'Buon Appetito': Chicago's Top 10 Mouth-Watering Italian Restaurants
Coming up with Chicago’s Top 10 Italian restaurants is almost setting yourself up for failure because it’s one of those lists that will inevitably make someone angry because you didn’t include their favorite. There are so many really good Italian restaurants in the city, from fine dining to affordable and family-friendly. Consider this list as your starting point.
Spiaggia is a place to see and be seen along the Magnificent Mile and one of the city’s top restaurants. If Spiaggia is the super-luxe of Italian in Chicago, then RoSal’s in Little Italy is its heart and soul. A cozy interior, welcoming owner who is almost always there to greet his guests and traditional menu that never disappoints make this one of the city’s hidden gems.
Francesca’s on Taylor and Tuscany are other great Little Italy standbys. Coco Pazzo’s chefs cover everything from traditional, authentic Italian to regional cuisine to modern fine dining. Even the simplest dishes here are made with such fresh flavors that make them some of the richest meals on the menu. Piccolo Sogno offers more contemporary takes on Italian cuisine, such as Fontina-stuffed squash blossoms and succulent suckling pig roasted to perfection.
RPM Italian is celebrity-owned, but don’t let that make you skeptical about the quality – this is one of the best Italian restaurants in Chicago. Owned by Guiliana and Bill Rancic (of E! Fashion Police and The Apprentice, respectively), this sleek restaurant is decorated in modern black, white and grey decor. The menu is packed with familiar, flavorful, traditional Italian dishes that have a contemporary feel. Start with one of their signature cocktails or a bottle from their impressive wine list, and then choose from the housemade pastas, fish or salads. Their steaks are also extraordinary – their sister restaurant is RPM Steakhouse. So even if you’re paying $18 for spaghetti and meatballs, you’ll say “Mmmm” out loud as you eat it. RPM Italian’s service is also excellent, making the dining experience worth every cent.30