Top 5 Italian Restaurants in Chicago, according to the Italians

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As Italians living in Chicago, one of the questions that we get most frequently asked is what is a good Italian restaurant in Chicago? or where can I have good (and REAL!) Italian food?

The most frequent answer we tend to give is “My home”, because it's true!

But we also understand that we cannot host people in our houses everyday and so the quest for a good Italian restaurant continues.

Some of the so-called Italian restaurants are not really Italian (cough cough… Olive Garden… cough cough), some of them are just overpriced (paying a premium price is okay, ingredients’ quality matters, but that premium price shouldn’t be equal to your paycheck), and some other are not up to par with Italian quality and simplicity.

We decided to ask a group of Italians born and raised eating pasta almost every day a very simple question: “What are your favorite five restaurants in Chicago?” 

Italians tends to make a huge difference between restaurants and pizzeria (which usually serve mostly pizza), therefore we decided to include only restaurants in the list (but here you can discover where Italians eat Pizza in Chicago).

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We are not affiliated or paid to promote any of the restaurants mentioned below, the purpose of the article is to educate you with an authentic opinion of Italian food by authentic Italians.

Here are the winners. Buon appetito!

 

#5. Osteria Langhe

Cozy and intimate, this little gem is located in the in the Humboldt park area and delivers high quality recipes coming from the Piedmont region of Italy.

Besides the great food, Osteria Langhe offers a great choice of wines from Piedmont selected one by one by Aldo, the owner.

Must try: Plin Ravioli

Address: 2824 W Armitage Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

Website: www.osterialanghe.com/

#4. Piccolo Sogno

Literally translated as “little dream”, this place is ideal for an Italian romantic dinner.

Chef Tony Priolo constantly satisfies his customers, Italians and not, with classic recipes executed perfectly.

If you plan to visit during the summer, don't miss their amazing patio, ideal place for a summer Italian dinner under the Chicago stars.

Must try: Spaghetti Neri

Address:  464 North Halsted St., Chicago IL 60642

Website: www.piccolosognorestaurant.com

#3. Eataly

Eataly is the place to be for Italian food lovers who want to try authentic Italian recipes and buy the right ingredients to replicate them (or at least try!) at home.

The variety of spots inside Eataly where you can sit and eat offers a vast range of chioces, from fresh pasta to fish to Italian street food.

Must try: Fresh Pasta

Address: 43 E Ohio St, Chicago, IL 60611

Website: www.eataly.com/us_en/stores/chicago

#2. Gaetano’s Restaurant

Talent and genius are the words that best represent Gaetano Di Benedetto, chef and owner of Gaetano’s ristorantino mediterranero.

The cuisine expressed by the chef is rich in flavors and contrasts and some of his creations are sometimes “unexpected“.

Must try: Tagliatelle all’Aragosta in Agrodolce

Address: 7636 Madison St, Forest Park, IL 60130

Website: www.gaetanosforestpark.com

#1. Coco Pazzo

The favorite restaurant of Italians living in Chicago is Coco Pazzo, classy and sophisticated restaurant in the River North area.

The chef, Federico Comacchio, has been delivering for many years high quality items that well represent the simple, yet complex, Italian cuisine.

Must try:  Tordelli Lucchesi

Address: 300 W Hubbard St, Chicago, IL 60654

Website: www.cocopazzochicago.com