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I Monelli Trattoria Pizzeria

4.2
101 reviews
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$30 and under
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Italian
Perfect For:
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Good for Groups

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About

When I first Opened I MONELLI my intention was to share the cooking style, flavors & recipes that originated from my hometown.

Our ingredients are always FRESH to achieve the best taste, just as my mother used to back home. By using SIMPLE & FRESH ingredients, I prepare various specials every week from salads to main entrees that are not found on the menu.

To me, it’s all about the TASTE & QUALITY! Since we can't take you back to Italy, I have brought these dishes here to share with you.
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Italian
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Hours of operation

Lunch: Thursday: 12:30pm - 3:00pm, Friday & Saturday: 12:00pm - 3:00pm
Dinner: Tuesday - Thursday: 3:00pm - 10:00pm, Friday & Saturday: 3:00 - 11:00pm, Sunday: 2:30pm - 10:00pm
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Phone number
(773) 561-8499
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Vittorio Iasalvatore
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Winnemac St
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Public transit
49 bus, 49B bus, stop in front of restaurant
Additional
BYO Liquor, Cafe, Delivery, Farm to Table, Takeout
What 101 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.2based on all time ratings
4.3
food
4.2
service
3.7
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
97% of people would recommend it to a friend
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5.0Dined on January 21, 2017

Cozy, authentic BYOB Italian restaurant with home-made pastas, a consistently interesting list of daily specials and splendid Neopolitan pizzas.

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5.0Dined on January 20, 2017

I Monelli's pizza is the best! Thin crust and bursting with flavor. They have spoiled me. This is the pizza I crave.

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4.0Dined on January 19, 2017

Great place to dine, take friends or just to have a fantastic meal & it is BYOB which makes it very affordable.
Service is always very good and most of the time the noise level is very low unless there is a big group ( this is NOT vert often....most table are of 2 - 4 or 6 people).
Great place !!

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5.0Dined on January 14, 2017

This restaurant is a neighborhood gem. Original Italian establishment. Tiny, cozy family-owned. You feel like you're dining at your grandma's house! Authentic Italian food standards as well as very unique entrees freshly prepared, pasta al dente and tasty pizza. I couldn't ask for more! Wonderful people. Great service and it's a BYOB!

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5.0Dined on January 12, 2017

We had a group of 10 and it was fantastic. Great service, outstanding food and easy to chat but lively enough that it felt fun. Every person in our group loved it and only two of us had been there before. Lots of new fans in our group.

Pizzas awesome, pastas were really good - homemade, tasty, authentic, and the salads were fantastic.

We'll be back.

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4.0Dined on December 31, 2016

Overall, we had a great meal. The food was amazing, the space very charming, and the staff very friendly, albeit, not incredibly attentive. It did take some time to get service from our waiter, which became somewhat an annoyance as the place wasn't really busy. But bygones are bygones, it was a wonderful evening and we will be going back without question.

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5.0Dined on December 30, 2016

A neighborhood treasure. Great food at fair prices. Wonderful service. BYOB.

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4.0Dined on November 11, 2016

First time in ... very pleasantly surprised! Everything we had was delicious! BYOB, but only $5 corkage. We'll be back ...

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5.0Dined on October 21, 2016

The food is always very tasty, fresh and creative. We tried the appetizer special Bruschetta that was made with goat cheese, prosciutto & black truffles it was amazing! Their calamari is the best!

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4.0Dined on September 7, 2016

The food was very good. Service was a little slow at the start but got better. Calamari was excellent as were the Salads. Entrees were ample and delicious

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5.0Dined on September 2, 2016

I Monelli has such delicious food and is my new favorite spot.
It is all homemade, authentic food, BYOB and casual.
I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys Italian food, it is the best!

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5.0Dined on July 30, 2016

The best Italian food in Chicago surpassed only by the professional and friendly chef and staff!!

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2.0Dined on July 23, 2016

I wanted to like this place. It's a small, neighborhood place, and I'd heard (on Check, Please!) the food was good. We had two appetizers, both specials, that were only OK. The red arrabiata sauce on the shrimp appetizer was sufficiently spicy but tasted too much of tomato paste. Ditto for a red sauce on my friend's pasta special and husband's tilapia special. The fried artichoke appetizer was a bit better, served with an OK marinara. My tilapia al limone was tasty and light (I ordered my main course in light of the tomato-heavy appetizers), served with potato and slightly crunchy carrot "sticks" and grilled asparagus ; husband's special tilapia with a tomato sauce was too tomato-y, especially after our appetizer choices. I hear the pizza is good--we didn't try it only because I'm off wheat. Gelato for dessert was creamy and good.

