Chicago’s Italian food scene is wonderfully diverse—from old-school joints that still serve grandma’s secret Sunday sauce to swanky newcomers that are putting modern twists on classic dishes. If you’re craving gnocchi, arancini, meatballs and tiramisu, you’ve come to the right place: We scoured Chicago to find the top Italian restaurants around. In honor of a city that’s just as proud of its delicate house-made pastas as its huge, family-style bowls of noodles, we present our guide to carbo-loading like an Italian in Chicago. Psst: You can round out your meal at one of Chicago’s top Italian ice shops.
Want to skip rent this month and have the best Italian fine dining experience in town? Splurge here. For its 30th birthday in 2014, Spiaggia received a refresh—new chef, new somm, new look. The space has been redone—the entrance features bottles upon bottles of wine, the tables all face the windows and offer views of Michigan Avenue, there are new chandeliers and everything is brighter and fresher. The menu is now a tasting menu, with well-cooked proteins, fresh crudos and house-made pastas (don’t worry, the gnocchi with ricotta and black truffle sauce remains).