Located just southwest of the Loop, Chicago’s Little Italy is bordered on the north by Harrison, on the south by Roosevelt, on the east by Morgan Street and on the west by Western Avenue. it’s a short ride on the Blue Line (to the IUC Halsted stop) or about a 20 minute walk from the Loop.The neighborhood is quite small, certainly not as large as other Little Italy neighborhoods around the US, but it does boast a high concentration of excellent Italian restaurants, particularly on Taylor Street.
The main sites in the area are National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame and the Piazza DiMaggio, built in 1998 as a gift from the City of Chicago to Little Ital, and which features a bronze statue of DiMaggio. The Our Lady of Pompeii Church, a community center and shrine to Mary, and the nearby Arrigo Park, a 6-acre park featuring a large sculpture of Christopher Columbus are also landmarks in the area.
Of course, the main reason most visitors come to Little Italy is for some quality Italian food. Among the most popular options are Rosebud’s, Pompeii, Tuscany and Francesca’s, which all serve up hearty portions of traditional Italian recipes at reasonable prices. Pompei has been around since 1909, while Rosebud started as a family business in 1973. All four of the restaurants have multiple locations throughout Chicago, so if you can’t make to Talyor street, you can still have a taste of Little Italy. Gennaro’s and RoSal’s, also on Taylor, offer a more old-school ambiance and are not part of a chain. You can also pick up excellent Italian meats and cheese at the dli-style Conte Di Savoia.
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There are lots of cheap Chicago hotels located on the south end of the Loop, closer to Little Italy. These will also put you in a good spot for sightseeing around the Loop and Michigan Mile areas. And, if you’re planning a trip to Chicago – whether you plan on filling up on manicotti and lasagna in Little Italy or not – be sure to check out our Chicago travel deals that can help you save money on your trip to Chicago.
Photo by CHiDN