Italian eats: Chicago's 6 best spots for budget-friendly fare

Craving Italian food?

Hoodline crunched the numbers to find the best affordable Italian restaurants around Chicago, using both Yelp data and our own secret sauce to produce a ranked list of where to fill the bill.

1. The Art Of Pizza

Photo: Dimo's Pizza/Yelp

Topping the list is The Art of Pizza at 3033 N. Ashland Ave. (at West Nelson Street) in Lakeview. With another location in the Loop, it's the most popular budget-friendly Italian restaurant in Chicago, boasting four stars out of 1,068 reviews on Yelp.

On the pizza menu, look for deep-dish pies like Art's Meaty Delight with sausage, bacon, ground beef, pepperoni and sliced beef, and Art's Vegetarian, which features a heavy helping of tomatoes, broccoli and spinach. For sandwiches and subs, there's the Italian Super Beef (with sliced beef on a garlic-buttered bun, topped with mozzarella cheese and pasta sauce), chicken parm, Italian meatballs and more. (You can check out the full menu here.)

2. Dimo's Pizza

Photo: Dimo's Pizza/Yelp

Next up is Wrigleyville's Dimo's Pizza, situated at 3463 N. Clark St. (near N. Sheffield Avenue). With four stars out of 840 reviews on Yelp, the casual Italian spot has proven to be a local favorite for those looking for an affordable option.

With another outpost in Wicker Park, Dimo's says pizza is "our crispy, chewy, edible passion." Although it offers the traditional cheese and pepperoni, Dimo's is known for serving popular comfort foods in pizza form.

Try seasonal and staple pizzas like the Chicago Dog (hot dog, pickles, onion and tomato on a white sauce), Chicken and Waffles (fried chicken, mozzarella and mini waffle bites on creme fraiche) and The Mac (macaroni noodles mixed with two kinds of cheddar, smoked provolone and parmesan on white sauce).

3. Conte Di Savoia

Photo: Dean V./Yelp

Sitting in a historical spot in Little Italy, at 1438 W. Taylor St. (between Laflin and Bishop streets), Conte Di Savoia is another top choice, with Yelpers giving the affordable Italian deli and grocery store 4.5 stars out of 203 reviews.

Open since 1948, the shop--owned by Michael Dicosola and his two sons, Franco and Frank--is helping keep the neighborhood's Italian tradition alive, reports Chicago Talks.

Look for cold subs and hot sandwiches like The Frank (toasted ham, salami, capocolla and fresh mozzarella), as well as panini, salads and vintage Italian wines. Throwing a party? Platters, party subs and 3-foot-long French bread sandwiches are also available.

4. Ricobene's

Photo: Olivia C./Yelp

Ricobene's, an Italian spot that offers pizza, sandwiches and more in Armour Square on the South Side, is another cheap go-to, with four stars out of 649 Yelp reviews. Its breaded steak sandwich, which is served with red gravy, was named "best in the world" by a USA Today sportswriter back in 2015.

Head over to 252 W. 26th St. (near S. Princeton Avenue) to check it out for yourself. On the menu you'll also find the Vesuvio Italian Classic sandwich with breaded chicken breast, barbecue wings and Chicago-style hot dogs.

5. Tony's Italian Deli & Subs

Homemade cannoli. | Photo: Tony's Italian Deli & Subs/Yelp

Over in Edison Park, check out Tony's Italian Deli & Subs, which has earned 4.5 stars out of 191 reviews on Yelp. Dig in at the deli and Italian spot, which offers sandwiches and more, by heading over to 6708 N. Northwest Highway (between Oshkosh and Oliphant avenues).

The deli features European-style cafe seating and sells imported olives, Italian subs and homemade pastries. Try the caprese sub, wedding soup and the homemade Italian ice in watermelon, lemon or mango. The family-owned business is run by Italian natives Vito and Maria Dalmazio and their daughters, Jennifer and Josie.

6. Bongiorno's Italian Deli & Pizzeria

Photo: Basil D./Yelp

And then there's Bongiorno's Italian Deli & Pizzeria, a River North favorite with four stars out of 483 reviews. Stop by 405 N. Wabash Ave. (between Kinzie and Hubbard streets) to hit up the family-run deli and Italian spot next time you're looking to satisfy your cravings on a budget. Bongiorno's proclaims on its website that it's alway "a good day to have great homemade Italian cuisine."

Locate steps away from the Chicago Riverwalk, you can dine inside or outside on the charming patio. On the pizza menu, try the Four Formaggi with mozzarella, Gorgonzola, parmesan and provolone. A variety of salads, soups, sandwiches and pastas is also available.
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