The noise level was at times yell-level (I am not exaggerating). We were seated next to a large multiple-table group of maybe 14, and a couple of the men from that group were very loud. They all left before our main course (thank goodness), but that same-sized table was being reset--the new group fortunately didn't appear while we were still there.

Service was snail-slow, maybe due to the large party, but even so after that party had left. The restaurant was also uncomfortably warm (pizza oven?) and the tables were very tightly placed. During our meal, one little girl from the large party kept wandering over to stand to look out the window, right beside me, close enough that our conversation had to be monitored for child-friendliness.

If you are looking for a place to have a large group get-together, or like tomato-heavy sauces, shouting to your table mates while you wait and wait for your food, and having kids hang around your table that aren't yours, this is the place for you.

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5.0Dined on July 22, 2016

Terrific food. The service is great. Nice neighborhood feel. BYOB. What's not to like.

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5.0Dined on June 18, 2016

This is our favorite spot for pizza/pasta. BYOB. We live on the far northwest side, but are always glad when we find ourselves near I Monelli. The signature pizza is fabulous; thin crust is as good or better than any in the city. Many/most pastas come in 1/2 portions. Always friendly service, they don't seem to mind if you linger.

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5.0Dined on June 18, 2016

As always everything was great. I was in charge of picking the restaurant for a dinner out with friends and since I love I Monelli's food and service it was an easy choice; their BYOB policy is a nice bonus. All my friends loved the food, we had appetizers, pastas, pizzas and desert; one even grabbed a to-go pizza for her husband. I will definitely be back and I'm pretty sure they'll be back too.

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5.0Dined on June 9, 2016

We've been to I Monelli many times and always find the experience comfortable and satisfying. The food is good, the service friendly and efficient, and the prices are quite reasonable. It's a great place for a weeknight dinner or weekend gathering. Carry-out is also a terrific option.

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5.0Dined on May 20, 2016

An excellent neighborhood spot with great food. BYOB

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2.0Dined on May 8, 2016

I like coming here for the pizza and the homemade pastas, but this time we went on Mother's Day for dinner. They were unprepared for the amount of people they had and the wait ruined our experience. I realize they probably have a swift business in delivery, but dine-in customers should never be shortchanged--especially on a special occasion! We got
our apps right away, then waited almost an HOUR to get our main courses, with no attention, apologies or acknowledgement from the lone waitresss. By the time the food came, we ate quickly in silence and went home. Not a good overall experience. However, I will say that this was an exception--hopefully they get back on track. I would recommend for an everyday dinner.

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4.0Dined on April 30, 2016

Service was slow; some problem with the oven. But food is good, lots of choice, and they accommodated our large party.

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5.0Dined on April 17, 2016

Excellent. A consistent and great value venue. We have been going here for years and the place remains a top performer.

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4.0Dined on April 9, 2016

Great BYOB italian in Lincoln Square. Homemade pastas and delish pizzas.

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4.0Dined on March 19, 2016

We drive from Evanston to dine here regularly. We bring new people to 'our special' Italian place, we have our favorite dishes, we heart I Monelli! It is so much more than pizza. And the pizza is yum yum-licious. BYO, and make it a nice Chianti.

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4.0Dined on March 12, 2016

I Monelli offers terrific Italian dishes that satisfy anyone's taste for comfort food and la dolce vita. Nothing fancy, but uniformly satisfying. The house salad is ample and delicious, the bruschetta is super, and the tagliatelle bolognese never fails to delight. Ambiance is cozy and the BYOB policy helps keep the already reasonable costs down. sources suggest that within the year the trattoria will be expanding its kitchen, adding a bar, and moving the main dining room upstairs. Let's hope Chef Vittorio has success in this venture.

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2.0Dined on February 27, 2016

I don't understand the high reviews for this place. The place had a musty smell and the decor is unattractive. The food is passable to unappetizing. The waitstaff did their best to make us happy and were a likable group, but couldn't make up for the surprisingly bad atmosphere.

I'm not shocked that the place was virtually empty on a weekend night.

