Pasta lovers BEWARE! Not actually, but pay attention! I think I can say confidently that there is nothing better than a romantic evening over pasta. Right? Chicago has some of the best and delicious pastas. With so many Italian restaurants to choose from, it’s hard to narrow it down to just 6. But, I’ve managed to and here you can find the 6 best restaurants to order pasta on the North Side of Chicago. From pasta made right before your eyes, to classics, to spicy cajun inspired, trust me when I say you won’t leave hungry. And, if you’ve got a Gluten intolerance like myself, these restaurants offer gluten free options as well.
4343 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago, IL 60618
“We’re just a few laid-back, neighborhood pasta shops. Nothing fancy.” Pasta Bowl makes everything from scratch using fresh, whole ingredients. If you are looking for the best pasta in Chicago, the Pasta Bowl is known for its “Farfalle Pollo” pasta. It is assembled with grilled chicken, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic-buttered mushrooms, plum tomatoes, fresh basil, pecorino, parmesan cheeses, and their famous house cream sauce. The cheesy garlic bread is pretty good too!
3311 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60657
Mia Francesca is part of the Francesca’s Restaurant group and is one of the best Italian places to get pasta from. It features the zesty, earthy cuisine of Rome and the surrounding areas of Tuscany, Umbria, and Lazio. It was one of the first restaurants in Chicago to encourage the lively art of dining with a contemporary, casually sophisticated trattoria ambiance, simple, rustic cooking, friendly service, and fair prices.
Their Linguine Al Limone E Gamberi sauteed with jumbo shrimp, asparagus, garlic, Parmigiano, and butter in a lemon sauce is a must-try. And you can’t go wrong with the Gnocchi Modo Mio either, featuring homemade potato-flour dumplings sautéed in a light tomato basil sauce with artichokes, shiitake mushrooms, and goat cheese.
1966 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60614
Lincoln Park locals love this cozy Italian restaurant with attentive service and reasonable prices for pasta and more pasta (try the jalapeño gnocchi), great salads and excellent apps! The casual spot can be “loud”, but most say it’s an enjoyable stop for a neighborhood meal. The menu at this pasta restaurant in Chicago includes a smoky grilled calamari in a lemon herb vinaigrette, baked goat cheese with tomato-basil sauce and garlic toast. Also, the conchiglie shells with Italian sausage and red bell peppers in marinara topped with melting ricotta are every bit as savory as the penne with porcini, portobello, and white mushrooms in Marsala sauce.
3908 N Sheridan Rd, Chicago, IL 60613
One of the best spots for pasta on the North Side, PR offers a blackboard menu where the creativity shines and dishes are composed based on Chef Stefan Roman’s imaginative cravings and local market availability. Try the Linguine alla Norma featuring linguine, roasted eggplant, cherry tomatoes, chili pepper, pecorino cheese, ricotta, and pomodoro ragù or the Fettuccine Luisiana, made with fresh fettuccine in a creamy, smoky Cajun sauce topped with shrimp ‘in pastella’ (Italian tempura) if you’re looking for a little bit of spice.
3124 N Broadway, Chicago, IL 60657
The pasta restaurant in Chicago features regional, Italian-inspired seasonal plates that pay homage to tradition with respect to the technique, process, and history of Italian cuisine. And, the 100% Italian-focused wine list showcases a sophisticated yet approachable variety, with more than 200 selections available by the bottle and 20 by the glass.
All of their pasta is house-made and cooked traditional al dente. If you’re looking for light but savory pasta, try their orecchiette pesto made with verde basil pesto, fennel sausage, and lemon. And if you’re looking to try something new, the creste de gallo al nero is to die for, featuring squid ink, rock shrimp, ‘nduja, and ‘carne’ breadcrumbs.
738 N Wells St, Chicago, IL 60654
All of Torchio’s pasta is made on-premises, with the exception of gluten-free pasta, which is imported from Italy. If that doesn’t make Tochio one of the best places for pasta in Chicago, what does? Here, you can watch the pasta being made, and passersby can also take a peek in the window!
At Torchio Pasta Bar, pasta lovers of all ages can enjoy well-prepared, flavorful dishes featuring authentic Italian recipes with seasonal ingredients. With 18 different kinds of pasta (plus add-ins if you’re feeling feisty), you’ll have plenty to choose from. I recommend trying their in-house special, “Torchio” Pasta, made with torch-shaped pasta with sausage & cremini mushrooms in a brandy, thyme cream sauce.
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