The 3 best Italian restaurants in Scranton, according to readers

Italian rigatoni with chicken and marinara sauce

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By The Keystone Staff

May 21, 2024

Scranton is known for being home to some of the best Italian restaurants around. When it comes to finding the absolute best of them, who better to trust than the locals themselves? We’ve compiled a list of the top three Italian eateries in the area, as voted on by our readers. From classic pasta dishes to gourmet pizzas, these restaurants offer a taste of Italy right here in Scranton.

1. Casa Bella

Stepping into Casa Bella feels like being whisked away to a charming Italian villa, right in the bustling heart of Scranton. This gem has carved out its niche by offering diners an authentic taste of Italy, enveloped in an atmosphere that radiates elegance and warmth. The carefully curated menu is a testament to the art of Italian cooking, featuring dishes that marry the richness of traditional flavors with the flair of contemporary cuisine.

What sets Casa Bella apart is the attention to detail evident in every aspect of the dining experience. From the selection of wines that complement each dish, to the attentive, knowledgeable service staff, every element is in place to ensure that your visit is nothing short of remarkable. The generous portions ensure that no one leaves hungry, but rather, with a longing to return and explore more of the culinary treasures that Casa Bella has to offer.

Readers are particularly fond of the top-notch pastas, from the decadent Linguine Ai Frutti Di Mare to the simple Spinach Ravioli.

The appeal of Casa Bella extends beyond its exquisite culinary offerings. The ambiance, with its subtle lighting and tasteful decor, sets the perfect stage for an evening of dining indulgence. Whether it’s a romantic dinner, a family gathering, or a special celebration, the setting at Casa Bella enhances every occasion, making it memorable. Regulars and newcomers alike are greeted with the warmth and hospitality characteristic of Italian culture, making each visit more an experience.

In a city that boasts a vibrant culinary scene, Casa Bella stands out as a beacon of Italian elegance. It invites diners to embark on a gastronomic journey that delights the senses and nurtures the soul, making it a cherished destination for those seeking the ultimate Italian dining experience in Scranton.

2. Bar Pazzo

Nestled within the historic walls of the Connell Building, Bar Pazzo presents a refreshing take on the Italian dining experience that marries the old with the new. It’s a place where the passion for traditional Italian cuisine meets the zest of modern innovation, creating a dining ambiance that’s as electrifying as it is comforting. With its sleek interiors and vibrant atmosphere, Bar Pazzo invites diners into a world where each meal is celebrated.

The heart and soul of Bar Pazzo lie in its inventive menu, which is a delightful homage to classic Italian dishes reimagined with a contemporary flair. Here, the kitchen becomes a canvas for culinary creativity, with chefs using fresh, locally-sourced ingredients to paint a picture of Italy’s rich gastronomic landscape. The result? A menu that’s both familiar and exciting, offering something for the adventurous foodie and traditional palate alike. Patrons rave about the Margherita Pizza and Pasta Brunatta, each dish a testament to the fusion of generations of Italian cooking with modern culinary techniques.

But what’s a good meal without a great drink to accompany it? Bar Pazzo shines bright in this arena as well, boasting an innovative cocktail menu and a wine selection that is both broad and carefully curated. Whether it’s a classic Italian wine or a craft cocktail with a twist, each beverage is designed to complement the meal, enhancing the overall dining experience. It’s this commitment to excellence in both food and drink that makes Bar Pazzo a culinary gem in Scranton’s Italian dining scene.

At Bar Pazzo, the experience is king. The restaurant’s ambiance strikes the perfect balance between elegant and casual, making it an ideal spot for everything from a spontaneous dinner date to a planned celebratory meal. The energy of the place, with its modern decor and open kitchen, adds an extra layer of excitement to the dining experience, inviting guests to immerse themselves in the joy of Italian dining.

Bar Pazzo represents a daring and delicious fusion of tradition and innovation. It stands as a beacon for those eager to explore how the past can inform the future of cuisine, all while wrapped in the warmth and hospitality that Italian dining is known for. Here, every visit promises an adventure—a journey through the flavors of Italy as seen through a contemporary lens.

3. Samario’s

Samario’s is home to Scranton’s best cheesesteak, but also stands out as a cherished emblem of Italian culinary heritage, lovingly nurtured through generations. The restaurant is a celebration of family, tradition, and the timeless flavors of Italy. From the moment you step inside, you’re enveloped in an ambiance that feels familiar and warm, much like a gathering at a friend’s home where everyone is family.

Samario’s story is woven from threads of tradition and a deep-rooted love for Italian cuisine. This passion is evident in their handcrafted dishes, from the savory depths of their Linguine and Meatballs to the rustic charm of their Bruschetta Pizza.

What sets Samario’s apart in the vibrant tapestry of Scranton’s dining options is its unwavering commitment to authenticity and quality. The kitchen hums with activity, a symphony of fresh, locally sourced ingredients coming together to create the kind of simple, honest dishes that Italian cuisine is celebrated for. It’s this simplicity, coupled with the richness of flavor, that has patrons returning time and again. The generous portions are a nod to the Italian principle of abundance, ensuring that no one leaves without a content heart and a full stomach.

Beyond the culinary delights, it’s the palpable sense of community at Samario’s that endears it to its patrons. The staff greet you with smiles that reach their eyes, ready to share recommendations or a story, making each visit feel personal and unique. The restaurant’s atmosphere, with its cozy corners and family photos adorning the walls, invites diners to linger a little longer, basking in the joy of good company and great food.

Samario’s is a sanctuary where the worries of the world melt away at the table, replaced by the warmth of shared dishes and laughter. It’s a place where every meal is an occasion, every dish a celebration of the rich, flavorful tapestry of Italian cooking.

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