Italian food is easily the most popular style for Chicago restaurants. With so many different options, it can be hard to choose. You’ll find everything from restaurants with modern, cutting-edge d’cor to small, quiet discoveries that feel straight out of Italy. Here are five restaurants we recommend if you’re a fan of Italian.
5 Best Italian Restaurants in Chicago
#1 Riccardo Trattoria
While there will be fancier and more exotic options on this list, Riccardo in Lincoln Park is for people looking to get a true taste of Tuscany. The d’cor is understated patrons sit at simple wooden tables but the food is excellent and the service spectacular. It also has the highest Zagat rating of any other Chicago Italian eatery.
#2 RPM Italian
RPM Italian is very new, but is quickly becoming one of our favorites thanks to recipes from Mama DePandi, the mother of reality star Giuliana Rancic of Giuliana and Bill fame. RPM Italian features a slick modern look, it’s about as far from Riccardo as you can get, which will leave you thinking you’ve transported to Miami. There’s really no Italian restaurant like this.
From Tony Mantuano comes Spiaggia: a true dining experience. Pastas are finely crafted from scratch which can be paired with anything from a very extensive wine list. The cheese list is to die for and the dining room has an amazing view of the Lake Michigan. Note gentlemen do have to wear jackets and prices are very expensive. Spiaggia isn’t the place you go every night for a great bowl of pasta, but it’s certainly worth it for special occasions.
#4 A Tavola
Tucked in the Ukrainian Village is A Tavola, where it will feel like you walked up to a home in Northern Italy and were served excellent food. The prices are affordable and the food delicious. Go in the summer to sit in the outdoor patio and be sure to try the gnocchi.
#5 Mia Francesca
This Lakeview staple features dishes that push boundaries, but aren’t too far from Italian classics. The menu is constantly changing, but always consistently tasty. Prices are modest, though be warned this place is always packed and always very loud. Make your reservations in advance and get ready to eat, not to talk.