Sono Wood Fired

Perfect For: Big Groups Casual Weeknight Dinner Date Night Dining Solo First/Early in the Game Dates Pre-Theater Eats
PHOTOS: Christina Slaton

This is a warning. This is a hold onto your butts, sh*t’s about to get real, warning. There is a very good Italian/pizza spot in Lincoln Park hiding right under your nose. We mean, it’s great. They have 8 different kinds of bruschetta with interesting and delicious toppings like whipped ricotta and figs or onion jam and lavender honey. They have an imported brick oven that spits out bubbly-crusted Neapolitan pizzas. They do salad samplers and $6 wine nights. Sold yet?

We’re worried that you’re not, because places like Sono Wood Fired are often too empty. We’re not sure why that is exactly - maybe it’s because too many people are getting caught up in things that don’t matter, like “the chef won an episode of Chopped Jr.!” or “The cocktail program was created by a former maid of Oprah!” or, “The walls are made of reclaimed wood previously used as canoe seats in the 1860s!” F*ck canoes. Let’s go to the place that serves good food, has great service, and makes you feel comfortable and welcome, like Sono Wood Fired.

So this is a not-so-subtle reminder to not let yourself get fooled by mood lighting and TV contestants. Just because you don’t understand the ingredients doesn’t make it worthy of your plate. And overworked kale with farm-to-table chorizo topped with an invigorated truffle foam reduction is not a dish. That is a practical joke, and you are paying $67 to eat it.

Instead, try a casual place like Sono Wood Fired. It’s good for weekday outings with friends, big group dinners on the weekends, or even a low-key date, whether you’re getting to know someone or sleep next to them every night. Sono Wood Fired might not have the creativity of others, but it’s always satisfying with solid and reliable Italian food that’s easy on the wallet. Those are things we can relate to, and we don’t need any TV judge experience to tell you it’s a fact.

Food Rundown

Crisp Artichokes

Light yet fried crispy artichoke leaves with a tangy lemon aioli. This is a great group starter.


We could make a meal out of the bruschetta alone, and sometimes we do. Get a flight of 5, and you can’t go wrong. We’re partial to the fig, ricotta, and arugula.

Mussels Al Forno

Skip it. Sono shines in its pizzas, and your money is best spent elsewhere.


The wood fired oven in the back churns out bubbly-crusted pizzas, and you must get one red, one white, and split. From the rossa section, look into the salsiccia (sausage and roasted peppers), and from the bianche section, choose between the speck (smoked prosciutto and onions) or the wild mushroom.

More Pizza

Soak it in. Then go eat a pie or two.


There’s always a couple basic and good pastas on the menu like a carbonara, rigatoni, or gnocchi. Never a bad idea to get one for sharing.

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