Also known as “Windy City,” Chicago stands as Illinois’ most-populous city. Many tourists and locals don’t want to miss out on the city’s bustling nightlife and music scene for atmospheric, signature Chicago jazz and blues performances.
In addition, its massive skyscrapers and attention-grabbing public art give you something to look at as you explore its museums and parks.
If you’re in the mood for quality Italian cuisine, Chicago offers plenty of options, given its abundance of international dining destinations.
So, if you’re in the mood for pasta or Chicago-style pizza, you’re bound to find something. But, with so many places to choose from, which ones are worth visiting for excellent food and services?
I compiled this list of the best Italian restaurants in Chicago to help you narrow down your dining options if you’re interested in treating yourself or your friends to a tasty dinner. After all, the best thing you can do while visiting any city is to indulge in its tantalizing flavors.
51 W Kinzie St, Chicago, IL 60654
You can find Siena Tavern on West Kinzie Street, minutes from House of Blues Chicago. This restaurant incorporates a rustic yet modern atmosphere to immerse guests as they enjoy their wine at an upscale bar. They also have outdoor, dog-friendly seating for warmer days.
Don’t miss out on their Baked Lasagna, Truffle Mushroom Pizza, Butternut Squash Tortellacci, or Brick Chicken Diavolo.
Also, be sure to ask about their seasonal cocktails or wine flights customized to your liking. Additionally, they offer lunch specials every weekday, a four-course tasting menu with Chef Fabio Viviani’s favorites, and meaty entrees and desserts for dogs.
721 W Grand Ave, Chicago, IL 60654
One of the best Italian restaurants in Chicago that offers a traditional dining atmosphere is La Scarola, nestled on West Grand Avenue, near the Fulton River District.
Despite its small size, it has a cozy atmosphere, perfect for enjoying Italian comfort fare by yourself or with friends.
They offer a wide selection of pasta, veal, chicken, and fish menu options. I recommend starting with their Sautéed Scarole or Shrimp Armani and ordering their Risotto Primavera, Steak Vesuvio, Pasta Lorenzo, or Rigatoni Chiaverini.
Don’t forget to enjoy any of their dishes with a hot espresso or cappuccino to give your dinner a bolder taste.
1020 W Madison St, Chicago, IL 60607
Next up on my list of the best Italian restaurants in Chicago is Monteverde Restaurant & Pastificio, located on West Madison Street, by WNDR Museum.
Enjoy fresh, handmade pasta and globally sourced wine in a modern, stylish setting after a long day of exploring Chicago’s top attractions.
I like starting with their Roasted Sea Scallops or Apple & Tuscan Kale Salad and sampling their Prime Bone-In Ribeye, Spaghetti Al Pomodoro, Tortellini in Brodo, or Tagliatelle Al Tartufo as the main course.
I prefer ordering my dinner with a Banana Standard cocktail. They also offer a gluten-free menu. After that, consider Butterscotch Budino with coffee, tea, or dessert wine.
52 W Illinois St, Chicago, IL 60654
Located on the corner of West Illinois Street and North Dearborn Street, RPM Italian is the best place for indulging in quality Italian fare in Chicago’s River North neighborhood.
Its modern and sleek atmosphere makes it an excellent setting for any private party. You can also find it on West Kinzie Street in the Downtown area.
I prefer ordering their Charred Pepperoni Pizzette, Short Rib Bolognese, Maine Lobster Risotto, or Chicken Parmesan with a side of Garlic-Whipped Potatoes.
Also, try one of their discounted wines by the glass or their signature RPM Negroni or Paloma Swizzle cocktails if you stop by during their weekday happy hour.
464 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60642
If you love dining in a spacious outdoor setting, Piccolo Sogno is another dinner option to consider on this list of the top Italian restaurants in Chicago.
You can find this rustic restaurant on North Halsted Street. Their lush garden patio has a relaxing ambiance for enjoying tasty pasta and wood-fired pizza.
