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Apr 24, 2008 09:09 AM

Good Restaurant near Hyatt Regency

I am staying at the Hyatt on Wacker rd. Any great restuarants near there that arent to be missed? I am open to any suggestions as far as price, cuisine etc. thanks!

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  1. That's a pretty broad question. Specifying types of food or price ranges could help narrow things down for you. However...

    I think the one "can't miss" specialty in Chicago is our Chicago-style deep-dish pizza. There are a lot of places serving great pizza here, and the chains (with the exception of non-downtown locations of Uno's) do quite a good job of maintaining consistent quality across many locations. Take your pick - double-crust "stuffed" pizza from Giordano's, Edwardo's, or Bacino's, or single-crust "pan" pizza from Lou Malnati's, Pizano's, Gino's East, or the original location of Uno's - you can't go wrong with any of these. You can phone your order ahead of time if you want to avoid waiting 30-45 minutes while seated for your pizza to bake; you can find their menus and locations on their websites. The nearest of these to the Hyatt is Giordano's, my personal favorite of all the Chicago pizza places, which has a location a couple blocks away in Prudential Plaza on East Lake Street.

    At the opposite end of the spectrum, we have some of the finest high-end restaurants in the country. One that is a short walk from the Hyatt is tru.

    We also have some wonderful contemporary American, casual fine dining restaurants. IMHO the very best ones a short cab ride from the Hyatt are:

    one sixtyblue - www.onesixtyblue.com
    Aigre Doux - www.aigredouxchicago.com
    Custom House - www.customhouse.cc
    North Pond - www.northpondrestaurant.com
    Blackbird - www.blackbirdrestaurant.com

    North Pond, in addition to having wonderful food, has an exquisite setting, too. It's right in the middle of Lincoln Park (the park, not the neighborhood), on the pond (the building used to be the place where people would rent ice skates in winter), with the city skyline as a backdrop at the opposite end of the pond. It's about three miles north of downtown, an easy cab or bus ride ( www.transitchicago.com ).

    If I had to recommend just one of these places, it would be one sixtyblue for the food, and North Pond for the atmosphere, but there are lots of such excellent places; these are just the very best IMHO.

    We also have some excellent mid-priced Italian restaurants, notably Cafe Spiaggia ( www.levyrestaurants.com ), Coco Pazzo ( www.cocopazzochicago.com ), Vivere ( www.vivere-chicago.com ), and Trattoria No. 10 ( www.trattoria10.com ). All are a long walk or a short cab ride away. A short walk away is Coco Pazzo's slightly less expensive sister restaurant, Coco Pazzo Cafe ( www.cocopazzocafe.com ).

    And, we have some excellent Mexican restaurants. Before you start thinking, "Oh, we have those at home", please realize that these feature very creative provincial Mexican cuisine. Take a look at the menus on their websites and you'll see what I mean. Ones near downtown include Frontera Grill and Topolobampo ( www.rickbayless.com/restaurants ), Salpicon ( www.salpicon.com ), and Adobo Grill ( www.adobogrill.com ).

    Fox and Obel is worth a mention, too. It's an upscale gourmet grocery store, just a wonderful place to shop for prepared foods as well as basic ingredients. They also have a cafe in the rear that's open day for a meal or a snack. It's only about a five minute walk from the Hyatt, just the other side of the river. www.fox-obel.com

    There are lots more places, particularly in outlying neighborhoods where you find more ethnic places (Thai, Indian, etc) but they involve some traveling (30-75 minutes via public transportation).

    So those would be my first recommendations. You can find more detailed discussions about specific types of food here in these other topics:

    Fine dining:











    Hot dogs:

    Quintessential Chicago:

    Brunch and Breakfast:

    4 Replies
    1. re: nsxtasy

      wow, great information. thank you very much! :)

      1. re: elegantelliot

        all of these recs look great. i think the most important criteria might be closeness to the hotel. definitely want something walking distance. does that help narrow it down at all?

        1. re: elegantelliot

          Yes, that does.

