Mamma DiSalvo's famous lasagna. Source: Facebook

BEST OF DAYTON 2018: 3 Italian restaurants pasta lovers have to try in Dayton 

Dayton has no shortage of mouth-watering Italian food. 

Pasta lovers can find the best Italian food at a few places around the Miami Valley. These three restaurants won for Best Italian Food in the Best of 2018 contest. The annual Dayton.com “Best of Dayton” poll allows readers to vote on the best that our beloved town has to offer.

>> BEST OF DAYTON 2018 WINNERS: Food & Dining

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Here’s where to get the best pasta in town:

Photo from Mamma DiSalvo's Facebook page

🥇WINNER: Mamma DiSalvo’s Risturante

This is a Dayton tradition dating back to 1979 and a true Dayton original.

Mamma DiSalvo's spaghetti sauce. TY GREENLEES/STAFF FILE PHOTO
Photo: Ty Greenlees/Ty Greenlees

Rinaldo “Papa” DiSalvo Sr. and his wife Elena “Mamma” DiSalvo opened an Italian restaurant in Kettering with the help of Elena's father Pasquale Berarado and their three sons, Nicola, Rinaldo Jr. and Roberto.

The family-owned institution satisfies with classic eggplant parmigiano, spaghetti alla carbanara, calamari, toasted ravioli and linguini vongole. 

The meatballs are also pretty amazing.

The family still cooks everything from scratch using only the finest quality ingredients available. You can even purchase the famous sauce to cook up an Italian masterpiece at home.

🏆Dayton.com’s Best of 2017 Best Italian Food winner

🏆Dayton.com’s Best of 2016 Best Italian Food winner

🏆Dayton.com’s Best of 2015 Best Italian Food winner

WANT TO GO?

Where: 1375 E. Stroop Road, Kettering

Website | Facebook

🥈SECOND PLACE: The Spaghetti Warehouse  

Spaghetti Warehouse in Dayton offers a heaping pasta dish on Wednesdays for $5, including salad and breadsticks. (Source: Spaghetti Warehouse Facebook)

It’s a place to go on your birthday, anniversary or before a theater show downtown. Since 1972, The Spaghetti Warehouse has been dishing out some of the best spaghetti and meatballs in town in an atmosphere perfect for celebrations of all kinds. It’s also famous for it’s 15-layer lasagne. Yes, 15 layers.

If you’re lucky, you can dine inside the trolley car inside the restaurant. That’s an experience that is fun for children and adults alike.

WANT TO GO?

36 W. Fifth St., Dayton

Website | Facebook 

🥉THIRD PLACE: Franco's Ristorante 

Franco’s World Famoso spaghetti. PHOTO BY E.L. HUBBARD, CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER
Photo: Contributing Writer

The late Franco Germano opened his restaurant in Dayton in October 1976 at age 31. He grew up in Duronia, Italy, where he developed an expansive knowledge and passion for food. His Italian heritage inspired his restaurant’s authentic menu.

The restaurant’s signature dish, Franco’s “World Famoso” Spaghetti, is a distinctive take on the otherwise ubiquitous pasta dish, and it came from Germano’s creativity in the kitchen. In this version, spaghetti is dressed with oil and Romano cheese, along with “a lot of garlic,” Germano says, then topped with house-made Italian sausage, mushrooms and egg.

WANT TO GO?

824 E. Fifth St., Dayton

Website | Facebook

🏆BEST OF DAYTON 2017 WINNERS: BEST ITALIAN RESTAURANT

WINNER: Mamma DiSalvo’s

SECOND PLACE: Franco’s Ristorante Italiano 

THIRD PLACE: Jimmy’s Italian Kitchen

🏆BEST OF DAYTON 2016 WINNERS: BEST ITALIAN RESTAURANT

WINNER: Mamma DiSalvo's

SECOND PLACE: Jimmy's Italian Kitchen

THIRD PLACE: Tony's Italian Kitchen

🏆BEST OF DAYTON 2015 WINNERS: BEST ITALIAN RESTAURANT

WINNER: Mamma DiSalvo's

SECOND PLACE: Deroma Italian Restaurant

THIRD PLACE: Franco's Ristorante Italiano

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