Looking for the best Italian restaurants in Illinois? From hearty Italian cuisine to more experimental cuisines with a local spin, there’s something for everyone at the following eateries.
1. Monteverde Restaurant & Pastificio (Chicago)
With large tables, expansive windows, and heated tents to blend outdoor and indoor dining, Monteverde Restaurant & Pastificio is one of Chicago’s finest Italian restaurants. Chef Sarah Gruenberg has combined her global travels with her love of classic Italian cuisine to create a menu that’s a perfect combination of authentic and adventurous.
At Monteverde Restaurant & Pastificio, only the freshest, finest ingredients (sourced across Chicago and imported from Italy) are used to create extremely flavorful meals. Choose from small plates or snacks like artichoke and sunchoke crostini, or treat yourself to a feast of roasted sea scallops. A range of pasta dishes is also offered, as well as a full cocktail menu. Contact Monteverde Restaurant & Pastificio for more details.
2. VAI’s Italian Inspired Restaurant Kitchen + Bar (Naperville)
Located in Naperville, IL, VAI’s Italian Inspired Restaurant Kitchen + Bar features an extensive lunch and dinner menu. Their selection of small plates includes zucchini frites, crab cakes, crispy polenta cakes, peppered shrimp, asiago gnocchi, and more.
Like any good Italian restaurant, VAI’s Italian Inspired Restaurant Kitchen + Bar has a fantastic range of pizza and pasta dishes, including short rib rigatoni, pasta Bolognese, spicy chicken tortellacci, and pizza specials like pepperoni, Margherita, and more. Contact VAI’s Italian Inspired Restaurant Kitchen + Bar to learn more.
3. Paisano’s Restaurant (New Lenox)
Paisano’s Restaurant has been voted the best Italian restaurant in New Lenox, IL. Known for their specialty pizzas and freshly made meals using top-quality ingredients, this popular family restaurant also features a great selection of house-made desserts, including fresh cheesecake and tiramisu.
Inside, Paisano’s Restaurant has booths, large tables for big groups, and accepts bookings for large groups. When it comes to pizza, the team at Paisano’s Restaurant knows exactly what they’re doing. They have six different crust options (including gluten-free) and four different sizes to choose from, plus just about every topping you could imagine. Contact Paisano’s Restaurant to make a reservation.
4. Piccolo Sogno (Chicago)
Piccolo Sogno translates to “little dream”, which is the perfect description of this quaint Italian restaurant in Chicago, IL. They use fresh, local ingredients to craft authentic Italian meals, and have a spectacular wine menu to accompany each meal.
At Piccolo Sogno, choose from a selection of salads including caprese and barbabietole. Antipasti includes burrata, prosciutto di parma, and more. There’s also a selection of pizzas and pastas, plus seafood dishes and other main courses. Contact Piccolo Sogno to learn more.
5. Maciano’s Pizza & Pastaria (Aurora)
If you’re looking for a taste of Italy in Aurora, IL, Maclano’s Pizza & Pastaria is a fourth-generation family business that offers takeout, delivery, and plenty of tables in their spacious dining room. If you have a big party planned, they also have catering services available
Maciano’s Pizza & Pastaria specializes in Italian-style deli sandwiches, including Italian beef, meatballs, roast chicken, eggplant parmesan, Caprese, and more. For catering, they offer party trays of pasta, with your choice of sauce (meat or marinara) and with such accompaniments as garlic bread, salads, and cheese. Contact Maciano’s Pizza & Pastaria to get started.
6. Cemeno’s Pizza (Joilet)
For more than four decades, Cemeno’s Pizza has been a staple in Joliet, IL. Specializing in fresh pizza, sandwiches of all shapes and sizes, and pasta that tastes like Rome itself. Their recipes are truly authentic – they are still made using old-school techniques and traditional family recipes.
Open seven days a week, Cemeno’s Pizza offers deep dish pizza, thin-crust pizza, calzones, and pretty much everything in between. For more details, contact Cemeno’s Pizza.
7. La Scarola (Chicago)
La Scarola is a Chicago-based Italian restaurant with several specialty dishes that aren’t found at your average Italian restaurant. Choose from sauteed escarole, penne alla vodka, pasta & fagioli, and much more.
Entrees at La Scarola include risotto primavera, veal chop alla Armani, pesce lemon, and more. There is also a selection of soups, salads, and more. Pasta dishes on offer are eggplant parmigiana, broccoli and goat cheese rigatoni, pasta primavera, and plenty of other options to suit all tastes. Contact La Scarola for dinner reservations.
8. Biaggi’s Ristorante Italiano (Naperville)
Biaggi’s Ristorante Italiano has several locations, including one in Naperville, IL. They have a selection of homemade and imported pastas, pizza, soups, salads, pizza, and mains including seafood and steaks. If that’s not enough, they also have a range of tasty desserts to choose from.
Biaggi’s Ristorante Italiano also has a children’s menu, and is great for family reservations and large group events. There’s even a separate private events room for your next gathering. Monthly specials are available, ensuring there’s always something new to try on the menu, as well as a full wine list and cocktail menu. To learn more, contact Biaggi’s Ristorante Italiano.
9. Lino’s (Rockford)
Open seven days a week, Lino’s is a top-quality Italian restaurant in Rockford, IL. Their diverse menu features a range of Italian staples, including toasted ravioli, meatballs, garlic bread, and more. If you’re looking for something on the lighter side, they also have a great selection of salads and soups to choose from.
Main course at Lino’s includes pasta dishes such as spaghetti, ravioli (cheese, meat, or spinach), gnocchi, tortellini, or if you can’t decide, half and half of any of their options. Lasagna lovers will be happy to hear that there are several options to choose from, plus a great selection of desserts. Contact Lino’s here.
10. Quartino Ristorante (Chicago)
Conveniently located in Chicago’s downtown area, Quartino Ristorante & Wine Bar is a modern Italian restaurant featuring a great selection of Italian-themed small plates, friendly staff, and vintage décor giving a great atmosphere. The menu is perfect for sharing and includes seasonal dishes, a variety of pasta dishes, and Neapolitan thin-crust pizza.
If you would like to try a little bit of everything, opt for the tasting plate, where you can choose two salami, two cheeses, two small appetizers, plus a selection of olives. There is also a great range of vegetarian options throughout the menu. Contact Quartino Ristorante for more information.