Some of the best Italian restaurants in Detroit and the metro area are now available for delivery and pickup on DoorDash. This means that on the nights you need a pillow of silky, handmade ravioli, you can satisfy that craving. Or maybe you’ve seen a vision — a plate overflowing with spaghetti and meatballs, Strega Nona-style — and need to make it a reality. And when the heart wants an Italian sub that’s so stacked with meat and cheese you can barely hold on while you take a bite, give it what it wants. The best news is that you’ve got plenty of options in Detroit, at spots both new and classic, to smother your day in red sauce and Parm.
The fanciest Italian food you can get for delivery in Detroit is San Morello, hands down. The buzzy restaurant inside the Shinola Hotel, run by renowned New York chef Andrew Carmellini, has a Southern Italian-Sicilian focus and wine menu to match. Expect house-made pasta with seasonal vegetables, expertly prepared fish and chicken, and gorgeous desserts.
Somehow it makes perfect sense in Detroit to have a restaurant that seamlessly blends Italian and Mexican food. Thanks to the creativity of chef Norberto Garita, El Barzon is a James Beard-nominated spot that’s as famous for its penne alla vodka as its mole enchiladas. Pair a peppery arugula salad with the signature barbacoa, or start with chorizo con queso fundido and fried calamari and shrimp, and see where the night takes you.
La Pecora Nera is an Italian deli with an array of subs, salads, and soups. The name, which means “black sheep,” hints at some sandwiches with a nontraditional edge, like a mashup called the Reuben Italiano and a popular roast beef sub with rare meat and a kick from horseradish mayo. (The caprese sub is nice if you need a change of pace from the meat-fest.) You’ll have to stop by in person for the gelato, though.
Escargot with polenta, Dover sole with braised leeks, burrata dressed with toasted pine nuts and honeycomb. You can splurge for an opulent, elegant meal at Andiamo (South African lobster tail, roast duck) or stick to the tried-and-trues (Bolognese, broccoli rabe and sausage). The quality of cooking matches the price point, but when you’re searching for homestyle Italian food and want the best, it’s one of your strongest local options.
Scroll past all the tempting pizza to find the tiny-but-mighty menu of pastas at Mootz, a local spot with a loyal following. There’s slow-cooked Sunday sauce with spaghetti and meatballs every night of the week and fluffy gnocchi with ricotta tucked into the menu, too. Don’t forget to start the meal with the Truffled Bumblebee, a lovely ricotta dip with truffle honey, figs, and toast points.
The Italian subs at Gonella’s in Detroit and in Redford are so stacked with cured meats that they look like the pages of a thick book when you hold the gargantuan sandwich in your grip. And as famous as the subs are, just as famous is the house-made pasta salad with whole pepperoncini; the creamy, celery-spiked macaroni salad; and an antipasto salad with cubed ham.
The feast of lasagna and enchiladas continues at La Noria Bistro, the casual sister restaurant to El Barzon that was named one of the city’s best new restaurants in 2019. The range of “Mexitalian” dishes, from house-made pasta to meat and fish mains, is similar at both restaurants, but the prices are more affordable here — without sacrificing quality. Start with classic calamari, and ease into creamy gnocchi and pollo al limone for a filling, flavorful dinner.
The perfectly puffed and charred thin-crust Neapolitan pizza is popular at La Lanterna, and it’s one of the few spots in town where you’ll find it topped with funky fontina cheese and spicy arugula (highly recommended). If the night calls for smothered chicken Parmigiana, pair it with a chopped salad and your comfiest sweatpants, and call it a cozy night.
Despite how many Italian restaurants there are in this city, finding one that’ll deliver textbook tiramisu is a little difficult. But thankfully, Amore da Roma makes it happen, so save room after your fettuccine with shrimp or chicken scaloppine. Match the Michigan-sourced whitefish in lemon-butter sauce with the old-school garlic cheese toast — to soak up the extra sauce, of course.
The Grosse Pointe Woods market and restaurant is Detroit’s little slice of Italy, with pizzas, giant subs, and calzones on order in between shelves of imported tomatoes, cookies, and licorice. The chicken Parm sub will put you into a food coma in the best way, while the pepperoni rolls should be invited to your next party.
Shield’s is a reliable Detroit-style pizza spot, but the scallion-topped Cajun pasta has a cult following, and the antipasto salad with house-made ranch always satisfies. There are both meaty and vegetarian lasagna options (a rarity!) and a creamy linguine Alfredo that can be made with gluten-free penne, too. The flexible, freewheeling menu satisfies for Italian food, carrot cake, bar snacks, and even nachos.
A Detroit institution known for bringing Chicago-style deep-dish pizza to the city, Pizza Papalis isn’t exactly a traditional Italian restaurant, but they do have buried-in-sauce-and-cheese meatballs, irresistible fried ravioli, and a loaded antipasto salad. So we’ll let the category slide a little, like pepperoni oozing from one of their overstuffed calzones.
Michigan chain Crispelli’s is known for its thin-crust pizza that’s as crispy as the restaurant’s name suggests. But there’s also crowd-pleasing Italian dishes like chicken Parmesan, a veggie-friendly caprese sandwich, three-cheese macaroni and cheese, and creamy tomato bisque (a sleeper hit).
Mumma Maria’s is a tiny, quirky spot inside an old home in the West Village that matches the menu’s cozy, homestyle cooking. The highlight of the menu is mushroom-stuffed ravioli that we recommend topping with palomino sauce, a tomato-basil cream sauce. The meatballs shouldn’t be missed either; you can order them as an appetizer or sub or atop linguine. A generous serving of cheesy garlic bread should be required with every order.
A local chain with deep roots in the city, Salvatore Scallopini is a family favorite with homey offerings and an Alfredo sauce that checks all the boxes — creamy, with a hint of pepper and a bigger hint of Parm. Start with the arancini and the Village salad, and then dig into a plate of chicken Milanese with a side of roasted cauliflower — perfect if you’ve got a crowd to feed.
Courtesy of Original Gonella’s
Mumma Maria’s House courtesy of Lia Giordano
Courtesy of La Pecora Nera
La Lanterna by Tim Edwards
Courtesy of Pizza Papalis