Where to Order the Best Meatballs in America

Italian-style meatballs are one of the greatest comfort foods, and these guys do it best

Danya Henninger
In Philadelphia, a town with no shortage of great meatballs, the ones served at Marabella stand out from the pack.

Whether tucked into a crusty Italian loaf, resting atop a mound of spaghetti, or served on their own with a ladle of marinara sauce, there are few dishes more comforting than those that include meatballs. From a hundred year-old deli in Baltimore to a sandwich shop in Brooklyn, from a glitzy Vegas hot spot to a renowned Italian restaurant in Colorado, we’ve tracked down the 20 best meatballs in America.

Where to Order the Best Meatballs in America (Slideshow)

Just about every culture has its own native meatball. The Swedish have theirs, served with gravy and lingonberry jam. In Latin America and Spain there are albóndigas. Meatballs in Greece are made with mint and rice while in the Middle East and South Asia, they’re heavily spiced and called kofte. But the most popular and widely-consumed meatballs in America are, obviously, Italian-style.

Along with chicken parm and baked ziti, spaghetti and meatballs as we know it is one of those foods that you won’t find in Italy unless you’re at a tourist-oriented restaurant. (Some Italian pasta dishes contain small meatballs, but that’s different.) Spaghetti topped with a heaping ladle of tomato sauce and a couple big meatballs is a purely American invention, created by Italian immigrants in New York City in the early years of the 20th century. Meatballs do exist in Italy (they’re called polpette),but they’re usually served on their own as a side dish, topped with marinara sauce and a sprinkling of Parmigiano-Reggiano.

In America, though, Italian meatballs have taken on a life of their own. They’re typically made with either ground veal, beef, or pork (or a combination thereof) along with garlic, grated parmesan, bread crumbs, and parsley, but it seems like every family and restaurant has their own recipe, meaning that no two meatballs are alike. Some replace the breadcrumbs with stale bread soaked in milk, some fry them up first, some cook them entirely in a pot of sauce, and others mix in secret ingredients like Worcestershire sauce and bacon. Some meatballs are small enough to eat in a couple bites, others are bigger than your fist. No matter the recipe, however, most people will never encounter a plate of meatballs that’s anything short of delicious.

It was no small feat to track down the best Italian meatballs in America, but we stuck to strict criteria: They had to be made fresh in-house, had to be recognizably “Italian-style” with that familiar flavor profile and ladle of tomato sauce, and they also need to have reached a certain level or local or national renown where people simply clamor for these meatballs.

So loosen your belt, because a big plate of Italian-American comfort food is coming your way. Click here to learn which 20 eateries serve the best Italian meatballs in America. 


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12 Comments

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Want something great? Try Mama Mancini's from your local supermarket. As good as it gets

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Are they sure they are not eating fetuses meat?

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Angelo's in Chicagoland is the REAL DEAL

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Angelo's Fresh Market in Flossmoor (Chicago South Suburbs) is quickly gaining a reputation for the best meatballs in Chicagoland. They are opening up a second store in Tinley Park in May.

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The best Meatballs you will ever taste are in Coral Gables, Florida at Randazzo's Restaurant. They are to die for.

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I buy almost everything except food and clothing from online auctions most people aren’t aware of the almost unbelievable deals that they can get from online auction sites the site that has the best deals is http://saveblast.com

I checked with the BBB and was told that it is all legit. How they can sell gift cards, laptops, cameras, and all kinds of goodies that we all want for 50-90% off, I don’t know I do know that I bought my son an ipad there for less than $100 and my husband a $250 Low gift
cards for $48Why would I even think about shopping anyþlace else?

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Couldn't help but notice how many of these meatballs are made in New York! Way to go.

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I buy almost everything except food and clothing from online auctions most people aren’t aware of the almost unbelievable deals that they can get from online auction sites the site that has the best deals is http://saveblast.com

I checked with the BBB and was told that it is all legit. How they can sell gift cards, laptops, cameras, and all kinds of goodies that we all want for 50-90% off, I don’t know I do know that I bought my son an ipad there for less than $100 and my husband a $250 Low gift

cards for $48Why would I even think about shopping anyþlace else?

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Want some that are horrible??Try WaWa in the Philadelphia area..Rolls are like rubber and meatballs come out of a can

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Want some that are awful???Try WaWa in the Philadelphia area

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YOu want some that are horrible….Try WaWa

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Jimmy's Meatballs in Dallas are fantastic on flavor!!
Get em hot on a hero or like this NY transplant buy a dozen frozen and cook them at home with your own sauce. (Some of the best Dallas pizza places have pies with Jimmy's sausage too!) Jimmy's Italian Market is on Bryan Street, Dallas

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