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Jul 17, 2007 08:32 AM

Tribune Tower area lunch eats

A few weeks ago I moved offices to a building by the Tribune Tower/Wrigley building area, but I'm starting to feel like this end of Downtown is ridiculously expensive compared to the Loop or West Loop areas.

So I've been wondering since there are tens of thousands of people in this area, where do the non-tourists and non big expense account types go to eat?? In other words, the slightly above average Joe's...

I'm looking to compare notes on what places are really good and yet reasonably priced for lunch, and I'm looking to spend on average under $17, tip included!

Also, please no taxi ride recs please! I want to be able walk to and from wherever possible, not to mention the ride blows the above mentioned lunch budget and I want the exercise!

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  1. - Nordstrom Cafe - (4th floor of Nordstrom's) lots of great salads and sandwiches, plus they have entrees for for days when you are really hungry. Their desserts are great too. Not too expensive and very good quality. There is often a line to eat-in, but if you are carrying out they let you right through. Sometimes if the line is too long, but I don't want to eat in my office, I'll carry out and sit in the food court down the hall.
    - Nordstrom Food Court - includes Mezza (decent fast food Mediterranean), Potbelly's, Tuscany, and a decent fast-food sushi place.
    -Keefer's Kaffe - good soups and sandwiches, and they have a TV with some good sporting event on.
    - Zest - In the Inter-Continental - might strain your budget, and I haven't been since they moved it upstairs, but they have an awesome Lobster Club for about $15.
    - 7th Floor at Marshall Field's (still won't call it Macy's) - Frontera Fresco, soups, sandwiches, Asian noodles. Lots of good options, and not too far away.
    - VTK - they have lunch specials which make it affordable. Plus the mini desserts for $1-1.50 are great - especially the passion fruit souffle.

    4 Replies
    1. re: SuzMiCo

      Thanks!! These all sound pretty good.

      Yes, I've been to the Mezza and I agree it is tasty, I used to go to the one in the Citicorp building quite often, but do I still miss the Haiffa...

      What and where is VTK? Is the Keefers Cafe the same the Steakhouse? I love their steaks!

      1. re: abf005

        VTK is Vong's Thai Kitchen at 6 W Hubbard, Hubbard and Dearborn. I've heard it's better at lunch than dinner, but I thought dinner was pretty good.

        1. re: abf005

          Keefer's Kaffe is next door to Keefer's. It's casual. You order your food at the front and then sit down and eat it, but the food is better than at a lot of the relatively quick places.

        2. re: SuzMiCo

          Try Blackie's down the block on Grand for hamburgers. Also Lawry's has somne nice carved sandwiches for relatively reasonable prices.

        3. This is perfect!! Thanks, I think I can eat pretty well this week!

          BTW: I did have a good lunch at the Star of Siam (Thai) on Hubbard the other day.

          1. Reliable, good-value lunch places in your area:

            Fox & Obel Cafe on Illinois
            Sayat Nova, Armenian on Ohio
            L'Appettito, Italian delis on Huron and the base of the John Hancock

            1 Reply
            1. re: Mugs

              Thanks, I just did L'Appettito for lunch! Very good, and the live music (Reggae) added to the fun!

            2. Bandera upstairs at 535 N. Michigan. Great Garbage Salad and outstanding veggie burger. Lots of good choices, actually.

              1. What is the general consensus about Voliare? Is it any good? I had a very strong recommendation from an Italian guy at one of the area bars who claims it's one the best around.

                1 Reply
                1. re: abf005

                  I've never been to Volare, but for a good Italian lunch in the area, I can recommend Coco Pazzo Cafe on St. Claire.