This bakery-grocery-deli serves up delicious Italian sandwiches, soup and salads in a decidedly European environment with one American twist: It's one of the most veggie-friendly cafes downtown (although probably not a great stop for vegans). Herbivores can delight over the packed-with-flavor roasted red pepper, arugula and eggplant sub, topped with fresh goat cheese. Other options that lose the meat but keep the taste include the cheese bomb, which features abundant slices of four types of cheese, or one of the veggie "tostinos" or paninis available.
Love meat? Not to worry, L'Appetito has you covered. The La Bomba sub has all the goodness of the cheese bomb, though it swaps four Italian meats for the cheese to take care of your carnivorous needs. The turkey tostino, a concoction of havarti, pesto mayonnaise and roast turkey, is not to be missed. Tostinos and sandwiches all run less than $6.50. L'Appetito offers two kinds of soup daily (try the Italian chili or wedding soup, if available), a wide selection of pastry, gelato and a number of Italian and European grocery items. (It's probably one of the few places where you can pick up single servings of Nutella in Chicago.) There isn't much seating, so plan to take it back to the office or across the street to the patio in front of St. James Episcopal.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Stephanie Kuenn