The best part about living in a city like Chicago is the opportunity to enjoy the foods of so many different cultures. This week, we get to dive into the Italian side of Chicago at the Taylor Street Festa Italiana.

Where: Little Italy, on Taylor St between Ashland and Racine

Hours: Thu & Fri 5 – 11pm, Sat 12 – 11pm, Sun 12 – 10pm

Why: There’s a band, there’s a wine garden, and most of all, there is delicious Italian food! Most of the restaurants on the street will have booths (and be open indoors), but for my money the following restaurants simply must not be skipped:

Scafuri Bakery: A traditional Italian bakery that opened over a hundred years ago and is still run by a descendant of the original owner. Their cannoli are fabulous, they have wonderful sandwiches and the espresso drinks are superb. Stop by their booth and enjoy some delicious treats!

Conte Di Savoia: An Italian deli with an Old World vibe to it, Conte’s sandwiches are a must have. If the day gets a little chilly, their meatball sub will warm you right up. And if it stays hot, well then it's a perfect chance to enjoy some of their delicious gelato!

Davanti Enoteca and Francesca’s are two of the best (and fanciest) restaurants on the street, and Festa Italiana is a great opportunity to try their best dishes without breaking your wallet. Try Davanti’s Polenta with Ragu and Francesca’s Pollo Romano Skewers to get a taste of what a sit-down meal would be like – savory and delicious.

County BBQ: Not exactly traditional Italian fare, but no less delicious for that fact. DMK has created a fantastic BBQ restaurant in the heart of Little Italy. Don’t leave without trying their pulled pork or brisket sandwiches.

By Stephen Bowie

By Stephen Bowie

Check back in for my weekly articles! Long-time food fan, first-time food writer, I'll be covering Chicago food events (and other exciting food happenings) for the Foodseum blog