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Jun 21, 2008 05:40 PM

Best Places To Eat Near Grant Park?

Hi all,
I'm going to be visiting the Chicago area for the first time in August for Lollapalooza. I'll be staying at the Holiday Inn Chicago Mart Plaza and going to the concert in Grant Park in the late afternoons/early evenings. We'll be staying from the 31st til the 4th.

Can you recommend any really good places to eat in the area(s)? My other half wants to go to one of the Rick Bayless places, and I wanted to go to Moto, but I'm not sure if we'll be able to do either, considering we'll be busy at night, and Moto especially sounds like the kind of place where you'd linger over the food.

We're open to just about anything, though my other half is allergic to fish/seafood. Any price from cheap to haute is cool, just as long is the food is good. I'd especially like recommendations for the best BBQ/pizza/burger places as well.

Thanks in advance!


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  1. Check out recent posts about Mercat a la Planxa, which is located in the Blackstone Hotel opposite Grant Park. It offers Spanish tapas of high quality. Phil Vettel, food critic of the Chicago Tribune just reviewed it in the paper on thursday and gave it high rating. Check it out on the posts done within the past day or so.

    1. The Gage on Michigan is solid - it's more or less a high end Irish pub, fantastic food and service.

      On Madison, near Michigan, is Pizano's which I finally got to for the first time a couple weeks ago - I was impressed to say the least and would strongly recommend it.

      Moto and the Bayless spots aren't really near Grant Park, but both are well worth the trip - since they're both open for lunch you're all set.

      If Moto seems like your kinda place you should try to make it - they have a five course meal which shouldn't take all that much time, but with Lollapalooza you're really going to have to miss some bands or go the night you arrive - the 31st.

      1 Reply
      1. re: chris

        Thanks for the recs Chris, I'll definitely check out the Gage and Pizano's. Does Moto offer lunch service? When I'd originally checked on their website I thought they only listed dinner.

        I'd love to do Moto, but sadly I think it may end up waiting for a return trip. My other half really doesn't like fish, shellfish or Asian food, and it seems like the chef at Moto does incorporate most of those things into his menus. He's pretty much your standard meat and potatoes kind of guy, so we'll probably be doing alot of comfort food type places.

        JBW, I will definitely go to Hackney's, as I do love a good burger.

        Gymp, I'll try to get into Topolobampo for lunch for sure - thank you for the suggestion, I didn't realize that this was one of them.

        Thanks all!

        If you have any others, please keep em coming!

      2. Let me take on the burger part. Probably the best burger near the Lolla venue will be Hackney's at Dearborn & Polk (700 S). A new burger place, Epic burger, opened at 600 or so S, State but with mixed reviews, and Hackney's will have a much wider menu and a serious selection of brews.

        2 Replies
        1. re: jbw

          For a Bayless restaurant, you should consider Topolobampo for lunch--the price is great for what you get and you can make a reservation on OpenTable (which you can't do for Frontera Grill).

          I give a strong second to the recommendation of the Gage.

          1. re: gymp

            I would second Mercat a la Planxa. We were in Chicago last weekend and the meal we had there was amazing. It is right across from Grant Park..but I would make a reservation.

        2. The original comment has been removed
          1. I'm running the marathon Sunday and am looking for post race burger!