Best Authentic Victorian Italian Dining


Everything about this Little Italy fixture takes you back to the day when Mama Guarino started serving up meals there back in 1918. Guarino's is the oldest restaurant in Cleveland, and the decor and vibe seem not to have changed in the 90 or so years since opening night. Italian opera plays while diners devour traditional Italian delicacies fashioned around veal, chicken, fish, and pasta. The gnocchi pesto, saltimbocca, and generous servings of manicotti and canneloni are just as awesomely cheesy as the old-school pictures, antique furniture, and assorted knick-knacks that adorn the place. Owner Nancy Phillips, a longtime family friend of the original Guarinos, is as adorable and gracious as Mama Guarino was — and she crafts her fabulous lasagna with the very same recipe they launched the place with so many years ago.

12309 Mayfield Rd., Cleveland, 216-231-3100,