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PHX chowhound visiting Chicago

StuCazzo Jul 31, 2007 01:25 PM

Hi,
We will be staying at the
Embassy Suites Chicago - Downtown/Lakefront
511 North Columbus Drive

Can fellow chowhounds recommend the following:

1. Italian restaurants near the hotel? Any to avoid?
2. Italian restaurants in the Little Italy section? Any to avoid?
3. Italian delis/shops in the Little Italy section?
4. Deep pizza dish joints near hotel?
5. Any other places near the hotel to go/avoid?
6. Where can I get a good espresso? Not latte soy anything - just a good shot of espresso?

Also - any recommendations/avoids in South Bend, Indiana would be appreciated.

Any help/advice is welcomed.

Thanks.

  1. j
    jayh Aug 6, 2007 10:52 AM

    In Chicago, the three most interesting Italian areas are northwest (Belmont and Harlem), southwest (26th and Western) and near west (Taylor and Ashland). For casual, family-style and authentic Italian in a real neighborhood, try Bruna's in the Heart of Italy (SW) area. Look up details on www.Metromix.com, the Chicago Tribune website. You can take a cab, but avoid rush hour. The area by your hotel is fairly touristy, and most places are just OK. Do not eat at Navy Pier. And do grab a quick espresso, breakfast, or lunch at the cafe in Fox and Obel, a gourmet food store near the hotel. Enjoy the stay.

    1. j
      jbontario Aug 6, 2007 10:47 AM

      I will just give you may personal favorites.
      1) Volare (St. Clair & Grand) very good and nice casual family atmoshphere. Coco Pazzo (10 minute cab) much better, different with more inventive dishes and much better ambiance.
      2) Rosebud on Taylor is good old-school, but I hate that they have those little stupid hotel size diet pepsi bottles for which they charge thru the roof.
      3) Not sure on the Deli, but there is a great Italian style deli, Le Appetito on E Huron one block West of Michigan Ave (10 minute walk from hotel on other side of MI Ave).
      4) My absolute favorie is Lou Malnatti's on Wells (15 minute walk from hotel).
      5) sorry, too broad of a question
      6) Inteligentsia is it.

      1. w
        wak Aug 6, 2007 09:48 AM

        Since your questions are a little general, you might be better off starting by using the search engine. For example, I put in "little italy chicago" and got back about a dozen previous threads.

        Here is another good general link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/404251

        Other comments below.

        1. Italian restaurants near the hotel? Any to avoid? See above link. I would recommend Coco Pazzo or Spiaggia/Cafe Spiaggia for more formal, or Coco Pazzo Cafe for less formal. Merlo on Maple can also be quite good.

        2. Italian restaurants in the Little Italy section? Any to avoid? I'm not too familiar with Little Italy.

        3. Italian delis/shops in the Little Italy section?

        4. Deep pizza dish joints near hotel? See above link.

        5. Any other places near the hotel to go/avoid? There are hundreds of good places within a 10 minute cab of your hotel. What are you interested in? Budget? Cuisine? Atmosphere?

        6. Where can I get a good espresso? Not latte soy anything - just a good shot of espresso? Try the Millenium Park location of Intelligentsia. http://www.intelligentsiacoffee.com/

        1. StuCazzo Aug 6, 2007 08:45 AM

          Any Chicago chowhounds out there???

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