. Don’t sweat the small stuff; we’ve made a list of Pinellas County’s best small Italian restaurants.
3054 Beach Blvd. S., Gulfport, FL 33707
No-fuss, authentic Italian dishes served in a small storefront with an outdoor garden patio. The outdoor area is romantic with flickering candles, tiny lights and impeccable service. The menu is small but award-winning. Dinning Tip: Try anything pasta. They serve 5 different pastas with 6 types of sauce. Dinning tip: Try the spicy red pesto sauce over angel hair pasta. The combination of basil and hazelnut is beyond perfect.
Hours – Lunch: Tue-Sat: 11 – 2 p.m. Dinner: Tue – Sun 4 – 9 p.m.
Verducci’s Pizzeria Trattoria
7736 Blind Pass Rd., Saint Pete Beach, FL 33706
Verducci’s is a quaint little mom and pop cafe that is minutes from St. Pete Beach. The sidewalk seating is very European and perfect for enjoying the ocean air with friend over great Italian food and wine. If you like pizzas, lasagna, specialty Italian foods along with warm hospitality, prompt service – come on down! Everything is handmade daily. Go early and enjoy, or come late and wait is the rule of thumb at Verducci’s. Dinning tip: Try the brick oven pizzas thin or thick crust. Their wine list is small and affordable.
Open Mon – Thur: 4 – 10 p.m. Fri – Sat: 4 – 11 p.m.
& Sun: 4 – 10 p.m.
Da Sesto Italiano Ristorante e Vino
7199 66th Street North, Pinellas Park, FL 33781
This restaurant Pinellas Park eatery has the feel of a small local restaurant in Tuscany. The food is excellent and all the pasta is homemade. The antipasti, veal dishes, pasta and “gravies” are all fantastic. Dinning tip: Try the chicken Marsala with homemade linguini. It’s a religious experience. At lunch try their Panini’s or take home some frozen pasta from their deli.
Mon – Wed: 10 – 9 p.m. Thurs – Fri: 10 – 10 p.m. Sat: 4- 10 p.m. & Closed Sunday
Gigi’s Italian Restaurant
5901 4th Street North, St. Petersburg, FL 33703
Gigi’s Italian Restaurant sits in a small strip mall off of 4th Street in northeast St. Petersburg. A nice quiet atmosphere, friendly staff and great Italian food is what this family owed restaurant is all about. Their pastas and lasagna are favorites but it is their thin crust pizza that wins everyone’s hearts. Wednesday through Saturday a jazzy pop vocalist belts out tunes and provides a casual and hip bar scene for the 40+ crowd. Dinning tip: On Wednesday wine is half off by the glass or bottle from open till close.
Open: Sun – Thurs: 4 – 10 p.m. & Fri – Sat: 4 – 11 p.m.
Website: www. gigisitalianrestaurant.com
3309 Tampa Road, Palm Harbor, FL 34684
Positano’s is a charming north Pinellas restaurant with great service and fantastic homemade Italian food. They offer veal, chicken, seafood, pasta and steak. Positano’s has a full bar with a busy daily Happy Hour from 4 – 8 p.m. Live jazz starts at 7 p.m. every Wednesday – Saturday. If you like to eat early and light, you’ll love their extensive early bird menu that’s not just for seniors. Dinning tip: Pizza lovers will flip over the authentic Neapolitan style pizza that arrives charred and chewy from their 800 degree wood fired oven.
Lunch: Mon – Fri: 11:30 – 2 p.m.
Dinner: Mon – Thurs: 4 – 9 p.m.
Fri – Sat: 4 – 10 p.m. & Sunday: 4 – 8 p.m.
Did we miss your favorite? We welcome your comments and encourage you to tell us about your favorite Pinellas Italian restaurants in the comment section below.