I live in Lake Tahoe but have spent a good deal of time in Chicago. We are travelling with friends to Chicago in October and while I have my own favorites I would appreciate ideas for Greek, Pizza, Hamburgers, Jewish deli and finally whether the Red Onion serves beer and wine. Thanks in advance.
I will give it a shot. Since you don't specify neighborhood, I will just throw out some favorites.
Jewish Deli: Eleven City Diner opened recently in the South Loop. Big, tasty portions. All the classics.
Hamburgers: I'd say Moody's Pub in Edgewater. Especially in summer with their great patio. Half-pounders, and good fries to boot.
Greek: I can't answer that one.
Pizza: I am still looking myself for a hands-down favorite. Giordano's is good, but it's a chain. Carmen's up the Loyola campus (Faaar North Side) is really good, though, so I have only been once. Medici in Hyde Park is good, too.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think Red Onion is closed now...(on Dearborn?)
Jewish Deli: My Jewsh coworkers would always take me to Manny's over on Roosevelt. It's an experience.
Hamburgers: I second Moody's
Greek: Not Greek exatly, but Middle Eastern...I like Andies on Foster in Andersonville and Maza on Lincoln. Reza's is good too and has locations in both Andersonville and closer to downtown.
Pizza: I'm a Lou Malnati's girl all the way (Giordano's is fine too. I'm NOT a Uno fan.)
Jewish - if you can, skip Chicago and go out to Skokie or Evanston. Kaufman's on Dempster is the best - I'm from NYC and I'll tell the corned beef there is outrageously good. Seriously, but if you can't make it up there, I recommend Ashkenaz on Cedar/State.
Hamburgers - Moody's is really good, but I also dig Twisted Spoke on Grand/Ogden (NOT the Lakeview one). Good beer menus at both too.
Greek - Most of the corner gyro places in Greektown are pretty good, but definitely the Athenian Room or the Parthenon. Andie's and Rezas are good falafels and such, but not Greek; the souvlaki I had at Andie's was terribly dry and bland.
Pizza - Assuming you want Chicago style pizza, I actually really like Chicago's Pizza on Sheffield. The crust is also buttery and crispy and the sauce is good. I don't like Giordano's because I don't like restaurants that bake frozen pizzas inconsistently. Piece in Wicker Park on North Avenue has excellent thin-cornmeal-crusted pizza AND their own microbrewery.
GREEK: Santorini at Halsted and Adams for excellent food in a serene atmosphere. Greek Islands accross the street is also excellent and a bit less expensive but usually packed to the gils (sp?).
Do yourself a favor and stay far away from Giordano's. Are you guys kidding? This place doesn't compare to Lou Malnati's or Uno's or Due's (original location's only/satellite locations are terrible)deep dish pizza.
Spacca Napoli: for excellent authentic thin pizza.
Manny's on Roosevelt & Des Plaines (or is it Jefferson?) has pretty unbelievable corned beef, roast beef, and pastrami in a bare bones cafeteria style restaurant.
Gilmart's on South Archer Avenue is a fantastic Polish Deli. You must try thier sausage.
BOBAK'S on south Archer Avenue is very good as well for Polish.
Riviera Foods on Harlem Avenue in Elmwood Park has the very best Italian sausage (butcher shop plus Italian specialty foods only)
Bari Foods on Grand Avenue. Also try DeAmato's bakery.
STEAK & SEAFOOD:
Raw Bar in Wrigleyville is amazing. They serve up fantastic Persian & Egyptian spiced steak and seafood. Haven't tried Middleastern food? Try it once and you'll be hooked for sure!