You could brave a 14-hour flight with antsy tykes from LA to Rome for mind-blowing Italian food.  Or you could simply pop by Santa Monica’s newest (and may we add molto delizioso) Italian eatery, North Italia. Think fresh and inventive pastas and pizzas handcrafted from scratch daily—this truly is the Westside’s best new culinary gem for every member of your foodie family.

photo: Jennifer O’Brien

Lively Space for a Fab Meal
With two other super successful locations in El Segundo and Irvine, North Italia is a hotly anticipated addition to the ever-evolving Santa Monica dining scene. The space itself is extremely energetic and lively with a bustling front patio and inside giving it an airy, downtown New York feel. Parents will appreciate enjoying an upscale meal without feeling like boisterous bambinis need to be silent, Stepford children. Additionally, an open concept kitchen provides some theatre for tots who are interested in watching talented chefs prepare meals.

photo: Jennifer O’Brien

We suggest requesting a table close to the action so kiddos can get a good view (and mom and dad can steal a few peaceful moments with a signature cocktail (the Julietta with vanilla and ginger infused Smirnoff, St. Germain, lime and Prosecco is outstanding).

photos: Jennifer O’Brien

Mangia! Mangia!
When it comes the food, you really can’t go wrong. For small plates, we suggest the Burrata with Heirloom Tomatoes or White Truffle Garlic Bread; both are fantastic. For mains, be sure to check out the Margherita Pizza, Tuscan Kale Salad, Chicken Parmesan or the piece de resistance, the Short Rib Radiatori. Bellisimo! Plates are very rich and flavorful so we suggest sharing so you have a chance to try a little bit of everything. If you have any room left at the end of the meal, the Salted Caramel Budino and Affogato are desserts well worth the calories.

North Italia offers a kids’ menu featuring selections that’ll please even the pickiest pint-sized palettes: Spaghetti with Meatballs, Cheese Pizza and Chicken Strips are just a few of the yummy items to choose from, along with sugared donuts with chocolate dipping sauce for the grand finale.  And no joke, the kids’ meals are so good, you’ll find yourself begging the kids for extra bites and eating their leftovers in the car on the way home.

photo: Jennifer O’Brien

They’ll Make You Feel Like Family
Beyond the food and inviting space, the tremendously gracious and friendly service is what will keep your family coming back time and time again. From the hosts and bartenders to the servers, everyone is enthusiastic, accommodating and filled with wonderful dining and cocktail suggestions.

photo: Jennifer O’Brien

Lots to Do Nearby
North Italia is conveniently located within walking distance of the Santa Monica Expo Line stop, so you and your family can make a day of it without the hassle of traffic and parking. After lunch, head over to nearby Tongva Park to to let the kids play and run off all that pasta you just devoured. The Santa Monica Pier and of course the beach are just steps away as well, making this a great addition for locals, but a worthwhile day trip just for the food and to enjoy the surrounding park & beach with the kids.

North Italia
1442 2nd St.
Santa Monica
310-382-2460
Online: northitaliarestaurant.com

If you check out North Italia, be sure to let us know your favorite dishes in the comments below! Ciao!

–Jennifer O’Brien