Restaurants near Mag. Mile Marriott?
I don't know the name of it (sorry), but at the John Hancock building there is a fantastic Italian grocery/market. Whenever I'm on N. Michigan for lunch, I eat there. It's "downstairs", you'll see a gazillion people lined up for Cheesecake Factory, just walk right past them and smile knowing you are about to have a much better meal, for 1/4 the price, and without any wait.
It is a grocery/deli, so don't expect table service, but do expect some really fantastic food. :)
A solo diner should feel comfortable *anywhere*. I've eaten solo a lot, and I've never felt out of place.
What kind of food are you looking for? You might want to take a look at these topics, each of which has recommendations:
Brunch and Breakfast:
Well, there are literally hundreds of places within walking distance that are good. But here are places just within two blocks or so, all of which are good IMHO:
Heaven on Seven (Rush St location) - Cajun - www.heavenonseven.com
Boston Blackie's - Burgers - www.bostonblackies.com
Sayat Nova - Armenian - www.sayatnovachicago.com
David Burke's Primehouse - Steak - www.davidburke.com
Joe's Seafood and Steaks - www.icon.com/joes
Capital Grille - Steak - www.thecapitalgrille.com
Coco Pazzo Cafe - Italian - www.cocopazzocafe.com
Uno's and Due - Pizza - www.unos.com
Tru - Fine Dining - www.trurestaurant.com
Shaw's Crab House - Seafood - www.shawscrabhouse.com
Yup, post ten recommendations, and someone's bound to disagree with at least one of them. :grin:
One other place worth checking out is Fox and Obel. It's an upscale gourmet grocery store (THE such place in the downtown area) and it's just a few blocks east of the Marriott. In addition to groceries, they also have a cafe in the rear where they cook excellent food to order all day long. Very casual, communal tables, newspapers to read, that kind of place - perfect for a solo diner. You'll find the cafe menu on their website at www.fox-obel.com
Quartino is a good place to eat solo. I have only eaten lunch there and like the pizzas and panini very much. Very reasonable. No one has mentioned Frontera. You can definitely sit at the bar there and the food's excellent. You would also be comfortable at Brasserie Jo.