Cafe Gia Ristorante

4.7
431 reviews
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$30 and under
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Italian
Top tags:
  • Good for a Date
  • Authentic
  • Romance
In 1953, Giovanna Aquia, along with her family, boarded the famous Italian luxury liner the “Andrea Doria” and made their way to America from Cefalu, Sicily, arriving in Little Italy, Baltimore on June 23, 1953. Their family life always revolved around the dinner table. It was there that a great appreciation of simple Sicilian cuisine took root.

It was the desire to share our Sicilian heritage and Sicilian cuisine that prompted the family to buy an older neighborhood diner and create a new, warm, comfortable family ristoranté in Little Italy, “Café Gia Ristoranté.” We have strived very hard to recreate a Sicilian bistro, a place where one feels like they are in Sicily while dining. Buon appetito!
What 431 People Are Saying
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Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.6
Food
4.6
Service
4.7
Ambience
4.5
Value
Noise · Quiet
100% of people would recommend it to a friend
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RK
Baltimore
7 reviews
Dined on May 17, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

What a wonderful, pleasant place. As you dine on fantastic Italian cuisine one is drawn to a feeling of being in a small Italian cafe in Venice or Rome. And you don't need a passport to get there. An Uber works just fine.

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S
Baltimore
6 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Absolutely amazing. Went for Mother’s Day and just picked Gias from reviews. The food was amazing and I’m Sicilian, so I’m really picky. Everyone at our table just sat in blissful silence after the first bite. Then we tucked in! Service was attentive and friendly. The owners are on site and are wonderful. Save room for the homemade desserts!

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ML
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Food,presentation and the waitress were all amazing! I will definitely be back...

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T
Hawaii
1 review
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 4Ambience 5

We sat at the bar and had a blast. The food was phenomenal and service was excellent. High recommend.

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s
Hawaii
46 reviews
Dined on May 9, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Amazing food and wine - exactly what I wanted in Little Italy. Super nice staff. Traveling from out of town, didn’t want to deal with the pretentious white table cloth places - would totally go back.

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MO
Salt Lake City
3 reviews
Dined on May 6, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Great food, great service, great ambiance: a must-visit in Baltimore!

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B
Baltimore
2 reviews
Dined on May 4, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

We sat on the outside patio and it was a beautiful evening in the main part of little Italy. The food was great as well as the wine selection and service! Will definitely be coming back soon!

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A
Detroit
1 review
Dined on May 4, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Amazing food, we sat in the lounge and had great service from the bartender! Would definitely go back when in Baltimore!!

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LT
1 review
Dined on May 4, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

The décor was so much fun, the service was warm and welcoming, and the food was terrific. Will definitely be back!

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NV
1 review
Dined on April 28, 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 5Ambience 5

This was a very cute Italian restaurant. We arrived right on time and were seated right away. The place is small but has great ambiance. The decor is very interesting and they definitely pay attention to detail from hand painted tables to decor on the walls. The service was very accommodating and quick. The food started off fantastic. If you come to this place, be sure to order the octopus appetizer as well as the mussels. The octopus was cooked to perfection, tender and almost melting in your mouth with amazing charred flavor on the outside. It was the best I ever tasted. The mussels were served in an amazing thick creamy sauce that soaked up every bit off with bread. Both appetizers were just perfect. There was slight disappointment in the veal, as the breading was a bit soggy and just not up to par with the appetizers. The shrimp scampi was great, but a bit different from the original taste of wine sauce/angel hair that I’m used to. Served instead in a creamy sauce with Italian dressing and linguine pasta, it was still a very delicious and flavorful dish. All in all, it’s a great place to come on a single or double date and you won’t be disappointed. The only reason I’m giving this 4 stars is because of the veal.

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GA
Baltimore
10 reviews
Dined on April 28, 2019
Overall 3Food 3Service 3Ambience 5

Very pretty restaurant. One server for entire 1st floor-not enough. Did not like my dish. Grilled Caesar just ok. A little overpriced for what you get. Better options in Little Italy.

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DP
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on April 20, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Food was excellent as always! Meatballs are amazing!

