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Mar 29, 2007 07:06 PM

Orchestra Hall - casual

Looking for something nice and casual, for a party of 6 to 8 within walking distance of Orchestra Hall. Any suggestions?

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  1. Miller's Pub, on Wabash, might fit the bill. Park Grill at Millenium Park, too, but can be crowded.

    1. Russian Tea Time, 77 E Adams just around the corner from Orchestra Hall. Nice bustling atmosphere, good Russian food.

      1. I agree with the recommendation for the Park Grill Chicago, which is located a block or so north of Orchestra Hall at the entrance to Millennium Park. The food and service are good, and the location is great (right behind, and looking out on, the skating rink). Outdoor dining is available in the warmer times of year. No worries about crowds; just make advance reservations at

        See this topic for additional recommendations:
        Any place that is walking distance from Orchestra Hall (what you're asking about), is walking distance from the Palmer House (what that topic discusses), since they're only a block or two away from each other.

        4 Replies
        1. re: nsxtasy

          I thought the Park Grill was overpriced for what it offered. It has a nice location which probably draws the crowds but the food was so-so and I have never ever had the urge to go back.

          1. re: lbs

            Regarding the price, Park Grill is a bit more than you would pay out in the neighborhoods, but that's generally true of anyplace in a prime downtown location, especially one offering relatively upscale food choices. If this is a concern, they post prices on the menu on their website, so anyone who is considering going there can check them out beforehand.

            Because of its location at the entrance to Millennium Park, I wasn't expecting the food to be very good, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was quite good indeed, as was the service. My experience was quite the opposite of yours; it could mean inconsistency on their part, or merely a difference of opinion between us.

            1. re: nsxtasy

              I know what prices are downtown and I thought everything was still 2-3 dollars more than it should be. Kudos for you liking it. I didn't. There are plenty of better restaurants in the area.

            2. re: lbs

              I agree completely. I've been there three times, and there was nothing memorable about any of the visits, other than 1), my annoyance at the squandered opportunity to do something really special here, and 2), how overpriced everything was, even though I wasn't picking up the tab. In fact, I begged off another trip (I work at the Prudential Building, ergo the repeated trips), even though it was on the Firm tab. That's pretty damning, I think.

              Better that the OP and company go to Pizano's, on Madison and Wabash, and have a good pizza.

          2. Great recommendations. Thank you!
            Since our daughter is performing at Orchestra Hall, the day is quite hectic. Deciding at the last minute where to go afterwards is not the best idea. We've gone to the Berghoff and Millers Pub the previous two years, both nice experiences.

            3 Replies
            1. re: HomeChef

              You couldn't get more convenient than Rhapsody, a part of the Symphony Center complex. It's not exactly casual, but I wouldn't call it high-end either, and it certainly delivers a respectable product. Anyway, decide for yourself:


              1. re: HomeChef

                Your daugther's not Hilary Hahn, is she?

                Rhapsody is excellent - not casual, but neither is the Symphony Center. Russian Tea Time is more relaxed to be sure, but if you're going for very casual I know many people like Cosi - a chain, with a location right down the block. I find the food to be alright, but service ranges from indifferent to hostile.

                Last time I was there I was told they don't serve wine....yet they have a wine list and plenty of bottles on display and several other tables were drinking wine....I still can't figure that one out. I wish I could figure out why my friends love it so much.

                1. re: HomeChef

                  If you're looking for something in a similar vein to Berghoff or Millers, then try the Exchequer, on Wabash near Jackson.

                  Along the same lines is the Elephant and Castle, perhaps a block further away. But it tends to get loud and is more cramped than the Exchequer.

                2. If you like Sushi, Oysy is quite good and on 888 S. Michigan


                  2 Replies
                  1. re: wak

                    It's worth noting that Oysy is seven blocks away, whereas the four previous recommendations are all within a block or two of Orchestra Hall.

                    1. re: nsxtasy

                      Opsy is the best option for sushi in that area, and is certainly within walking distance of Orchestra Hall. The initial post only indicated within walking distance, not necessarily within a couple of blocks.