If you’re looking for a great Italian meal, Jim and Pete’s, 7806 W. North Ave., will not disappoint. 

This longtime staple of Elmwood Park’s Restaurant Row has earned its customers loyalty with a menu that features Italian classics made with fresh and often, locally sourced, ingredients. The family-owned restaurant was founded in 1941 by Jim Sorce Sr., and his brother-in-law Pete Pizo, the inspiration for its name. Though it changed owners in 1999, it has stayed true to its mission of bringing the finest Italian cuisine to locals and visitors who walk through its doors. 

The main indoor dining area is beautifully adorned with chandeliers, providing a modern and cozy atmosphere where guests can enjoy a view of North Avenue through the restaurant’s almost floor-to-ceiling windows. The patio also offers guests with outdoor seating in a patio setting that stays functional even when the temperature begins to cool down. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the patio was key to helping Jim and Pete’s stay open despite state-wide indoor dining restrictions. The patio is located within the restaurant’s party room, featuring a retractable roof and a heating fireplace that makes the space versatile for indoor and outdoor dining. 

The patio is one of many examples of owner Michael Bucchianeri’s attention to detail. This same spirit is shared by Jim and Pete’s staff, who continuously watch over every detail to provide each guest with an exceptional experience, both for lunch and dinner. 

The fried calamari is a great option to share an appetizer when dining with a group. | Staff

The menu includes a wide selection of appetizers, great for sharing with a group in a delightful ambience. The fried calamari is cooked until the golden batter is crispy, perfect for dipping in cocktail sauce or sprinkling with some lemon juice. It is one of several seafood specialties, namely the signature baked clams, grilled calamari and grilled octopus. Yet, cheese lovers will also find themselves in a dilemma to decide whether to order a classic, mozzarella sticks fried to perfection, or an antipasto plate with a selection of imported meats and cheeses accompanied with olives, tomatoes and romaine lettuce. 

When visiting Jim and Pete’s, everyone at the table is sure to find something of their liking, from pasta to pizza to meat, poultry and fish dishes. 

 Be sure to try the Eggplant Parmigiana for a savory vegetable-based meal. It is made with thinly sliced, battered eggplant baked in marinara sauce, over pasta and covered with melted cheese. You won’t even miss meat.  

Pasta lovers can find one of the best vodka sauces in the city. Order gnocchi in vodka sauce for an equally creamy and tasty bite or indulge in one of several house-made pasta specialties. Try something new, like the giant fresh rigatoni covered in “aglio” sauce, stick to the classic lasagna or ask your server for the risotto of the day.  

If you join at lunchtime, don’t forget to take a look at the daily specials. Jim and Pete’s opens daily at 11 a.m., providing locals with great options for a lunch gathering or a quick and tasty bite. You can order a rib-eye steak sandwich, chicken parmigiana sandwich or eggplant parmigiana for an easy-to-eat meal that is equally delicious. Or, keep it lighter with a tasty arugula salad with black olives, roasted red peppers, grape tomatoes and cucumbers. 

When the abundance of delicious options makes it hard to choose, ask Jim and Pete’s friendly, welcoming and ever-attentive staff for their recommendations. Not only will they gladly describe their favorite dishes, but they will also ensure your dining experience is unforgettable.