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Mar 31, 2008 02:00 PM

1st Time Visitor

Staying at the Westin on Michigan Ave. Looking for recommendations for the following:

Steak (considering Ditka's and Gibson's)
Lunch options near hotel (burgers, sandwiches, pasta)

Thanks in advance.

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  1. There are many threads on Pizza. But I'm guessing you're looking for deep dish. Some good options (in order by my preference, but they're all good)

    1) Lou Malnati's 439 N Wells
    2) Gino's East 162 E Superior
    3) Giordano's 730 N Rush
    4) Uno's 29 E Ohio or Due 619 N Wabash

    1. The Westin Michigan Avenue is located north of the Hancock Building.

      For steak, the closest places are Gibson's, Morton's, and Saloon. There's no consensus on the very best steak in Chicago, but there are plenty of opinions. You can read many of them at

      For Italian, you're right near two places that are excellent, each in its own way. Spiaggia is one of the very best restaurants in Chicago, expensive and dressy, a wonderful culinary experience. Cafe Spiaggia is its sister restaurant next door, casual and mid-priced, just an excellent restaurant in that category. You can view the menus for both, with prices, on their website at For more extensive discussion of Italian restaurants in Chicago, see

      For Chicago-style deep-dish pizza, there are two primary kinds: the double-crust "stuffed" pizza (e.g. Giordano's, Bacino's, Edwardo's), and the single-crust "pan" pizza (e.g. Lou Malnati's, Pizano's, Gino's East, and Uno's). All of these are excellent examples of our delicious pizza. The two locations closest to the Westin are the previously-mentioned Giordano's (my personal favorite - ) at 730 N. Rush St., and the Pizano's ( ) at 864 N. State Street, which is closer to your hotel than the other places mentioned above.

      All of these places are open for lunch as well as for dinner, and would be fine choices for either meal.

      1. A couple other lunch options within 15 minute walk of hotel yet all within 2 blocks of MI Ave.

        Great burgers and terrific truffled thick-cut fries are at Rockit Bar and Grill -- 22 W Hubbard (bet State and Dearborn). It's a "fancy" neighborhood style bar with very good food. This place also serves food late and has quite a nice evening scene--I just had a Rockit burger at 2:00 AM about 3 weeks ago. Is a kobe-style burger excessive, maybe, but its goood.

        Famous "dive" with very good and very famous burgers is Billy Goat Tavern -- 430 N Michigan Ave, Lower Level. Here's where you get the famous Cheezborger, Cheezborger, no fries, cheeps, and no pepsi, coke. I hope you're a late 80's Saturday Night Live fan. In any event you go to 430 N Michigan Ave and there will be a stairway down in the middle of the sidewalk. Go down the stairs and duck your head in for a phenomenal experience. Don't argue and just order a double cheezborger that's on a great bakery roll--load it with onions, relish, mustard, ketchup and enjoy. Go up to the bar behind you for a beer. I love taking long Friday lunches and having a couple beers and a burger here.

        3 Replies
        1. re: jbontario

          Those places are pretty far south, along the river about a 15-minute walk away. There's no need to go that far if you don't want to; there are plenty of places for lunch within a block of your hotel. Saloon Steakhouse ( ) is open for lunch and has salads and burgers. For pasta, Cafe Spiaggia ( ) is a block north. There are several cafes and eateries in the 900 N. Michigan building across Michigan Avenue (including OakTree - an eggs/diner kind of place, a Thai place, and Frankie's, the new LEY pizza place; see for phone numbers and floors). A block south of the hotel, Water Tower Place has a bunch more in their food court (Foodlife, Wow Bao, and Mity Nice - see for all). There's also a Johnny Rocket's a block west at 901 N. Rush. All these are within a block or so of the Westin.

          1. re: nsxtasy

            Agreed that Rockit and Billy Goat are both 10-15 minute walk away from the Westin Michigan Ave, but they are both just off the Magnificent Mile and worth it if you want something a little but different but very good. As a matter of fact, if one is spending the green at Nordstrom these are both very convenient.

            I also agree that a burger at a steakhouse is great, but thanks to our country's penchant for franchising you can go to these anywhere. The food court in Water Tower Place is very good, but close your eyes and you might as well be at the mall of America in Minneapolis.

            When you're in what I think is one of the best cities in the world go where the locals go and you'll have much more fun. That being said, if you're in for a great italian lunch go to Cafe Spiaggia, it's phenom!

            1. re: nsxtasy

              I believe Johnny Rockets closed last month.

          2. I want to give my vote for the Saloon. I have dined their on many occasions, both lunch and dinner, with friends, work collegues and family w/ and w/out the kids, and a bachelor party. I have never been disapointed. The service and atmiosphere is great. Last time I was there I had rack of wild boar.

            This is the type of place that they will acomodate your need.

            They do not have a childrens menu, but they told us they would prepare what ever our kids wanted. The kids had pasta and we had great steak.

            1. Chop House has pretty good steak choices. Spiaggia for italian could be pricy, but a great experience. Another nice expericence is the 95th on top of the Hancock (great views, ambiance, and good food)..
              There are a bunch of lunch options around that location. Heaven on Seven is a nice one, but a bit of a hike, on Ohio St. I acutally like the Wabash St location better, but you have to get there real early if you don't want to be waiting in line in the elevator lobby.
              For Chicago style deep dish pizza, I recommend Uno's or Due's, on Wabash.

              1 Reply
              1. re: citywayne

                Just FYI regarding the Signature Room at the 95th ( ), the restaurant on top of the John Hancock building - because the food has had its ups and downs, a lot of people go there for a drink, and then go elsewhere for dinner.