Most people can’t fly to Italy on a whim. For those who wish they could, a nice dinner at an Italian restaurant could be the solution they need.
According to Gazette readers of Best of the Springs magazine, these Italian restaurants are top notch and the best in the area. Plan your next date night or family outing by checking out the list below. They are less expensive than that flight.
8. Luigi’s Colorado Springs Restaurant
Leo and Anne Cervetti opened this restaurant in 1958. Through decades of a changing world, Luigi’s has made few changes to its menu or way of doing things. Their website says: “Gina and Les (the last of the Cervetti family to operate Luigi’s)…have not changed and will not change what Luigi’s does best. Not changing is the key to our survival.”
They are open Tuesday through Saturday, 5-8:30 p.m. They are located downtown at 947 S. Tejon St.
7. Pizza Villa Romana
This is another family restaurant. Established in 1959, this restaurant has reached its fourth generation of owners. The website offers some advice for those who decide to dine there: “As Mama Lina used to say, ‘if you leave here hungry, it’s your own fault.’ Taking her advice, we encourage you to bring her appetite as we titillate her taste buds in our little historic restaurant.”
Hours of operation are currently Tuesday through Saturday, 4-8 p.m. They are located at 3005 N. Nevada Ave.
6. Mollica Italian Market and Charcuterie
Dom, Toni, and Jerry Mollica opened this restaurant in 1987. Their website says that it is a flexible restaurant and works for “small and large groups, formal and informal gatherings.”
Mollica’s is open from 9 am to 7 pm Monday through Wednesday and an hour later Thursday through Saturday. They are closed on Sundays. The address is 985a Garden of the Gods Rd.
“Great place for lunch with a deli full of delicious food to take home for dinner.”
“My favorite stop for Italian food. Wonderful salads and pasta dishes, and a cash discount!”
5. La Bella Vita Italian Restaurant
Unlike the restaurants listed above, this Italian restaurant opened more recently. After studying to become a certified master chef, Giuliano Casulli worked in many restaurants in Italy and Texas, according to his restaurant’s website. He opened La Bella Vita with his staff and they have been serving authentic Italian food to residents ever since.
They are open Tuesday through Sunday from 5 to 9 p.m. They are located just off I-25 at 146 Garden of the Gods Rd.
This restaurant originally opened as a pizzeria called Pizza Plus in 1974, according to its website. They changed their name in 1991 due to the popularity of their Panino sandwich. Its website describes it as a sandwich filled with vegetables, meats, cheese, and then baked, rolled, and served hot.
The Frasca family owns and operates all locations, which have expanded to three in Colorado Springs, one in Fort Collins, and one in Twin Cities, Minnesota. You can find the Colorado Springs locations listed here.
They are open daily from 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. and until 9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
3. by Biaggi Italian Restaurant
This restaurant has 16 locations across the United States. Todd Hovenden opened the first location in 1999 in Bloomington, Illinois.
In Colorado Springs, they are located at 1805 Briargate Parkway and are open daily from 11:30 am to 8 pm, but open an hour later on Fridays and Saturdays.
two. Red sauce
Owner and executive chef, Eric Brenner brings the St. Louis Italian neighborhood of “the Hill” to downtown Colorado Springs, according to his restaurant’s website. He opened Red Gravy in 2016 after finding success in a series of high-end restaurants and winning the Guy’s Grocery Games in 2014.
Red Gravy offers seasonal dishes that change every month. They are located at 23 S. Tejon St. and are open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
“Oh the goodness you can enjoy here. Music. Food. Service.”
“Great Italian food! Fun atmosphere. Attentive service.”
1. Paravinci’s Italian Bistro
Chef Franco Pisani’s biggest mentor was his mother, an Italian immigrant who ran his family bakery in Connecticut, according to his restaurant’s website. After graduating from Baltimore Culinary College, he worked in different restaurants in the Connecticut area. In 2003 he opened Paravinci’s.
They are open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and are located at 2802 W. Colorado Ave.
“Classics made to order and savored slowly. This is visiting Italy for a family dinner.”
“By far the best Italian food in town! The atmosphere is perfect for family reunions, date nights, or just a great meal when you’re craving gnocchi. I love the atmosphere and the food.”