Most folks who frequent Mangiamo Pronto!, a bustling Italian cafe on Wazee Street, do so at lunch. The midday menu tempts with thin-crust pizzas, such as the cotto, and crusty panini, like the acci (stuffed with crispy pancetta, rib-eye, roasted peppers, fried egg, provolone, and spicy aïoli).

But for all our lunches (we visit several times a month), we only just discovered Mangiamo’s dinner service. And it’s even better than lunch. Pizzas and salads—don’t miss the pomodoro salad, with tomatoes, basil, and aged Montasio cheese—still hold a place on the menu, but it’s the pasta that really impresses. Noodles are hand-rolled, delicate, and delightfully eggy.

Try the E’s, with black linguine, shrimp, baby arugula, spicy garlic oil, and Parmesan, or the rich Morto, with crispy pancetta, fried egg, Parmesan butter, and linguine. Even better, ask chef-owner Enrique Guerrero if he’s offering the special: a decadent tangle of fettuccine with roasted porcini, Parmesan, and black truffle shavings.

Bonus: Order the rosemary gelato for a refreshing and creamy end to the meal.

1601 17th St., 303-297-1229

Amanda M. Faison
Amanda M. Faison
Freelance writer Amanda M. Faison spent 20 years at 5280 Magazine, 12 of those as Food Editor.