BALTIMORE (Hoodline) — Looking for a yummy Italian meal near you?
Hoodline crunched the numbers to find the top Italian restaurants around Baltimore, using both Yelp data and our own secret sauce to produce a ranked list of where to venture next time you’re on the hunt.
1. Joe Benny’s
Topping the list is Joe Benny’s, a small, unfussy joint in Little Italy. Perhaps best known for its meatballs, Joe Benny’s also does Sicilian-style pizza on a rectangular focaccia dough. Look for combos like The A.C., with pistachio pesto, mushrooms and crispy prosciutto, topped with arugula. End your night with cream puffs filled with vanilla cream and coated in a chocolate-hazelnut cream.
Located at 313 S. High St., it is the highest-rated Italian restaurant in Baltimore, boasting 4.5 stars out of 559 reviews on Yelp.
2. Isabella’s Brick Oven Pizza and Panini
Also in Little Italy is Isabella’s Brick Oven Pizza and Panini, situated at 221 S. High St. It’s not just pizzas like the classic Margherita and the Saraceno (soppressata, capocollo, feta, garlic and herbs) that are fired in that oven. The hot subs are as well. Try the meatball with provolone or grilled sausage with rapini and pepper jack cheese. It’s primarily a takeout joint, as there are just three tables.
With 4.5 stars out of 458 reviews on Yelp, the eatery has proven to be a local favorite.
Hersh’s, located at 1843-45 Light St. in Riverside, is another top choice, with Yelpers giving it 4.5 stars out of 255 reviews. Many of the ingredients for its Italian dishes are made in-house, including the mozzarella, pickled jalapeños and Italian sausage. Many of these, in turn, make their way onto the house specialty: wood-fired, Neapolitan-style pizzas.
The pasta is also made in-house, with options like ravioli, spaghetti carbonara and tagliolini, a thin, cylindrical pasta, served here with Gulf shrimp and Calabrian chiles.
4. Trinacria Foods
Trinacria Foods, an Italian deli and grocery in Seton Hill, is another much-loved go-to, with 4.5 stars out of 230 Yelp reviews. Sandwich lovers will find classic meatball subs, cold cut sandwiches, prosciutto on focaccia and more. Soups include minestrone, Italian wedding and split pea.
Meats and cheeses are available by the pound, and the grocery section has wine, olive oil and other Italian imports. Head over to 406 N. Paca St. to see for yourself.
Finally, over in Federal Hill, check out the family-owned Brendali, which has earned 4.5 stars out of 153 reviews on Yelp.
A relative newcomer, Brendali opened in 2014. It serves mostly classic dishes, like chicken cacciatore and penne puttanesca, using house-made pasta and sauces. There’s abundant use of seafood, as in crab ravioli and shrimp scampi. Desserts like cannoli and Italian lemon cake are on offer to finish off your meal. Be sure to bring your own wine. You can find the Italian spot at 1022 Light St.