9 Top Chicago Italian Restaurants For Every Pasta Fanatic

Chicago shrimp pasta bowl.

 

Getty/Sharon Washington

You'll find more Italian-focused restaurants in Chicago than burger or hot dog joints--and that's quite a feat. From the quaint North Side Andersonville neighborhood to the trendy West Loop, regional Italian fare gets more love than any other ethnic cuisine in the city. 

We've already spotlighted our best bets for pizza in Chicago, so these outstanding establishments are a major draw for handmade pasta, sauces, wine lists and more. And with so many great -- and world-class in some cases--spots throughout the city, choosing may get overwhelming. We've made your decision a bit easier by selecting our Top 10 favorite Italian restaurants in Chicago.​

01 of 09

Osteria Langhe

Osteria Langhe
Osteria Langhe
Address
2824 W Armitage Ave, Chicago, IL 60647, USA
Phone
+1 773-661-1582
4.3

Located in red-hot dining and drinking destination Logan SquareOsteria Langhe focuses on the food from the Piemonte region. Of special note is plin, the restaurant's signature pasta, which is hand-pinched ravioli simply dressed up in parmesan, thyme and butter. Osteria Langhe is only a few blocks down from Rosa's Lounge, one of Chicago's top blues lounges.

What To Drink: Guests may order the Italian staple cocktail Negroni three ways (traditional, or topped with club soda or sparkling wine), as well as a host of classic and original drinks. The wine list is 95 percent Italian focused.

Represented Regions: Piemonte

Hours: 5:30—9 p.m., Sunday; 5—10 p.m., Monday through Thursday; 5—11 p.m., Friday and Saturday

Address: 2824 W. Armitage Ave., 773-661-1582

Nearby Accommodations: Longman & Eagle Inn

02 of 09

La Scarola

La Scarola
La Scarola
Address
721 W Grand Ave, Chicago, IL 60654-5507, USA
Phone
+1 312-243-1740
4.3

Just shy of the West Loop in River West, La Scarola is a long-time celebrity magnet attracting the likes of Johnny Depp, Vince Vaughn and Nicolas Cage. You can check the walls for photos of A-Listers mugging it up with owner/chef Armando Vasquez. The food is fun, hearty and generous with signature dishes like shrimp Armani (shrimp grilled and sautéed in a red, secret spicy sauce over garlic potatoes) and eggplant parmigiana.

What To Drink: Ten wines by the glass include Italian and American selections; the by-bottle offering is quite extensive.

Represented Regions: Sicily

Hours: 5—11 p.m., Monday through Friday; 4—11 p.m., Saturday; 4—10 p.m., Sunday

Address: 721 W. Grand Ave., 312-243-1740

Nearby Accommodations: Acme Hotel Co., Freehand Hotel, James Chicago

03 of 09

Anteprima

Anteprima
Anteprima
Address
5316 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60640-8270, USA
Phone
+1 773-506-9990

Anteprima feels right at home in Andersonville. It's as laid back as its neighborhood, and the prices reflect that vibe. There's a daily three-course prix-fixe menu for $32, offered Sunday—Thursday, that has garnered a loyal following. The seasonal menu changes weekly, and pastas such as gnocchi, orecchiette and ravioli are all made in-house. A beautiful backyard patio makes guests feel as though they're dining at someone's cozy summer home.

What To Drink: The all-Italian wine list includes white, sparkling, pinks and reds. There are more than a dozen choices by the glass.

Represented Regions: Various areas of the Northern Italian region

Hours: 5:30—9:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday; 5:30—9 p.m., Friday; 5:30—10 p.m., Saturday; 5—9 p.m. Sunday

Address: 5316 N. Clark St., 773-506-9990

Nearby Accommodations: House 5863 Chicago Bed and Breakfast

04 of 09

Bruna's Ristorante

Bruna's
Bruna's
Address
2424 S Oakley Ave, Chicago, IL 60608-4902, USA
Phone
+1 773-254-5550

Only five to 10 minutes south of the West Loop in the Heart of Italy neighborhood, Bruna's has been around since 1933, making it the third oldest Italian restaurant in Chicago. Many of original owner/chef Bruna Cani's recipes are intact, and the interior maintains an old-school Italian appeal. Highlights range from Bruna's veal scallopini--which comes with ultra-tender slices of veal--to her lusciously layered signature meat lasagna, and scallops with linguine and broccoli. 

What To Drink: Bruna's offers a nice, respectable mix of Californian and Italian wines by the glass and bottle.

Represented Regions: Tuscany

Hours: 11 a.m.—10 p.m., Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m.—11 p.m., Friday, Saturday; 12:30—10 p.m. Sunday

Address: 2424 S. Oakley Ave., 773-254-5550

Nearby Accommodations: Soho House

Continue to 5 of 9 below.
05 of 09

Coco Pazzo

Coco Pazzo
Coco Pazzo
Address
300 W Hubbard St, Chicago, IL 60654-4481, USA
Phone
+1 312-836-0900

Coco Pazzo celebrated 27 years in business recently, and there's a good reason why the River North gem is considered a pioneer on the local scene. It's credited with introducing Chicago to modern Tuscan fare, and it's continued to evolve throughout the years. There's a risotto of the day, which is especially exciting, plus house-made fennel sausage and Tuscan meat-filled ravioli. Sister eatery Coco Pazzo​ Cafe is located not too far away in Streeterville.

