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Wanted: Anthony Bourdain experience this weekend!

I will be in Chicago for the first time. I will be traveling with young children. I would like to eat like Anthony Bourdain would if he were doing a show in the windy city this weekend.

Words I like:
Ethnic
Authentic
Fresh
Loud
Neighborhood
Family
Foodie

Words I do not like:
Dress code
Exclusive
Trendy
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Gourmet
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  1. I don't mean to be too literal, but Anthony Bourdain mentioned in an interview a while back that he's a fan of Blackbird and Avec, but this wouldn't be a good place with young children.

    I'd say hit up Devon Avenue and get some Indian food and maybe Greektown?

    1. I've never heard of Anthony Bourdain. But based on your vocabulary, I would spend at least one meal eating Chicago-style deep-dish pizza, either the double-crust "stuffed" pizza at Giordano's or Edwardo's, or the single-crust "pan" pizza at Lou Malnati's or Gino's East, all of which have locations all over the city and suburbs. Order ahead to avoid waiting 30-45 minutes for your pizza to bake. And I would spend one meal at Lula, where you can eat fresh, natural ingredients in the unpretentious atmosphere of a neighborhood place (Logan Square neighborhood), either outdoors or inside. chris's suggestion of Greek food in Greek Town is a good one, too. However, you don't mention where (city neighborhood or suburban town) you will be located during your visit, so we're shooting in the dark when it comes to distance and convenience factors.

      Websites you will like:
      www.giordanos.com
      www.edwardos.com
      www.loumalnatis.com
      www.ginoseast.com
      www.lulacafe.com
      www.chowhound.com/topics/119233 (discussion of Greek food in Greek Town)

      1. Thanks guys! We will be staying downtown, but train rides are all part of the experience, so while convenience is a factor it is not a deal breaker if there is something worth traveling for.

        1. Ok, I know the type of experiences you are looking for...I am a Chicagoan in NYC this week and I have been hitting the streets to find the local jewels.

          Here are some ideas that are all low priced and without pretension. In fact, most are low key . Note, that these are spread out, so you will need to prioritize and will need a car.

          - Green City Market (http://www.chicagogreencitymarket.org) - Local Farmers Market in Lincoln Park on Saturdays 7-1:30 pm. Local producers with music. Good place to grab lunch before/after the zoo or the lake front ) or both.
          - Maxwell Street Market - Sunday Mexican market with food stalls http://metromix.chicagotribune.com/ev.... Go for breakfast through brunc.
          - La Palma in Humboldt Park (http://www.yelp.com/biz/jmb-2jtaaDXe8...) - Puerto Rican food. Note that it is a shaky neighborhood...but I took my wife and 16 month old boy and we and everyone in the place had a ball. Better for lunch…though a big lunch! You get to pull out as much pork as you want for your sandwich!
          - Cho Sun OK (http://chicago.citysearch.com/profile...) - Very yummy korean restaurant. Better for dinner. Love this place
          - La Pasidita (http://metromix.chicagotribune.com/di...). Local taco joint/ hole in the wall. Some, if not the best, in Chicago. Go to this if you are going to visit Bucktown/ Wicker Park in West Town (two on the cooler, more original neighborhoods in Chicago). Note that there are three on the same block. I like the one that is most north and west (closest to the intersection next to the closed Pizza Hut
          )- Nuevo Leon (http://www.yelp.com/biz/cQnY_VneZisfU...). Quality sit down Mexican eatery on the south side in Little Mexico on 18th Street. BYOB so you can bring your own firewater. Go early whenever you go to beat the crowds.
          - Vietnamese and Thai Grocery – You could go up to have Pho noodles at a Vietnamese restaurant (I like 888 - http://www.yelp.com/biz/OTGOw4ClCSQzt...) and then do a little shopping at the Thai Grocery story (5014 N Broadway St across the street) or try some Chinese pastries.

          Hope this helps.

          4 Replies
          1. re: ChiFoodTrekker

            Trekker, I second all your recommendations and would add Arturos on California and Armitage for Mexican and Sultan's Market on North Ave., both in Bucktown, and Chinatown in general with many wonderful options there, including Lao Sze Chuan or Moon Palace.

            1. re: ChiFoodTrekker

              888 was closed last time I tried to go :( luckily tank noodle was bustling as usual.

              1. re: patrad

                FWIW, Pho 888 is closed every Monday, and Pho Xe Tang (aka "Tank") is closed every Wednesday.

                Continuing in that vein, Pho 777 and Cafe Hoang are both closed every Tuesday, Tien Giang and Pho Xe Lua are bothe closed every Thursday, Hai Yen is (also) closed every Wednesday, Sun Wah is closed every Sunday, etc.

                Competition is fierce on the Argyle strip, and, as a result, the restaurants "take turns" closing.

                E.M.

              2. re: ChiFoodTrekker

                strongly seconded on pasaditas! and, yes, it is worth a trip. get the chile relleno taco for $1.95. amazing. and they're open until 3am. what more could you want?

              3. You'll do great at nearly any place you choose that's discussed on these boards. I do love Bourdain's show, the one in Korea with one of his staffers was great.
                I'll offer two suggestions.
                First, take a 10 minute walk West of MI AVE to my favorite neighborhood family Italian, Tony Rocco's River North (W Ontario, West of Orleans). I live nearby and the restaurant is perfect for a weeknight dinner with kids. Updated Mama's classics and Tony's is owned and run by a Mom (Karen) and her daughter. Sidewalk cafe is great if nice out and inside you have the character of an 80 year-old loft building.

                Second, you should take a cab to Manny's. Old-school New York style deli--think Katz's--that makes a very good corned beef on an onion roll. Open only for breakfast and lunch and not on Sunday, just quick cab ride from MI Ave. Manny's, still run by the Raskin's, is on Jefferson at Roosevelt, about a mile directly west of the Shedd Aquarium.
                Enjoy your trip