Spice up Your Favorite Dishes with Cinnamon

Italian Restaurant Pronunciation And Food Guide

If you feel like there are just some words that might as well be ancient Greek when you go out for Italian food, this pronunciation guide was designed just for you. Although many Italian dishes now have easy to pronounce English names, there are still a few tongue twisters on most Italian restaurant menus. Use this guide to confidently order whatever you want the next time you dine at an Italian restaurant.


This simple little word trips up even the most frequent Italian restaurant goers. It is pronounced nyoh-kee. The "g" in this word is silent, and the double "c" actually makes a "k" sound. It is probably one of the more difficult words to pronounce on most Italian menus.

If you are still stumped on what exactly gnocchi is, gnocchi is the Italian version of potato dumplings. It is generally served in restaurants with similar toppings to pasta. You can order your gnocchi covered in red or white sauce, just like pasta. Some restaurants, however, like to dress up this dish with more fancy sauces and extras.

Pizza Margherita

A margherita pizza has nothing to do with the alcoholic drink. It is not even spelled the same way (the Mexican cocktail is spelled margarita). Rather, it is the Italian version of a cheese pizza. Mozzarella is the only cheese used on a margherita pizza, along with slices of tomato and fresh basil.


Many individuals proudly try to pronounce this word and actually fail. It is supposed to be pronounced brews-keh-tah. The "ch" sound is actually a very hard "k" sound in Italian.


These two words often stump people even if they understand what the rest of the meal item says. Antipasto/antipasti does not mean that it is a dish without pasta. Rather, this is the Italian word for appetizer. Antipasto refers to one appetizer and antipasti refers to multiple appetizers.


Many people add a "z" sound into risotto. The correct pronunciation of risotto is actually ree-SAWT-toh or ree-SOHT-toh. Risotta is an Italian rice dish that is cooked with broth instead of water. It is usually kind of creamy and has a distinct flavor. It is often served with meat or vegetables.

Pasta Fagioli

Pasta fagioli is pronounced pasta fah-JYOH-lee. Once again, many people try to insert a "z" sound into this dish, and there just isn't one. If you are a vegetarian, this is a great dish to order. It is a meatless dish that contains small pasta and different types of beans. 


If you want some caprese, be sure to put the emphasis on the first part of the word, not the second. It is correctly pronounced KAH-pree. Caprese generally refers to a dish that includes fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, basil and olive oil. You will find many different variations of this dish at Italian restaurants.

Review this guide before you go out to a restaurant like Pierro's Italian Bistro again. That way, you will not be stuck sitting there when the server comes by to take your order, struggling to pronounce the food you would like to order.