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Jul 29, 2009 09:52 AM

Chicago Chowhound needs Help - Little Italy?

Hello everyone! I'm looking for some help with planning a fast approaching trip. I was planning on spending some of an afternoone in Little Italy hoping to see fresh markets and finding some fresh mozzarella, pasta, etc. Basically snacking our way through. Then I read on here that Little Italy seems to be overrated. Can you help me decide whether it's worth our time or if there's somewhere better? We're true foodies and especially love fresh Italian food.

Thanks for your help!

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  1. Are you willing to go to Arthur Ave. in the Bronx? Search on the Outer Boroughs board for that.

    The restaurants and cafes in Little Italy are mediocre and overpriced, but DiPalo's is a nice place to do some foodie shopping. But it's not really a shopper's paradise, most of the real estate is bad restaurants with men standing outside, aggressively trying to get you to come inside.

    See also:

    MMRuth has a great list of Village/Soho/etc foodie shopping destinations:

    I recommend RGR's self-guided LES Gustatory Tour:

    1. By all means head down there and stoll around - hit Dipaolos and the like. Don't go there for a stellar meal - it's full of tourist traps. Try Peasant nearby for a great meal, or you can always hit someplace like Lombardis for pizza (bit of a tourist place, but still good pizza)

      1. I have had several friends from Chicago force us to go to Little Italy irrespective of my advice. And every time it's been a waste of calories, though it does make for a few good pictures. Wander about and gawk for a while, but if you appreciate fresh Italian food, you will likely be very disappointed.

        1. We are definitely going to Arthur Ave instead! We're actually headed up to the Bronx Friday night for a baseball game so that works perfectly - and Chowhound was helpful on everything up there. Thanks for all of your help!

          1 Reply
          1. re: Susancampbell79

            Italian food in Chicago's Little Italy is much much better than NYC's. DiPaolo has some delicious cheese and meat, as well as a flatbread that I can't get enough of. Also the ever-present gelato in Little Italy is pretty sacchrine and I would avoid it.