Restaurants

Italian in Lincoln Park & Old Town

Balena

‘Mamma mia!,’ you want to shout after forking into the fat, creamy, roasted mushrooms atop grilled bread. Balena tastes like an Italian grandmother whipped up the wood-fired pizzas, house-cured salumi and saucy past…
Italian in Lake View & Wrigleyville

Mia Francesca

Diners quickly fill up the room at this family-run Italian bistro (part of a local chain) and energy swirls among the closely spaced tables, topped with white tablecloths and fresh flowers. The handwritten menu feat…
Italian in Near West Side & Pilsen

Tufano’s Vernon Park Tap

Still family-run after three generations, Tufano’s serves old-fashioned, hearty Italian fare for modest prices. The blackboards carry a long list of daily specials, which can include such wonderful items as pasta wi…
Italian in Near North & Navy Pier

Eataly

This two-story food emporium overwhelms when you step inside. The winners among the many restaurants and cafe stations strewn throughout include La Focaccia (warm, bread-y goodness), Nutella (spread thick on bread o…
Italian in Wicker Park, Bucktown & Ukrainian Village

Enoteca Roma

Candlelit and cozy, family-run Enoteca Roma feels like an old country ristorante. Bruschetta flights and handmade pastas steal the show, best consumed on the starry back patio in summer. During the day, sibling eate…
Italian in The Loop

Trattoria No 10

This clubby bistro is just steps from the Loop theater district and fills up fast with ticket-holders. The straightforward menu provides exceptionally flavorful takes on familiar items such as ravioli (try the one f…
Italian in Gold Coast

Francesca's on Chestnut

Part of a well-loved local chain, Francesca's buzzes with regulars who come for the trattoria's rustic standards, such as seafood linguine, spinach ravioli and mushroom-sauced veal medallions, all prepared with simp…
Italian in Near West Side & Pilsen

Rosebud

This location in Little Italy is the first branch of an empire of quality Italian restaurants that has spread throughout the city. It is popular with politicos and old-school Taylor St Italians, who slurp down colos…