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Oct 9, 2006 09:33 PM

Overwhelmed by Chicago!

I'm visiting Chicago for the first time this weekend. I'm very excited, but I'm overwhelmed by the culinary options. Is there a "best-of" thread or a good thread with recs for first-timers? If not, can someone suggest two or three places for dinner that are unique, under $75/person w/o wine, and fairly easy to get to via CTA? Modern design is a plus. We're staying near Logan Square, but we will probably be downtown a lot as well. Thanks a lot!!

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  1. Go to Cafe Lula in Logan Square. Great food and great atmosphere right by where you are staying.

    1. I agree, Lula is a great restaurant. What kinds of cuisine are you into? I can help you narrow the downtown restaurants down that way.

      4 Replies
      1. re: gillespie412

        After talking to a lot of folks and finding some good threads on chowhound, I'm thinking Frontera and Avec for my two nighttime meals and have yet to choose a pizza place and a spot for Sunday brunch. Does Cafe Lula serve lunch/brunch on Sunday? Also, and this is off-topic, but is Logan Square fairly safe - i.e., can we walk around that area after dark or should we try to stick to taxis?

        1. re: bryantuga

          Honestly, I don't think Logan Square is the best neighborhood to be walking around in at night. I would stick to taxis if you want to go out at night.

          Here's a pretty good map of the neighborhoods:

          Frontera and Avec are both great restaurants. Lula does serve brunch on Sunday.

          1. re: bryantuga

            Avec and Frontera are good choices. Keep in mind that Avec does not take reservations, last I knew, and its a small place that fills up fast. Communal sitting, so be prepared to meet your neighbors. Great Chorizo stuffed Dates.

            No reservations at Frontera for groups less than 5, so if you can't make them, get there real early or be prepared to wait an hour (or more?).

          2. re: gillespie412

            actually, i prefer going to lula cafe for brunch; just be prepared to wait a bit on sundays. so good, though. i always bring out of town friends here & they can't wait to go back.

            in addition to the brunch menu, they will also be serving their usual daytime menu. if you'd like to see what types of food, here are the links (brunch menu from last weekend):

            as to the safety of the neighborhood, i wouldn't say you should be afraid to walk around at night, but with anything, be cafeful of your surroundings. also, taxis are not easy to come by in logan square, so you typically have to call ahead for one to pick you up.

          3. Try Dunlays on the Sqaure for great bar food. Great Bar with eclectic crowd.

            For something totally different try Raw Bar in Wrigleyville on Clark Street. They serve delicious Persian and Egytian spiced Steak, seafood, chicken, etc, for reasonable prices. This place is way underrated. Try'll will be impressed. Unique atmosphere.

            Hugo's (or Gibsons nextdoor...same kitchen) Frog Bar at Bellview and Rush in the Gold Coast for great people watching, location, and Food. Great steak and seafood.

            Viceroy on Devon Avenue for fantastic Indian Food for reasonable prices. Located in Indian Town where browsing is a must. Great shops here.

            1. the ice cream cookie skillet from dunlay's is a great dessert to split with a few friends :D usually at least 3-4, otherwise you'll be hurting afterwards. nice bar food at decent prices. sometimes service can be a bit, uh, slow.

              1. Thank you all so much! I'll give a full report when I get back. Let me know if you need Georgia recs :)