Chicago in November- restaurants

I will be in Chicago for a Saturday afternoon, leaving Monday morning. Staying at Ohare Hilton and no car until Monday. Planning to go to the Art Institute on Saturday. Where should I go eat that is easily reachable via the train and short walking? (couple of blocks max)

I have been to Chicago a couple of times but had cars before (and found driving in Chicago a nightmare)I had an Italian beef sandwich, Lindy’s chili and Chicago style pizza previously. I like most cuisines and most foods except offal. I also ate Frontera and David Burkes Steakhouse before. Lindy’s is about the only one I would really want to go back to.

I read there is a French market? Do they have French food?

Some place near interesting shopping would be cool too. (malls aren’t usually interesting)

any suggestions?

Are you talking about the Hilton that’s actually located on the airport grounds? That gives you access to the Blue Line, which runs down to the Loop and gives you access to pretty much everything in the city.

Here’s a Yelp for “Best restaurants off the Blue Line” which will give you an idea of what’s out there. Enjoy!

yes and Cool!

There’s also a Giordano’s around the corner from the Sears Tower

I highly recommend River Roast. Best damn roast chicken and potatoes I’ve ever had in my life by a factor of 10. Sublime.

That’s a decent list. I can highly endorse Longman & Eagle, especially if you’re dining alone and don’t mind sitting at the bar or going during a slower time of day. It’s a popular place so a table for one during peak times will probably have you waiting. L&E is also adjecent to the Logan Blue Line stop so easy on, easy off.

Smoque BBQ is quite close to the Irving Park stop and is the real deal.

90 Mile Cuban Cafe off the Blue Line list is one of my favorite places in town.

As for near the Art Institute, you can’t beat Miller’s Pub for old-school American fare, or the *Italian Village *for old-school Italian food. I also think there is a Pizano’s Pizza a couple blocks away on Madison Street. The food court in the basement of *Macy’s *is also interesting. Oh, and *Latinicity *is very close, a sort of pan-Latin food court.

I’ve always had good experiences at Bandera on Michigan. Good food and a fun, funky atmosphere. It’s an easy one-mile walk from the Art Institute, that will take you past Millennium Park and the Bean sculpture.
When you say you’ve had “Chicago style pizza,” I assume you’re talking about deep dish. That’s all well and good, but don’t neglect Chicago thin-crust. It’s a thin, crispy crust, cut into squares instead of wedges. Flavor factor is about 10x any pizza you’ve had elsewhere in the country - save for maybe New York, but it’s an entirely different experience than NY pizza. If you haven’t tried it, it’s definitely worth checking out. I have a couple favorite places out in the 'burbs (Perry’s Pizza Joynt in Northlake is the absolute greatest), but those might be tough for you to get to. Search for any location of Aurelio’s or Rosati’s and you can’t go too wrong.

Oh, and sorry for the double post, but I forgot to mention Adobo Grill, a little Mexican joint in Old Town. The Brown or Purple Line will get you there, or Ubers are plentiful. If you liked Frontera, you’ll like Adobo. And it’s around the corner from both Second City and Zanies, if you’re a comedy fan. And don’t forget to grab a pint at the Old Town Ale House for the quintessential Chicago watering hole experience.

I was going to suggest The Berghoff. I very much enjoyed my meal there.

I was so sad when the Bandera in Sacramento closed. My girlfriends and I would meet there for drinks and dinner regularly. The group that owns them is looking for a new location here in town, but hasn’t found a place yet. :frowning:

If you like French food, and it is spendy and jacket required, but we really liked Everest when we went a few years ago. Nowhere near as creative as say Alinea, but it was a really good time.

Also, it’s surprising that you didn’t like Frontera more than you did. Perhaps it’s declined since I’ve been there? It was one of my favorite Mexican restaurants in the US.

Lindy’s chili beat anything I have eaten at home. Frontera was almost as good as my favorite Mexican place at home so not really eating to make a long hike for almost as good as Molly’s here. Burkes steakhouse, the steak was tasty, the sides not so much and rather expensive.

I would rather try something new.

Lots of intriguing suggestions…

Since you’re staying at the Hiton you have got to try the Gaslight Club, it is . . .something special!


A friend of mine performs regularly at the Gaslight Club. Her name is Sami Scott, and she is a wonderful piano player and singer. Definitely check that place out if she is performing when you are there.

