The Best Things To Do & See In Chicago's Little Italy

Alyssa Reyes

The Little Italy neighborhood on Chicago’s Near West Side is full of historic importance. Like most neighborhoods in the city, Little Italy was a prominent spot for immigrants settling down in Chicago. Family-run stores and Italian restaurants were the norm for years, making the area a haven for all things Italian. Today, Little Italy is filled with new shops and multicultural restaurants, but the charm remains.

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Mario’s Italian Lemonade

Your visit to the Little Italy neighborhood would not be complete without stopping by Mario’s Italian Lemonade. Painted in the colors of the Italian flag, the Mario’s Italian Lemonade stand on Taylor Street serves refreshing shaved ice all summer long. With varied flavors, like lemon and cantaloupe, there’s something for everyone. Mario’s Italian Lemonade reopens for the season on May 1st!

Situated on the campus of the University of Illinois at Chicago is the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum. The museum once occupied as a series settlement homes and offered programs for immigrants seeking opportunities in the bustling city of Chicago. The house was started and run by Jane Addams in 1989. Jane Addams became the first American woman to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, and her efforts as a social reformer are reflected in the Hull-House Museum. Today, the museum offers activism programs and exhibitions focused on telling the stories of the people of the Hull-House and confronts issues that still affect the community today.

The Rosebud

After visiting the Jane Addams Hull-House, stop by The Rosebud for dinner. The Rosebud has been a staple in Little Italy for over 40 years, attracting both regulars and tourists. The restaurant is famous for its authentic Italian cuisine and offers beloved dishes like classic spaghetti and meatballs, eggplant Parmesan, and chicken Vesuvio. Come for the hearty pasta and stay for the tiramisu.

Vintage Lounge

For a fun night out in Little Italy, visit Vintage Lounge. With décor inspired by the 1920s, Vintage Lounge is a cozy place for a night out with friends. Enjoy specialty drinks and appetizers while listening to music handpicked by local DJs. Vintage Lounge hosts many monthly events, like Movie Trivia Night, costume contests, and themed parties. Visit Vintage Lounge for a unique experience in an old-fashioned setting.

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