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The Best Italian Restaurants in Chicago

Chicago’s passion for Italian food dates back to the early 20th-century, when immigrants from Italy settled in the city and shared their recipes. Flash forward to today, and Chicago has the third-largest Italian population in America, with hundreds of restaurants to prove it. But where are the smartest, savviest diners eating out? We’ve pulled data from thousands of restaurants to find the top spots among OpenTable's most expert, seasoned diners. You'll find everything from historic spots with treasured family recipes to new restaurants with creative takes on old favorites—all vetted by the types of tastemakers who know the best spots around the city. Book a table, and start eating!

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The OpenTable Team
11 Restaurants
Updated February 26, 2020
Restaurants:Pelago, Nonnina, Via Carducci - Wicker Park
Price Range:$$ - $$$
Cuisines:Italian
Neighborhoods:Gold Coast / Streeterville, River North (Chicago), Bucktown / Wicker Park
A photo of Pelago restaurant

Pelago

$$$$
Italian
Gold Coast / Streeterville
4.8
1748 reviews
Located in the luxurious Raffaello Hotel in the heart of the city, Pelago is a hidden gem. It puts a modern twist on traditional Northern and Southern Italian pasta and seafood dishes. The interior features crisp white tablecloths and a solid white background on the walls and ceiling, giving patrons a memorable environment for a fine dining experience. Perfect for a quiet, romantic evening or special occasion, the setting includes soft lighting and an outdoor courtyard. Indulging in one of the desserts such as Sicilian cannolis or apple tart with apricot sauce is a great way to conclude any meal here.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Nonnina restaurant

Nonnina

$$$$
Italian
River North (Chicago)
4.6
2247 reviews
The friendly, attentive wait staff at Nonnina doesn’t rush diners, so the eatery is an appropriate selection for a leisurely, relaxing meal. Patrons may choose indoor seating or outdoor seating in a garden room. The ambiance is such that diners can feel equally comfortable whether they’re dressed for a special occasion or attired casually. Entrees are large, pastas are homemade, and prices are reasonable. With all the positives, this old-world Italian restaurant is well worth a visit. A must-try is the cappuccino gelato, along with a large selection of drinks in the bar and lounge area.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Via Carducci - Wicker Park restaurant

Via Carducci - Wicker Park

$$$$
Italian
Bucktown / Wicker Park
4.7
482 reviews
A lively restaurant in the Wicker Park neighborhood, Via Carducci provides a menu filled with rustic Southern Italian classics and some of the best Italian in Chicago. It’s small and intimate, but it packs a big punch in flavor. Once diners taste the entrees made with fresh vegetables and aged cheeses, they are hooked! Starting a meal with bruschetta and following it with any of the old-style favorites, such as eggplant parmigiana and spaghetti with meatballs, is the formula for sublime satisfaction.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of il Porcellino restaurant

il Porcellino

$$$$
Italian
River North (Chicago)
4.7
3140 reviews
A casual restaurant in the River North neighborhood of downtown Chicago, il Porcellino gets high marks on all aspects of the dining experience, including service, ambiance, price, and food. Despite playing delightful oldies over the sound system, the interior is quiet. Dishes are made with ingredients that come directly from Italy rather than locally, an aspect that accounts for the richly authentic taste. A must-try is the Chicken Joey, which is pounded chicken breast in a vinegar pepper sauce. Be forewarned: the garlic loaf is seriously addicting!

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of The Florentine restaurant

The Florentine

$$$$
Italian
Downtown / Loop
4.5
1080 reviews
The Florentine, housed in the JW Marriot Hotel, is inviting and beautiful, with Italian photographs, dark furniture, and views of the bustling city. It serves traditional breakfasts that are pleasing, but lunch and dinners are the meals where it shines the most. Fresh mozzarella tops many of the signature dishes here. The chef sometimes comes into the dining room to visit with patrons. The best bet for an entrée is the trout dish, and the dessert of mini donuts is reminiscent of confections served in Venice during Carnevale.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?


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A photo of Trattoria Gianni restaurant

Trattoria Gianni

$$$$
Italian
Lincoln Park
4.6
1522 reviews
Found in the Lincoln Park Theater District, Trattoria Gianni is a place for a meal before or after a play. It takes pride in impeccable, slow-paced service that doesn’t rush diners, making it perfect for a family gathering. In good weather, the restaurant offers patio seating where patrons can enjoy their repast under the stars. The flavor of the traditional dishes is so authentic that dining at the eatery has been compared to a mini-trip to Italy. Customers rave about the ricotta-filled gnocchi.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Carmine's Chicago restaurant

Carmine's Chicago

$$$$
Italian
Gold Coast / Streeterville
4.6
5318 reviews
Carmine’s is a classy restaurant with romantic terrace seating that is in a prime area for people-watching. It serves enormous portions, making it ideal for diners who like to share a plate. Those without hearty appetites would likely get enough to eat with an appetizer-sized portion. Favorites include oysters, veal, and grilled steak. End the meal with a Gevalia chocolate mousse cake—five layers of bliss—to make the experience unforgettable.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Quartino restaurant

Quartino

$$$$
Italian
River North (Chicago)
4.7
9412 reviews
Where does a Chicago diner go for a slice of paradise? According to an enthusiastic reviewer, this is found at Quartino, a casual, kid-friendly eatery with a festive bistro feel. The fun, lively atmosphere make it well-suited for a family get-together. The restaurant features a small-plate concept, which gives patrons the opportunity to sample a variety of dishes. This works well with staple dishes such as pastas and salads. A winning plan is to try one of the ravioli or rigatoni dishes and have fried donuts for dessert.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of The Rosebud restaurant

The Rosebud

$$$$
Italian
Little Italy / University Village
4.7
2635 reviews
Little Italy is home to this longstanding staple of Italian dining in Chicago that has been in business since the 1970s. The best Italian in Chicago is reflected here in large portions of spaghetti and meatballs, sausage and peppers, and other classic dishes served in sizes to feed even the hungriest of guests. An extensive wine list features everything from Chianti to champagne or reds like Merlot.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Saranello's restaurant

Saranello's

$$$$
Italian
Wheeling
4.3
4588 reviews
It’s worth the drive to Wheeling to dine at Saranello’s because of the exceptional food quality. While the eatery touts itself as Italian, the menu includes other cuisines. Meals start with a bang, with fresh bread brought to the tables to start. Classic dishes like spinach chicken gnocchi and sweets like the apple crostata or caramel tartufo will induce diners to return. Desserts are complimentary for patrons celebrating a special occasion.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Riccardo Osteria restaurant

Riccardo Osteria

$$$$
Italian
West Loop
4.5
499 reviews
Our perspective is coming soon. In the meantime, please enjoy the restaurant’s description: Riccardo started his career at a very young age in Milan's prestigious GIRARROSTO which was family owned. Then, in 1982 he moved to the United States and he opened the famous Sonny Bono's in Los Angeles. In 1987 he started to work with his cousin Roberto Ruggeri (owner of Bice Ventures), with him he opened Bice New York, Los Angeles and many others around the world. Here through the craftsmanship of an Italian food connoisseur, dishes are prepared with an almost zen-like essentiality that has shaped Riccardo's professional and existential life course.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

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