'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.

From the warm colors and framed art on the wall, the impeccable service and the outstanding selection of food that will make you want to wish you ordered more of just so you can take some home with you, Caro Mio doesn't disappoint. Ever. It's...  Read More

Osteria Langhe
Photo courtesy of Courtesy of Osteria Langhe

Pronounced "Oh-stairia Lang-ay," this intimate and casually romantic dinner spot serves delicious Italian food. The tiny dining area is lined with white lights and candlelit tables. They're best known for their fresh pasta, which Chef Cameron...  Read More

Little Italy

After a fire destroyed the restaurant, it rebuilt and, thankfully, it hasn't lost its charm. The affable owner is almost always there to greet his guests every night, often coming by your table to ask how if you enjoyed your meal. The tiny...  Read More

Sabatino's is very much old-school. It's located on a busy street across from a car dealership. This is definitely not the kind of place you stumble upon - it's a destination and many people make the trek because it's that good. Whether coming...  Read More

Entering Piccolo Sogno, you'll see a gorgeous marble bar, terrazzo floors and glowing blue walls. Aside from the beautiful interior, the contemporary Italian menu is full of incredible dishes like carpaccio, fontina-stuffed squash blossoms and...  Read More

For Northern Italian cuisine, Tuscany offers an upscale option in the Little Italy section of town. This cozy eatery, which tends to get a little cramped at times, is as popular with youthful hipsters as it is with downtown suits. During those...  Read More

Coco Pazzo
Photo courtesy of Official Website

Walk into the restaurant off noisy Hubbard and you really do feel a sense of calm when you enter Coco Pazzo. The restaurant focuses on hearty Tuscan cuisine and the dining room decor is spacious, airy and upscale but still comfortable. The food...  Read More

This neighborhood charmer, located in Little Italy, earns high marks for its traditional trattoria atmosphere, friendly service and Northern Italian and Tuscan-inspired fare. Start off with an appetizer of mussels in spicy tomato sauce before...  Read More

RPM Italian
Photo courtesy of Courtesy of RPM Italian

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...  Read More

For luxurious, upscale Italian dining, Spiaggia is a top pick. This James Beard-awarded restaurant has played host to celebrities including President Obama and his wife, to Julia Roberts and Mick Jagger. One of the town's most romantic dining...  Read More


Meet Jamie Bartosch

Jamie Bartosch is a lifelong Chicagoan who thinks her hometown is the greatest city in the world. She is an award-winning newspaper reporter, a freelance travel writer, and the mother of two great kids.