Best Of Tucson®

Best Italian


6960 E. Sunrise Drive, No. 110
7401 N. La Cholla Blvd., No. 146
7865 E. Broadway Blvd., No. 165

READERS' PICK: In a town that boasts some great Italian restaurants, to nab Best Italian is an honor not to be taken lightly. Gavi's is so popular that it now has three locations to serve Tucson, and they are all packed on a regular basis. From start to finish, dinner at Gavi's is pure indulgence. They take their pasta seriously and serve up what is easily the largest bowl of pasta in Arizona. But the good deal doesn't end there; great sauces, attentive service, a thorough wine list and a real family atmosphere make this a winner on all counts. The kids' menu is one of the best deals in town not just because they know that kids love that one huge enormous meatball balanced in a bowl of pasta, but because they give kids enough credit to choose from several excellent choices, from homemade ravioli to linguine alfredo. Whether you drop in for a glass of wine and the world-class fried calamari smothered in marinara sauce, or for a full-on veal parmigiana, killer homemade lasagna or the outstanding tiramisu, Gavi's is certain to please.

READERS' POLL RUNNER-UP: Caruso's Restaurant, 434 N. Fourth Ave. There is more of a chance of finding Lady and the Tramp sharing spaghetti here than hearing anyone say the word "nouveau." The Zagona family has been serving hearty, well-seasoned Italian dishes to Tucson families for more than 50 years. We've watched kids go from raving about the lasagna as they watch the fish in the tanks to taking their first date here. For a real treat, enjoy a leisurely dinner in the outdoor garden under the pomegranate trees. The prices for the food and wine are very reasonable, and you're quite likely to take some home. Try the seafood cannelloni and the manicotti made with fresh pasta.