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NY hound looking for new tips for second trip to Chicago

I will be coming to Chicago for the second time next week for four days. Last time I was there, I had some great food as I went to Wiener's Circle, Jim's Original, Al's Italian Beef, Mario's for lemon ice, Walker Bros and Wishbone for breakfast, Pilsen for mexican food, Lou Malnati's for deep dish, Devon for south indian food, Billy Goat Tavern for a cheeburger, etc. I'm looking for uniquely chicago experiences that I missed last time. Have read mixed things about Hot Doug's but looks interesting. Also, any recommendations for not to be missed bars (or good beer bars) would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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  1. Your question is very open-ended. There are literally thousands of restaurants in Chicago, and many are worth recommending. So help us by telling us more about what YOU'RE looking for, so we can provide the most appropriate recommendations for you:

    - Are you looking only for more "cheap eats" like those you mention, or would you consider more expensive places?

    - Are there particular foods you enjoy? Ethnic cuisine (which ones?), burgers, whatever - help us narrow it down.

    - What about location? What location is most convenient for you? And will you be traveling by car, or public transit? (In addition to giving recommendations that are convenient for you, this enables us to give directions using the most appropriate means of travel.)

    P.S. I don't yet know if it fits your needs, but one uniquely Chicago experience you didn't mention, and not all that expensive, is going to a Greek restaurant in Greek Town. See this topic for recommendations: www.chowhound.com/topics/119233

    For breakfast and brunch recommendations:
    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/364403
    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/369457

    1. Definately try Hot Doug's, I've never had it due to the limited hours open, but there's a guy at work that is way more into food than me and it is his number one reccomendation. Enjoy your trip!

      1. Actually, I found your post to be pretty informative based on where you went last time. And it sounds like you hit the alot of the uniquely Chicago places. Hot Dougs is closed for vacation the time you are here. It seems like you didn't hit the uptown/Andersonville area last time you came in. You may want to go to the myriad of Vietnamese places off of Argyle (Tank Noodle, Sun Wah, do a quick search) then walk down a bit and hit the Green Mill - an old Chicago place that Capone used to hang out at. If you are going to be in that area the Hop Leaf has an extensive beer list and is one of my favorites in the city. Excellent mussels and food too. Take the Red Line to Argyle for both suggestions. If you are going to the Hop Leaf, walk west to Broadway, north to Foster (about a block) and west of Foster for about a block or so til you hit Clark. It's right there.

        2 Replies
        1. re: lbs

          Oh, and from your list it seems like you came in the summer. Next week is supposed to be in the 30-40's and snowy/cloudy (not that you're not used to the weather). You may also want to hit Lincoln Square and go to some of the German resturants. i like the Brauhaus and across the street is a German bar which I think is called the Huttenbar. Take the BROWN line to Western.

          1. re: lbs

            Thanks for all the great suggestions so far! The Hop Leaf looks great and I never got to check out Argyle last time so would like to do that. As far as narrowing down my question, I am interested in more cheap to moderate places, will eat pretty much anything except vegan food, do not have a car although might be with a friend who has one, will be staying in East Village and Hyde Park but I will gladly travel for something special.

          2. Another vote for Greektown. That's always fun. Lots of past threads on where to go.

            Also lots of good cheap Thai food in Chicago - once again, lots of info in past postings. TAC and Spoon Thai always get good reviews.

            1. Yet another vote for Greektown and Hopleaf. I would also strongly recommend going to Goose Island our largest local brewer. The Lincoln Park location (not far from the North/Clybourn red line stop) regularly has 7-10 different delicious craft brews on tap (though the food can be hit or miss). Also, if you're in the mood for something uniquely Pittsburgh in Chicago, Lucky's Sandwich Shop in Wrigleyville serves up monster food with both fries and cole slaw directly on the sandwich...takes me back to my college days!