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PZ
1 review
Dined on April 20, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Outstanding. Food was unique, fresh, beautiful and beyond delicious. Owner and staff were great...attentive, offering wonderful suggestions we likely would not have tried otherwise. Can't wait to go back.

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KO
Baltimore
9 reviews
Dined on April 5, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Love visiting Gia’s when we are all n town

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OT
Baltimore
8 reviews
Dined on April 4, 2019
Overall 3Food 3Service 4Ambience 4

One of my favorite places was disappointing on Thursday night. My wife ordered eggplant parmigiana and she said she wasn’t sure it was eggplant. It may have been veal. It makes me sad.

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PK
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on April 1, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Chose the cafe for a Baltimore Little Italy experience. Delicious. Wooden tables with hand painted graphics---charming. Friendly staff. Food good, no trouble substituting for spaghetti, which I don't like to eat.

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RC
Denver
2 reviews
Dined on March 29, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Very attentive service, great atmosphere and delicious. Perfectly cooked risotto!

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AO
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on March 28, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

We sat on the Pane e Vino side and loved it. You get the same amazing food and service with a pub atmosphere. Just a great experience.

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AP
Baltimore
1 review
Dined on March 26, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Excellent food, service and ambience.
Notable customer service and staff knowledge.

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l
Hawaii
2 reviews
Dined on March 23, 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 5Ambience 5

リトルイタリーの界隈では最も目の引く可愛いらしい外装のお店です。店内は薄暗めの照明の元、レトロで落ち着ける雰囲気でした。前菜、パスタ、お魚、デザートといただきましたが、それぞれ丁寧な味付けを楽しめました。グラスワインにも赤白4種くらいずつチョイスがあるのが嬉しかったです。店員さんも適度な接客で心地よかったです。

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D
Philadelphia
15 reviews
Dined on March 13, 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 5Ambience 4

Excellent service ~ very good food. Great experience

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RK
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on March 10, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Nonna Rosa's meatballs...excellent! Gnocchi w/ wild boar and truffles...amazing! Great service and atmosphere as well! We'll be back!

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LD
1 review
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

Excellent food and wait staff! We enjoyed our dinner there!

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OT
1 review
Dined on February 22, 2019
Overall 3Food 4Service 3Ambience 3

The food was good and the wait service was terrific. It was very noisy, though. We had tried to get in touch (for a special request) by both phone and email a few days ahead of our reservation but didn’t get any response until the afternoon of our reservation day. Too late for us to seek an alternative.

Overall it was good but it’s unlikely we will be returning as it’s a fair drive for us and we have have better close by.

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GG
1 review
Dined on February 17, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

This was our second time here and it was great like last time. Will be back again in the future! Keep up the great work 👍🏽

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HT
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 3Food 3Service 4Ambience 4

We were there on a very busy evening. A few parties and a lot of Valentine dates. We were seated early and acknowledged quickly. Our waitress was sweet but very busy. We waited a while for our meals to arrive but knowing how busy they were, we expected to wait. Some guests waited longer . The food was very good. We will try again some day but with so many options in Little Italy, it might take a while. More like a 3.75 rating for our night.

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NC
1 review
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 5Ambience 5

Took my girlfriend to Cafe Gia, had a great time! Ambiance was nice, got seated in the best seat in the house (balcony) without even asking and had a nice relaxed time. Wait staff was extremely friendly. Unfortunately, the food wasn't exceptional (although quite tasty for sure and definitely not a reason to skip this place). Only big issue is I found a hair in my food. This happens, so I wouldn't hold it against them, but it definitely took away from the experience.

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EK
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Loved this restaurant inside and out! A lot of personality. They were out of a lot of wines but we still had a good one. I had the gnocchi, not very traditional. It was made with shredded beef but it was still delicious. We had a calamari appetizer that was more of a sauce that I definitely recommend (they did have a fried one as well).

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JR
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 27, 2019
Overall 5Food 4Service 5Ambience 5

Excellent food but one of group had to go to third choice for an entree that was available on Sunday at 6PM. Attentive staff.

