The 10 best Italian restaurants in Youngstown, Ohio

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There’s no shortage of authentic Italian eats in the Mahoning Valley.

“In the late 1800s, Italian immigrants began to arrive in the Mahoning Valley, settling in places like Youngstown, Warren, Lowellville and Niles. They brought with them their culture, and an abundance of food – including pasta. That food has become a staple of restaurants everywhere, including in Trumbull County,” wrote Valley native Vince Guerrieri in 2018, when covering Trumbull County’s Italian Food Trail for TourismOhio.

We looked to Tripadvisor for the top 10 highest-ranked, locally owned Italian restaurants around Youngstown. We also checked with meal delivery sites for their most-ordered menu items.

Do you agree with this list? Tell us your favorite local Italian eatery — or your go-to menu item — by emailing [email protected] or by leaving us a message at 888-655-1012, option 2.

10. V2 Wine Bar Trattoria

  • 100 W. Federal St., Youngstown;
  • 330-742-5595;
  • Open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday; 11 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. Friday and Saturday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday; closed Monday and Tuesday;
  • See the menu.

V2, the second restaurant by Vernon Cesta, owner of Vernon’s Cafe in Niles, is on the first floor of the Federal Building at the corner of West Federal and Phelps streets. It shares a lot of that menu’s favorites: meatball salad, crispy calamari, edamame hummus and, of course, hot peppers in oil, according to its website. It also offers dozens of craft beers and imports and specialty martinis. Order online here or schedule a private event.

9. Bella Napoli Pizza and Pasta

  • 419 E. Main St., Canfield;
  • 330-533-3434;
  • Open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Friday; noon to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; closed Monday;
  • See the menu.

Owner Giuseppe Cincinnato “grew up cooking with his nine brothers and sisters in his hometown Zia Teresa, a small island in Italy,” reads the eatery’s website. He’s been in the restaurant business since moving to the U.S. in 1975. The restaurant is known for its New York-style pizzas — and specialty pies like the margherita napoletana — penne napoletana and its cavatelli and meatballs. Order online or call for catering options.

8. Inner Circle Pizza Canfield

  • 6579 Ironwood Blvd., Canfield;
  • 330-533-7575;
  • Open 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day;
  • See the menu.

Inner Circle Canfield’s classic hometown pizza shop menu also offers top-rated Buffalo wings, calzones, strombolis, flatbreads, salads, hoagies, burgers and sub sandwiches.

7. Aqua Pazzo

  • 492 McClurg Road, Boardman;
  • 330-965-5899;
  • Open 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday; 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday; closed Sunday and Monday;
  • Call to make a reservation or book online with OpenTable;
  • See the menu.

According to its website, Aqua Pazzo, a modern Italian restaurant off South Avenue, “brings Italy to Boardman” with a wide array of pasta dishes, steaks, and seafood “that capture the true essence of its native land,” as well as specialty teas and espressos and an expansive wine list. Order online here.

6. Caffé Capri Italian Bar & Grille

  • 8000 Market St., Boardman;
  • 330-726-9900;
  • Open 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday; 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday; closed Monday and Tuesday;
  • See the menu.

Caffé Capri was founded in 1996 by members of the Quaranta family, who have been local restaurateurs for more than 75 years, according to the eatery’s website. Its menu has traditional Italian cuisine — the chicken parmigiana with spaghetti, chicken francaise and tiramisu are most popular — and contemporary fare. Order online for carryout or delivery or ask about catering.

5. Salvatore’s Italian Grill

  • 4831 Mahoning Ave., Austintown;
  • 330-799-2285;
  • Open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday; noon to 8 p.m. Sunday;
  • See the menu.

Salvatore’s Restaurants, locally owned by cousins Salvatore Coppola, Mike Carannante and Michele Lucignano, were once placed in the top three of best restaurants by Vindicator readers. Its traditional pasta — meatball or sausage, and with various pasta choices — is its most popular. The menu’s also got oven-baked pasta, ravioli, steaks, seafood and pizza. Order online at Slice or get it delivered by GrubHub.

4. Cassese’s MVR

  • 410 N. Walnut St., Youngstown;
  • 330-746-7067;
  • Open 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday (Monday is bar service only); 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday; closed Sunday;
  • See the menu.

MVR is a downtown landmark that’s been around since Prohibition, and it has the second-oldest liquor license in Ohio, according to its website. Among its menu favorites are the Carmela’s pasta, angel hair and marinara with roasted red peppers, mushrooms and spinach; and Francesca’s chicken, sauteed in madeira wine
and topped with provolone; and the Tressel Tortellini, named for Youngstown State University President Jim Tressel. Call to schedule a banquet.

3. Michael Alberini’s Restaurant and Wine Shop

  • 1140 Boardman Poland Road, Boardman;
  • 330-965-2524;
  • Open 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday; 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday; closed Monday and Tuesday; temporarily closed Sunday due to staff shortages;
  • See the menu.

Michael Alberini’s also cooks up American, cajun and Creole cuisine. This restaurant just off Interstate 680 has a “global-local philosophy.” It locally sources produce and meats for its international menu dishes, according to its website. It claims to be “one of the best veal houses in the area, and that’s not bragging.” It also boasts hundreds of wines. Its wine shop is open from noon to close Wednesday through Saturday. Its grand banquet room seats up to 110.

2. Wedgewood Fernando’s Pizza

  • 1620 & 1622 S. Raccoon Road, Austintown;
  • 330-799-2102;
  • Open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday;
  • See the menu.

“Never go down in quality. That’s the trick. If you change, always change to something better,” are Wedgewood owner Fernando Riccioni’s standards. This iconic pizza shop, established in 1967, has earned national recognition for its Brier Hill-style pie (which is tomato sauce, green peppers and romano). For his 90th birthday in 2020, Austintown trustees presented Riccioni the key to the township. Its menu is nothing extravagant, owners say — “we just do pizza!” Order online via Slice.

1. Station Square Ristorante

  • 4250 Belmont Ave., Liberty;
  • 330-759-8802;
  • Kitchen opens at 11 a.m. Monday thorugh Saturday; closed Sunday;
  • See the menu.

Station Square, just off Interstate 80, was founded in 1986, and bought in 2001 by Italian Chef Ottavio Musumeci and wife Bridget. Some of its most popular dishes are the chicken parmesan, the VIP stuffed mushrooms and — for dessert — cannoli. The restaurant was awarded Wine Spectator’s Best Of Award of Excellence in 2021, for the ninth time in a row, according to its website. You can schedule a banquet at one of four locations. Station Square also caters private events.

This story was originally published July 6, 2022 5:00 AM.

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