Tufano's Vernon Park Tap | University Village/Little Italy | Italian | Restaurant

Tufano's Vernon Park Tap Recommended Menu

Hours: Lunch: Tuesday-Friday; dinner: Sunday, Tuesday-Saturday
Closed Monday Open late: Friday & Saturday till 11

Price: $$

Old-fashioned family-run bar/restaurant, a survivor of pre-trattoria-boom Little Italy. Cash only.

Restaurant Details

Serving the neighborhood since 1930, this bright and bustling landmark is one of the last morsels of the original Little Italy that UIC hasn’t swallowed, spitting up a parking lot in its place. Many of the cliches of Italian-American red sauce joints are in evidence—autographed celeb headshots, wine in water glasses—but long-standing customer loyalties give the place a genuine feeling that the weary meatballerias on Taylor Street can’t muster. Meals and wine can be ordered family style off blackboards on the walls, and though it’ll never be mistaken for a Roman trattoria, if you prefer to pretend, a mound of lightly fried calamari makes a sapid antipasti, and huge pasta plates can be halved to accommodate meatier secondi like crispy lemon chicken, roasted and buried in a mountain of fried potatoes. The place can pack them in on busy nights, but warhorse waitresses keep them moving, and if you break the ice at the bar it can be one of the more convivial places around to wait for a table.

Mike Sula

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Price: $$