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Bucatini at Josephine Estelle
Josephine Estelle/Facebook

Where to Eat Pasta in New Orleans

Carbs to die for

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Bucatini at Josephine Estelle
| Josephine Estelle/Facebook

For eaters of Italian heritage, pasta is comfort on a plate, whether its red gravy and meatballs for Sunday dinner or homemades simply sauced with garlic, olive oil and red chili flakes. New Orleans, with its deep Sicilian roots and particular Creole meets Italian cuisine, does a fine job of bringing its own version of the boot’s gastronomy to the table. Tending to the heavily sauced and often mixing seafood with cheese, two things you won’t find in Italy, local pasta satisfies with New Orleans panache. There are a few chefs with a more traditional take on pasta; Rebecca Wilcomb and Donald Link’s soon to open (April 20!) Gianna in the Warehouse District is eagerly awaited, and Avo chef Nick Lama does his third-generation Sicilian roots proud. Take comfort and get a carb fix at all of these Italian eateries.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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Vincent's

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This Metairie classic delivers copious portions of New Orleans style Italian fare, and has since 1989. Try the house special, a veal and spinach stuffed feather-light canneloni with both red and Alfredo cream sauce, and all of the seafood pastas are beyond fresh. There’s also a Vincent’s location on St. Charles Avenue near the Riverbend.

Vincent’s canneloni
Vincent’s/Facebook

Chef Nick Lama’s sophisticated uptown restaurant, with its gorgeous dining courtyard, pays homage to his Sicilian roots in a myriad of artful ways. Avo serves handmade pasta, beautifully composed plates of lasagna rich with short rib ragu, black squid ink fettuccine carbonara and tender ricotta ravioli swabbed with an outstanding mushroom sugo. All of the food is special here, but the pasta is beyond dreamy.

Black squid ink fettuccine
AVO/Facebook

Pascal's Manale

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A delicious family tradition for five generations, Pascal’s Manale is best known for bangin’ barbecue shrimp and all things seafood, but then there’s pasta, yes indeed. Try the family’s recipe for stuffed tufoli, large, ridged cannelloni-ish noodles stuffed with cheese, spinach, and veg. The lasagne includes sliced hard-boiled eggs, a Sicily-meets-Nola touch.

Josephine Estelle

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Ohhhhh the cacio e pepe at Josephine Estelle, oh my oh my. So savory, black peppery, fresh and pungent with Parmigiano-Reggiano, this is just one of the homemade pastas worth diving into at this smart restaurant at the Ace Hotel. The restaurant, from James Beard Award-nominated chefs Andy Ticer and Michael Hudman, is named after each of their daughters, and marries flavors from Italy with flavors and product from the American South. Good news - all of the homemade pasta dishes are offered as both starters and entrees, because you’ll want more.

Cacio e pepe at Josephine Estelle
Josephine Estelle/Facebook

Marcello's Restaurant & Wine Bar

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Marcello’s delivers old school Italian specialties with some outstanding pasta dishes, including one of the few local options for the spaghetti with white clam sauce - clams just aren’t a thing in the Gulf. A fine option for grown up date night, you’ll want to dress for dinner, order some wine and expect to spend some dough.

Pork Meatballs, broccolini, sherry cream sauce over fettuccine
Marcello’s/Facebook

Sofia NOLA

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Fans of Sophia Loren will adore this new Italian restaurant, where photos of the Roman beauty are everywhere. Executive chef Talia Diele makes fantastic homemade pasta, case in point her tagliarini squid ink pasta with Calabrian chile, mussels and squid on a bed of spicy greens. Sofia’s cacio e pepe features the lightest ricotta gnocchi and there’s risotto too.

The Italian Barrel

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This elegant eatery close to the French Market leans to the north of the boot, thanks to the talents of Verona, Italy-born and raised chef Samantha Castagnetti. Don’t resist the veal meatball in red sauce with red sauce, tender and perfectly spiced. The penne ala vodka is spiked with local crabmeat and linguine is tossed with a bright pesto sauce larded with shrimp.

