A generation ago, Chicago's Italian restaurants were strictly the red sauce and meatball variety but today, it's a veritable feast from every part of the boot. We surely are blessed with excellent Italian eateries from fine dining via Spiaggia, RPM Italian and Gibson's Italia to the affordable and family-friendly Quartino.
Spiaggia is the Italian spot along the Magnificent Mile and still one of Chicago's top restaurants. If Spiaggia is the diamond of Italian in Chicago, then places like Bar Roma and Osteria Trulli (the only authentic Pugliese eatery in the Chicago area) are the heart and soul. Cozy interiors, welcoming owners and authentic menus that never disappoint make these hidden gems. In a sea of corporately owned restaurants, these indies never come up short in flavor, friendliness and sheer energy.
Piccolo Sogno offers dreamy interiors, a knock-out outdoor patio and Italian cuisine that is still satisfying diners after 10 years on the competitive Chicago restaurant scene. Locals and visitors have been swirling pasta at Phil Stefani's Tuscany in Little Italy for over a quarter of a century and just when you think you've tried every pasta dish imaginable, a culinary artist like Sarah Grueneberg will wow you at Monteverde.