Taylor Street is well known as the Chicago Little Italy (also University Village); however, over the years it has expanded from only having Italian influence. Fortunately, in the midst of barbecue and Mexican restaurants, some of the best Italian restaurants in Chicago still remain on Taylor Street.
Some of the Best Italian Restaurants in Chicago’s Little Italy
Three Aces • $$
Three Aces is a mashup up Italian and American cuisine– but it works, very well. They do have phenomenal pasta– but spring for the Bolognese Fries and Duck Fat Chips to start, then an Ace Burger for your entree. They have a hearty beer list as well.
Francesca’s on Taylor • $$
Francesca’s is a true Italian restaurant. Their menu offers everything you would hope for from an Italian restaurant. Best of all, the menu changes quite often. This allows them to serve the freshest ingredients and allows you to try new dishes. However, you will never be mistreated by their Calamari or Veal.
Tuscany • $$
Tuscany also embraces the Taylor Street / Little Italy roots with their traditional Italian cuisine. While there are many options to choose from, keep the Pear Ravioli in mind. And, prepare your tastebuds for the bread and oil combination that you’ll be greeted with. The oil is olive oil, jalepeno olive oil and roasted garlic– then they go a step further by adding parmesan cheese right at the table.
Davanti Enoteca • $$
Davanti Enoteca is a place that can appeal to all appetites– from entrees, to small plates and appetizers. They have unique, yet traditional entree offerings such as the Riccio di Mare e Granchio
(linguine + sea urchin + crab pasta), but perhaps the most surprisingly delicious dish is the Truffle Egg Toast– insanely thick slice of perfectly flaky toast, truffle flavor and spot on yolk eggs that permeate the bread.
RoSal’s • $$
RoSal’s takes simplicity and perfects it. They have embraced the feeling of eating in a comfortable, almost at home setting– and their food reflects wholesome Italian home cooking. Nothing fancy or flashy– except for the taste. The Fried Ravioli is always spot on and the scallops seem to always be cooked to perfection– any dish including them is a guaranteed satisfier.
The Rosebud • $$
Rosebud‘s Italian cuisine has been approved by Frank Sinatra– which means that it’s guaranteed to sooth (or swoon) the soul. Although Rosebud has locations throughout Chicagoland, the Taylor Street restaurant is their original flagship location. Veal and chicken dishes are outstanding, but really anything with their vodka sauce is perfection.
Conte Di Savoia • $
Conte Di Savoia is the premiere Italian grocer and deli in Chicago’s Little Italy. Their fresh bread alone is something of magic. Turn that into a traditional Italian Sub– consisting of ham, salami, capocollo & provolone and you will just have created one of the best sub sandwiches in Chicago’s existence. Perfect place to swing by before a picnic– sandwiches, sides and wine.
Damenzo’s Pizza • $
Damenzo’s Pizza is much more than just pizza, despite their name. Sandwiches, pastas and even an array of Mexican cuisine grace the menu. This really is a place that everyone can come and enjoy. Be aware though, their pizza is delicious and the slices are literally the size of Mikey’s head– seriously.
Al’s Beef • $
Al’s Beef is a Little Italy / Taylor Street classic. Since 1938 they have been crafting phenomenal Italian Beef sandwiches, Chicago style. Hot peppers and dipped should be the requirement when you order, since that is how you obtain perfection, but any form that you order it will put a smile on your face.
Mario’s Italian Lemonade • $
Mario’s easily holds its own when it comes to refreshing drinks. Lemonade made with real fruit makes all of the difference and you’ll appreciate it with each and every sip (or gulp). The Italian Ice is also perfect for dessert. Being located across from Al’s Beef makes it easy to snag an Italian Beef Sandwich and dessert without much hassle.
Original Ferrara Bakery • $
The Original Ferrara Bakery is the place the hit up in Chicago’s Little Italy when you need to satisfy your sweet-tooth– however, when you walk through the door you’ll soon realize that it’s much more than just a bakery. Being in Little Italy, they embrace the flavors and have a respectful lunch list of Italian dishes for you to indulge in as well– from pasta to sandwiches. The bakery portion is loaded with sweets– from cakes to pastries– the item that consistently stands out is their Cannoli.