In my opinion, their best dishes are Lasagna Bolognese, Pappardelle Con Cinghiale, Bianca Pizza, and Bistecca Alla Griglia. I prefer ordering my meal with a side of Rosemary Potatoes or Mediterranean Olives.
In addition, many of these menu options are gluten-free. Be sure to browse their extensive wine to find something to pair your meal with.
2824 W Armitage Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
You can find Osteria Langhe on the corner of West Armitage Avenue and North Mozart Street.
This casual eatery offers seasonal Italian Piemonte region dishes prepared by Executive Chef Cameron Grant and Northern Italian wines that give guests a fresh and tasty dining experience.
If you book a reservation on Wednesday, consider trying their four-course Taste of Piemonte dinner with optional wine pairings if you’re interested in an immersive night out.
I like ordering their Beef Wellington, Tagliata, Pan-Roasted Duck Breast, and Daily Risotto whenever I go. Try their lemon sorbet, chocolate gelato, or banana bread if you have room for dessert.
1824 W Wabansia Ave, Chicago, IL 60622
If you prefer dining in an old-school setting near the Wicker Park and Bucktown neighborhoods, then Club Lucky is one of the best Italian restaurants in Chicago you should consider.
It’s on the corner of West Wabansia Avenue and North Honore Street. In my opinion, Club Lucky’s club-like aesthetic enhances its appeal to anyone interested in a quick bite at the end of the day.
Experience Windy City’s authentic Italian flavors by sampling their Linguine Primavera, Fusilli Bolognese, Veal Limone, or Veal Parmigiana with a side of fresh mozzarella or steamed broccoli. Stop by their cocktail lounge for a Cioccolato Martini or The Bogart cocktail.
2119 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60614
Don’t know where to eat in Chicago after spending the day at Lincoln Park? If so, consider your next dinner at Riccardo Trattoria, located on North Clark Street, just a short walk from the Lincoln Park Zoo.
It has an intimate, cozy vibe, perfect for families who prefer a relaxing space for eating wood-fired meals after an exciting day.
Consider starting with their Mozzarella Caprese and trying their Tagliolini Al Limone, Fettuccine Bolognese, Gnocchi Alla Bava, or Polipo Arrosto Genovese.
Do you feel like treating yourself to something sweet afterward? Then, sample their Panna Cotta or Frutti Di Bosco Con Gelato.
2701 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60614
Can’t find any Chicago Italian restaurants near the Park West neighborhood offering friendly service and dishes crafted with quality ingredients? Then, Sapori Trattoria on North Halsted Street might have what you’re seeking. It has a warm and stylish atmosphere, ideal for anyone who loves peaceful dining.
I enjoy ordering their Pennette Cardinal, Lasagna Di Antonio, Risotto Pescatore, or Vitello Ossobuco with roasted potatoes, grilled asparagus, or sautéed spinach on the side.
Don’t forget to try their seasonal Ravenswood Ave cocktail or Lemon Drop Martini to give your meal a fruity flavor kick or as a treat with your happy hour snacks.
1516 N Wells St, Chicago, IL 60610
In my opinion, the best restaurant where you can find Tuscan-style Italian fare is Top Gigio, located on North Wells Street by Zanies Comedy Night Club.
Its lively yet cozy dining room is an excellent place to unwind. They also have an outdoor garden dining space when dining during warmer, sunnier days.
Topo Gigio offers excellent menu options for lunch or dinner. They serve the best Veal Chop Alla Sassi, Spiedini Adriatica, Campanelle Alla Norma, and Conchiglie Alla Sarda in Chicago’s Old Town neighborhood.
Be sure to add a side of cottage fries or mashed potatoes to your dish and browse through their extensive list of white wine, champagne, and rosé wine.
59 W Hubbard St, Chicago, IL 60654
If you love Italian restaurants with a casual-chic ambiance, il Porcellino on West Hubbard Street is your best dining option for a vibrant dinner. Its dimly-lit bar has a wide selection of wine bottles.
They also offer interactive virtual events you can participate in at home, from cooking classes to cocktail crafting courses.
