SF hound visiting Chicago
My gf & I are visiting your fair city (my first time, which I'm looking forward to) and seek recommendations for casual dining. We'll be there for 4 days Oct 24-28 and are staying in the Logan Square area.
We're mostly interested in foods not well-represented in San Francisco (I hear there's lots of Greek restaurants, which are a rarity here). Price-wise we may have one nicer dinner ($50/ea?), but are on a budget for everything else.
Of particular interest also are breakfasts, especially near Logan Square.
I'll report back on where we wind up.
Thanks in advance!
If there's one food that you "can't miss" if you're visiting here, it's Chicago-style deep-dish pizza. I strongly recommend it.
You can choose from double-crust "stuffed" pizza at Giordano's, Edwardo's, or Bacino's, or single-crust "pan" pizza at Lou Malnati's, Gino's East, Pizano's, Uno's (original location only) or Due. My personal favorite is stuffed pizza at Giordano's, but I love all of these, and you can't go wrong with any of them. Giordano's has a location right in Logan Square at 2855 N. Milwaukee Ave. Wherever you go, you can phone ahead with your pizza order to avoid having to wait 30-45 minutes while seated for your pizza to bake.
You'll be right by Lula Cafe (search here for much discussion), which serves breakfast as well as lunch and dinner, and not far from a fantastic hole-in-the-wall spot for Cuban and steak sandwiches, Cafe Marianao:
Here's a thread with pictures:
You'll see in the linked thread that on weekends across from Marianao there are vans selling an incredible variety of Mexican antojitos. These vans were described in detail here on Chowhound by RST:
I'll add some more suggestions:
Look into getting a 3 day visitor's pass on the CTA (check the cta website). There's a Logan Square stop on the Blue Line, from there you could go down to Damen to explore Wicker Park, to the Division stop for extremely cheap Polish food at Podhalanka, to the Loop (where you can change to the other el lines), to the UIC-Halsted stop for Greektown (walk a couple blocks north on Halsted).
Another cuisine not well represented in the Bay Area is Puerto Rican -- you could go to Papa's Cache Sabroso on Division west of Western for a jibarito sandwich or their roast chicken. (No close by el stop but the cta trip planner can give you a bus route).
You might also want to go up to the Albany Park neighborhood for Middle Eastern food (Kedzie stop on the Brown Line; or there must be a direct bus route going north from Logan Square on Kedzie), or to one of the Thai places offering great authentic dishes: Spoon, in Lincoln Square (Western stop on the Brown Line) or TAC Quick (Sheridan stop on the Red Line). Search here for discussion, and links to Erik M's translations of the Thai-language menus there.
If you are interested in regional Mexican offerings, you might want to read the responses to Eat Nopal's query from his visit here last month:
If you are here on a Sunday morning and the weather is reasonably good, the Maxwell Street Market has the best Mexican street food around. It's on Canal north and south of Roosevelt Road.