Food options for conference week
I'm coming to Chicago for a four-day conference at the Hyatt Regency McCormick (2233 S. Martin Luther King Dr.) and have no clue about food options in that area. Because my food is paid for during this trip (!!!), cost isn't too much of a factor, although I don't want to pay an obscene amount of money for baby arugula, either. I'm not too interested in the pizza/hot dog scene (sorry), but just want a few options that are good for a nice coffee, salad, burger, dinner -- preferably not too touristy, but somewhere a bit off the beaten path. Given where I'm staying, I'm not entirely sure that's possible, but any tips would be welcome. Thanks.
This topic has a good run-down on restaurants near McCormick Place: www.chowhound.com/topics/368426 As you can see from that topic, there aren't a whole lot of good places in the immediate vicinity. Cuatro (Latin fusion food - www.cuatro-chicago.com ) is the most notable exception, a few blocks away. There are good Chinese restaurants in Chinatown, about 3/4 mile away, and then there are more good places in the South Loop, starting in the 1300-1400 blocks of Wabash and Michigan which are a mile away or more. Just beyond walking distance of McCormick Place, you have TONS of great choices a short ride away by el (subway) or cab, including everything in the Loop, River North, Michigan Avenue, and West Loop areas.
No need to apologize for not being interested in pizza or hot dogs. While we have a lot of the best of both of those, they hardly make up the bulk of the food "scene" in Chicago and few of us would be offended if you didn't want either.
Coffee, salad, burger could be almost anywhere -- any hotel, diner, coffee shop -- but you are staying in a basically touristy area if you're staying near McCormick. If you really are interested in good food -- not burgers or coffee -- not far from McCormick Place, Chinatown offers some great options. Our favorites include Lau Tze Chuan and Moon Palace. You can find discussions of those and other on this board.
Don't know much else about the near southeast side where you are staying, but perhaps someone else can make suggestions for the Hyde Park area where the University of Chicago is located.