Ratings are determined by food quality, menu selection, service, ambiance, and value.
= very good
• = noteworthy
Price symbols indicate the typical cost of a meal (without tax, tip, or alcohol) per person.
How we pick the restaurants: These listings are not advertisements. They are a selective guide to establishments recommended by Chicago’s dining critics. Visits are anonymous and all expenses are paid by Chicago. These listings are updated regularly. “Update” indicates reappraisals of listed restaurants.
2148 W. Chicago. Ukrainian Village. 773-276-7567
Italian. A quaint converted house where tagliatelle Bolognese does the kitchen proud, but the high point of Dan Bocik’s menu remains the gnocchi with browned sage butter and Parmesan.
D Mon–Sat. Wheelchair accessible, child friendly, outdoor dining. $$
2152 N. Damen. Bucktown. 773-862-5555
American. Chris Pandel’s pasta list, which might offer up a breezy Pernod-glazed fennel chitarra one day and a rich duck kidney sugo bucatini the next, continues to be the star attraction at this seasonal-minded spot.
D nightly. Br Sat, Sun. Wheelchair accessible, child friendly. $$$$
980 N. Michigan. Gold Coast. 312-280-2750
Italian. The small but interesting menu of Spiaggia’s charming sibling changes daily, and everything is executed with real mastery. Pastas (ravioli for the ages) and seafood quietly, memorably dazzle. Impressive wines, cheeses.
L & D daily. Wheelchair accessible, child friendly. $$$$
3124 N. Broadway. Lake View. 773-922-4020
Italian. Sicilian-born Giuseppe Scurato sends out inspired takes on regional Italian. Sweet deep-water Royal Red shrimp cured in lemon oil and hand-rolled pici pasta with spicy sausage warrant your attention.
D nightly. Wheelchair accessible, child friendly, outdoor dining. $$
300 W. Hubbard. River North. 312-836-0900
Italian. This stylish Tuscan retreat always seems new and exciting. Excellent housemade pastas are all available in appetizer portions, so why not have two? Linguine alla vongole and taglioni neri come to mind. Gems abound in a 200-plus Italian wine list.
L Mon–Fri, D nightly. Wheelchair accessible, child friendly. $$$$
1359 W. Taylor. Little Italy. 312-226-5550
Italian. Chewy-crusted pizzas are tough to pass up at this Taylor Street anomaly, but thoughtful antipasti and simple, unadulterated pastas steal the show. Bottles of wine for retail sale.
L Mon–Fri, D nightly. Br Sat, Sun. Wheelchair accessible, child friendly, outdoor dining, high noise level, will seat past 11 p.m. (Fri, Sat). $
JW Marriott, 151 W. Adams. Loop. 312-660-8866
Italian. Treat yourself to the lavish chestnut fazzoletti (handkerchief pasta) with shrimp, mushrooms, and roasted tomatoes, and you will likely skip the secondi at this graceful second-floor hotel space.
B Mon–Sat, L Mon–Fri, D nightly. Wheelchair accessible, child friendly. $$$
Raffaello Hotel, 201 E. Delaware. Streeterville. 312-280-0700
Italian. Stuffy, self-important, and overpriced, Pelago nevertheless exudes luxury and serves adept and occasionally transcendent food. Veal-filled ravioli in a pistachio cream sauce and fettuccine with shaved black truffles travel in a higher plane than most.
L & D daily. Wheelchair accessible, outdoor dining. $$$$
65 E. Adams. Loop. 312-786-9911
Italian. The equal opportunity menu here should make both your farmers’-market-worshiping friends and your uncle Louie happy: the fava salad with baby kale and frisée for them and lasagna with veal ragu for him.
L & D daily. Wheelchair accessible, child friendly, outdoor dining. $$$
312 Chicago •
Hotel Allegro, 136 N. LaSalle. Loop. 312-696-2420
Italian. Theatergoers rely on this likable spot to get them to the show on time. Pastas are fail-safe, from seafood bucatini to housemade tortelloni.
B daily, L Mon–Sat, D Tue–Sun. Br Sun. Wheelchair accessible, child friendly, BYO (up to $5 corkage; one-bottle limit) outdoor dining, high noise level. $$
Tufano’s Vernon Park Tap •
1073 W. Vernon Park. Little Italy. 312-733-3393
Italian. How does an 82-year-old watering hole continue to attract locals, celebs, cops, and burbites alike? By serving up 20-plus pastas, lemon chicken, Vesuvio-style chops, and legendary tiramisù. Cash only.
L Tue–Fri, D Tue–Sun. Wheelchair accessible, child friendly, outdoor dining. ¢
The Village •
Italian Village, 71 W. Monroe. Loop. 312-332-7005
Italian. This pretheater standby re-creates a villa downtown. Sop up the red sauce from your mussels marinara with crusty Italian bread, and slurp strands of pasta to the sounds of Dino.
L & D daily. Child friendly, will seat past 11 p.m. $$