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5.0Dined on February 14, 2016

Valentine's dinner doesn't always need to be at a pricey or fancy restaurant. I Monelli is cozy, comfortable, and quite affordable and its fixed price dinner was excellent. Appetizers, salads and desserts were to share, and the entrees were for individual diners. there was enough choice that all tastes could be catered to. I had the chicken breast and my wife had the seafood pasta, both dishes were excellent.

And, since the restaurant is BYO, we managed to save some money on our Valentine's toast.

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1.0Dined on January 29, 2016

The person who seated us who we presumed was our waitress did not take care of us. The only person who paid us any attention was the bus boy, whose name I cannot remember now. But my friend and I BOTH left tips and said they were specifically for him, not the so-called "wait person". She was awful to us. We will never eat here again. Food was average and overpriced.

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5.0Dined on January 14, 2016

What a wonderful evening!! Almost everything on their menu has a little twist.
We shared a pizza with roasted potatoes & rosemary (and we only had a 1/4 size) which would be great for 4 people and we also shared a caesar salad with a tomato mozzarella accompaniment and both were fabulous.
We did 3 totally different entrees & each were spectacular and ended up so full we had know room for a dessert, but had a fantastic evening.
ps: are waitress was new, but she did a great job which added to making up a very nice evening. Thank you I Monelli !!

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4.0Dined on January 14, 2016

Love this little neighborhood place. We were originally drawn by its' BYOB program but come back for the food.

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5.0Dined on December 10, 2015

Food is great. Lasagna, lobster ravioli, tagliatelle special all got raves.

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5.0Dined on November 27, 2015

We had a family dinner at I Monelli to celebrate my wife's 50th birthday before a show at the Dream Laboratory. My wife and I along with our 4 kids (ages 14-23) had a great dinner. I had a salmon dish that our server recommended - it was delicious. Everyone else tried different pizzas and everyone commented on how good it was. The restaurant is BYOB and there is a small cork fee - I walked across the side street to a liquor store to get a couple bottles of wine. We had a great dinner at a reasonable price - I will go back.

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4.0Dined on November 24, 2015

Everything was delicious! Go for the homemade pastas. Casual place. Happy it's BYOB.

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5.0Dined on November 14, 2015

I Monelli has the best thin crust pizza in the city.

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3.0Dined on October 29, 2015

We always enjoy this family-run neighborhood "old style" Italian restaurant. Nothing fancy but really good food, generous portions and very good service. This is BYOB and they are happy to uncork for you. If you forget, there is a liquor store across the street with a good selection of chilled white and RT reds. The home made pastas are great. We have never tried the pizzas but a good carry out business allowed us to see and smell them-next time pizza. Do try the daily specials, especially seafood ones.

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4.0Dined on October 16, 2015

Noise level was way too loud. Food and staff are fantastic!

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5.0Dined on October 10, 2015

We had dinner with friends last Saturday evening at I Monelli and they were very impressed. The service and food were wonderful, and BYOB is a plus. Our server explained the daily specials in detail and was attentive while we dined. All our dishes were delicious.

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5.0Dined on October 9, 2015

I have 2000 characters left, but really, I mostly come here for the potato rosemary pizza, because if I don't have it every so often, I start to dream about it in my sleep.

But I also love that you can bring your own wine, that it's a small, neighborhood place (though not my neighborhood--I drive 20 minutes to get here), and that you can actually hear yourself and the people you're with speak.

Not really sure what the TV over the bar is about, or why every restaurant everywhere suddenly feels the need to have at least one flat screen. But I can overlook that because my husband and I can bring a bottle of wine, split a salad and a half pizza (which is the large size), and have a lovely evening with a tab of just over $30. Hard to beat that.

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4.0Dined on October 7, 2015

Arrabiata was outstanding. BYOB. An absolute must.

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4.0Dined on October 3, 2015

An excellent little local restaurant. Thoroughly enjoyed our evening. Good service, good food, good ambiance. One of the better BYO's in Chicago. The name will fool you as it is more of a trattoria than a pizzeria but the name makes you think it is a pizza parlor. It is a full service restaurant that makes good pizza. A nice place to meet friends for dinner or a quiet dinner with someone special. Very attentive service. I will definitely be going back.

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5.0Dined on September 26, 2015

The food is always fantastic! I have never been disappointed when going to I Monelli.

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