Looking for the best Italian restaurants in Chicago? Well, Chicago is known for its diverse culinary scene. And when it comes to Italian cuisine, the city boasts a plethora of exceptional restaurants. From cozy family-owned establishments to trendy modern eateries.
Chicago offers a wide range of Italian dining experiences. Read on as we explore the 15 best Italian restaurants in Chicago, delving into their unique strengths and what makes them stand out among the rest.
Best Italian Restaurants in Chicago
From traditional flavors to innovative creations, these Italian restaurants deliver an authentic taste of Italy right in the heart of the Windy City.
Monteverde is a highly acclaimed Italian restaurant in Chicago known for its exceptional pasta dishes. The chef, Sarah Grueneberg, creates innovative and delicious Italian fare using locally sourced ingredients.
The restaurant has a warm and inviting ambiance with an open kitchen that allows guests to see the chefs in action.
The menu offers a variety of pasta dishes, including classics like spaghetti and meatballs as well as more unique options like cacio e pepe with fermented black garlic. The homemade gelato is a must-try for dessert.
The strengths of Monteverde lie in its creative menu, attention to detail, and the use of high-quality ingredients.
2. Piccolo Sogno
Piccolo Sogno is a charming Italian restaurant that transports guests to the streets of Italy with its rustic decor and romantic atmosphere. The menu features traditional Italian dishes made with fresh, seasonal ingredients.
The restaurant is known for its excellent selection of antipasti, including burrata with heirloom tomatoes and prosciutto di Parma.
The pasta dishes are also noteworthy, with options like homemade ravioli and tagliatelle with wild mushrooms.
The strengths of Piccolo Sogno are its authentic Italian flavors, welcoming ambiance, and an extensive wine list featuring Italian vintages.
3. Ciccio Mio
Ciccio Mio is a family-owned Italian restaurant in Chicago that offers a cozy and intimate dining experience. The restaurant prides itself on using traditional Italian recipes passed down through generations.
The menu features classic Italian dishes like lasagna, gnocchi, and osso buco. The ingredients are fresh and of high quality, resulting in flavorful and satisfying meals.
The homemade tiramisu is a standout dessert option. The strengths of Ciccio Mio are its authentic flavors, friendly service, and the warm atmosphere that makes you feel right at home.
4. La Scarola
La Scarola is a popular Italian restaurant in Chicago known for its hearty and delicious Italian-American cuisine.
The restaurant has a casual and lively atmosphere, making it a great place for a group gathering or a family dinner.
The menu offers a variety of Italian favorites, such as spaghetti and meatballs, chicken Vesuvio, and veal piccata. The portions are generous, and the flavors are rich and satisfying.
The strengths of La Scarola lie in its friendly service, generous portions, and the overall nostalgic dining experience it provides.
5. Osteria Langhe
Osteria Langhe is a cozy Italian restaurant in Chicago that specializes in the cuisine of the Piedmont region in Italy.
The restaurant offers a warm and inviting ambiance with rustic decor and an extensive wine list featuring Piedmontese wines.
The menu showcases the flavors of the region, with dishes like tajarin pasta with butter and sage, veal tonnato, and bagna cauda.
The food is prepared with care and attention to detail, resulting in dishes that are both comforting and refined.
The strengths of Osteria Langhe are its authentic Piedmontese cuisine, knowledgeable staff, and excellent wine pairing options.
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6. Alla Vita
Alla Vita is a modern Italian restaurant in Chicago that combines traditional Italian flavors with a contemporary twist. The restaurant has a trendy and stylish atmosphere, perfect for a date night or a special occasion.
The menu features a variety of Italian dishes made with locally sourced ingredients. Standout options include wood-fired pizzas, house-made pastas, and a selection of small plates for sharing.
The desserts, such as the olive oil cake, are also highly recommended. The strengths of Alla Vita are its innovative menu, stylish ambiance, and the use of fresh, locally sourced ingredients.
Tortello is a fast-casual Italian restaurant in Chicago that offers a fresh and modern take on traditional Italian dishes. The restaurant focuses on handmade pasta and offers a variety of options for customization.
Guests can choose their pasta shape, sauce, and toppings to create their own unique dish. The ingredients are of high quality, and the flavors are vibrant and delicious.
In addition to pasta, Tortello also offers salads, antipasti, and desserts. The strengths of Tortello lie in its customizable menu, quick service, and emphasis on fresh, handmade pasta.
8. Sapori Trattoria
Sapori Trattoria is a charming Italian restaurant located in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood. The restaurant has a cozy and intimate setting with candlelit tables and exposed brick walls.