What To Drink: Coco Pazzo features an all-Italian wine list with more than 20 available by the glass.

Represented Regions: Tuscany

Hours: Dinner hours: 5—10 p.m., Monday through Thursday; 5—10:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday; 5—9:30 p.m., Sunday; Lunch hours: 11:30 a.m.—2:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Address: 300 W. Hubbard St., 312-836-0900

Nearby Accommodations: Conrad Chicago, The Gwen

06 of 09

Monteverde Restaurant & Pastificio

Anthony Tahlier
Anthony Tahlier
Address
1020 W Madison St, Chicago, IL 60607, USA
Phone
+1 312-888-3041

The most coveted seats in the house at West Loop star Monteverde are at the bar. That's where guests may watch staffers skillfully whip pasta into shape in the custom-built pastificio. That ranges from the rectangular-shaped arrabbiata to the corkscrew-shaped fusilli. Partner/executive chef Sarah Grueneberg--who previously served as executive chef at the award-winning Spiaggia Restaurant--made a name for herself by earning second place on Top Chef in 2011.

What To Drink: Monteverde curates a well-honed list of Italian vino, plus craft cocktails err on the classic side--with Italian inspiration. Think Arancia spritz, Sicilian Sunrise or a Black Manhattan with a splash of Nardini grappa.

Represented Regions: All over Italy

Hours: 5—10:30 p.m., Tuesday through Friday; 11:30 a.m.—10:30 p.m., Saturday (limited menu from 2:30—4 p.m.); 11:30 a.m.—9 p.m., Sunday (limited menu from 2:30-4 p.m.)

Address: 1020 W. Madison St., 312-888-3041

Nearby Accommodations: Soho House

07 of 09

Nico Osteria

Nico Osteria
Nico Osteria
Address
1015 N Rush St, Chicago, IL 60611-1207, USA
Phone
+1 312-994-7100

The Italian-focused, seafood-driven Nico Osteria, from award-winning chef Paul Kahan and his One Off Hospitality team, is situated on the first level of Thompson Chicago Hotel. The restaurant group behind such culinary stars as Blackbird, Publican and The Violet Hour brings its first venue to the Gold Coast and spotlights house-made pastas, seasonal ingredients, and crudo. The rustic space seats 108 guests indoors, with additional outdoor seating on the sidewalk terrace.

What To Drink: There's vintage amaro on the menu, plus an ever-changing list of cocktails and craft beers. The comprehensive wine list is all Italian and offers a detailed description of each region.

Represented Regions: Several

Hours: 9 a.m.—10 p.m., Sunday; 7:30 a.m.—10 p.m., Monday through Thursday; 7:30 a.m.—11 p.m., Friday; 9 a.m.—10 p.m., Saturday

Address: 1015 N. Rush St., 312-994-7100

Nearby Accommodations: Sofitel Chicago Water Tower, Thompson Chicago Hotel

08 of 09

Pelago Ristorante

Pelago Ristorante
Pelago Ristorante
Address
201 E Delaware Pl, Chicago, IL 60611-1713, USA
Phone
+1 312-280-0700

Pelago is right off the famed Magnificent Mile, and it feels like the type of Italian eatery you'd find on New York's Upper East Side. It's from Michelin star chef Mauro Mafrici and specializes in house-made pastas, risotto and seafood entrees. The ragus are also well received, and are made from hen, veal and venison. The restaurant is situated on the first level of the Raffaello Hotel.

What To Drink: A mostly Italian wine list is highlighted at Pelago.

Represented Regions: Northern and Southern Italy

Hours: Lunch hours: 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dinner hours: 4:30—10:30 p.m., seven days a week.

Address: 201 E. Delaware Pl., 312-280-0700

 

Continue to 9 of 9 below.
09 of 09

Spiaggia

Photo courtesy of Spiaggia
Address
980 N Michigan Ave Suite 1, Chicago, IL 60611, USA
Phone
+1 312-280-2750

Spiaggia sets the platinum standard for Italian fare in Chicago. It's received a Michelin star every year since 2011, plus James Beard awards and other accolades. Chef/partner Tony Mantuano is the man behind the magic as he recreates the food from his native land. He's also sprinkled in original recipes from his grandmother. In recent years, Spiaggia has relaxed its dress code (jackets are no longer required) and menu. Cafe Spiaggia is located next door to the restaurant.

What To Drink: The lounge menu features a number of Italian-inspired, original cocktails such as the Mantuano of reposado tequila, grapefruit-infused aperol, Lillet Blanc and Prosecco. There are three sommeliers and a beverage director overseeing Spiaggia's outstanding, award-winning wine and spirit program.

Represented Regions: Tuscany

Hours: 5:30—10 p.m., Sunday through Thursday; and Friday and Saturday 5:30—11 p.m.

Address: 980 N. Michigan Ave., 312-280-2750

Nearby Accommodations: Hotels in the area.​

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9 Top Chicago Italian Restaurants For Every Pasta Fanatic