Every once in awhile we have to break out of our amazing southern food norm down here in Tennessee. It can’t be fried chicken and biscuits all the time, no matter how great it is. Thankfully this wildly diverse southern state has a handful of great Italian restaurants for you to utilize when the mood strikes you. Can you find your favorite here?
7) Carabba's Italian Grill - Chattanooga
Okay, okay - we KNOW this is a chain. But it's a good one. And the Chattanooga location has people raving. If there's a good thing out there, there's nothing wrong with having two of 'em - especially if you're bringing little ones that crave familiarity.
6) Pomodoro East Italian - Nashville
This casual restaurant serves up some amazing Italian fare, with a great atmosphere and service that is renowned amid the center of the state.
5) Altruda's Italian - Knoxville
Looking for a solid, traditional plate of spaghetti? Head to Altruda's where their renowned garlic rolls will have you dreaming for weeks.
4) Alleia - Chattanooga
Chattanooga brings a modern vibe to the table with Alleia, edging into the competition with honey topped bruschetta and full plates that will feed you through tomorrow's lunch.
3) Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen - Memphis
This fine Italian dining experience is best experienced on No Menu Monday, when you are served a multi-course dinner with no idea what each plate holds until it's in front of you. At the end, you get a sort of post-menu explaining all of the deliciousness you just ate.
2) Old Venice Pizza Company - Memphis
Memphis isn't just known for barbeque! No, Old Venice Pizza Company dishes out some old school platters that will remind anyone of Italy.
1) Bella Napoli - Nashville
You've seen Bella Napoli on a couple of our other lists, mainly because this sweet little spot in Nashville's Edgehill neighborhood has earned rave reviews in recent years. The warm atmosphere and small size keeps the whole experience intimate - and delicious.