The menu features a variety of Italian classics, including risotto, bruschetta, and veal Milanese. The dishes are prepared with care and attention to detail, resulting in flavors that are both comforting and authentic.
The wine list offers a good selection of Italian wines to complement the meal. The strengths of Sapori Trattoria are its romantic ambiance, attentive service, and consistently delicious food.
9. Bruna’s Ristorante
Bruna’s Ristorante is a family-owned Italian restaurant in Chicago that has been serving traditional Italian cuisine for over 80 years.
The restaurant has a classic and timeless atmosphere with white tablecloths and attentive service. The menu features a variety of Italian dishes made from scratch, including homemade pastas, veal dishes, and fresh seafood.
The recipes have been passed down through generations, ensuring authentic flavors and a taste of Italy.
The strengths of Bruna’s Ristorante are its rich history, traditional flavors, and warm hospitality of the family-run establishment.
10. Gibsons Italia
Gibsons Italia is a renowned Italian steakhouse located in Chicago’s River North neighborhood. The restaurant offers a unique blend of Italian and American flavors, with a focus on high-quality steaks and Italian-inspired dishes.
The menu features prime steaks, homemade pastas, and seafood options like branzino and lobster.
The restaurant boasts stunning views of the Chicago skyline from its rooftop bar, making it a popular destination for both locals and tourists.
The strengths of Gibsons Italia are its exceptional steaks, impressive views, and the combination of Italian and American flavors.
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Elina’s is a cozy Italian restaurant in Chicago that specializes in Southern Italian cuisine. The restaurant has a warm and inviting atmosphere, with exposed brick walls and vintage decor.
The menu features a variety of traditional Italian dishes, including wood-fired pizzas, pasta dishes, and hearty meat entrees. The flavors are bold and authentic, capturing the essence of Southern Italian cuisine.
Homemade desserts, such as cannoli and tiramisu, are also worth trying. The strengths of Elina’s are its cozy ambiance, flavorful dishes, and attentive service.
12. Club Lucky
Club Lucky is a retro-style Italian restaurant and lounge in Chicago that transports guests back to the glamorous era of the 1940s. The restaurant has a lively and energetic atmosphere, with red leather booths and vintage artwork.
The menu offers classic Italian-American dishes, such as spaghetti and meatballs, chicken Parmesan, and shrimp scampi.
The cocktails at Club Lucky are also a highlight, with an extensive list of martinis and classic cocktails.
The strengths of Club Lucky lie in its nostalgic ambiance, lively atmosphere, and the flavorful Italian-American cuisine.
13. Topo Gigio Ristorante
Topo Gigio Ristorante is a family-friendly Italian restaurant located in Chicago’s Old Town neighborhood. The restaurant has a warm and welcoming atmosphere, making it a popular choice for families and groups.
The menu features a variety of Italian dishes, including pizzas, pasta, and classic entrees like chicken Vesuvio and eggplant Parmesan. The portions are generous, and the flavors are satisfying.
The restaurant also offers a kids’ menu and a selection of desserts. The strengths of Topo Gigio Ristorante are its family-friendly environment, generous portions, and diverse menu options.
Testaccio is a modern Italian restaurant in Chicago that focuses on the cuisine of Rome and the Lazio region. The restaurant offers a sleek and contemporary ambiance, with an open kitchen where guests can see the chefs at work.
The menu features traditional Roman dishes, such as cacio e pepe, carbonara, and saltimbocca. The ingredients are of the highest quality, and the flavors are authentic and vibrant.
The wine list features a selection of Italian and international wines to complement the meal. The strengths of Testaccio are its modern atmosphere, authentic Roman flavors, and skillful execution of traditional dishes.
15. Coco Pazzo
Coco Pazzo is a long-standing Italian restaurant in Chicago that has been serving Italian cuisine since 1992. The restaurant has an elegant and sophisticated ambiance, with white tablecloths and a beautiful bar area.
The menu offers a variety of Italian dishes made with seasonal ingredients. The pasta dishes are a highlight, with options like linguine alle vongole and gnocchi with Gorgonzola sauce.
The restaurant also offers an extensive wine list featuring Italian wines. The strengths of Coco Pazzo are its timeless elegance, exceptional pasta dishes, and emphasis on seasonal ingredients.
Whether you’re craving classic Italian comfort food or seeking modern twists on traditional dishes, Chicago’s Italian restaurant scene has something to satisfy every palate.
So, whether you’re a local or a visitor to the city, be sure to indulge in the culinary delights offered by these top Italian restaurants and embark on a delectable journey through the flavors of Italy.