Italian food is one of my all-time favorite cuisines; whether it’s pizza or pasta, I always love trying out new places and comparing restaurants’ general ambiance and food quality.
So when it comes to finding the best locations serving the best pasta in Houston, Italian restaurants are where I decided to start.
However, along the way, I did come across one or two places serving fabulous pasta dishes that perhaps weren’t holy Italian based on their cuisine.
Who Serves the Best Pasta in Houston?
After extensive research and taste testing, I gathered enough information to put together this helpful guide telling you all the best locations in Houston serving the best pasta.
I have looked into the quality of the food, the variety of their cuisines, what dietary requirements they cater to, and what the general atmosphere is like in case you’re looking for somewhere to enjoy a romantic meal, for example.
So, in no particular order, let’s look at my favorite locations for the best pasta in Houston.
1. North Italia
|1700 Post Oak Blvd, Ste 190, Galleria, Uptown, Houston, TX 77056
|Wild shrimp scampi, mussels, meatballs, arancini, Caprese sandwich, bolognese, cocktails
|Spicy Rigatoni Vodka
North Italia is a popular Italian restaurant that has grown and becomes a much-loved staple for great food across America. They currently have 31 locations in places such as Georgia, California, Tennessee, and Arizona, with two more ready to open.
As well as being known for their great food, they have created a name for themselves through their passion and pride in the food they produce. With every plate of food that comes out, you can see the detail and precision of preparing it.
Each day, they offer something different, made from scratch, such as a new pizza flavor or a unique pasta recipe.
Personally, my favorite dish was the rigatoni vodka, which consisted of Italian sausage, pancetta, fresh basil and garlic, and grana Padano. It was delicately seasoned, fresh, and simple and tasted like the classic flavors of Italy.
Prices here are reasonable and in line with most classical Italian restaurants at this time (2022.)
The pasta dishes range from $18.50 to $22.00. In addition, there is a sandwich menu with fillings such as chicken parmesan, meatballs, cured meats, pesto, and tomato. These are priced at $14.50, and each is served on schiacciata bread with parmesan herb fries or a side salad.
There were a few vegetarian options, such as the Caprese sandwich, the burrata Antolini, and the Funghi pizza. Though I can’t say, I saw many options for vegans. I’m sure if you spoke to the staff, they would be able to make a suitable dish upon request.
They also have a great cocktail menu, the prices range from $12.00 to $14.00, or you can get some of them in a pitcher for $40.00, which serves 13 glasses.
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|1834 Westheimer Road, Houston, Montrose, TX 77098
|Cookies, salad, burger, BLT, paninis, pizza, veal, salmon
Paulie’s restaurant opened in 1998, and it is named after the son of the couple who opened it, Kathy and Bernard. Paul took over the running of the family restaurant in 2007.
At one point, there were two locations, but Paul decided to close the second one and concentrate solely on the original. So if you visit today, you will likely still see Paul in the kitchen or the restaurant floor greeting the customers, which immediately gives a homely, welcoming feel to the place.
Since taking over, Paul has dedicated his life to the business. He produces some of the most authentic Italian food in the region, including homemade pasta, fresh, high-quality coffee, and some fantastic wines. Paul was named as one of Houston’s most interesting men on a list that included many philanthropists and entrepreneurs. I think this fun fact brings many people from out of the area to see and sample his work and the chance to meet him in person.
When it comes to the food, all I can say is that it’s outstanding. I was immediately impressed as soon as I opened the menu because what I saw wasn’t the usual chicken parmesan and meatballs but instead dishes that consisted of a unique blend of ingredients.
For example, I visited on a Thursday, where they had a special dish called Ossobuco. It was probably one of the most excellent meals I had eaten up until now.
It consisted of a Veal shank that had been slow-cooked with roast carrots and fresh herbs. You could have it served with risotto or gnocchi, so I opted for the gnocchi.
I found the prices here to be highly reasonable for such high-quality food. In fact, I was expecting it to be a lot more expensive.
All the pasta dishes can be purchased in small portions for between $11.00 and $14.00 or large for $18.00 or $19.00. I thought the small portions were more than enough for an average meal, especially if you were having an entre.
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3. Tiny Champions
|2617 Mckinney Street, Houston, TX 77003
|Pizza, pasta, salad, vegetarian, fried chicken, dessert.
Tiny Champions is a no-frills, casual-style restaurant that is excellent if you don’t want the heirs and graces of a fine-dining setting.
Instead, the main focus of this restaurant is the fantastic food. The menu here is relatively small, especially the pasta section, which consists of only three dishes.
The three pasta meals to choose from are the linguini, which was my favorite, and it came with Marcona almonds, feta cheese, fresh tomato, chili, and mint. The flavors were so light and fresh, and it was an unusual pasta dish that I hadn’t seen anywhere before.