I’m a fan of their Stuffed Mushroom appetizers and typically order them with my Spaghetti & Meatballs, Eggplant Parmesan, Ravioli Al Forno, or Roasted Chicken Penne.
If you want to elevate your meal with something extra, try their La Donna Rossa or Mambo Italiano cocktail. They also host happy hour every weekday and offer to-go packages for offsite events.
300 W Hubbard St, Chicago, IL 60654
Nestled in the North River neighborhood on West Hubbard Street, Coco Pazzo is an excellent change of pace from the other Italian restaurants in Chicago.
This sophisticated restaurant offers seasonal Tuscan dishes and a rustic yet urban aesthetic, complete with decorative velvet curtains.
Coco Pazzo serves enticing pasta, entrees, and thin-crusted pizza. I recommend starting with their Fritto Misto Di Mare and ordering their Saltimbocca Di Vitello, Diavola Pizza, Tagliolini Neri, or Rigatoni Alla Buttera with an Espresso Martini or Cranberry Mule cocktail.
Finally, treat yourself to their tempting Affogato or Panna Cotta and dessert wine to give your night extra class.
71 W Monroe St, Chicago, IL 60603
If you’re planning to watch a performance by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, why not enjoy quality Italian cuisine at Italian Village Restaurants on West Monroe Street, Chicago’s oldest Italian restaurant?
This vintage, vibrant establishment offers many visitors of The Loop an immersive setting for enjoying great Italian fare and a wide selection of drinks from their wine cellar.
If you’re planning a date night or going out with your family, start with their mozzarella sticks and consider trying their Quattro Formaggi Pizza, Meatball Parmigiana Sandwich, Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo, or Seafood Ravioli.
Don’t miss out on their signature wine flight or Pineapple Vodka Martini for an elevated dining experience.
226 W Kinzie St, Chicago, IL 60654
From its stylish decor to its dim lighting, Ciccio Mio is one of the best Chicago Italian restaurants by the riverside.
You can find this elegant and fashionable eatery on the corner of North Franklin Street and West Kinzie Street, within walking distance from the Museum of Broadcast Communications. In my opinion, it’s an excellent place for an intimate date.
Start with their Truffle Mozzarella Sticks and order their Sicilian-Style Swordfish, Pork Pizzaiola, Black Truffle Bucatini, or Prosciutto & Pea Gnocchi with a side of Vesuvio Potatoes.
I prefer ordering their Bella Punch, Milano Cosmo, or Amaro Shaved Ice to pair with my hot meal.
300 W 31st St, Chicago, IL 60616
Another one of the coziest and quietest Italian restaurants in Chicago is Franco’s Ristorante, located near the corner of South Princeton Avenue and West 31st Street, in the heart of the Bridgeport neighborhood.
Enjoy traditional pasta in a charming and intimate setting for a casual dinner night or any type of private event.
During my last few visits to Chicago, I started with their Grilled and Fried Calamari. Then, I indulged in their Jumbo Rigatoni, Cheese Ravioli, Chicken Milanese, and Veal Parmigiana with a side of roasted potatoes.
Feel free to ask your server about their top wine pairings to blend well with your dinner or lunch.
233 N Canal St, Chicago, IL 60606
Don’t know which waterfront Italian restaurants you’d like to check out? Then, consider booking a reservation at Gibsons Italia on North Canal Street.
This elegant and swanky destination offers quality fare prepared by Chef Jose Sosa, dining areas with a fireplace, and a rooftop deck with an excellent view of the nearby river.
In my opinion, their best dishes are Sweet Potato Agnolotti, Squid Ink Seafood Linguine, Roasted Mediterranean Branzino, Chicken Parmigiana.
Be sure to order your dinner with Crispy Brussels Sprouts or a Double Baked Potato with Ricotta as a side dish. Don’t miss out on their extensive list of cocktails, spirits, and global wines to enhance your meal.
1073 W Vernon Park Pl, Chicago, IL 60607
Tufano’s Vernon Park Tap is an old-school Italian eatery located on West Vernon Park Place, minutes from UIC College.
