Oct 12, 2022 - Food and Drink

Local guide to the best pasta in Chicago

Photo of a tray of fresh pasta.

Fresh pasta at Tortello. Photo: Monica Eng/Axios

Marathon weekend inspired us to throw some suggestions against the wall about our favorite pasta joints.

🌿 Monica's pick: As a middle-aged lady, I can no longer handle oodles of noodles. But when I do indulge, I go for the fancy stuff at Tortello on Division.

  • Half the fun of visiting this Wicker Park pastificio (pasta maker) is watching cooks in the window turn flour and eggs into fresh noodles and dumplings.
  • I recently took home a pound of trottole ($9) and tossed it with some homemade pesto using my garden basil. How's that for middle-aged lady stuff?
  • If you can't make it to Wicker Park, you can buy Tortello pasta at local Foxtrot stores.

🍝 Justin's pick: If it's about carb-loading, I'd get the Rigatoni D from Maggiano's. But if it's about enjoying your pasta dish, there's nothing better than the Italian fare at Francesco's Hole in the Wall in Northbrook.

  • The menu is rock solid, but it also changes daily based on the morning's ingredients.
  • The rigatoni with sausage and mozzarella in a light marinara sauce is my favorite.
  • And it's right near the Botanic Garden if you're looking to make a day of it.

And you used your noodles to come up a great list of your own:

Vanessa G.: "I love to get fresh pasta from Daisies. Just bought a pound of stracci from them at the Logan Square farmers market last weekend for $12. Delish!"

Lisa F.: "Peanut Park Trattoria on Taylor St owned by Dave Bonomi (Coalfire Pizza) and Tony Fiasche (Tempesta). Don't miss the vodka meatball lasagna when it's on special!"

  • "Also, Ristorante Agostino on Harlem and Diversey has been run by Tony's dad Agostino Fiasche since 1985. They closed due to a fire in 2021 but reopened recently and are hands down my favorite Italian restaurant in Chicago."

Meghan P.: "Caro Mio on Lincoln (formerly on Wilson) is my neighborhood spot, and their homemade rigatoni or gnocchi are the way to go! And, if I am going all in on getting a reservation and doing the fancy stuff, the caccio at Monteverde in West Loop is next level!"

Carlos B.: "Favorite local pasta is at either Franco's or Gio's in Bridgeport!"

Jeff W.: "The Rigatoni Bolognese at Cucina Paradiso in Oak Park is the best I’ve had outside of Italy."

Monica H.: "Big Tony at Anto Pizza is a pasta wizard. We especially like their seafood pastas and their unique pasta in a cone presentation."

Mario G.: "Flour Power in West Town. Its menu of 3 pastas changes daily. They're delicious, always creative and have passed the ultimate test - my Italian-born parents who crave it every time they visit."

Cliff N.: "Pasta D'Arte just celebrated its 20th anniversary. Chef Mark Giannini's dishes are as good as or better than any I've eaten in Chicago, San Francisco, Boston or even Tuscany."


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