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New South Loop Italian Restaurant Gives McCormick Place Attendees a Nearby Option

Read Il Culaccino Italian-American menu as the restaurant’s patio will soon get a retractable roof

Chicken giardiniera is part of the old-school Italian menu.
Il Culaccino [Official Photo]
Ashok Selvam is the editor of Eater Chicago and a native Chicagoan armed with more than two decades of award-winning journalism. Now covering the world of restaurants and food, his nut graphs are super nutty.

McCormick Place’s dining scene received a boost over the weekend when a new Italian restaurant, Il Culaccino, debuted. The restaurant is from the owners of South Side stalwart Franco’s, which has been around since 1986 in Bridgeport. The new restaurant includes a wine bar, a tree-covered patio, and Chicago Italian-American classics like chicken Vesuvio. Ownership hopes to install a retractable roof on the patio by fall.

The restaurant is about a minute walk from Wintrust Arena, as the South Loop area continues to see development. Il Culaccino management markets it to students at nearby Illinois Institute of Technology and White Sox fans at Guaranteed Rate Field in Bridgeport. The Italian spot sits at the corner Cermak Road and Indiana Avenue at the Lex Tower at 2134 S. Indiana Avenue.

New Italian restaurant’s dining room in South Loop.
Il Culaccino’s dining room in the South Loop
Il Culaccino/Chris Depa

The menu includes prime steaks, pastas, and salads. Il Culaccino is the fifth restaurant the Ruffolo family owns. They’re also behind Franco’s at the Fountain in Millennium Park, Franconello Italian Restaurant in Beverly, and Jam ‘n Honey in Lincoln Park/DePaul.

McCormick Place convention-goers have few options nearby. Places like Il Culaccino give them more close choices so they don’t have to drive downtown or further away from the convention center. It’s also a boon for South Loop residents who want more dining options nearby.

Il Culaccino is open daily for lunch and dinner. Check out the menu and some food photos below.

Il Culaccino, 2134 S. Indiana Avenue, (312) 794-5300, open 11 am. to 11 pm. daily, reservations via OpenTable.


sausage and peppers Italian style
Sausage and peppers at Il Culaccino
Il Culaccino [Official Photo]
Il Culaccino’s classic pork chop
Il Culaccino [Official Photo]
Il Culaccino’s caprese salad
Il Culaccino [Official Photo]

Il Culaccino

2134 S. Indiana Avenue, Chicago, IL (312) 794-5300 Visit Website