Adolfo's

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Adolfo’s might just be the king of Creole Italian food in New Orleans. Situated above the Apple Barrel on Frenchmen Street, this no frills, cash-only, no reservations joint draws legions of loyal fans. Almost everything is tasty, rich with cream and slathered with cheese. Try the shrimp alfredo, mussels marinara over spaghetti and of course the cannelloni. Portions are huge, so plan ahead.

Crabmeat Canneloni
Adolfo’s/Facebook

Paladar 511

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This bustling Marigny restaurant is a neighborhood gem through and through. Wood-fired pizza dominates the menu, but there are a few homemade pastas, including an outstanding house-made pappardelle that pairs spicy pork sausage ragu, basil and parmigiana with the wide ribbons of pasta. Everything at Palladar 511 is good, including the tuna crudo, beef carpacio, well, everything really.

Arabella Casa Di Pasta

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Have your pasta your way at Arabella’s, a laid-back Italian eatery where diners build their own supper, combining a pasta shape, a sauce (puttanesca? tomato cream?) and add ons like meatballs, mushrooms, roasted red peppers and more. There are house specialties too, including the John Lemon, which tosses shrimp, arugula and lemon infused extra virgin olive oil in fettuccini, or the Yolko Ono, a riff on carbonara that includes pancetta, roasted garlic and lots of black pepper over spaghetti, all topped with a runny egg yolk.

Yolko Ono at Arabella
Arabella Casa Di Pasta/Facebook

Bywater American Bistro

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It’s no coincidence that chef Nina Compton and chef/partner Levi Raines’ Bywater American Bistro has a rice, grains and noodles section on the menu. The restaurant is in the Rice Mill Lofts building by the tracks, a circa 1892 building that was once home to the largest rice mill in North America. Get the butter-kissed spaghetti pomodoro, a fresh take on a comfort classic, or the delicate carbonara.

Spaghetti carbonara at BABs
Bywater American Bistro/Facebook

Pizza Delicious

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This Bywater favorite is of course, best known for its pizza, but the rotating pasta offerings are not to be missed: a deeply satisfying bucatini, lovely spring gnocchi, and a perfectly executed pappardelle Bolognese are among the options that as well as a vegan spaghetti with chickpeas, asparagus, and breadcrumbs that doesn’t leave you missing a thing. Affordable and with great, creative homemade cookies to finish up your meal with.

Gnocchi with lemon tarragon cream sauce, asparagus, and prosciutto
Pizza Delicious/Facebook

Vincent's

Vincent’s canneloni
Vincent’s/Facebook

This Metairie classic delivers copious portions of New Orleans style Italian fare, and has since 1989. Try the house special, a veal and spinach stuffed feather-light canneloni with both red and Alfredo cream sauce, and all of the seafood pastas are beyond fresh. There’s also a Vincent’s location on St. Charles Avenue near the Riverbend.

Vincent’s canneloni
Vincent’s/Facebook

Avo

Black squid ink fettuccine
AVO/Facebook

Chef Nick Lama’s sophisticated uptown restaurant, with its gorgeous dining courtyard, pays homage to his Sicilian roots in a myriad of artful ways. Avo serves handmade pasta, beautifully composed plates of lasagna rich with short rib ragu, black squid ink fettuccine carbonara and tender ricotta ravioli swabbed with an outstanding mushroom sugo. All of the food is special here, but the pasta is beyond dreamy.

Black squid ink fettuccine
AVO/Facebook

Pascal's Manale

A delicious family tradition for five generations, Pascal’s Manale is best known for bangin’ barbecue shrimp and all things seafood, but then there’s pasta, yes indeed. Try the family’s recipe for stuffed tufoli, large, ridged cannelloni-ish noodles stuffed with cheese, spinach, and veg. The lasagne includes sliced hard-boiled eggs, a Sicily-meets-Nola touch.

Josephine Estelle

Cacio e pepe at Josephine Estelle
Josephine Estelle/Facebook

Ohhhhh the cacio e pepe at Josephine Estelle, oh my oh my. So savory, black peppery, fresh and pungent with Parmigiano-Reggiano, this is just one of the homemade pastas worth diving into at this smart restaurant at the Ace Hotel. The restaurant, from James Beard Award-nominated chefs Andy Ticer and Michael Hudman, is named after each of their daughters, and marries flavors from Italy with flavors and product from the American South. Good news - all of the homemade pasta dishes are offered as both starters and entrees, because you’ll want more.

