A Taste Of Italy: Visiting Little Italy In Chicago

Chicago is a city known for its multi-cultural neighborhoods, and Little Italy is no exception. This lively and charming neighborhood is located on the Near West Side of Chicago and is home to an Italian-American community with deep roots in the area. The neighborhood is full of restaurants, bakeries, and shops that offer a taste of Italy in the Windy City.

History Of Little Italy

The history of the Little Italy neighborhood dates back to the late 1800s when Italian immigrants came to Chicago in search of a better life. Many of these immigrants settled in the Near West Side, attracted by the industrial job opportunities of the area. Over time, these immigrants laid down roots and established a thriving community that has become one of the city’s most cherished neighborhoods.

What To See In Little Italy

One of the most iconic landmarks of Little Italy is the Shrine of Our Lady of Pompeii. This stunning church is a testament to the devotion of the Italian-American community and a must-see attraction when visiting Little Italy. Visitors can also take a stroll down Taylor Street, the main strip of Little Italy, where they can find colorful murals, boutiques, and charming Italian restaurants.

The Food Scene In Little Italy

When visiting Little Italy, one of the most significant draws is the food. The area is home to some of the best Italian restaurants in the city, offering everything from classic pasta dishes to delicious pizza. Some popular restaurants in the area include:


Rosebud has been serving authentic Italian cuisine since 1977 and has become a staple of the Little Italy neighborhood. The extensive menu offers a wide range of traditional dishes, including homemade pasta, seafood, and steak.

Tufano’s Vernon Park Tap

Tufano’s Vernon Park Tap is a family-owned and operated restaurant that has been serving Italian-American cuisine since 1930. The restaurant is famous for its delicious chicken vesuvio and its old-world charm.


Pompei is a popular spot for locals and visitors alike, offering a range of delicious sandwiches, salads, and pastries. The restaurant’s extensive menu includes classic Italian dishes and desserts, such as tiramisu and cannoli.

Shopping In Little Italy

Little Italy is also a great place for shopping, with plenty of stores and boutiques to explore. Some popular shops in the area include:

Conte Di Savoia

Conte Di Savoia is a gourmet Italian market that has been a staple of Little Italy since 1948. The market offers a wide range of fresh Italian products, including cheese, meats, pasta, and wine.

Alleva Dairy

Alleva Dairy is another iconic shop in the area, offering a variety of Italian cheeses and specialty products. The shop has been operating since 1892 and is the oldest Italian cheese shop in the United States.

Events In Little Italy

Throughout the year, Little Italy hosts a variety of events that celebrate the neighborhood’s Italian heritage. One of the most significant events of the year is the Festa Italiana, held every August. This four-day festival features live music, food vendors, cultural exhibits, and more, and is a must-see event for anyone visiting Little Italy.


Visiting Little Italy in Chicago is like taking a trip to Italy without leaving the city. The area is full of delicious food, charming streets, and a rich history that is cherished by both locals and visitors. Whether you’re looking for a great meal, a unique shopping experience, or a glimpse into the vibrant Italian-American culture of Chicago, Little Italy has something for everyone.

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