Subway: Blue to Grand(312) 243-1740 lascarola.com41.891090 -87.646746 721 W Grand Ave (between Union Ave and Halsted St) River North, Chicago
Lunch (Mon–Fri), dinnerAverage main course: $20
It’s okay to splash a little red sauce on the butcher-paper-topped tables in this raucous storefront. Old friends and big families admire the autographed celebrity photos and shots of the owner’s family tacked to the frescoed walls. Smiling waiters squeeze between tables juggling huge plates of eggplant parmigiana and bottles of decent Italian red. Order any of the appropriately garlicky pastas and a plate of escarole and beans for the table; the leftovers will warm up just fine tomorrow.