ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — When the moon hits your eyes like a big pizza pie, make sure it is in Rockford.
Italian food is one of the most popular ethnic cuisines in the U.S. In fact, the recipes from across the sea are in the top five favorites for Americans, according Chef’s Pencil. Rockford has a wide variety of Italian restaurants for residents to eat some “delizioso” food at.
Find a list below of the top five best Italian restaurants in Rockford, according to Yelp.
- Lino’s, 5611 E. State St: For those that might be looking to celebrate, why not do so at a restaurant that is also celebrating? Opened in 1971, Lino’s is celebrating 50 years of serving up authentic Italian food to the Rockford community. Michelino and Pasqua Battista opened the restaurant with an idea to serve their mother’s recipes, and they have served their fine cuisine at affordable prices ever since. From house-made sausage to lasagna and hand-baked bread, Lino’s has an Italian dish for all palettes. And for those that are celebrating need not fear about 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 all gets together and comes back into town to visit my parents who live in Rockford. We always liked to do a big dinner at Lino’s prior to Covid. Since we have supported this deserving business by ordering takeout every visit or chance we get. Hoping soon we will be ready for an indoor sit down meal. Every time we order it is always 100% correct. Every time our order is hot and fresh!”
- Franchesco’s Ristorante, 7128 Spring Creek Rd: Opened in 1986, Franchesco’s Ristorante has been offering tasty, affordable Italian food in an upscale environment for over 30 years. From prime steaks to fresh seafood delivered daily, Franchesco’s offers what they claim to be one of the biggest menus in the Midwest. They make their dough and sauce for their award winning pizza fresh every day, and have over 20 different pasta options to fit a diner’s taste buds. They also offer many different packages for different events, such as weddings and graduations, to allow hosts to relax while throwing the perfect event. After dinner, why not dance the night away at the restaurant’s night club? In her Yelp review, Janine C. said that Franchesco’s gave her “the best meal I have had in ages. Filet done perfectly, tender and wonderful flavor. Enjoyed the piano and base serenading us throughout our evening! Brought back fine dining of long ago! Highly recommend.”
- Cucina Di Rosa, 1620 N Bell School Rd: Those looking for good eats and good times should check out Cucina Di Rosa. Offering a unique location for a morning, day or evening out, Cucina Di Rosa offers great food, coffee and flavorful desserts. Residents can also shake their groove thing during their meal, as Cucina offers live music every Friday and Saturday night. Jim C. on his Yelp review that, “What’s got 2 thumbs and thinks this place is great? THIS GUY! Salted caramel gelato is the bomb – next time, that’s where I am starting. Petitioning for a liquor license, but expect that they will have that in hand soon. Cozy atmosphere, delicious homemade food, friendly service, and the desserts …. I will be back for more.”
- Pomodoro, 6500 E Riverside Blvd: Only opened in 2019, Pomodoro has already become a staple on the Rockford 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. Considering each and every diner as one of the family, Pomodoro is offering a new menu, wine list and cocktails specials for residents to come in and enjoy. Mitch J. said in his Yelp review that Pomodoro is a “great spot! Haven’t been here since it changed hands from Ciao Bella and glad to report we had an awesome time… Servers were super friendly, helpful, and attentive. They got us several drinks and all of them were well-crafted by a fun bartender (whose beard was on point). The bacon wrapped shrimp and scallops we got as appetizers 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 dough fresh on site every day, and offer an extensive menu including various appetizers, salads, pastas and deserts. They pride themselves on creating fresh, delicious cuisine in a warm, inviting atmosphere, blending cozy ambiance with fast, friendly service that will keep you coming back for more. Mike D. said that “the pizza was really good… We also has the calamari appetizer. Perfectly prepared. Kudos,” on his Yelp review.