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Streeterville Italian: Coco Paza Cafe v Bice?

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In town for a workweek in a few weeks, staying at the Conrad Hotel adjacent to Nordstroms. Thinking about Bice v Coco Paza v Volare. Any thoughts?

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  1. My initial rec is to go a few blocks north and eat at Cafe Spiaggia instead. Can't vouch for Volare, but Coco Pazzo Cafe and Bice are both decent and several notches above average. I actually prefer the original Coco Pazzo a few blocks west in River North, but it isn't as convenient to where you're staying.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Pugman

      I agree that both the original Coco Pazzo and Cafe Spiaggia are better, if you don't mind the added distance.

      Websites:
      Coco Pazzo - www.cocopazzochicago.com
      Coco Pazzo Cafe - www.cocopazzocafe.com
      Cafe Spiaggia - www.levyrestaurants.com
      Volare - www.volarerestaurant.com
      Bice - www.bicechicago.com

    2. Answering Cafe Spiaggia or the Original Coco Pazzo is not fair. None of the three listed restaurants would purport to compete with Cafe Spiaggia nor Coco Pazzo. That's why there IS a Coco Pazzo Cafe...it's more informal, traditional red-sauce (though not necessarily) Italian. I like all three, but put a gun to my head, and I'd rate them: 1) Volare 2) Coco Pazzo Cafe 3) Bice.

      1. Thanks for your thoughts- I really needed to hear some current opinions on these old hands. I've been to Cafe Spiaggia several times, though not in recent years, Coco Paza Cafe several times and Bice on a summer evenig many years ago. Never Volare. You're opinions confirm my original impression that they are all still good and that one way or another it's a very close call. Since I want to be within walking distance of the hotel , following a business reception across the river, I'll stick to my original selections. As for the others, I've been to both Spiaggia and Coco Paza (for many years this was my personal favorite Chicago restaurant) several times and I love them both, but they're in a different expense range, especially Spiaggia, so I've ruled them out. As of now, I have a reservation at Bice and will try to make lunch or have delivery to my hotel room from Volare. Having these 6 restaurants in such a relatively short distance certainly speaks to the wealth of quality eating found in Chicago.