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AM
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on January 27, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Delightful and not fussy homemade Italian food in the heart of Baltimore’s Little Italy.

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OT
Philadelphia
14 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 4Ambience 4

Magical fine dining Italian in little Italy. We split a bottle of super Tuscan, I had the veal saltimbuco and my wife had the shrimp fra Diablo. Food was perfectly seasoned and plate presentation was spot on.

Noisy place but more welcoming. Met the owner who was very friendly and helped to make the night a success.

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j
Baltimore
4 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 4Food 3Service 4Ambience 5

Pasta with mushroom special of the day was delicious. Veal saltimbocca was good. Pasta in the pasta and meatball dish was not well cooked. Pasta pillows (Casoncelli) were tasty but greasy.

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OT
New England
4 reviews
Dined on January 24, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Great spot with great food & service!

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L
Washington DC
15 reviews
Dined on January 19, 2019
Overall 3Food 4Service 3Ambience 3

Went with friends for the first time to this restaurant for dinner. The food was flavorful and each dish had a slight twist to it with the manicotti having a slight kick to it, the lasagna in a white sauce rather than red, and pork in ravioli pillows. The decor is decorated with different murals on the walls. The service was hands off but not neglectful.

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S
Washington DC
15 reviews
Dined on January 18, 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 5Ambience 3

Cafe Gia was warm and welcoming. The Service was friendly and attentive. The brasata was delicious. I ate every spoonful. My friend had venison ossa bucco. The portion was enormous. He thought the risotto was not as firm as he would have liked.

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BO
1 review
Dined on January 11, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Café Gia never disappoints. Chef Gianfranco puts out the best dishes made with the best ingredients. The ambiance is amazing and beautiful. One of our favorite places to go on our ever so rare date nights. See ya soon Chef G!

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J
1 review
Dined on January 10, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

First time I’ve written a review online of anything. The food was that good.

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PJ
Baltimore
21 reviews
Dined on January 5, 2019
Overall 3Food 3Service 4Ambience 5

"Uneven" is the best way to describe Cafe Gia. When good it is VERY good. When bad it is very bad.

I am of Italian descent and have traveled extensively in Italy/Sicily and throughout the US - eating my way through all. Every place I have tried in Little Italy is mediocre at best and always more expensive than it ought to be. Nearby Cinghiale and Sotto Sopra are WAY better options. But our son and his wife wanted his birthday dinner there.

Appetizers: The bruschetta was great - served on excellent bread with fresh, tasty topping. Salads were bad. The salads warm, looked and tasted as if they had been made well in advance. Bleh. The Arancini were great, freshly fried, crispy with a tasty center. If you have never tried Arancini (breaded, deep fried rice balls with a filling of cheese, or meat, or any number of ingredients), you should try them here. They're the best I have had in the US. The pork belly was also excellent.

Main course: I had the Brasato with Polenta (slow cooked beef with a reduction sauce). This was the hit dish of the night. Fork tender, super flavorful sauce you wanted to lick off the plate. The Fontina infused polenta base was out of this world. My wife is not a huge polenta fan but she LOVED it. Our son ordered the Oso Buco and that was very good to excellent with a flavor-packed sauce. Our DIL had the Chestnut Gnocchi with boar, it was very good but not up to the level of the Barsato or Osso Buco. She noted that the truffles described on the menu were not in the dish that she could tell. Finally my wife's Scampi was simply awful. She never sends back food, but did that night. The shrimp were overcooked - tough and chewy. The shrimp were served on a bed of pasta with a creamy sauce. Scampi is supposed to be shrimp cooked in a white wine and butter sauce - not a creamy sauce. It simply didn't work.

Bottom line: I'm glad we went, despite the low spots. It's too bad the kitchen wasn't more consistent. Try at your own risk.

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D
Washington DC
17 reviews
Dined on January 5, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Quiet comfortable relaxing and delicious

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L
Baltimore
11 reviews
Dined on December 23, 2018
Overall 4Food 5Service 4Ambience 3

Had the rigatoni which was delicious. Everyone enjoyed their meal and would love to go back again.

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