A Taste of Authentic Italy at Hilton Head Island: Our Gusto Ristorante Experience

Best Italian Restaurant in Hilton Head Gusto Ristorante Review

Hilton Head Island is chock-full of places to eat, but if you’re craving some truly delicious Italian food, I’ve got just the spot for you. On our recent family trip, we stumbled upon Gusto Ristorante. Now, I’ve been to a fair share of Italian places, but this one? It’s easily one of the best Italian restaurants at Hilton Head Island. Let me share our delightful experience with you.

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Best Italian Restaurant in Hilton Head Island: Gusto Ristorante

At Gusto Ristorante, it’s clear they know their stuff. Their Northern Italian influence shines bright, and every dish is made with a lot of love. This isn’t just by chance; Chef Giancarlo Balestra from Rome and Chef Rosario Limonio from Naples are the masterminds here. Their touch is magic, and you can taste the tradition in every bite.

A Peek Inside: Walking in, you can’t miss the wine room showcasing an impressive collection, hinting at a great evening ahead.

The restaurant has a cozy feel with two main dining areas, one featuring a bar. We arrived early for our dining preview for this blog post so we were treated to the restaurant to ourselves. Once the dining room opened, it started bustling. I recommend making a reservation, if possible.

And if you’re in the mood for some fresh air with your meal, there’s a lovely garden patio waiting for you.

Best Italian Restaurant in Hilton Head with outside dining Gusto Ristorante Review

If you take a quick look at their “About Us” page, it’s clear this place has heart. The story of the chefs and their commitment to bringing a slice of Italy to Hilton Head Island is inspiring, it’s not wonder it’s known as the best Italian restaurant in Hilton Head Island.

We kicked things off with some classic appetizers. The Gusto Garlic Bread was homey and flavorful, you can’t go to an Italian restaurant without it. The Bruschetta di Pomodoro was the real show-stopper. Fresh and full of flavor, it was an instant hit.

The chef sent a special 4-cheese stuffed pasta with pears in a dreamy butter sage white wine sauce for us to try. A must-try if it’s available.

And because why not, we also tried the Calamari Fritti, crispy and perfect for sharing.

For our main courses, I went for the Gamberi alla Sorrentina. Think juicy shrimp, pasta, and a rich sauce – absolute perfection.

My husband’s osso buco pork shank was a massive, melt-in-your-mouth masterpiece. It felt like a dish that had been perfected over generations.

The kids were equally pleased with their choices, from the light Capellini Positano to the flavorful Spaghetti alle Vongole.

We were almost too stuffed for dessert, but who can say no when the chef sends out a plate of chocolate-drizzled potato gnocchi? It was a delightful and sweet end to our meal – a sweet testament to Italian ingenuity in the kitchen.

What sets Gusto Ristorante apart as the best Italian restaurant at Hilton Head Island is not just the authentic food but the entire experience. The ambiance, the staff’s genuine warmth, and the feeling of being welcomed into an Italian household made our evening unforgettable.


If you’re in Hilton Head and craving some top-notch Italian, Gusto Ristorante is the place to be.

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Founder and Lead Blogger at Akron Ohio Moms
Cindy is the top Akron Blogger with her own take on awesome brands for families, where to vacation for families, a beat on local activities and family fun, a knack for getting moms to share , and a house that is always 2 weeks away from a complete remodel!
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