When people think Chicago, they think deep dish pizza and therefore, by association, Italian food. Italian cuisine is a staple in our city – from traditional Italian that still uses someone’s great grandmother’s pasta recipe to newer, chic restaurants. Looking for Italian restaurants in Chicago doesn’t have to be overwhelming if you follow some of our picks.
Here are the 10 Best Italian Restaurants in Chicago:
In the Bridgeport neighborhood, this family owned and operated restaurant makes a lot of Chicago’s Best lists. Try the Nonna’s Meatball Salad that combines Nonna’s meatballs with a healthy portion salad in an Italian vinaigrette.
DueLire Vino & Cucina
This authentic Italian restaurant located in Lincoln Square uses fresh and quality ingredients in their food to create their delicious plates. If you’re looking for pasta dishes, and in an Italian restaurant that is never a wrong choice, try the Cavatelli. The dish consists of small shell pasta with spicy Italian sausages, pickled tomato with pine nuts and walnuts. Definitely one of the best Italian restaurants in Chicago.
Family owned seems to be the pattern for Italian restaurants in Chicago and Via Veneto is another restaurant that tries to keep the traditional family feeling. If you are going in for lunch definitely try the Bruscetta Alla Caprese made with fresh tomato, extra virgin olive oil, garlic, and fresh Mozzarella.
On Clark Street, this Italian restaurant brings in fresh seafood on the daily to create some of their best dishes. Their Zuppa Di Pesce is a 10oz lobster tail paired with king crab legs, shrimp, squid and other delicious seafood for you to enjoy and share on a date.
Inspired by the seasons, their menu changes from week to week, to offer dishes that represent the best of their local sources and Europe. Their pastas are made in house so you know your ravioli has been handcrafted. Try the grilled octopus if you aren’t feeling like carb loading, and their starters are deliciously made and one of the best you can find in Italian restaurants in Chicago.
La Scarola Restaurant
This Italian restaurant in Chicago has been a staple for eighteen years. Their Pasta & Fagioli is their highly recommended soup made from cannellini beans, pasta and cheese with basil and wine. Also try the Pesce Lemon, a Lake Superior white fish baked with potatoes, tomatoes, zucchini paired with a lemon butter sauce as your main dish.
This restaurant has a modern feel mixed in with that loved traditional Italian restaurant. The hybrid restaurant, located in River North, offers a great wine collection and hand-crafted cocktails to complement any dish on their menu. While their food is delicious, the attention grabber is their Puppy Ciao, a menu dedicated to our four-legged friends who can join their owners on the puppy patio for lunch.
Spacca Napoli Pizzeria
You can’t talk Italian restaurants in Chicago without bringing up pizza. Spacca Napoli Pizzeria has over eighteen recipes on their menu so you are bound to find one to suit your taste buds. From a classic Margherita pizza to a Pistacchio one- made from fior di latte, sausage, crema di pistachio and basil- there are enough options that you cannot go wrong.
Located in Little Italy, this restaurant was established in 1909 as a bakery and since then has expanded into a great Italian restaurant. This restaurant is the most affordable on the list so if you are looking for Italian restaurants in Chicago on a budget, this is your place. Pizza is also sold by the slice so that is a win-win.
This local Italian chain restaurant has multiple locations reaching up to the suburbs. You can find classic Italian food, along with a bake shop to answer your cannoli prayers.