10 Restaurant Chains That Serve the Best Bolognese Pasta


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For a heartier bowl of pasta, a rich meat sauce is tough to beat. When dining at authentic Italian restaurants, you’ll often see it listed on the menu as ragù alla Bolognese, or simply, Bolognese.

As its name suggests, the pasta sauce can be traced back to the Italian city of Bologna. While interpretations of this meaty sauce vary greatly, most iterations include ground meat and tomato. Some chefs keep their recipes quite simple. Others add in things like diced veggies, a splash of cream, or a blend of different meats to their sauces.

Its great variety lends to its increasing popularity among consumers. “The sauce’s versatility and ability to be used in various dishes, such as lasagna and spaghetti, make it a staple for many households,” according to a market forecast published by Medium. Even when dining at restaurants, you’ll notice the vehicle for Bolognese sauce ranges from spaghetti to pappardelle to penne. No matter how you consume the meaty pasta sauce, the result is the same—Bolognese warms the belly and satisfies the taste buds.

Accordingly, here’s where you can score top notch Bolognese dishes across the states.

Brio Italian Grill

brio italian grille spaghetti bolognese
Brio Italian Grille / Facebook

Per serving (1 order): 810 cal, 33 g fat (14 g saturated fat), 3180 mg sodium, 89 g carbs (4 g fiber, 10 g sugar),  39 g protein

One of the most beloved Italian-American chain restaurants in the country, Brio Italian Grille is no stranger to making guests happy with its trademark Tuscan-inspired dishes and other Italian classics. Among those is the restaurant’s spaghetti Bolognese, made with its signature recipe meat sauce, made with both ground beef and pork, along with red wine marinara. The dish is available for lunch or dinner. Plus, Brio also offers its tasty Bolognese sauce within the restaurant’s popular lasagna, layered with mozzarella and ricotta cheeses and oven-baked pasta.

RELATED: 11 Restaurant Chains That Serve the Best Ravioli

Biaggi’s Ristorante Italiano

Rigatoni Bolognese at Biaggi's
Biaggi’s Ristorante Italiano/Facebook

Per Serving (1 order): 1080 calories, 66 g fat (23 g saturated fat), 3910 mg sodium, 57 g carbs (3g fiber, 13 g sugar), -57 g protein

Throughout the Midwest, diners can head to Biaggi’s to enjoy the restaurant’s reliable Italian-American fare for reasonable prices. The restaurant chain’s rigatoni Bolognese is a staple on the menu. Made with traditional meat sauce, Italian sausage, a touch of three-cheese Alfredo sauce, and topped with Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, this is one bowl of pasta you don’t want to skip. Even gluten-free customers can enjoy this hearty pasta sauce by swapping the rigatoni for the restaurant’s brown rice penne.

Bravo! Italian Kitchen Spaghetti Bolognese

bravo! bolognese
Bravo! Italian Kitchen

Per Serving (1 order): 810 cal, 33 g fat (14g saturated), 3180 mg sodium, 89 g carbs (4g fiber, 10g sugar), 39 g protein

With over two dozens locations nationwide, Bravo! Italian Kitchen uses fresh ingredients to create authentic Italian cuisine from its own unique recipes. The chain hosts numerous festivities throughout the week, including weekday happy hour, Wine Thursday, Martini Wednesday, and Sunday Brunch. Head to your local joint to get a taste of the spaghetti Bolognese, made with the restaurant’s signature recipe meat sauce, using ground beef and pork and enjoy all the offerings you can pair with the hearty pasta.

RELATED: 9 Restaurant Chains That Serve the Best Pasta Carbonara

Buca di Beppo

Spaghetti with meat sauce at Buca di Beppo
Buca di Beppo/Facebook

Per Serving (1 order): 410 cal, 6g fat (1.5 g saturated), 1760 mg sodium, 68 g carbs (5 g fiber, 12 g sugar), 21 g protein

Described as a savory homemade meat sauce with 100% premium ground beef and served on a bed of spaghetti, Buca di Beppo’s Bolognese-esque pasta topping is a popular menu item. However, if you want a more cheesy option, you can also order Buca’s cheese-filled ravioli topped with the restaurant’s savory meat sauce, as well. Other family-style favorites from the restaurant chain include lasagna, mozzarella garlic bread, and chicken parmigiana.

