Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Chicago Area >
Apr 22, 2008 02:48 AM

Italian (or other reasonable) near the Drake?

My husband is going to Chicago on Sunday and having dinner with our niece that night. Are any of the many reasonable Italian restaurants mentioned in other threads near there? (Say $25 or under for the entre-he is really hungry for decent Italian but other recommendations are welcome too). We have only been to Chicago once or twice and really do not know the areas well. He wants to stay relatively near to the hotel if possible. I wish I were going from what I read so far!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Cafe Spiaggia is exactly what you're looking for. It's one of our very best mid-priced Italian restaurants. It's in the price range you're looking for. And it's right across the street from the Drake!

    One tip - Be careful not to confuse Cafe Spiaggia with Spiaggia, its sister restaurant next door. Spiaggia is a very expensive, very fancy splurge restaurant. Cafe Spiaggia is moderately priced and casual. Both have websites at

    1. Also, Pane Caldo on Walton (also very close the Drake) is great for Northern Italian.

      3 Replies
      1. re: mooski

        Although Pane Caldo is indeed very good and close to the Drake, its prices are considerably higher than the OP is looking for. At Pane Caldo, most entrees are priced in the upper thirties to low forties. Whereas the entrees at Cafe Spiaggia are in the low to mid twenties, right where the OP is requesting.

        1. re: nsxtasy

          Thanks to all, I will give him both suggestions and tell him about the prices. Also thanks for telling me they are right near the Drake.

          1. re: tvmovielover

            If you'd like to check out the menus, there's a link above for Cafe Spiaggia (as well as Spiaggia), and the website menu shows prices.

            Pane Caldo's website is ; their website menu doesn't show prices, but you can view a version with prices at (although they have gone up a few dollars more than what's shown there).

            If you'd consider Pane Caldo, you may even want to consider Spiaggia (the fancy one, not Cafe Spiaggia). Spiaggia is dressy (jackets required for gentlemen); Pane Caldo and Cafe Spiaggia are business casual.

            We have lots more excellent Italian restaurants (e.g. Coco Pazzo, Vivere) but these three are within a block of the Drake.

            All of these restaurants accept reservations on

      2. Also in walking distance of the Drake is Merlo on Maple, specializing in cuisine from the Emilia-Romagna region and with prices comparable to Pane Caldo: