Sweet Basil Bistro

Written by K. Hart at www.casago.com
Sweet Basil Bistro pasta dish
indoor seating at bistro
inside ambiance
Sweet Basil Bistro exterior


A key to Italian cuisine is basil. Whether used in a caprese salad, muddled for a cocktail, or chopped to add to a sauce, the signature sweetness is revered worldwide.

It's only fitting that an Italian eatery in Big Bear would be called Sweet Basil Bistro

This charming eatery has delighted guests since 1994, offering authentic Italian meals made with the finest ingredients. The family-owned and operated restaurant has a rich history, with recipes and cooking techniques passed down through generations.

The co-owners and chefs, Peter and Marta, are originally from Italy and bring their passion for Italian cuisine and hospitality to Big Bear. 

They ensure that their dishes are authentic to the flavors of their homeland while tailored to their patron's tastes. Such commitment to serving the highest quality, homemade food is evident in the dishes they offer, which only use top-quality produce, meats, and seafood. 

Located conveniently off Big Bear Boulevard, Sweet Basil Bistro is easy to find and a must-visit for anyone exploring the Big Bear area. Its charm and ambiance are complemented by the warm, friendly service that guarantees an unforgettable dining experience.


While its red exterior doesn't resemble a typical Italian restaurant, rest assured it's the real deal when it comes to the food. A quaint outdoor patio space is perfect for enjoying al fresco dining during the warmer months.

When one enters Sweet Basil Bistro, they're greeted by the exquisite scent of garlic and herbs. The quaint interior is warm and inviting, with cozy, booth-style seating and small tables for intimate dinners.

The walls are adorned with photos and artwork that speak to the heart of Italian culture, blending the old world with the contemporary. The atmosphere is lively and bustling, with casual, family-friendly dining at its core.

Sweet Basil Bistro is the perfect setting for intimate dinners, family gatherings, or a fun night out with friends. The staff is knowledgeable and genuinely friendly, always ready to answer questions and offer recommendations. This combination of delicious food and a comfortable, lively atmosphere makes Sweet Basil Bistro shine.

Sweet Basil Bistro: Menu & Drinks

Sweet Basil Bistro offers a variety of Italian dishes that will satisfy your cravings and tantalize your taste buds. And with both lunch and dinner menus, guests have various options to choose from.

A light lunch favorite is the Caprese Panini with basil, fresh mozzarella, sliced tomato, pesto aioli, balsamic tar, and olive oil. 

At dinner, consider sharing the roasted beet salad. This healthy and colorful salad has field greens, goat cheese, pine nuts, and beets harmonized with pomegranate vinaigrette. 

A traditional favorite meal is the lasagna bolognese. Layers of pasta contain meatballs, fresh mozzarella, and homemade bolognese sauce. 

One option to appeal to picky eaters is creating your own pasta dish. Diners select their choice of pasta, followed by choosing a homemade sauce, and lastly, any additional toppings. These range from grilled ribeye to mushrooms to the vegetable of the day. 

Sweet Basil Bistro has an extensive wine list for adult drinks with classics like chianti and the elegant pinot grigio. They also offer craft cocktails that are worth exploring. 

Be sure to try the Sweet Basil Mojito. This signature drink combines Sailor Jerry spiced rum, basil, fresh lime, and ginger beer. Think of it as a Moscow Mule meets mojito!

Local Tips

  • Reservations are needed for large groups.
  • Meals come with homemade bread with olive oil, garlic, and balsamic vinegar.
  • Sweet Basil Bistro is small and fills quickly.
  • Complimentary parking is available in the rear of the restaurant.
  • Sweet Basil Bistro offers catering services for events and parties.
  • Outdoor patio seating is open during the summer.
  • Pick-up and online delivery options are available.


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