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Carbs please

Where to find the best Italian food in the South Sound

The new patio seating at the Adriatic at Oakbrook is a hidden gem in Lakewood. Credit: Bill White

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When we're hungry, tired, happy, moody, or excited - carbs are always the answer. And what cuisine has the most carb loaded options? Italian. So, we set out to help others that feel the same way and found the best Italian food in the South Sound. 

Macaluso's Italian Restaurant is a family-owned authentic Italian restaurant located on Pearl Street in Tacoma. An extensive menu of pizza, pasta and Italian classics using fresh ingredients awaits you when dining here. Caprese Salad, Margherita Pizza, House-made gnocchi, lasagna and classic chicken parmigiana are just a few of the many available options. Every Tuesday and Wednesday they serve a vegan and gluten free Impossible Lasagna and a vegan Bolognese that can be made gluten free by substituting their gluten free penne pasta.

Open 4:30 to 9:30 p.m., Tuesday-Thursday & Sunday; 4:30 to 10 p.m., Friday-Saturday, 253.267.1340,  

Pizza Casa is a place you might have seen directly off the Gravelly Lake Dr. exit in Lakewood and not thought twice about. And while we admit it holds a lot of nostalgia for us, we firmly believe it's a place everyone should think twice about. Once you walk through the doors you will be transported into a wood paneled, dimly lit old-school Italian restaurant with checkered tablecloths and paper placemats. All meals are accompanied by a classic bread basket and Antipasto salads, lasagna, spaghetti, pizza and all the Italian classics are available for ordering. This is the place to gather as a family. 

Open 4 to 10 p.m., Monday-Saturday; 2 to 10 p.m., Sunday, 253.588.8135,

Located in downtown Olympia, Basilico Ristorante has been serving authentic Central and Northern Italian cuisine since 2005. Specializing in hand-made pasta, ravioli, braised sauces and meats, you can taste the authenticity with every bite. Their fried polenta with a side of warm gorgonzola sauce is out of this world. If we can recommend one thing when dining here, it's to save room for dessert. We can't stress the importance here, because they are that good. Pannacotta Frutti, Torta Mascarpone, Tiramisu and Gelato are just a few of the decadent options. This is a must when wanting to indulge in Italian cuisine. 

Open 5 to 9 p.m., Tuesday-Saturday, 360.570.8777,    

Speaking of good Italian food in Olympia, Mercato Ristorante is another must try Italian restaurant located on Market St. This upscale casual restaurant focuses on the usage of fresh ingredients and preparing foods fresh daily. A large selection of both Northwestern and Italian wines are available amongst their large selection of antipasti, pasta, salads, sandwiches, pizza and more. Whether it's for lunch or dinner we definitely recommend stopping by. 

Open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., daily, 360.528.3663,

Located in the back of Lakewood's Oakbrook is the Adriatic at Oakbrook. There is no more relaxing setting in the South Sound, that is not on the water, than this Italian restaurant at the Oakbrook Golf Club. Their newly-created patio looks out over the 18th green and feels like you're dining in a park. Oh, and the food is great too. We recommend the Rigatoni with Bolognese Sauce and the weekend Mimosa Brunch.

Open noon to 8 p.m., Monday-Thursday; noon to 9 p.m., Friday; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sunday, 253.584.8888,

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