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Potbelly alternative in downtown Chicago?

matzohrella Jan 9, 2007 01:21 AM

Will be in the downtown Chicago area on business. Looking for a place to order in lunch for 5 - sandwiches are ok but is there anything well-liked that is slightly more upscale than Potbelly? Thanks.

  1. q
    Querencia Jan 11, 2007 06:01 PM

    Panera, State & Congress (Loop) cat-a-corner from the Harold Washington Library and adjacent to Harrison stop on Red Line subway. See their website. Excellent sandwiches and soups, low prices. BTW yesterday I asked them if they had plans to open new Paneras downtown and they said YES---mentioned three locations to open within a year and I didn't catch all of the answers---one was Lake and Something, the second I didn't get at all, and the third was definitely Fairbanks and Ontario.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Querencia
      cdkatuofc Feb 6, 2007 07:22 AM

      noone mentioned ada's famous deli on wabash and madison? (14 s wabash)
      i guess its not as famous as it thinks it is
      but the pastrami is really good altho a bit too salty

    2. g
      Giovanna Jan 11, 2007 03:06 PM

      If you're looking for a high-quality sub, L'Appetito makes very good [not Bari or Riviera great, but very good] subs at a great price [for their locations]. Oh, enough qualifiers; they're good subs. They have 2 locations:

      30 E. Huron St.
      875 N. Michigan Ave.

      1. a
        amoncada Jan 10, 2007 06:19 PM

        Yeah, Manny's Deli is pretty unbelievable. The roast beef and corned beef sandwiches and matzo ball soup are outstanding. The quality of the meat is hard to beat...it just melts in your mouth! Been to Carnegie Deli in New York?...Manny's sandwiches come close.

        Don't go to Manny's for the decor though. This place is a bare bones cafeteria style diner.

        1. m
          mailsf Jan 10, 2007 03:12 PM

          I'd recommend Spa Cafe. It's a healthy alternative as well. Great soups, interesting wraps, quesanini (quesadilla panini), and salads. I like the combo where you order a soup and 1/2 wrap/quesanini. The carrot with peanut butter soup is great. Add on a side (barley/jicama slaw, anyone?) for a dollar.

          Spa Cafe
          112 W. Monroe

          If that doesn't work for any reason, I also enjoy Goodwin's, Specialtys, and Hannah's Bretzel (which would be best suited for takeout, as there is only seating for about 4 people).

          2 Replies
          1. re: mailsf
            SuzMiCo Jan 10, 2007 05:32 PM

            I LOVE Spa Cafe, enough that I sometimes walk over a mile from my office to go there for lunch. I don't think they deliver though.

            1. re: SuzMiCo
              mailsf Jan 11, 2007 02:14 PM

              I know they cater for somewhere around $11/person. I don't know if there's a minimum number of people, though. Depending on the budget, it may be worth looking into.

          2. sheilal Jan 10, 2007 03:11 PM

            Try Cosi. Very good sandwiches, soups & salads. There are several locations in the Loop/M Mile area. They have a contemporary "Starbucks" feel.

            1. j
              jbw Jan 10, 2007 03:08 PM

              Check out Hannah's Bretzel at 180 W. Washington. A great product and they deliver.


              1. abf005 Jan 10, 2007 04:20 AM

                Manny's deli delivers & caters to the entire loop area, if you want oohs & ahhs from your guests give them a call: http://www.mannysdeli.com/catering.htm

                1. s
                  smellen Jan 9, 2007 11:37 PM

                  two other options w/delivery:

                  goodwins -- non-chain, fresh sandwiches, salads, soups, etc.
                  http://www.goodwins2go.com/ -- menu available online

                  specialty's -- chain from seattle/cali, only 1 location in chicago; more funky options, but also in the deli realm
                  (877) 502-2837

                  both of these are located in the area of franklin/randolph.

                  1. a
                    azviolin Jan 9, 2007 11:29 PM

                    Corner Bakery has good sandwiches and catering.

                    1. r
                      rubinow Jan 9, 2007 08:52 PM

                      I just went to Jerry's Sandwiches and it was great.


                      I just found out that they're moving to Wicker Park now !!!

                      1. c
                        Chicago Mike Jan 9, 2007 01:26 AM

                        You could order deli sandwiches from the Ashkenaz Deli up in the Viagra Triangle... overall I'd say they are better than Pot Belly, although I am a closet fan of potbelly wrecks :)

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