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Oct 5, 2007 08:38 AM

Amtrak layover. Classic Chicago experience?

We don't leave for NY until 10pm and arrive Union Station in the early afternoon. What are some of the classic Chicago eateries near the station or an easy cab away? Thanks.

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  1. You are within easy walking distance of Greektown - just a few blocks to the west. Search the board for opinions on the best restaurant there. My personal favorite is Greek Islands. For something more upscale, you are also within a couple of blocks of Avec or Blackbird. Indeed, the entire West Loop/ Market District, which has a large & vibrant restaurant scene, is within about 1/2 mile.

    1. Agree with the above. Greektown (or Chinatown) would be a pretty good choice. Also, you could try the Exchequer or Miller's Pub on Wabash as they are classic Chicago style pubs.

      I hate to rain on your parade. However, most Amtrak trains into Chicago are chronically late, often by three to four hours. The Amtrak of the Northeast corridor is NOT the Amtrak of the midwest. On her annual trip through Chicago, my sister always insists that I meet her at Chicago's Union Station at 10 am when she has a hour hour layover. Usually the train arrives at 1:00 pm which means that we have to grab lunch at the Corner Bakery in Union Station.

      1. For lunch, Lou Mitchells is right around the corner and a classic Chicago diner

        2 Replies
        1. re: blondie60614

          Lou Mitchell's is indeed a classic, but it's primarily known for its breakfasts (sertved pretty much all day.) Note that it closes at 3:00. If your train arrives on time and you've got 6 hours to kill you might want to spend some time seeing the sights in downtown Chicago, and, of course, that would open up a lot of other dining choices.

          1. re: jbw

            Actually they serve a pretty good lunch too. Excellent club sandwiches. Good fries.

        2. I second Avec if you just want a nice meal with lovely wine. Heads up though, that it is all communal tables. Youll undoubtably chat with a bunch of Chicago local though. I think it opens at 3 or 4pm though. Double check...

          The Billy Goat is tough to find on your own and a rather daunting experience all around, but if you want the classic "Cheezeborger! Cheezeborger! No Fries!! Chips!" experience of Saturday Night Live fame; its a hoot. Cab drivers will all know where it is. Not open very late.

          Most of the steakhouses are further north. I'm a fan of Chicago Chop House for the Chicago ambiance, and they are open for lunch and dinner.