There are a lot of very good Italian restaurants in Chicago, so this guide could have been much longer. It also could have included places that specialize in pizza, but the internet only has so much room. And anyway, we have a guide just for that. In fact, we even have separate ones specifically for casual and old-school Italian spots. But these are the 12 places that have the very best Italian food in the city. In other words, the restaurants that right after you leave, you’ll immediately wonder when you can go back again.
When it comes to a fancy Italian meal, no place does it better than Spiaggia. This upscale spot has been around for a long time - like patterned-carpeting-in-the-dining-room long. It’s gone through a lot of changes in the past 35 years (thankfully including a renovation), but one thing hasn’t - the fantastic food. It’s definitely expensive (the eight-course tasting is $155 and there’s an $80 truffle gnocchi on the a la carte menu), but this is an ideal place for a celebration, or when you have an overwhelming urge to eat some very good saffron risotto.