Subway: Blue, Red to Monroe; Brown, Green, Orange, Pink, Purple (rush hrs) to Adams(312) 332-7005 italianvillage-chicago.com41.880585 -87.630175 71 W Monroe St (between Clark and Dearborn Sts) Loop, Chicago
Mon–Thu 11am–midnight; Fri, Sat 11am–1am; Sun noon–midnightAverage main course: $14
Like Millennium Park, Water Tower and Navy Pier, this windowless red-sauce joint is more tourist attraction than restaurant. In fact, it’s a downright theme park, the entire room designed to look like an Italian village, complete with businesses, a perpetually-revolving water wheel and a mischievous black cat in the corner. Like most theme parks, the focus is more on the experience than the food, a point the weakly executed minestrone and soggy pizza only reinforces. If we were you, we’d take advantage of the hearty lasagna and the extensive wine list. After a glass or two, the decor can get pretty convincing.