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Fun Lunch on Mag Mile?

Where is a fun place to two ladies to lunch on the Mag Mile? I've seen a lot of posts about pizza, but not necessarily looking for that. Not over-the-top fancy either.

Also, for other parts of my trip, how are Flatwater and Park Grill?


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  1. On the Mag Mile, I like Bandera. It's on the second floor so it's sort of hard to find. Good, solid American food. Plus, you can snag a nice window overlooking the street.

    535 N. Michigan Ave. (across the street from Nordstroms).

    I didn't like Park Grill. Medicore food for what the price point is. However. I will say if the weather is nice you can't beat the outdoor atmosphere.

    2 Replies
    1. re: lbs

      Great! I hadn't come across Bandera online, but I will have to check it out. It sounds perfect. :)

      1. re: lbs

        Nice call on Bandera. It's a hidden gem and has a really unique ambience.

      2. For a fun lunch experience, I love the Zodiac Room in Neiman Marcus (4th floor). It is fairly fancy, but worth it. When you sit down they bring these amazing popovers and strawberry butter as well as a tiny cup of consomme. I go just for those. Their salads are great.

        Other, less fancy, options:
        - Zest - in the Hotel Intercontinental. Very good food, $10-15 entrees. I LOVE the lobster club.
        - Nordstrom Cafe - lots of good salads, sandwiches and pizzas. Very good desserts - try the oatmeal-cherry cookies, they're awesome.

        1 Reply
        1. re: SuzMiCo

          Oh the agony of options! Thanks, these all sound fantastic!

          1. I agree with the suggestion of Bistro 110, for French bistro food.

            For Italian - if you're at the north end, Cafe Spiaggia - www.levyrestaurants.com If you're at the south end near the river, Coco Pazzo Cafe - www.cocopazzocafe.com

            I've been to Park Grill and I like it a lot. Not unusual in any way (other than the location at the entrance to Millennium Park) but I thought the food (American) and service were very good. Sit outside if the weather is nice. www.parkgrillchicago.com

            9 Replies
            1. re: nsxtasy

              Park Grill has a great burger too.

              1. re: sgwood415

                I absolutely hated the Park Grill; boring food, terrible service. they act like they know 90% of their customers are tourists who wont be back, so why bother?

                1. re: pegleggedheart

                  How many times did you go? Is it possible you had an off experience? I've never had bad service or food there.

                  1. re: sgwood415

                    I'm with Peg on Park Grill. I've been there a few times, and while I would not say the food was bad, I found it uninspiring and overpriced for what it is. The setting is a beautiful place to eat on a nice day, especially outside, but I would not go for the food.

                  2. re: pegleggedheart

                    Isn't there a considerable difference in the quality of the food on the terrace of PG from that on the inside? I've had a tolerable business dinner inside, but I've always been warned against the inferior quality of the food on the outside. Are there different food services involved?

                    1. re: jbw

                      There are 2 sources of food on the "terrace." First, there is a fast food kiosk adjacent to Park Grill with outdoor seating. This is not part of Park Grill proper. But, there is also an enclosed terrace only accessible by going inside of the restaurant. Unless things have changed, the food on this enclosed terrace space is an integral part of the Park Grill restaurant and uses the identical menu and kitchen.

                      1. re: masha

                        Last time I was there, you could not get the french fries - actually cooked in tallow - outside. They serve chips with sandwiches outside, but you can get fries inside. I also think the menu is more extensive inside.

                  3. re: sgwood415

                    I was only at Park Grill once, but I really liked it. I ate indoors, not outdoors - better menu indoors. Their burgers were voted among the best in the city by the ChigTrib, which is why I went there. I loved my burger, and the fries were great. The price was reasonable, and the service was great, actually. The place has won lots of awards, actually.

                  4. RL (Ralph Lauren) Michigan & Chicago
                    Park Grill location is fantastic and the lunch is fine!
                    Bistro 110 (Pearson off Michigan (next to Borders)
                    Le Colonial on Rush

                    1. I like Lux Cafe; it is owned by the same folks as Cheesecake Factory, but food is good; big portions; feels very "ladies lunchish" to me. They don't take reservations and wait can be a while on weekends. Have been to Bandera twice lately; once for dinner and once for lunch. Had the best crab cake for dinner I have ever had anywhere, hands down. It is dark and more quiet than some of the other places. I work in a building adjoining Flatwater and have never heard person mention it. It does have a lovely patio on the water.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: chefsmom

                        I've been to Flatwater a couple times. It's still a bit uneven. I get the impression that the idea for the location preceded the idea for the restaurant itself.

                      2. Depends on what you mean by fun. My out-of-town guests always love The Signature Room on the 96th floor of the Hancock (assuming the day is clear) since they think looking at the view is fun. The food is moderately fun, but the view is terrific fun.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Querencia

                          The food at the Signature Room is not exciting - but the view (like you said - on a clear) day, is phenomenal. We take out of town guests there for the view and because, we can have a drink for less than the admission on the skydeck (and arguably better view and local than Sears). We happened to be up there one time during the air show and that was something - fighter jets flying straight toward us over the lake. Guests were IM-pressed!

                        2. I second the Lux Cafe. Fun decor. Ask to sit by one of the windows overlooking the Mag Mile. The menu is huge, and the desserts are awesome. Not very expensive. You actually enter the restaurant from the side street, and take an escalator up to the restaurant.

                          1. Like the others have said, Grand Luxe is good, and reasonably priced. If it's a weekend, though, you won't touch it with a 40 ft. pole. Bice Cafe on Ontario actually has phenomenal food for a reasonable price - though it's cafeteria style.

                            Viand on Ontario has a solid lunch menu as well.