I like stopping by here to eat because of its open-air dining options, making it an easy place to access after spending a few hours at some of the city’s nearby parks.
They serve the best Stuffed Shells, Tilapia Vesuvio, Lobster Ravioli, and Cheese Tortellini with Alfredo Sauce in the city.
Be sure to stop by on Fridays to sample their Steamed Clams or Baccala. If you don’t have time to stay for dinner with your friends or family, they offer carryout family packs.
5316 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60640
You can find Anteprima on North Clark Street, a short walk away from the Swedish American Museum. This cozy restaurant offers seasonal Italian dishes with a rustic touch.
You can also enjoy your meal on their covered, heated outdoor patio at any time of the year if you love dining with a scenic view of the city’s streets.
I love their Ravioli, Wood-Grilled Rainbow Trout, Chianti-Braised Pork Ribs, and Tagliatelle. I usually order my favorite dishes with a side of roasted fingerling potatoes.
Consider ordering their tempting Lemon Panna Cotta or Chocolate Hazelnut Tart if you have room for dessert.
2424 S Oakley Ave, Chicago, IL 60608
Bruna’s Ristorante is a small, old-school eatery located on South Oakley Avenue in the Heart of Italy neighborhood.
It’s a great option for locals and tourists who prefer eating larger portions of classic Italian cuisine, such as their pasta or signature roast chicken. They also offer a wide selection of wines from their wine cellar.
Start your night in style with their Bruschetta or Tomatoes Alla Smith and indulge in their Penne Alla Puttanesca, Farfalle Con Tonno, Veal Saltimbocca, or Stuffed Shells.
I like pairing these dishes with one of their red wines or a hot espresso. Then, enjoy their spumoni or cannoli for dessert.
925 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60607
You can’t miss Formento’s front door surrounded by the lushest greenery. This spacious, old-school restaurant is found on the corner of West Randolph Street and Sangamon Street.
Their stylish digs enhance its vintage vibe, giving it a different feel to the other lively Italian restaurants on this list.
I recommend trying their Bone-In Ribeye, Strozzapreti, Bucatni Caio E Pepe, or Ora King Salmon with a side order of Cauliflower Alla Robuchon, Giant White Beans, or Spinach.
They also offer gluten-free pasta if you have specific dietary preferences. Finally, treat yourself to their Gingerbread Cake or an Espresso Martini for dessert if you’re still hungry.
2456 N California Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
Last but not least, on my rundown of the best Italian restaurants in Chicago is Testaccio, a quaint and charming eatery found on the corner of North California Avenue and West Altgeld Street.
Executive Chef Jacob Solomon prepares delicious Southern Italian dishes for guests interested in enjoying a peaceful dinner.
Testaccio offers a diverse menu with Southern Italian and Mediterranean influence. After starting with their Fritto Misto or Smoked Lamb Meatballs, consider ordering their Porchetta, Bucatini Carbonara, Moroccan Chicken, or Wood-Roasted Rotolo with a side of grilled bread. Be sure to try a Honey Refresher, Apium, or Kykeon cocktail to enhance any of these dishes.
Like many other most-populous cities across the United States, you’re bound to find several tasty menu options at the top Italian restaurants in Chicago.
Hopefully, this list can help you book your upcoming reservations at the ones that sound the most promising.
Did I leave out any Italian restaurants on this list? Be sure to leave a comment about your favorite places and their best specialty dishes, and I’ll check them out.
- Siena Tavern
- La Scarola
- Monteverde Restaurant & Pastificio
- RPM Italian
- Piccolo Sogno
- Osteria Langhe
- Club Lucky
- Riccardo Trattoria
- Sapori Trattoria
- Topo Gigio
- il Porcellino
- Coco Pazzo
- Italian Village Restaurants
- Ciccio Mio
- Franco’s Ristorante
- Gibsons Italia
- Tufano’s Vernon Park Tap
- Bruna’s Ristorante
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