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7 Girls need help!

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6 Girls and I will be visiting Chicago for our first time. Was hoping you guys out there could give us some suggestions for some great places to have our meals. We were looking forward to one really good dinner to splurge on and the rest can be must have's in Chicago.

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  1. You need to get a bit more specific - there are many MANY great places to eat in Chicago. It is one of the best cities for food in the US. Are you looking for superb ethnic food you can't find in your city (where are you from)? Do you want high end splurges? Hole in the wall places? Hip and trendy? Fun cocktails? Quiet places you can have a great conversation? Great wine list? Noisy, fun, raucous places? Creative food pairings with Beer? Do you have a price limit? Any particular area of the city you would prefer? Things you hate? Things you love? Give us a hand here...

    2 Replies
    1. re: leek

      Your right Leek, I should be more specific. Hip, trendy and fun places would be nice. something like the spice market in New York. Your idea of creative food pariings with Beer sounds great!! Something similar to L'atelier de Joel Robuchon would be nice to and don't mind spluring on. Dosen't have to be ethnic. We're fans of foie gras, to yummy desserts. I hope that helps. Thanks!

      1. re: Anoko

        The Chef at Hot Chocolate (Mindy Segal) is very into beer and food, also Hopleaf is mostly a bar, but they have very good food that goes with their excellent selection of beers, and a more restauranty section in back. Hot Chocolate takes reservations, I don't think Hopleaf does.

        Hot Chocolate
        1747 N. Damen Ave.

        Hopleaf Bar
        5148 N. Clark St.

    2. There are still many, many possibilities. A few suggestions that are good for large groups to get you started:

      - Japonais - hip, trendy, good food, but pricey.
      - Osteria Via Stato (Italian) - a really fun place to go with a large group. They have a $35 prix fixe, where they bring appetizers and pastas for everyone to share family style (in unlimited quantities), then each person gets to choose an entree. Relaxed atmosphere.
      - Mambo Grill (Latin) - where my friends and I usually end up for girls night out. Good food, not that expensive and great drinks.
      - Cafe Ba Ba Reeba (tapas) - lively, fun, good food.
      - Cafe Iberico (tapas) - big, lively, loud restaurant with decent food. Beware of long waits for tables. This is closer to downtown than Ba Ba Reeba.
      - Parthenon (Greek) - this is my favorite place in Greektown, but most of the restaurants are very similar. They are all affordable, most are really lively, and the food is good. Be sure to get an order of saganaki (flaming cheese).

      Where are you staying? Are you willing to go out to the neighborhoods?

      Also, no foie gras in Chicago proper - it's banned.

      1. When I was in Chicago last summer, we LOVED Spring. My best friend was just in Chicago w/ several other girls and since one was a veg, I suggested they try the sister restaurant of Spring, Green Zebra. They said they had a great time, and between 5 of them got to order one of everything on the menu.

        So I say if you are into seafood, try Spring, otherwise, try Green Zebra.

        TRU would be a pleasant splurge as well.

        2 Replies
        1. re: danna

          The chef, whose name I'm suddenly forgetting (sorry!), who owns Spring and Green Zebra has another place, the Custom House. It rocks, especially if you like meat... and basically being high on food. Amazing and splurge-worthy.

        2. I would add DeLaCosta to the above lists. It's definitely hip, trendy, and fun, and the food is fabulous. There's a lot of seafood on the menu, but a lot of meat, as well, in case you have some non-fish eaters in the crowd. The churrasco was wonderful.

          By the way, foie gras is banned in Chicago, but you certainly can find it on menus in the city, sometimes cleverly called something else. I'm not going to name the restaurants, though, because I don't want to see them fined!

          1. For the one really good dinner to splurge on, see this topic listing the very top restaurants in town:

            For the hip places, I would consider:
            Carnivale - www.carnivalechicago.com
            Red Light - www.redlight-chicago.com
            Marche - www.marche-chicago.com
            Cuatro - www.cuatrochicago.com

            1. Go to Bite Cafe and then to Empty Bottle next door for some music.

              Bite Cafe
              1039 N. Western Ave.

              1. Is there a street similar to little italy (not necessarily italian) or an area like Greenwich in New York?

                5 Replies
                1. re: Anoko

                  You mean a neighborhood with a concentration of places where people can walk around? Yes, we have several. Depends on the kind of ambiance you are looking for - hipster? sports bar? trendy? eclectic?

                  1. re: leek

                    Hmmmm, trendy, hipster and electic sounds great. Just no sports!! LOL

                    1. re: Anoko

                      Try the Bucktown/Wicker Park area. Full of hipsters. Check out a recent post by jpcrust on where to dine in Wicker Park.

                      1. re: lbs

                        So the epicenter of Bucktown/Wicker Park is the intersection of Milwaukee, North and Damen avenues. The El stops right here, but it's also easily accessible by cab.

                        If you walk straight North on Damen you'll go past a bunch of shops and restaurants. Before you get to the train bridge at Churchill St. the restaurant Hot Chocolate (also for brunch) is on your right. Don't just pass the shops, though, since there are some great things in them (expensive, some hip, some just trendy).

                        If you head South and slightly East and go straight down Milwaukee, you'll see more shops (a mix of local places and hipper national chains like John Fuevog and American Apparel) as well as bars and restaurants. Check out Bin Wine Cafe (also for brunch), Salud Tequila Lounge, Baccala, People Lounge tapas, Francesca's Forno (fun but loud). Same deal here with the shops. Also, Bongo Room for breakfast or brunch.

                        A few blocks in either direction on North Avenue will also find restaurants, some shops, etc. Try Parlor for upscale comfort food, Piece or Santullo's for pizza (Piece makes their own beer), in the other direction Sultan's Market for falafel, Spring for very upscale veggie.

                        There are also quite a few live music venues near here, check out what's playing at the Double Door - http://www.doubledoor.com/

                        Double Door
                        1572 N. Milwaukee Ave.

                        Hot Chocolate
                        1747 N. Damen Ave.

                        1745 W. North Ave.

                        The Bongo Room
                        1470 N. Milwaukee Ave.

                        Salud Tequila Lounge
                        1471 N. Milwaukee Ave.

                        Sultan's Market
                        2057 W. North Ave.

                        2039 W. North Ave.

                        Santullo's Eatery
                        1943 W. North Ave.

                        1927 W. North Ave.

                        1540 N. Milwaukee Ave.

                        Bin Wine Cafe
                        1559 N. Milwaukee Ave.

                        Francesca's Forno
                        1576 N. Milwaukee Ave.

                        People Lounge
                        1560 N. Milwaukee Ave.

                        1. re: leek

                          correction: Spring is not veggie, it's seafood. I was very happy to discover after selecting Spring for our last trip, that it was in the Bucktown area and so close to the El. In fact, I knew it was in the old Turkish bath building, and spotted it while on the train in from O'Hare. (hey, we don't have public transportation or cool neighborhoods, so it doesn't take much to excite me!)