Must Eat Places?
I'm a New Yorker coming to Chicago on a short visit. What are your must eat at places, high brow, low brow, any and all styles and cuisines. Just want to eat like a local. As any New Yorker knows, tourists eat crap if they don't ask the right people! Thanks for your help!
Must eat places are hard to pin down. There are several excellent noteworthy restaurants in Chicago generating national buzz (see http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/... ), but if you want to eat like an everyday local, I'd try exploring Chicago ethnic food - we lots of options. The great thing is that there are many excellent Chicago ethnic restaurants at both ends of the price spectrum.
For instance, consider Mexican food in Chicago. There are several cheap and authentic restaurants and bakeries in Pilsen (the Mexican neighboorhood) on up to higher-end haunts in River North or Uptown like Fontera Grill/Topolobambo or Salpicon.
that's a bit of a tall order
consider the reverse: what are the must eat places in all of Manhattan et al?
I *do* agree it's good advice to explore Chicago's superior "ethnic" options: Mexican, Thai, Polish, Vietnamese...
Chicago's a major city replete with it's own colloquial foodstuffs(hotdogs, pizza, Italian beef)...of course, of course the *real* cuisine is threaded throughout these icons: I infer asking someone to search the board is considered somewhat importune...but, for a question such as yours I can't imagine better advice: have a yummy visit!
What does a local eat? Last night it was tired Chinese takeout from a not-bad but certainly not great place that happens to deliver to my black-hole of a neighborhood (we seem to be just beyond the edges of the delivery ranges of all the really good places that deliver :) :)
Try Thai from one of the places where Erik M. has translated the "secret" Thai language menus - http://www.silapaahaan.com
NOMI... For me the best breakfast in the city... at the Park Hyatt hotel. Perfect food, killer view, excellent service. Its the best meal there... avoid lunch and dinner. If the weather is good, the patio is a great spot for lunch.
FRONTERA GRILL... Great, esp for lunch. Perfect Mexican. So fresh, and such interesting dishes. If you've never been, GO!
CHARLIE TROTTERS... still one of the best places on the planet. I never miss going here on a Chicago trip. Killer food, service, and one of the best wine lists on earth.
Here are a few of my favorites:
Hot Doug's - best hot dogs EVER. Only open M-Sat until 4pm.
Try to go on a weekday, unless you like standing in line. Although it's worth it!
Hema's Kitchen - delicious Indian food. Two locations.
Treat - awesome weekend breakfasts, and not yet crowded!
Saltuas - high brow, great food
ABSOLUTE MUST EAT PLACES:
Spring, Avenue's, Alinea, Blackbird, Sola, Gibsons
Upscale yet casual:
Santorini for incredible Greek cuisine.
Salpicon for contempory and tradition Mexican.
Raw Bar in Wrigleyville for a unique Persian and Egyptian steak and seafood menu. This place is fantastic!
Lou Malnati's for the very best deep dish in Chicago.
Hot Doug's for the very best hot dogs in the city
Pancho Pistolas for fantastic skirt steak
Noon-O-Kabob for the very best Persian food in Chicago. Avoid getting seated in the owner's sister's area...she's a total grouch and quite rude. Father and son are great guys!
Tango Sur for very good Argentinian Steak. Bring your own booze here. Fun neighborhood as well.
Portillo's for a variety of hot dog's, ribs, chicken, salads, Italian Beef, etc.
Johnny's Beef for the very best Italian Beef Sandwiches.