If you fancy some Italian food and are wondering where to go, we’ve featured 10 of the best Italian restaurants in Iowa in this post.
Lucca is something extraordinary. Nestled in the heart of Des Moines, Lucca is an incredibly luxurious experience rather than just a restaurant. You’ll find that whether you’re coming for the Tuesday through Friday lunch service or the Thursday through Saturday dinner service, Lucca’s is fine dining at its, well, finest.
Lucca is incredibly focused. You’ll find a small Italian lunch menu for lunch consisting of pasta, sandwiches, and salad. And for dinner, you’ll find a seasonal prix-fixe menu consisting of four courses. Lucca is guaranteed to please – so stop waiting and see what the fuss is about!
Head to Lucca’s contact page to reach out and find out more.
Centro is another upscale, modern Italian eatery in the heart of Des Moines. They boast four menus – dinner, midday, brunch, and family meal. The midday meal is served from 3-5 only on Sundays, brunch from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. on weekends, and dinner after four every day (after five on Sunday). Family meals are available for carryout and delivery only.
No matter your tastes, there’s a dish for every guest at Centro. You’ll find classic Italian soups and appetizers, pizzas and calzones, and traditional seafood and chicken entrees. Their ambiance and menu combine to bring out a modern, chic dining experience that’s truly unrivaled.
Head to Centro’s contact page to reach out.
3. The Latin King
And finally, we make it to the last genuinely exquisite Des Moines Italian eatery. The Latin King is a modern, cozy joint founded in 1947 by Rose and Jim Pigneri – Italian immigrants. Over the years, the restaurant has changed hands, but not the goal to keep each guest happy and full. The Latin King is open for lunch Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and for dinner on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.
You’ll find all of the classics on the menu. From pasta and seafood dishes to handmade pasta, there’s so much to love. Those seeking a house specialty should order the chicken spiedini – a true masterpiece. And assuming you’re of age, check out the extensive drink menu.
Go to The Latin King’s online booking page to, well, book online.
4. Napoli’s Italian Restaurant
Owners Johny and Gony Qerimi came to Cedar Rapids to bring the flavor of Southern Italy (Napoli, unsurprisingly) to the Midwest. And to nobody’s surprise – they did! Open from Sunday to Thursday for lunch and dinner from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and on Friday/Saturday for an extra hour, your dinner plans have been made! (Thank me later.)
Napoli’s menu consists of many southern Italian classics. You’ll find nothing but love on your plate at Napoli’s, from handmade pizza and pasta to classic chicken, veal, and seafood dishes. If you want to learn the flavors of southern Italy, there is no better choice in the Midwest.
To reach out, head to Napoli’s contact & reservation page.
5. BARI Italian
Chef Anthony Valvoda’s BARI Italian is one of Cedar Rapids’ most incredible Italian joints. Open from Tuesday-Saturday from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., you can expect a modern dinner service from true masters of the craft. (Just don’t try to get seated too late – they stop seating at 9:30 p.m.)
BARI’s menu is quite focused, intending to bring highly exceptional, artistic meals to each customer. You’ll find handcrafted pasta, seductive soups, and a small selection of classic Italian appetizers.
To reach out, head to BARI’s reservation page.
6. Biaggi’s Ristorante Italiano
Biaggi’s is a beautiful Italian-American relaxed eatery located in the heart of Davenport. Opened in 1998 by owner Todd Hovenden, Biaggi’s has established a local following for good reason. With a widely-appealing menu and easy-to-remember hours, they’re truly a modern and easygoing joint. Open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., you can expect both lunch and dinner here.
You’ll find a massive menu (seriously, check it out) with everything from gluten-free meals to classic Italian pasta, seafood, and steak dishes. And if you’re feeling spicy, you can check out the monthly chef specials (April’s included mushroom & roasted red pepper lasagna).
To schedule a reservation, go to Biaggi’s reservation page. (Note that this is their Davenport location, there are quite a few others throughout the Midwest.)
7. Lunardi’s Restaurant
Founded in 1989 by Terry Lunardi, Lunardi’s is one of Davenport’s most well-known casual Italian eateries. You’ll find both lunch and dinner service here, with authentic, well-sourced ingredients. Lunardi’s is open from 4-9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and from 4-8 p.m. on Sunday, though they’re closed on Mondays.
You’ll find that Lunardi’s menu is quite forgiving. Whether you want a Chicago-style pizza or Italian classics like veal piccata or chicken parmigiana, there’s a little bit for everyone. One of Lunardi’s most beloved menu items is their extensive pizza menu – from pan to thin-crust pies, there’s a bit of everything.
To reach out, head to Lunardi’s contact page.
8. Trattoria Tiramisu
Located in Davenport’s Bettendorf neighborhood, Trattoria Tiramisu is something quite special. You can expect them to remain open for dinner service from 5-9 p.m. every day but Sunday. Their specialty (aside from the apparent Tiramisu) lies in delivering classic Italian meals adjusted for each customer’s unique tastes.
You can expect to find delicate pasta, veal, seafood, and chicken entrees, and a number of housemade classic Italian desserts.
Go to Trattoria Tiramisu’s “call now” page to reach out.
9. Trattoria Fresco
Trattoria Fresco is an affordable and down-to-earth Italian eatery in Sioux City. They break the mold of classic spendy Italian joints by offering real meals for reasonable prices. Trattoria Fresco is open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 to 9 p.m. for lunch and dinner every day of the week, except for Sunday’s short brunch service (10 a.m. to 3 p.m.).
As for food, you can expect quite a bit from this small Trattoria. Trattoria Fresco’s dinner entrees range in the standard Italian fare, from cured meats and gooey cheese to luxurious sauces laced with tasty red wine. Their appetizers are also quite tasty – don’t sleep on the antipasto platter. (Or do – I’m a writer, not your boss.)
Reach out through Trattoria Fresco’s Facebook page for more information.
10. Portofino’s Italian Restaurant & Pizza
Portofino’s is a newcomer to the Ankeny area, but they’ve quickly earned a reputation as the best Italian joint in the area. While Portofino is closed on Sundays, they’re open for both lunch and dinner service every other day of the week from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. (closing one hour later on Friday/Saturday).
Their menu consists of a wide range of classic Italian fare. You’ll find hot subs and pizza for the pickier eaters, lovingly made pasta, and a number of meat entrees with veal, chicken, seafood, and steak. At the end of the day, Portofino has a bit of something for everyone, delivering it with care and attention.
To reach out, go to Portofino’s contact page.