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Aug 26, 2007 05:25 PM

Chowish Places Near Loop - And Beyond (L Accessible)?

I'll be in Chicago this week for a conference. The conference hotel is the Fairmont. I'm looking for chowish places relatively near there (I know Chicago is a huge city) or that are at least easily accessible via the L (I'm not going to mess with buses this time around unless I have to). I'm not going to be heading out to the burbs, and I'm guessing I won't make it anywhere further north than about Andersonville.

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  1. Chowish = meaning large portions?

    If so, then any restaurant along Michigan Avenue is into supersizing - and within walking distance to your hotel. Grand Lux, Cheescake Factory, Mike Ditkas, Bandera, Weber Grill, etc.

    3 Replies
    1. re: blondie60614

      Chowish as in good, interesting, honest food for reasonable amounts of money. If it's expensive, it has to be worth it. Cheesecake Factory and places of its ilk I'm trying top avoid.

      1. re: anarchivist

        Ahhh.. sorry!

        In that case, I'd recommend Mia Francesca on Clark, Dublins on State, or Las Tablas on Lincoln (the fish soup on Saturdays in out of this world)

        All fairly close to the red or brown line

        Also, West Town Tavern on Chicago is phenomonal- you would have to take the Chicago bus to get there, but I promise you it is just what you're looking for. Down to earth and great food. Also, the #66 bus goes 24/7

        And if you're dining solo, I'd recommend Avec on Randolf. You could walk, but otherwise you'd have to take a bus to get there- but the food is really good and the atmosphere is very unique and inviting

        1. re: blondie60614

          Keep in mind that Avec does not take reservations (so you may have to wait) and they have communal seating ("very unique and inviting" may mean hearing about someone else's personal business that you'd just as soon not spend your dinner over). If those are detractors for you, consider Blackbird, its sister restaurant, next door, which accepts reservations and gives your party your own table.

    2. Our buses are quite good, and may get you closer out to various places than the El does. You might want to consider all transit options that can get you to your destination before ruling one out completely. (Especially with all the shutdowns and slowdowns we are experiencing on the Blue, Brown, Red lines)

      2 Replies
      1. re: leek

        You may want to reconsider the L since you're staying at Fairmont. Brown/Orange/Green is a brisk 5-10 minute walk, Red/Blue two more blocks, plus the actual travel time (20-30 minutes to Lakeview where the previous recs were.

        That being said, Randolph Street, West Town Tavern or Naha, are both less than $10 (including tip) cabs from Fairmont. Also, many people bash it, but I like Aria in the Fairmont. Totally fusion, so it can be a slightly manic manu, but great nan and wonderful Pho.

        Other things within a walk of your hotel, Coco Pazo Cafe (across river), Shaw's Oyster Bar (behind new Trump Bldg), and De La Costa (across river).

        1. re: jbontario

          I don't mind the L itself, and I'm usually OK taking buses (I've done so in Chicago). I don't mind going far personally, but I'm expecting that I'll be dragging people with me, some of whom may not like walking a lot, which I know can be impossible in Chicago.

      2. There are lots of choices within a short walk of the Fairmont. These topics contain recent discussions of places near the Fairmont: