Buon appetito: The 3 best Italian restaurants in Chapel Hill

Magone Italian Grill & Pizza. | Photo: Jill G./Yelp

Looking to satisfy your appetite for Italian fare?

Hoodline crunched the numbers to find the top Italian eateries around Chapel Hill, using both Yelp data and our own secret sauce to produce a ranked list of the best spots to achieve your dreams.

1. Magone Italian Grill & Pizza

Photo: Magone Italian Grill & Pizza/Yelp

Topping the list is Magone Italian Grill & Pizza. Located at 1129 Weaver Dairy Road, Suite F, it is the highest-rated Italian restaurant in Chapel Hill, boasting 4.5 stars out of 60 reviews on Yelp.

The casual neighborhood eatery is in the Timberlyne Shopping Center and offers Neopolitan-style pizza, pasta and Italian classics like chicken piccata, shrimp scampi and linguine in clam sauce.

"Excellent food and service. The portions are generous and very good in taste," wrote Yelper Vipul S. "Service was very good. The waitress constantly came to check to see if everything was alright. The pastas are very good, as was the cheesy garlic bread."

2. Italian Pizzeria III

Photo: Angelo M./Yelp

Next up is Italian Pizzeria III, situated at 508 W. Franklin St. With four stars out of 160 reviews on Yelp, the Italian restaurant has proven to be a local favorite.

Open since 1980, brothers and owners Angelo and Vincenzo Marrone are serving up pizzas with freshly made dough, strombolis, baked specialties like manicotti and other classic dishes, including shrimp alla fradiavola and veal Parmigiana.

Yelp reviewer Kalyani H. wrote, "This is my absolute favorite pizza place in town. The environment of IP3 is welcoming and fun. The walls show the history of the town and the university. And the pizza itself is delicious!"

3. Il Palio Ristorante

Photo: Il Palio Ristorante/Yelp

Then there's Il Palio Ristorante, located at 1505 E. Franklin St. in The Siena Hotel. Known for chef Adam Rose's upscale take on rustic Italian cooking, the restaurant and bar has received four stars out of 125 reviews.

Start off with grilled octopus or 500-day-aged prosciutto with candied fruit mostarda. For dinner, try the butternut squash ravioli, wood-grilled swordfish or the New York strip steak pizzaiola. Pair your meal with a selection off of the extensive wine list.

Take it from Francisco G., who reviewed the restaurant earlier this year: "It is just a wonderful place to enjoy. Food is delicious, more authentic Italian cuisine with a little twist. Service is always very good ... I stay at The Siena and dining at Il Palio makes it even more special."
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