I find this surprising. I mean, I like Lindy’s fine and all and eat semi-regularly at the original McKinley Park location, but it’s not something I ever thought someone from outside Chicago would find it special or interesting (and even a lot of people in Chicago don’t really care for it). It’s just pretty soupy Midwestern chili, that’s best on spaghetti or a hot dog. Or with a Tom-Tom tamale dunked in it (which is my favorite way of enjoying it.)

I suspect you’d very much enjoy Miller’s Pub, mentioned before, for its old-timey Chicago vibe (although it’s been recently renovated) and down-to-earth food. It’s not necessarily a foodie destination for me, but anybody who finds themselves in the Loop, I do point it to them as good bit of Chicago-ana. And, during Christmastime, it’s a must-stop for their Tom & Jerries (cocktail.) Berghoff and Italian Village are also in the same sort of classic old-time Chicago vibe, but with an ethnic slant to the cuisine.

There is a French Market on Randolph and Clinton. It’s an indoor market with a lot of vendors selling all sorts of hip foods, but I’ve only been there for the Montreal Smoked Meat (they call it Montreal-style Pastrami) sandwich at Fumare, which I thought was fantastic (and having eaten the real-deal at Schwartz’s in Montreal.)

There are French Vendors but a lot of cuisines represented. Closed on Sunday.

Aloha Poke Co
B.I. Tea and Dim Sum
Bebe’s Kosher Deli
Blue Spot Sushi
Buen Apetito
City Fresh Market
Da Lobsta
Firenze Italian Street Food
Flip Crepes
Frietkoten Belgian Fries & Beer
Fumare Meats & Deli
Joker’s Cajun Kitchen
Klay Oven Kitchen
Le Cafe Du Marche
Les Fleurs
Lito’s Empanadas
Lolli and Pops
Loop Juice
Loop Soup
Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine
Pierogi Crib
Polpetti Espresso Bar
Saigon Sisters
The Dapper Doughnut
The French Lunchbox
Tiger Ceviche
Vanille Patisserie
Vegan Now
Wood Fire Counter

What’s your budget?

Are you dining alone for the duration? Or are you looking for date/business lunch ideas?

You mention “a couple blocks max” as your walking parameters. This strikes me a unreasonably restrictive, does anyone in your party have mobility issues? The walk from your hotel lobby to the blue line station inside O’hare is probably the equivalent of 2 city blocks.

Where are you coming from, what would you find most interesting apart from French fare?

There also is:

Eataly Chicago

Though Eataly or French Market are not that “close” to the Art Institute. walk-able, but not close. These walks could lead you across some great Chicago Architecture if that’s your thing.

Miller’s Pub mentioned up-thread is very close to the AI and open 11am-4am, 365 day a year IIRC, very unique in the Loop*

  • Lots of Hotel bars/restaurants open downtown 365 but Miller’s Pub is in the shadow of the Palmer House Hilton but not part of the hotel.

I live in Memphis. I will be alone so no date or anyone else, no palate to please but my own. I can spend what I choose, but while I have tempted by some of the 3 Michelin star restaurants in New York when I was there, I couldn’t figure that a $300.00 meal would be worth the price when a $100.00 meal would be tasty. Further, many of the higher end dining establishments really like their innards on their menus. :eek:

As far as few blocks max something between a half a mile and a mile is about what I can walk especially with uncertain footing and no where to rest along the way. (I am older and out of shape) Plus will be walking a lot at my destination so hiking a couple of miles to a restaurant and back from the train would be problematic.

I like food except for innards and oysters/clams, I like interesting cuisines, I saw there was a Costa Rican place, on the Blue line list, I don’t think I have ever had that before. So I will arrive early Saturday afternoon and have the rest of that day to go wherever my fancy takes me. I like to shop at interesting little places and Christmas is coming so I thought the West Loop might be interesting, other places would be cool also.

Sunday, I am planning to go to the Art Institute for the day and I have heard brunch at The Gage is good but that is not set in stone. Then dinner someplace and back to the Hotel via the train. My feet will be hurting from a day at the museum so a long walk more than 3 of 4 blocks from the train probably won’t happen.

Monday I pick up my rental car and plan to go to Naperville to a bookstore on the way to Rockford for work. I return to Chicago on Thursday and plan to go to the Museum of Science and Industry for their Christmas tree exhibit and then fly out that afternoon.