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New to Chicago

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I've just landed in Chicago from London for 2 years - I've arranged babysitting for the next 4 nights to allow us to get out. Where would people recommend we go over the next 4 nights to get good food and atmosphere? We'll be living in NW Lincoln Park and are staying on E Cedar Street. Thanks!

Simon

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  1. I am guessing that for the next few nights you'd rather go out near E Cedar St. than in NW Lincoln Park?

    E Cedar is in the middle of the Gold Coast which is a mix of high end residential and dining along with lots of shopping and touristy areas full of chain restaurants. To avoid that latter, I'd recommend:

    Merlo on Maple (Italian)
    Bistro Zinc (Nice for brunch)
    Le Colonial (French/Vietnamese)
    Cafe Spiaggia (Italian)

    For a casual lunch, I like Big Bowl on Cedar.

    To the North and West is another neighborhood called Old Town that separates the Gold Coast from Lincoln Park. The strip of Wells St. between Division and North Avenue is especially nice with several excellent restaurants:

    Salpicon
    Old Town Brasserie
    Topo Gigio
    Bistro Margot

    Among others. Also, House of Glunz is a wonderful independent wine store, and the Spice House is the best spice store in the city. You also have the 2nd City Comedy Club at North and Wells.

    And definitely take a stroll through the goldcoast north of Divsion between LSD and Clark. Lots of old money up there. Astor St. is always good for a gawk. You can continue on through Lincoln Park (the park, not the neighborhood) where there is also a free zoo that might be fun with the kids.

    Welcome to Chicago.