The other two are the Campanelli, which is basil pesto with shrimp, parmesan, garlic, and chili, and the rigatoni, which comes with a pork and beef bolognese sauce and pecorino.
They have a couple of options for anyone wanting a veggie option, the pasta dish I have recommended was suitable for vegetarians, and there is also a full menu of vegetable options with dishes such as cabbage salad and braised butter beans.
The prices here are slightly higher than I had expected, though I wouldn’t say this was off-putting, as they weren’t through the roof, and they match the quality of the food.
The linguini was the lowest-priced pasta dish on the menu and cost $10 for a small portion and $18.00 for a large. But the rigatoni was $22.00.
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4. Fabio’s Artisan Pasta
|Classical Italian pasta to cook at home.
Fabio’s has been run by the same owner since 1979 and is still serving the authentic Italian family recipes he has been doing since the beginning.
Here, the teams pride themselves on preserving the authentic flavors of Italy. Serving homemade sauces, stuffed pasta, delectable desserts, and much more, Fabio continues to live out his legacy.
This casual yet classic pasta store is perfect for any occasion, whether lunch with friends, a family dinner, a corporate event, or a business meeting. They can meet the needs of any customer.
Of course, this is slightly different from the other places I have mentioned because it is not a sit-down restaurant.
Instead, the concept is that you order the goods you want and receive a personalized bag, made up to order, of all the freshest quality ingredients you can imagine. You can then cook your meal at home, following the simple step-by-step instructions.
Prices vary quite a lot, depending on how you build your order, so if you want an exact price, it’s best to contact them beforehand.
5. Mia Bella Trattoria
|3773 Richmond Avenue, Ste 1A, Houston, TX 77046
|Brunch, seafood, risotto, soups, salads, cheese board, beef tenderloin
Mia Bella is a beautiful Italian restaurant with two locations in Houston. I visited the Greenway Plaza location, and it was everything I could want from an authentic Italian eatery.
They have a varied menu here, so you will find you aren’t restricted in choice, and everything is homemade, cooked perfectly, and beautifully presented.
There are 16 varieties of pasta dishes, including squid ink tagliatelle, sea scallop risotto, saffron pappardelle, giant cheese ravioli, and potato gnocchi with basil pesto.
My personal favorite, however, was a dish I had never tried before, which was the Italian dumplings. The dumplings were stuffed with ricotta cheese and served in a lemongrass broth with shiitake mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, leeks, fresh basil, and spinach.
There is plenty of choice for veggies and vegans, and if you can’t find anything on the menu that suits your dietary requirements, the “create your own” menu will be convenient.
As well as the main pasta dishes, there’s also an option where you can create your pasta. For $18.00, you can pick any pasta paired with any sauce and any two ingredients on the menu. This is perfect if you have a fussy eater in your group, as satisfaction is guaranteed.
Mia Bella is at the higher end of the restaurants I have discussed so far, and the pasta dishes range from $18.00 to $28.00. Still, it’s definitely worth the price, so if you’re looking for something for a special occasion, I highly recommend a visit.
6. The Spaghetti Western Italian Cafe
|1608 Shepherd Drive, Houston, TX 77007
|Pizza, calzone, sandwiches, bruschetta, nachos, fried catfish, lasagne, pork chop
|Blackened Chicken Pasta
If you want to experience a true combination of Western Texas and traditional Italy, you just have to take a trip to The Spaghetti Western Italian Cafe.
The restaurant gets its name from countless western European movies that were rejected and slated between 1960 and 1975. Italian companies often filmed these movies, so they got the nickname spaghetti westerns.
The menu here is excellent, and there is plenty to choose from, such as homemade pizzas, sandwiches, seafood, and calzone.
However, it’s the pasta that we came for, and boy, did they deliver. Firstly, they have a great selection, such as chipotle grilled chicken with fettuccine and penne shrimp and pesto, but the one I thought stood out the most was the blackened chicken.
This fettuccine dish was served with mushrooms and tossed in an alfredo sauce, the seasoning was perfect, and it was topped with fine parmesan shavings.
The prices here are very reasonable, and the pasta dishes start from as little as $10.00, and the most expensive, the seafood pasta, was $20.00. Everything in between was around $13.00 or $14.00, and you get great portions for your money.
If you enjoy something sweet at the end of your meal, you simply have to try the Chocolate Eruption. It’s a chocolate mousse cake with bite-size pieces of cheesecake, and a gooey caramel center, topped with more chocolate. It’s to die for.
To Sum Things Up
So, that’s that, the top locations for places serving the best pasta in Houston, listed in one place so that next time you’re fancying a beautiful Italian meal, you have a great selection to choose from.
Hopefully, this guide has given you everything you were looking for. If you have found it helpful, then I suggest taking a look at some of our other restaurant recommendations in Houston, such as 5 Unique Themed Restaurants in Houston and 5 Best Places to Have Sushi in Houston, TX.