Cacio e pepe at Josephine Estelle
Josephine Estelle/Facebook

Marcello's Restaurant & Wine Bar

Pork Meatballs, broccolini, sherry cream sauce over fettuccine
Marcello’s/Facebook

Marcello’s delivers old school Italian specialties with some outstanding pasta dishes, including one of the few local options for the spaghetti with white clam sauce - clams just aren’t a thing in the Gulf. A fine option for grown up date night, you’ll want to dress for dinner, order some wine and expect to spend some dough.

Pork Meatballs, broccolini, sherry cream sauce over fettuccine
Marcello’s/Facebook

Sofia NOLA

Fans of Sophia Loren will adore this new Italian restaurant, where photos of the Roman beauty are everywhere. Executive chef Talia Diele makes fantastic homemade pasta, case in point her tagliarini squid ink pasta with Calabrian chile, mussels and squid on a bed of spicy greens. Sofia’s cacio e pepe features the lightest ricotta gnocchi and there’s risotto too.

The Italian Barrel

This elegant eatery close to the French Market leans to the north of the boot, thanks to the talents of Verona, Italy-born and raised chef Samantha Castagnetti. Don’t resist the veal meatball in red sauce with red sauce, tender and perfectly spiced. The penne ala vodka is spiked with local crabmeat and linguine is tossed with a bright pesto sauce larded with shrimp.

Adolfo's

Crabmeat Canneloni
Adolfo’s/Facebook

Adolfo’s might just be the king of Creole Italian food in New Orleans. Situated above the Apple Barrel on Frenchmen Street, this no frills, cash-only, no reservations joint draws legions of loyal fans. Almost everything is tasty, rich with cream and slathered with cheese. Try the shrimp alfredo, mussels marinara over spaghetti and of course the cannelloni. Portions are huge, so plan ahead.

Crabmeat Canneloni
Adolfo’s/Facebook

Paladar 511

This bustling Marigny restaurant is a neighborhood gem through and through. Wood-fired pizza dominates the menu, but there are a few homemade pastas, including an outstanding house-made pappardelle that pairs spicy pork sausage ragu, basil and parmigiana with the wide ribbons of pasta. Everything at Palladar 511 is good, including the tuna crudo, beef carpacio, well, everything really.

Arabella Casa Di Pasta

Yolko Ono at Arabella
Arabella Casa Di Pasta/Facebook

Have your pasta your way at Arabella’s, a laid-back Italian eatery where diners build their own supper, combining a pasta shape, a sauce (puttanesca? tomato cream?) and add ons like meatballs, mushrooms, roasted red peppers and more. There are house specialties too, including the John Lemon, which tosses shrimp, arugula and lemon infused extra virgin olive oil in fettuccini, or the Yolko Ono, a riff on carbonara that includes pancetta, roasted garlic and lots of black pepper over spaghetti, all topped with a runny egg yolk.

Yolko Ono at Arabella
Arabella Casa Di Pasta/Facebook

Bywater American Bistro

Spaghetti carbonara at BABs
Bywater American Bistro/Facebook

It’s no coincidence that chef Nina Compton and chef/partner Levi Raines’ Bywater American Bistro has a rice, grains and noodles section on the menu. The restaurant is in the Rice Mill Lofts building by the tracks, a circa 1892 building that was once home to the largest rice mill in North America. Get the butter-kissed spaghetti pomodoro, a fresh take on a comfort classic, or the delicate carbonara.

Spaghetti carbonara at BABs
Bywater American Bistro/Facebook

Pizza Delicious

Gnocchi with lemon tarragon cream sauce, asparagus, and prosciutto
Pizza Delicious/Facebook

This Bywater favorite is of course, best known for its pizza, but the rotating pasta offerings are not to be missed: a deeply satisfying bucatini, lovely spring gnocchi, and a perfectly executed pappardelle Bolognese are among the options that as well as a vegan spaghetti with chickpeas, asparagus, and breadcrumbs that doesn’t leave you missing a thing. Affordable and with great, creative homemade cookies to finish up your meal with.

Gnocchi with lemon tarragon cream sauce, asparagus, and prosciutto
Pizza Delicious/Facebook

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