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LA Hound going to Chicago for the first time

I will ge going solo to Chicago for the first time for business. I hear that there are some spectacular eats. But since I am going alone this will limit my choices I assume. Can you guys make any recommendations for a solo eater? I'm pretty adventurous so all cuisines are welcome. I will be staying at Homewood Suites in Downtown. Thanks for your help!

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  1. I often eat solo when I am out of town, and I have found that virtually *any* good restaurant can accommodate a solo diner and make him feel at home. It's up to you whether to sit at the bar or at a table (I generally prefer a table), etc. So I really don't think that's a limiting factor at all.

    I would say, think about what kind of food and restaurant you want. Whatever it is, we have it, and many places do indeed have "spectacular eats". Here are some previous discussions where you can find advice on various types of food...

    Fine dining:
    www.chowhound.com/topics/368683

    Steakhouses:
    www.chowhound.com/topics/359377

    Seafood:
    www.chowhound.com/topics/370202

    Italian:
    www.chowhound.com/topics/360990

    Pizza:
    www.chowhound.com/topics/327474
    www.chowhound.com/topics/319254

    Greek:
    www.chowhound.com/topics/119233

    Barbecue:
    www.chowhound.com/topics/360674

    Tapas:
    www.chowhound.com/topics/370492
    www.chowhound.com/topics/366524

    Burgers:
    www.chowhound.com/topics/382781

    Hot dogs:
    www.chowhound.com/topics/364427

    Quintessential Chicago:
    www.chowhound.com/topics/372986

    Brunch and Breakfast:
    www.chowhound.com/topics/364403

    1 Reply
    1. re: nsxtasy

      go to AVEC and sit at the counter--delicious. perfect for solo dining.

    2. Regardless of how many I am with, a trip to Chi-town for me includes Frontera Grill and Heaven On 7th. I think you would be comfortable as a single diner at both places.

      1. I love CHI Town, I am there a couple times a year. and EVERTIME I go, I eat at..

        TOPOLOBAMPO or FRONTERRA (they are connected.. Topolo is Chef Rick's higher end joint. I highly reccomend)
        While at Frontera, do not miss the three civiche app. and order the Mexican Hot Choc. it is divine. When I am there, I always ask if Chef Rick is around... and everytime I go, he has been. And he has always been gracious enough to come out and chat with me. (I am a big fan.. I find him very sexy)

        I also always try to make it out to Bin 36. I didnt go this last summer, but I have always had a great meal there. I am a big cheese head, so I always start with a fun cheese flight. My wine drinking friends usually enjoy a nice wine flight while there. Now I will say, the service... sux. But the food and atmosphere is fun. I went with a group so the lack of service was a little easier to tolerate.

        Have fun... I just love that city.

        coconutgoddess
        http://www.coconutgoddess.typepad.com...

        4 Replies
        1. re: coconutgoddess

          Bin, located in Wicker Park is owned by the same folks from Bin 36 and the service there is much better. Bin and Bin 36 are nice in that they are doing a great job of introducing a lot of people to decent wine that's generally not plonk at a pretty solid price point.

          1. re: jpschust

            Correct me if I'm wrong, but I always thought the name of their restaurant in Wicker Park is Bin Wine Cafe rather than simply Bin. I realize their logo makes this less clear though. (And I could be wrong on this, too.) www.binwinecafe.com

            1. re: jpschust

              thanks for that! I really love Bin 36 but like I said, the service blows. I will be sure to try Bin next time.

          2. Most restaurants will accomodate a solo diner, so I wouldn't worry about that.

            Some places that strike me as more conducive to solo dining would be: Avec or Blue Water Grill (if you want a lively atmosphere and to possibly chat with others), Bandera or Capital Grill (if you'd like a more relaxed, casual atmosphere) and Pane Caldo or Bistro Zinc (if you want to read or not be bothered by anyone else).

            1. go to avec and meiji. avec is perfect to sit at counter and the food is excellent--casual and delicious. meiji is right next door and they put out some really delicious sushi--great service too. 10 min cab ride from downtown.