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NYC Hounds~First Visit to Chicago~HELP!

Hello, My BF and I will be visiting Chicago for the first time next weekend (Fri-Sun)...
From browsing this board, I was thinking a deep dish pizza is a must (uno/duo). We'd also like to have one meal at Greek Islands or Santorini.
We are looking for a good place for another dinner and lunch.....casual, moderately priced, but not a hole in the wall!
We are staying out by O'Hare, so location isnt that important as we know well have to travel to get anywhere.
Any suggestions would be much appreciated!!

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  1. If you are actually going into the city check out a place called Italian Village on Monroe, it has 3 different levels/style of food. We went because someone gave us a gift certificate and didn't want to hurt thier feelings or lie that we had gone. What a pleasant surprise. We were VERY happy with the food and the wine was reasonably priced. We ate in the "gourmet" resturaunt (Vivere). And I think it would work well for either lunch or dinner. If price is no object Charlie Trotters was unbelievable and Avenues in the Peninsula hotel was a close second. If you have to have deep dish pizza (not a big fan of it myself) my girlfriend loves the pizza at Giordano's near Milineum Park

    1. Being a fellow NYer, I'll comment here. I had a really good pizza at Due's. And I'm not a really big deep dish fan, but I enjoyed it. I would suggest brunch at Fronterra Grill. It's a great way to get a tatse of what Bayless can do. I also like Shaw's Crab House, if you like seafood.

      1. If you're staying out by O'Hare you have very easy access to the blue line which can take you right in the city to a variety of places including greektown, wicker park and downtown.

        You know one of the neighborhood places I love for lunch is in Wicker Park, but you're going to have to wait in line- Milk & Honey.

        1 Reply
        1. re: jpschust

          Before counting on the Blue Line to get south of the Armitage and Western stop, check for weekend shut-downs for track repairs. Week nights are running on single track from 8 pm to 4 am through mid-September. Even worse, no trains run between Clark/Lake and Western/Armitage on selected weekends, just shuttle buses. One of those weekends is 11:00 pm September 7 through 4 pm September 9 according to CTA press release dated September 6. Check transitchicago.com for more information but allow for the possibility that they won't say much about weekend shut-downs until shortly before they occur.

          Somebody staying near O'Hare and planning on using the Blue Line to Wicker Park, Loop or Greektown ought to have a plan B. There are some interesting food options near the Western/Armitage stop, but Honey One barbecue or Jalisco-style birria don't sound like what the OP wants.

        2. For your deep-dish pizza, there are lots of places, including those that specialize in double-crust stuffed pizza (Giordano's, Edwardo's) and others in single-crust pan pizza (Lou Malnati's, Gino's East, Uno's). Those with locations near O'Hare include Giordano's (in Rosemont) and Gino's East (on Higgins). Whatever you do, DON'T go to any locations of Uno's other than the original Uno's (or Due) on East Ohio in downtown Chicago, as the others do not have the same quality.

          You can read lots of opinions on Chicago pizza in these two topics:
          www.chowhound.com/topics/327474
          www.chowhound.com/topics/319254

          Here are two suggestions for your additional dinner and lunch.

          The Black Ram is primarily a steakhouse but everything there is good, not just the steaks - excellent seafood, salads, etc. And it's right near O'Hare.

          Black Ram Steak House
          1414 Oakton St.
          Des Plaines, IL 60019
          847.824.1227
          www.blackramsteakhouse.com

          For another possibility, you can take the Blue Line on the el (our subway) to Logan Square, where you'll find Lula, for fresh food from local ingredients in a casual environment.

          lula cafe
          2537 N. Kedzie Boulevard
          Chicago, IL 60647
          773.489.9554
          www.lulacafe.com

          Other than that, if there is a particular kind of food you would like for that additional lunch and dinner, let us know so we can provide a more specific recommendation. Without the additional information, it's shooting in the dark. (Think of how many places there are in New York which are "casual, moderately priced, but not a hole in the wall" - where "moderately priced" is all relative, of course. Hundreds if not thousands, of course. It's no different here.)

          1. I'm a Boston Chowhound, who used to live in NYC, and just returned from Labor Day weekend in Chicago. Here's some recommendations based on our trip:

            Dinner at Sweets & Savories (http://www.sweetsandsavorieschicago.com/) was very yummy. Husband had the kobe burger, duck fat frites, and I went with the asparagus risotto and charcucherie plate.

            Dinner another night at Adobo Grill in Old Town. Writing about the table side guac, chicken enchiladas and signature margaritas are making my mouth water as I type.

            We had brunch at 505 Zest in the Intercontinental which I would not recommend.

            And for deep dish we did Giordano's across from the Sears Tower. Takes 40 minutes to cook, but well worth it.

            Oh, and we made sure to try the "Italian beef" at Wrigley Field with "giardineria". Soooo greasy but tender and good.

            1 Reply
            1. re: KarenKL

              If you want to avoid waiting 30-45 minutes for deep-dish pizza to bake, you can call ahead with your pizza order, timing it so it comes out of the oven shortly after you get there. Most of the chains show their complete menu and the phone numbers of their locations on their websites.