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6 Restaurant Chains That Serve the Best Gnocchi

Here's where to find the best versions of this dense, short dumpling traditionally made with potatoes.
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Pasta comes in all shapes and sizes, from classics such as spaghetti and ziti to stuffed varieties such as tortellini and ravioli. Somewhere in the middle sits gnocchi, a dense, short dumpling traditionally made with potatoes. Originally a peasant dish, gnocchi as we know it today dates back to the 16th or 17th century, according to Saveur. Like traditional pasta noodles, gnocchi is versatile. It can stand alone as the dish's star or accompany a protein, everything from seafood to chicken. Throw it in a soup or toss it in a savory sauce—gnocchi can do it all.

While quick solutions to gnocchi cravings have flooded the supermarkets, with several major chains trying their hand at frozen cauliflower gnocchi, fresh gnocchi dishes at top restaurant chains aren't a given. Preparing and preserving gnocchi is more complex than other pasta, making it tricky to serve en masse. However, the restaurant chains that feature it on their menus truly excel at it.

The following seven restaurant chains serve gnocchi dishes that can rival any homemade variety. Leave plenty of room in your stomach for them. Gnocchi is not a light bite.

Olive Garden

olive garden creamy chicken gnocchi soup
Real Housemoms / Facebook
Chicken & Gnocchi Soup (Per Order): 230 calories, 12 g fat (4.5 g saturated fat), 1,290 mg sodium, 22 g carbs (1 g fiber, 4 g sugar), 11 g protein

Olive Garden offers a wide variety of classic pasta dishes, including an entire Tour of Italy when you can't decide. The chain's fans often point to its never-ending soup or salad and breadsticks as the true value. Whether you want a bottomless soup bowl or just need one serving as an appetizer, you can dive headfirst into its chicken and gnocchi soup. It comes with roasted chicken, traditional Italian dumplings, and spinach.

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Brio Italian Restaurant

Brio gnocchi dish
Gnocchi Cacio e Pepe (Per order): 870 calories, 30 g fat (16 g saturated fat, 1 g trans fat), 2,300 mg sodium, 119 g carbs (7 g fiber, 3 g sugar), 37 g protein

Admirers of cacio e pepe should stop by Brio Italian Restaurant where you can order up a gnocchi version of the classic cheese-and-pepper preparation off the menu. The dish uses house-made ricotta gnocchi in a cacio e pepe sauce, garnished with freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and cracked black pepper. Given the inclusion of ricotta gnocchi, cacio e pepe sauce, and grated parmesan on top, this dish is a no-brainer for cheese lovers.

The Palm Restaurant

Black truffle gnocchi at The Palm
The Palm/Facebook

Nutrition information unavailable.

If there is anything you should expect at The Palm, it's a memorable and savory dinner. The famous steakhouse chain has several standout dishes on the menu you can order if you aren't feeling steak, like its black truffle gnocchi, which the restaurant describes as "an absolute showstopper." One fan on Facebook called it simply "delicious."

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Chazz Palminteri Italian Restaurant

chazz palminteri gnocchi ragout
Chazz Palminteri Restaurant

Nutrition information unavailable.

Actor Chazz Palminteri has an eponymous Italian restaurant chain with a locations in New York City and one in White Plains, N.Y. Though the chain is small, it is mighty with its menu selections. Dinner options include a gnocchi ragout made with potato dumplings in a veal ragout sauce topped with shaved parmesan cheese.

Penne Pomodoro

penne pomodoro gnocchi
Penne Pomodoro

Nutrition information unavailable.

Penne Pomodoro is a small Italian restaurant chain with locations in Dallas and University Park, Texas. Gnocchi connoisseurs will be delighted to find gnocchi pesto on the menu, made with potato pillows, basil, Parmigiano cheese, toasted pine nuts, and olive oil. It's a unique spin on the dish. Diners seem to love the combo, as one reviewer noted on the restaurant's website, "The tomato and pine nut toppings were minimal, yet complimented the dish perfectly."

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Maria's Italian Kitchen

Maria's Italian Kitchen gnocchi
Maria's Italian Kitchen/Facebook

Nutrition information unavailable.

While Italian cuisine has long been associated with East Coast destinations such as New York City, the West Coast also has a strong showing of restaurants. Maria's Italian Kitchen is an example, with locations across the Los Angeles area, including Pasadena, Sherman Oaks, and Encino. Its gnocchi marinara is a perfect example of a classic Italian dish. Starting with classic Italian potato dumplings, the dish can be topped with homemade marinara sauce, pesto sauce, pink sauce, Alfredo sauce, or bolognese.

Carly Neil
Carly Neil is a freelance writer specializing in all things food, travel, Disney, and theme parks. Read more about Carly
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