          Within a 5 minute walk:
          Pizza - Bacino's (75 E Wacker location) - www.bacinos.com
          Steakhouse - Morton's (65 E. Wacker location) - www.mortons.com
          Steakhouse - the Palm (in the Swissotel) - www.thepalm.com
          Global Fusion - Aria (in the Fairmont) - www.ariachicago.com
          Burgers - Boston Blackie's (on Grand) - www.bostonblackies.com

          Within a 10 minute walk:
          Seafood - Shaw's - www.shawscrabhouse.com
          Seafood - Catch 35 - www.catch35.com
          Pizza - Giordano's (Prudential Plaza location) - www.giordanos.com
          Thai - Vong's Thai Kitchen - www.vongsthaikitchen.com
          Steaks/Seafood - Joe's - www.icon.com/joes
          Indian/Latino - Vermilion - www.thevermilionrestaurant.com
          Armenian - Sayat Nova - www.sayatnovachicago.com
          Tapas - Sol y Nieve - www.emiliostapas.com
          Fine Dining - tru - www.trurestaurant.com
          Italian - Coco Pazzo Cafe - www.cocopazzocafe.com

          1. re: nsxtasy

            Thanks for this list, nsxtasy. I'll be staying at the Hyatt for the jazz festival and am adding Sayat Nova & Sol y Nieve to my list, especially if I'm too beat to venture too far.

            I already had Frontera Grill (lunch), Portillo's, and Spring Garden in Chinatown on my list.


    2. nsxstany - Thanks for such a great response to this original post. I'll be at the Renaissance Hotel, also on Wacker, and I also was looking for restaurants within walking distance. You answered the questions! And, to follow-up on walking - is this area safe to walk to/from hotel/restaurants in early part of evening (before 8 p.m.)? Thanks.

      1 Reply
      1. re: wintersummer

        i'm staying at the renaissance tomorrow. where did you end up eating and what did you think, wintersummer?

      2. Can I ask a followup to this post? I'd also like to have a great Chicago hot dog and I've followed a number of post here about the "best" place for hot dogs. It seems like none of them are in this general area (Wacker Drive, close to Hyatt and Renaissance Hotel). OR, am I incorrect? Not knowing Chicago, I just can't tell. Here's the question: can I find a good (or great!) hotdog in this general area?

        1 Reply
        1. re: wintersummer

          It's a very safe area to walk, very touristy, very busy, and well lit.
          You can get a hotdog at Portillo's (100 West Ontario) or Gold Coast Dogs (159 North Wabash)

          100 W Ontario St, Chicago, IL 60654

          Gold Coast Dogs
          159 N Wabash Ave, Chicago, IL 60601

        2. Great recs. I am staying at the Holiday Inn on Wacker also. Thanks!

          1. I am going to Chicago Friday, staying at the Hyatt Regency. Looks like I am trying Girodano's for pizza and Portillo's or Gold Coast for dogs. I am curious if you tried any of these and if so, what you thought? I too am not driving so distance is a factor. I am taking a large group to Capital Grill friday night.

            6 Replies
            1. re: jeannew

              Giordano's - terrible chain, tourist pizza. Try Pizano's, or check the Chicago board for other rec's

              Portillo's - decent hot dog and Italian Beef, not the best in town, and not the worst

              Capital Grill - you could do much better than Capital Grill for steak in Chicago. Joe's, Saloon, Keefers, David Burke's, or even Gibson's. Capital Grill is another chain, part of the Red Lobster, Olive Garden family that is Darden Restaurant group.

              Enjoy your visit.

              1. re: jeannew

                Gene & Georgetti's and Chicago's Chop House are two favs for steaks. I've also heard great things about David Burke's. Big bucks, no matter where you go.

                I don't think Capital Grill is all that either.

                Downtown pizza joints are NOT representative of Chicago pizza. They're all tourist traps and lousy.

                1. re: sis2catbat

                  I'll just have to, um, disagree with you there, sis2catbat, I think Bacino's is pretty darn good----excellent on occasion.

                  There is also a decent, reasonably priced Thai place near Columbus and Ohio that is reliable and again, upon occasion surprisingly good.

                  1. re: chris in illinois

                    Another good pizza place in the loop is Pizano's. Classic deep dish. The thin crust is good as well

                    Madison and Michigan.

                  2. re: sis2catbat

                    Yes, I STRONGLY disagree with sis2catbat about the pizza places. The pizza at the downtown locations of our very best, most delicious pizza chains, including Giordano's, Lou Malnati's, etc, are just as good as you'll find at their other locations. As a matter of fact, the chains that don't have the same consistency from one location to another - notably Uno's and to a lesser extent Gino's East - suffer at the locations AWAY FROM downtown; the ones downtown are excellent (and decidedly NOT tourist traps).

                  3. re: jeannew

                    Portillo's or Gold Coast Dogs fit the image of the Chicago steamtable dog, but if you want a really good hot dog, get the jumbo at Blackie's!