This city is home to one of the largest populations of Italian-Americans in the U.S., which helps explain why we’re spoiled rotten with amazing Italian restaurants in Chicago. Our favorites range from old-school joints that still serve grandma’s secret Sunday sauce to some of the swankiest new restaurants in Chicago. But they all have a few things in common: fantastic housemade pastas, red-heavy wine lists and some of the friendliest servers in town. As an added bonus, these Italian eateries double as some of the most romantic restaurants in Chicago, thanks to shareable plates and candlelit tables. Order a glass of chianti, pick a pasta course and check out the best Italian restaurants in Chicago.
If you’re hankering for modern, ritzy Italian cooking and you don’t mind paying Michelin-star prices, look no further than Spiaggia. Executive chef Eric Lees oversees the kitchen here, offering diners two tasting menus (five or eight courses) as well as an à la carte lineup, with choices like pheasant-studded cavatelli and a dry-aged porterhouse with truffle hollandaise. Beverage director Rachael Lowe and her troop of expert sommeliers are always ready to help guests find praise-worthy pairings, with a lengthy list of impressive vinos available by the glass and bottle.