California Pizza Kitchen

california pizza kitchen bolognese
California Pizza Kitchen/Facebook

Per meal: 900 calories, 48 g fat (19 g saturated fat), 2050 mg sodium, 88 carbs (5 g fiber, 12 g sugar), 27 g protein

Best known for its crunchy, California-style pizzas, the Beverly Hills-born California Pizza Kitchen isn’t just a one-hit wonder. The chain offers a variety of pasta dishes, including its own take on Bolognese spaghetti. CPK’s house-made pasta sauce is made with a mixture of beef and pork, red wine, and scallions. Diners also have the option of adding sautéed cremini mushrooms into the mix. Customers regularly turn to Reddit for tips on recreating the secret recipe at home. “It tastes so darn good,” one commenter wrote. “Reminds me of how my mom used to prepare it.”

RELATED: 10 Restaurant Chains That Serve the Best Lasagna

Romano’s Macaroni Grill

Lasagna Bolognese at Romano's Macaroni Grill
Romano’s Macaoni Grill/Facebook

Per Serving (1 order): 1110 cal, 67 g fat (31 g saturated fat), 2740 mg sodium, 69 g carbs (6g fiber, 16 g sugar), 60 g protein

With 32 locations across the U.S., Romano’s Macaroni Grill serves up Italian-inspired comfort classics, like fried calamari, chicken parmesan, and fettuccine Alfredo. Its lasagna Bolognese is one of the more decadent menu offerings. This includes a rich meat sauce, of course, along with Italian sausage, ricotta, imported pomodorina, and mozzarella cheese.

The Old Spaghetti Factory

Spaghetti with meat sauce at Old Spaghetti Factory
The Old Spaghetti Factory/Facebook

Per Serving (1 order): 650 cal, 11 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 1060 mg sodium, 108 g carbs (7 g fiber, 10 g sugar), 29 g protein

This family-owned and operated chain was born in Oregon, but now has residence in 13 states. The Old Spaghetti Factory serves mouthwatering three-course meals, which include your choice of soup or salad with bread, an entrée, and spumoni or vanilla gelato for dessert. Among the numerous entrée items is the restaurant’s pasta with a rich Bolognese-like meat sauce. The recipe for the sauce has remain unchanged since 1969 when the restaurant first opened, and includes ripe tomatoes, ground beef, chopped onion, celery, and garlic, and is then simmered with savory Italian herbs and spices.

RELATED: 8 Restaurant Chains That Serve The Best Chicken Parmesan

Maggiano’s Little Italy

maggiano's spaghetti meat sauce

Per Serving (1 order): 930 cal, 28 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 2540 mg sodium, 134 g carbs (10 g fiber, 22 g sugar), 37 g protein

Maggiano’s has grown from a single Chicago restaurant into a hugely popular national chain. “Maggianos hit the spot every time,” one Twitter user wrote. “Maggiano’s is, in my opinion, the sort of chain that you’ll be surprised to learn is a chain,” another fan wrote on Reddit. “It is AWESOME,” another commenter echoed. The restaurant specializes in what it calls “simple, authentic classics,” like its spaghetti with Bolognese-style meat sauce, served either as a single entrée or a family-style helping for your whole group.

The Palm

Pappardelle Bolognese at The Palm
The Palm/Facebook

For an elevated take on this classic dish, the Palm’s pappardelle wagyu Bolognese is not to be missed. “We’ve got Italian roots so you can bet that our Pappardelle Bolognese is TO DIE FOR!” the restaurant declared on its Facebook page. The Palm uses only top-quality ingredients to craft this robust dish, including fresh pappardelle pasta and a combination of veal, pork, and Wagyu beef.

RELATED: 10 Restaurant Chains That Serve the Best Fettuccine Alfredo


carmines bolognese
Carmine’s / Facebook

This venerated family-style Italian restaurant in New York City is so popular that it opened additional outposts, not only in the city that never sleeps, but also in New Jersey, Las Vegas, Washington, D.C., and even the Bahamas. Known for its southern Italian-style cuisine and giant portions, Carmine’s is the place to go if you’re ready for ample sharing. One dish that’s sure to please your whole group is the pasta with Bolognese meat sauce, which is slowly simmered with ground beef and sweet Italian sausage.

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