Little Italy / University Village
Why we love it
Little Italy/University Village is a living legacy of Chicago’s Italian-American past, with homes, restaurants, and shops that have been part of the community for generations. It’s also home to University of Illinois at Chicago, infusing the whole area with youthful energy.
Explore like a local
- Create a picnic with fresh sandwiches and salads from Conte de Savoia, a neighborhood staple since 1948.
- Hunt for deals at 100-year-old Maxwell Street Market every Sunday.
- See a statue of Christopher Columbus, made in Italy for the Chicago 1893 World’s Fair, at Arrigo Park.
Enjoy authentic Italian cuisine: The true heart of the neighborhood is Taylor Street, where you’ll find long-time restaurants and delis that span generations. You can dig into homemade lasagna, stock up on freshly made breads, enjoy traditional dishes in a classic white-tablecloth joint, and order Italian baked goods by the bagful.
To get your fix of Italian fare, check out The Rosebud (a classic white-tablecloth joint), old-school Tufano’s Vernon Park Tap (a James Beard Award winner), Pompei (family-owned for four generations). In the summer, make sure to stop for a sweet treat at charming Mario’s Italian Lemonade.
Check out local history: The streets of Little Italy/University Village are also lined with eye-catching architecture and history, from Jane Addams Hull House Museum to The Shrine of Our Lady of Pompeii and the Notre Dame de Chicago. After you fill up on authentic Italian fare, take a stroll along Lexington Street for an eyeful of Italianate architecture, including the John Coughlan House built in 1871. The neighborhood is also known for its many churches, like Saint Basil and Holy Family.
Chicago Greeter: free guided tours
Taste, shop and explore the neighborhoods with a friendly local as your guide. Explore rich histories, diverse cultural traditions and hidden treasures. See sides of the city you may not have adventured out to on your own, and take away a truly authentic Chicago experience. Greeter visits are customized based on your choice of neighborhoods, language and interests.Request a tour with a Chicago Greeter