Discover Long Island’s Hidden Italian Restaurants

Long Island is lauded for its fine Italian cuisine, but not all of its restaurants are easy to pinpoint on a map. Nestled on side streets or tucked away in shopping centers, the following five Italian eateries are full of delicious surprises.

Related Content: That’s Amore: Favorite Long Island Italian Restaurants

Osteria Leana, Oyster Bay


image: osteria leana

Located off South Street, Osteria Leana is a small, cozy spot with fresh flowers, an open kitchen and a 10-seat communal table. Through a menu driven by seasonal ingredients, the plates are fresh, the flavors are creative and the tastes are praised for being out of this world. This winter try the roasted rainbow carrots presented with beehive honey ricotta and sopressata flakes, the Crescent duck ravioli with duck consommé and local mushrooms or the braised octopus served with lemon baked chickpeas and celery confit (pictured above). Phone: 516-584-6995 | Address: 76 South Street Click to taste

Verde Wine Bar and Ristorante, Deer Park



Warm and rustic, Verde Wine Bar and Ristorante is known for putting modern twists on Italian classics. Chef James Ahearn takes tastebuds for a ride with rabbit legs (served with bacon!), chicken liver mousse and veal sweetbreads. Another worthwhile surprise: the wine selection. Be sure to order a glass of white, red or any of the sparkling options right from the heart of wine country. Phone: 631-242-8902 | Address: 450 Commack Rd Click to taste

DiMaggio’s Trattoria, Port Washington



Known for being small and quaint, guests are always impressed with the warm and welcoming aura at DiMaggio’s. The staff is recognized for being accommodating, knowledgeable about the menu (catering to allergies!) and friendly. Guests rave about the Italian flag gnocchi for being “soft and warm.” It’s served with pesto, alfredo and tomato sauce. Another heavy hitter is the pizza, especially when fresh mozzarella and mushrooms are involved. Bonus: there is a back room reminiscent of a courtyard in Italy with its beautiful fencing, plants and miniature stairway. Phone: 516-944-6363 | Address: 706 Port Washington Blvd Click to taste

Pizzaiola, North Babylon



Tucked away in the Sunset Plaza shopping center, Pizzaiola has been providing Long Islanders with a taste of Italy for more than 30 years. The setting is warm, intimate and built for good conversation. The menu tugs at the heartstrings with delicious comfort fare like fried calamari, penne alla vodka, chicken parmigiana and homemade meat lasagna. Phone: 631-242-6111 | Address: 1162 Deer Park Ave Click to taste

Francesca’s Restaurant & Pizzeria, Hampton Bays



Whether it’s dine-in, take out or delivery, Francesca’s is a secret specialty pizza paradise. Gourmet options run the gamut from chicken, bacon and honey mustard to macaroni and cheese and an eggplant parmigiana slice with pesto. The latter has been touted as having “the perfect crust and just the right amount of cheese.” Phone: 631-728-8979 | Address: 9 Ponquogue Ave Click to taste