The 10 Best Bowls of Pasta in America
Pasta needs no introduction. It’s the ultimate comfort food, and we’d eat it for every meal if we never had to button our pants again. It’s at home anywhere, from quaint neighborhood joints with red-checkered tablecloths to the swankest fine dining in America. Here are ten of our favorite bowls, from coast to coast.
1. Almond Tortellini with White Truffle Sauce at Vetri Ristorante (Philadelphia, PA)
The fine-dining flagship of Marc Vetri’s culinary empire is tasting menu-only and personalized to every diner. So we can’t promise that these subtly sweet little twists will make an appearance every night. (But here’s hoping—this almond tortellini caught our eye back in 2017, and when we checked back on Feb. 6, 2020, it was on the daily menu.)
1312 Spruce St., Philadelphia; 215-732-3478 or vetriristorante.com
Mafaldini with Pink Peppercorns and Parmagiano Reggiano at Lilia Cafe (Brooklyn, NY)
The pasta at this wildly popular NYC newcomer is deceptively simple. This mafaldini (think mini lasagna noodles) is topped with only three ingredients: butter, Parmesan and tingly pink peppercorn. But working together, they’re astonishingly complex.
567 Union Ave., Brooklyn; 718-576-3095 or lilianewyork.com
Daily Special at Il Corvo (Seattle, WA)
They’re only open on weekdays during lunch, but there’s always a line around the block, thanks to chef Mike Easton’s otherworldly homemade pastas. He changes the menu every day to make the best use of Seattle’s excellent produce—in the springtime, we always hope for the hazelnut and nettle pesto.
217 James St., Seattle; 206-538-0999 or ilcorvopasta.com
Beef Cheek Ravioli at Babbo (New York, NY)
When it comes to pasta, Mario Batali is king. And though it seems like he has restaurants everywhere, there’s something special about Babbo. We recommend checking out the all-pasta tasting menu (be still our hearts), but if you’re going à la carte, the beef cheek ravioli is a must-try.
110 Waverly Pl., New York; 212-777-0303 or babbonyc.com
Black Truffle Gnocchi at Spiaggia (Chicago, IL)
OK, we’re not the only ones vouching for Spiaggia—Barack and Michelle Obama were regulars when they lived in Chicago. While we hear that the former president usually went for the wood-fired scallops, we can’t resist these rich little pillows of black truffle heaven.
980 N. Michigan Ave., Fl. 2, Chicago; 312-280-2750 or spiaggiarestaurant.com
Linguine with White Clam Sauce at Chef Vola’s (Atlantic City, NJ)
Getting into this legendary, super-old-school Italian hangout might be harder than winning the jackpot at the boardwalk casinos. There’s no sign, no real menu and reservations are booked at least three months in advance. But if you ever make it in, you’ll want a big plate of the briny, parsley-studded linguine and clam sauce.
111 S. Albion Pl., Atlantic City; 609-345-2022 or chefvolas.com
7. Ricotta Gnudi with Housemade Italian Duck Sausage at Trattoria Lucca (Charleston, SC)
As it turns out, there’s more to the Charleston food scene than shrimp and grits. This little gem of a restaurant has some of our favorite seafood, charcuterie and pasta—we especially love these airy little gnudi, with rich duck sausage ragu.
41-A Bogard St., Charleston; 843-973-3323 or luccacharleston.com
8. Squash Tortellini at Delfina (San Francisco, CA)
Delfina gets a lot of love for its wood-fired pizza, and with good reason. But one shouldn’t overlook the food at the terrific trattoria next door. We love the creative, perfectly made pastas, like the squash tortellini with sage-infused brown butter.
3631 18th St., San Francisco; 415-552-4055 or delfinasf.com
9. Ricotta and Egg Raviolo at Osteria Mozza (Los Angeles, CA)
Be warned: This swanky L.A. hot spot has an actual mozzarella bar. It’s hard to see past that, but if you’ve got any room left for pasta, the giant ricotta and egg raviolo is a sure thing (yolk porn abounds).
6602 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles; 323-297-0100 or osteriamozza.com
10. Spicy Rigatoni Vodka at Carbone (New York, NY)
Everything is outrageous at Carbone, from the portions to the prices to the flavors. We wanted to hate the Insta-ready signature rigatoni, but it was just too good, thanks to a heavenly mix of onion puree, béchamel, tomatoes and Calabrian chiles.
181 Thompson St., New York; 212-254-3000 or carbonenewyork.com