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Out-of-town hound needs advice on dinner & breakfast places

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Dear Chicago hounds: I'm coming to town for a conference and I have only one night where dinner is my choice. I'm staying in the Loop, but from what I've gleaned from a quick review of the board, my options are better elsewhere. So, where's a good place that's a short cab ride away, that's open on a Monday night, and is about $30/person? (Not interested in either pizza or Mexican.)

Also, where's a nice cafe in the Loop with good coffee that's open early in the morning?

Thanks!

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  1. On the second query, try below. They open at 6 on weekdays:

    Intelligentsia Coffee
    53 E. Randolph St.
    312-920-9332

    1. Opera, which is a high concept Chinese restaurant, in the South Loop has a $25 3-course prix fixe menu on Monday nights. Restaurants in Greektown, such as Greek Islands, should also fit within your budget.

      1. the intelligentsia recommendation was great -- went there both mornings i was in town.

        as for dinner, i wound up going to avec on randolph st., which i thought was excellent.

        1. LaVazza is an Italian coffee brand that opened a few cafes in the loop. They're espresso/cappuccini are as close to Italy as I've had outside of Italy. If you want a cornetto and cafe it's a good, quick breakfast option.