9 Top Chicago Italian Restaurants For Every Pasta Fanatic

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 hand-made 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



    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, a prix-fixe menu for $29 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 19 choices by the glass.

    Region(s) It Reps: Various areas of the Northern Italian region

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

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

    Nearby Accommodations: House 5863 Chicago Bed and Breakfast

  • 02 of 09

    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.

    Region(s) It Reps: Tuscany

    Hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday, Saturday; 1-10 p.m. Sunday

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

    Nearby Accommodations: Soho House

  • 03 of 09
    Coco Pazzo
    Coco Pazzo

    Coco Pazzo celebrates 25 years in 2017, 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.

    Region(s) It Reps: Tuscany

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

  • 04 of 09
    La Scarola
    La Scarola

    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.

    Region(s) It Reps: 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

    Continue to 5 of 9 below.
  • 05 of 09
    Anthony Tahlier
    Anthony Tahlier

    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 coming in 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.

    Region(s) It Reps: All over Italy

    Hours: 5-11 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday; 4-9 p.m. Sunday

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

    Nearby Accommodations: Soho House

  • 06 of 09
    Nico Osteria
    Nico Osteria

    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.

    Region(s) It Reps: 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.-11 p.m. Saturday

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

    Nearby Accommodations: Sofitel Chicago Water Tower, Thompson Chicago Hotel

  • 07 of 09
    Osteria Langhe
    Osteria Langhe

    Located in red-hot dining and drinking destination Logan Square, Osteria 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.

    Region(s) It Reps: Piemonte

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

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

    Nearby Accommodations: Longman & Eagle Inn

  • 08 of 09
    Pelago Ristorante
    Pelago Ristorante

    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.

    Region(s) It Reps: Northern and Southern Italy

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

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


    Continue to 9 of 9 below.
  • 09 of 09
    Photo courtesy of Spiaggia

    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; there's now a modern version of the classic Italian Sunday supper that's served family style. It's $40 per person. 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.

    Region(s) It Reps: Tuscany

    Hours: 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., 5:30-10:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday; 4-8 p.m. Sunday​

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

    Nearby Accommodations: Hotels in the area.​