ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) – When the moon hits your eyes like a big pizza, make sure it’s in Rockford.
Italian cuisine is one of the most popular ethnic cuisines in the United States. In fact, overseas recipes are among America’s top five favorites, according to Chef’s Pencil. Rockford offers a wide variety of Italian restaurants where residents can eat “delizioso” food.
Find below a list of the top five Italian restaurants in Rockford, according to Yelp.
- Lino’s, 5611 E. State St: For those looking to party, why not do it in a restaurant that also parties? Opened in 1971, Lino’s celebrates 50 years of serving authentic Italian cuisine to the Rockford community. Michelino and Pasqua Battista opened the restaurant with the idea of serving their mother’s recipes, and they have since served their fine cuisine at affordable prices. From homemade sausages to lasagna to hand-baked bread, Lino’s has an Italian dish for every palate. And for those celebrating, don’t be afraid of space, as Lino’s has banquet space for 30-200 people. Shayn L. said in their Yelp review that they are “always impressed with their pizza, fresh ingredients, service and staff! When my family gets together and comes back to town to visit my parents who live in Rockford. We’ve always loved having a big dinner at Lino’s before Covid. Since we have supported this worthy business by ordering takeout every visit or chance we have. Hoping we’ll be ready for a sit down meal soon. Every time we order, it’s always 100% correct. Every time our order is hot and fresh!
- Franchesco’s Ristorante, 7128 Spring Creek Road: Opened in 1986, Franchesco’s Ristorante has been offering tasty and affordable Italian cuisine in an upscale environment for over 30 years. From prime steaks to fresh seafood delivered daily, Franchesco’s offers what it claims is one of the greatest menus in the Midwest. They make the dough and sauce for their award-winning pizza daily and offer over 20 different dough options to suit a dinner party’s taste buds. They also offer many different packages for different events, such as weddings and graduations, to allow guests to relax while hosting the perfect event. After dinner, why not dance the night away at the restaurant’s disco? In her Yelp review, Janine C. said that Franchesco gave her “the best meal I’ve had in ages.” Filet done perfectly, tender and wonderful flavor. We enjoyed the piano and base which serenaded us throughout our evening! Brought back the gastronomy of yesteryear! Highly recommend.”
- Cucina Di Rosa, 1620 N Bell School Rd: Those looking for great meals and good times should check out Cucina Di Rosa. Offering a unique location for a morning, day or evening, Cucina Di Rosa offers excellent food, coffee and tasty desserts. Residents can also rock their groove while dining, as Cucina offers live music every Friday and Saturday night. Jim C. on his Yelp review: “What has 2 inches and thinks this place is awesome? THIS GUY ! The salted caramel ice cream is the bomb – next time I’ll start there. Petition for a liquor license, but expect them to have it in hand soon. Cozy atmosphere, delicious home cooking, friendly service, and the desserts…. I’ll be back for more.”
- Pomodoro, 6500 E Riverside Blvd.: Opened only in 2019, Pomodoro has already become a staple of Rockford’s Italian dining scene. Scott and Brit Frank took over Rockford’s Ciao Bella Italian Kitchen in May of that year. Having always dreamed of owning their own restaurant, their dream has come true. Treating every diner as a member of the family, Pomodoro offers a new menu, wine list and specialty cocktails for residents. Mitch J. said in his Yelp review that Pomodoro is a “great place! I haven’t been here since it changed hands from Ciao Bella and I’m happy to report that we had an amazing time… The servers were super friendly, helpful and attentive. They offered us several drinks and all were well prepared by a fun bartender (whose beard was on point). The bacon wrapped shrimp and scallops we had as entrees were so good. They also serve bread with olive oil and parmesan as a free appetizer which was very nice.
- Maciano’s Pizza, 5801 Columbia Pkwy: Opened in 2000, Maciano’s has been serving pizza to the Rockford community for over 20 years. They make their traditional sauce and paste on site daily and offer an extensive menu including various starters, salads, pastas and desserts. They pride themselves on creating fresh, delicious cuisine in a warm, inviting atmosphere, combining a warm ambiance with prompt, friendly service that will keep you coming back for more. Mike D. said “the pizza was really good… We also have the calamari appetizer. Perfectly prepared. Congratulations,” on his Yelp review.