The 5 best Italian spots in Houston

Photo: North Italia/Yelp

Looking for a mouthwatering Italian meal near you?

Hoodline crunched the numbers to find the top Italian spots around Houston, using both Yelp data and our own secret sauce to produce a ranked list of where to satisfy your cravings.

1. Fabio's Artisan Pasta

Photo: Lesley G./Yelp

Topping the list is Fabio's Artisan Pasta. Located at 2129 W. Alabama St. in Upper Kirby, the pasta shop is the highest rated Italian restaurant in Houston, boasting five stars out of 221 reviews on Yelp.

The spot offers various pastas, which it makes fresh daily, including gnocchi, ravioli, tortellini, mezzaluna, mannicotti, cannelloni, lasagna and more. It's available in single servings, uncooked for your own purposes and also offers catering for events.

Yelper A O., who reviewed it on Nov. 14, said, "From the moment you walk in, the smell of freshness will have you hooked! Fabio's is a storefront with a very large kitchen space where they make fresh homemade pasta, sauces and desserts every day. There are dozens of selections and they often have specials! I have tried all the sauces and many of the pastas and you really cannot go wrong."

2. North Italia

Photo: North Italia/Yelp

Next up is Greater Uptown's North Italia, situated at 1700 Post Oak Blvd., Suite 190. With four stars out of 1,208 reviews on Yelp, the Italian spot, which offers pizza and more, has proven to be a local favorite. The national chain has locations in Arizona, California, Texas and elsewhere.

On the menu, expect dishes like the braised short rib with heirloom carrots, Swiss chard and creamy mascarpone polenta; the squid ink mafaldine with white shrimp, calamari, acqua pazza, mint, fennel pollen and calabrian chili; and the Pig pizza with spicy pepperoni, soppressata and Italian sausage.

Daniel P. said, "Great wine selection by the glass. Artichokes and calamari were good. Marinara was light and flavorful. Chicken Parmesan was tender, no knife needed. Side pasta had just the right amount of garlic. Great job also getting us seated exactly at reservation time."

3. Top It Pizza

Photo: audrey M./Yelp

Westchase's Top It Pizza, located at 11700 Westheimer Road, Suite E, is another top choice, with Yelpers giving the Italian and gluten-free spot, which offers pizza and more, 4.5 stars out of 361 reviews.

The pizza spot allows you to build your own pie using its list of sauces, cheeses, meats and veggies. You're allowed as many choices as you like with no extra price. You can also choose from its specialty pizzas, like the Over the Top! with pepperoni, Italian sausage, beef, red onion, mushrooms, green bell peppers, green olives and black olives; the BBQ Chicken with barbecue sauce, grilled chicken, red onion, corn, roasted red peppers and cilantro; and Joanna's Spinach Artichoke with Alfredo sauce, Parmesan, grilled chicken, spinach and artichoke hearts. (See the full menu here.)

Pat K., who reviewed it on Aug. 30, said, "I'm totally obsessed with this pizza. Best tender, thin crust ever! Wonderful red sauce, not too acidic or strong. As good as anything I've eaten in NYC or any other touted pizza place. Fresh ingredients, friendly staff, clean facility recently spiffed up with new paint."

4. Crisp

Photo: Crisp/Yelp

Over in the Heights, check out Crisp, which has earned four stars out of 779 reviews on Yelp. You can find the Italian and New American spot at 2220 Bevis St.

The restaurant offers dishes like the Shady Acres pizza with herb roasted mushrooms, sun-dried tomato, roasted red peppers, balsamic onion, goat cheese and arugula; Mama's Lasagna with herbed ricotta, sweet peppers, house sausage and Italian cheeses; and Melting Beef Short Ribs with soft polenta, wilted spinach, braised mushrooms, pickled parsley and red wine braising liquids. (Check out the full menu here.)

Jen H. wrote, "What a great spot for some truly awesome pizza! We had the Caliano Pizza, which was divine! Smoked Gouda, avocado, honey Sriracha and parsley pesto -- absolutely delicious. The Caesar-style romaine salad was also really good with a fresh dressing."

5. Coltivare

Photo: Charena C./Yelp

Last but not least, there's Coltivare, a The Heights favorite with four stars out of 694 reviews. Stop by 3320 White Oak Drive to hit up the Italian and New American spot next time you're in the mood.

On the menu, expect dishes like the pumpkin ravioli with brown butter, walnuts, sage and pomegranate bitters; the Berkshire pork with farrotto and apple mostarda; and the fennel, Italian sausage, chilis, anchovies and black garlic pizza.

Tricia B., who reviewed it on Nov. 7, said, "This place is truly charming and features a great wine list with European gems, and a menu that is a blend of authentic Italian and local flavors. We had a delicious meal!"
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