We don’t say this lightly, but going to Bruna’s is like stepping into a time machine. It’s atmosphere is aggressively old-school (which makes sense, since it opened in 1933). As with most classic spots, you walk through the bar area to get to the back dining room, which is decorated with murals and busts. There’s even a picture of “Bella Bruna” above the entryway. The Italian food is solid (the sausage and peppers are particularly good), and the pastas, while not housemade, are well-cooked and have flavorful sauces. Come here for the history, and to be grateful Prohibition ended (also in 1933).
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Paulette’s Public Market
Paulette’s is a market in Thalia Hall that’s good for groceries and grab-and-go sandwiches.
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Gibsons Italia, in River West, is the trendy Italian sister spot to Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse.
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Classy without being overly pretentious. Riccardo Trattoria is one of our favorite Italian restaurants around.
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