The Little Italy neighborhood is a living legacy of Chicago’s immigrant past. Here food is culture and history remains engrained in stone — from the humble halls of the original settlement homes at Jane Addams Hull-House Museum to the vaulted ceilings of The Shrine of Our Lady of Pompeii.
On Taylor Street, from Morgan Street west to Ashland Avenue, you’ll find restaurants that span generations. Pizza and pasta reign supreme here, but other specialty spots have a calling of their own, including: Mario’s Italian Ice (a curbside stand shelling out shaved ice since the ‘50s) and Al’s Beef (a curbside stand turned popular chain) as well as nearby Maxwell Street Market (where discount shoppers can score tasty street food and the famed Polish sausage).
More recently, ambitious up-and-comers have been bringing new flavors to the dining scene. Fueling this renaissance in Little Italy are its Near West Side neighbors of University Village, Tri-Taylor and the medical district — growing areas made up of diverse groups of students and professionals who live, work, eat and play here.