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Jul 27, 2006 02:18 AM

Visiting Chicago, Need Suggestions for Casual Eateries

Hi Fellow Chowhounds,
I am a chowhound from Philadelphia and will be spending a weekend in Chicago in a couple of weeks. As I will mostly be by myself (during the daytime), I'd love a few suggestions on where I can have a casual lunch (around $20 - $30 max) where I can sit and read a book and people watch, preferably in the shopping district, on Friday and Saturday. Any suggestions would be appreciated! I have never been to Chicago and am looking forward to the trip and discovering new places to eat!


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  1. A good place for lunch that offer's ample people watching opportunities is L'Appettito in base of the Hancock building. It's an Italian market/deli with good sandwiches, salads, pastries, and gelatos. Tons of people move through that courtyard, so you can definitely see people go by...

    1. Coco Pazzo cafe is a good place for lunch, very near Michigan Ave.

      You might also try Cafe Spiaggia

      1. For lunch... A few blocks from shopping, but in the heart of the Gold Coast and perfect for people watching:
        - LuxBar - great burgers and try the chicken soup
        - Gibsons - also good burgers
        - Tavern on Rush - lots of good food.
        - Cactus - much more casual, but good thin crust pizza
        - Carmines - good Italian

        These (and more) can be found at the corner of Rush & State & Bellevue - about 3 blocks north on Michigan Ave and 1 block west. In addition, all have outside seating. My personal preference is LuxBar who also has a nice fried shrimp basket :~}

        1. Stop by at Bistro 110, across from the Water Tower, on an off-hour and you might find an open spot on the patio where you can graze on hors d'oeuvres and desserts and watch the gilded set et al pass by.

          Bistro 110
          110 E. Pearson St.