Little Italy may have been the center of the Italian American community in Chicago. Yet, that doesn’t change the fact that it is still one of the locations in Chicago that are mostly dominated by Italians.
It will interest you to know that the name “Little Italy” is used to denote the smaller Italian population that lives there. Italian nationals had started migrating to Chicago in the 1850s but soon peaked around the 1960s.
The migration of Italians to Chicago started in the 1850s, and they mostly camped at Taylor Street. The street would later be known as “Little Italy” because of the presumption that it is a Chicagoan suburb for Italian-American immigrants.
Also, the inclusion of University Village is because of the proximity of Taylor Street (or Little Italy) to the University of Illinois at Chicago.
So, when you hear University Village and Little Italy used together, they are mostly the same. The only difference is that University Village is the closest to the University of Illinois Chicago campus, while Little Italy is further west.
But, that is not all there is to Little Italy. This location is where students from the University of Illinois can come over for a drink at the coffee shop or to admire some of the historic Church facades.
Shopping activities also boom here because of the availability of smaller shops that serve most of the students’ needs.
You just arrived in Chicago and made it a point of duty to visit Little Italy because you have always longed to see what this smaller Italian suburb looks like.
You now realize that it wouldn’t be all that easy to explore the Little Italy area because you have your baggage with you. So the best thing to do is store your bags so you can have an uninterrupted exploration of the neighborhood.
Well, it may be all that easy because there are no closer places to store your baggage. However, you can use Qeepl to search the most convenient locations near University Village. You can then book online at any of our partner shops or hotels so you can have a swell time sightseeing in the Little Italy area.
Our luggage storage Little Italy fee starts at $5.90 per bag you want to store.
Little Italy used to be dotted with several Italian restaurants, which once lined Taylor Street. At the time, the Italians owned lots of food businesses, such as pastry shops and restaurants. Over 250 restaurants were established in this Italian neighborhood, but the University Of Illinois (UIC) establishment changed it all. Following the building of the university in the area, lots of Italian businesses folded or migrated to other parts of Chicago. This also led to the downsizing of Italian restaurants.
Despite the downsizing, you can still find some Italian bars and restaurants where you can stop for cold beer, coffee, or sandwiches. It will also excite you to know that there is no limit to what you can eat at Little Italy restaurants. This is because other cuisines are available on the menu. You can also order takeout.
Here are some of the best places to eat near University Village:
- Volcano Sushi Cafe
- Mario’s Italian Lemonade
- Sweet Maple Café
- Chez Joel Bistro
- Stax Café
- Club Lago
- Teuscher Chocolates of Switzerland
- The Rosebud
- Saigon Sisters
- Conte Di Savoia
- Jade Court Chinese Cuisine
- Demitasse Café
- Rooks Corner UIC
- Patio Restaurant
- Fontano Foods
- Lotus Café & Banh Mi Sandwiches
- Davanti Enoteca
- Tuscany on Taylor
- La Taberna Tapas on Halstead
- Busy Burger
- Ghareeb Nawaz UIC
- Golden Thai
- Express Grill
- Couscous Restaurant Incorporated
Want to sightsee? There are many things to do in Little Italy – and one of those things is to go sightseeing.
But, where do you go for a layover? Are there tourist attractions that will fascinate you in Little Italy?
Yes, there are lots of them. Below are some of the tourist sites you want to add to your list. That would be after you have booked a luggage storage Little Italy service to take care of your bags.
These are the tourist sites near Little Italy:
- Jane Addams Hull-House Museum
- The Shrine of Our Lady of Pompeii
- Piazza DiMaggio
- Saint Francis of Assisi Church
- Arrigo Park
- Vertiport Chicago
- Auditorium Theatre
- Maxwell Street Station
- Holy Family Catholic Church
- Sherpa Tours
- Engine 18 Chicago Fire
- UIC Pavilion
- The Bar 10 Doors
- Vintage Lounge
- Hawkeye’s Bar and Grill
- St. Basil Greek Orthodox Church
- Relo’s Board Game & Dessert Café
You will get to University Village either by bus or train. So, you want to find some of the nearest train and bus stations that came to take you to the neighborhood.
There are several train routes at Uptown, Smoque BBQ, Starbucks, Chicago. The train route from the Museum of Science and Industry will take about 65 minutes to get to University Village, while Kohl’s Bucktown will only take 58 minutes.
You can also take a bus from Metra 55th, 56th, and 57th Street, Chicago. The ride will take between 60 minutes and 70 minutes.
The nearest bus stations to University Village are Racine & Taylor at the north, Taylor & Loomis at the west, and Roosevelt & Loomis at the east.
Some Chicago ‘L’ stations are also close. The closest of them are Racine and Polk, which are only a 14-minute walk distance.
University Village Little Italy may be a smaller Italian neighborhood in Chicago, but it is also home to top Italian businesses, as well as one of the largest areas of settlement for Italian-Americans.
When you are ready to explore this Chicago neighborhood, always leave your luggage with Qeepl so we can keep an eye on it while you enjoy your vacation or sightseeing.