Visting from La La land and need real food & drinks
Two early forty year old guys visiting from Los Angeles for USA world cup qualifying game next week for 2 nights and we need good food ideas and cool place for drinks. No budgetary constraints but would like something we can't get in California for food. Also place to go for good drinks and scenery two single guys would appreciate.
For drinks and scenery, you might want to try the Signature Room on the 95th Floor of the Hancock Building on Michigan Avenue. Save the meal for another place. Trump's 16 has a great view (and food is wonderful), and I hear Bluprint has a nice view as well. For rooftop venues, you could try SushiSamba (on Wells Street) or Rock Bottom Brewery (on State Street).
The best meals in Chicago would be found at (in order of personal preference): Alinea, Charlie Trotter's, Tru, and Everest. Try opentable.com if you have trouble getting in, which you most certainly will unless you have time to make reservations.
Greek Town is pretty cool here (try Venus, 820 West Jackson), and there are a bunch of new restaurants on West Randolph Street (v. up and coming).
For fun and eclectic, try my favorite joint, Hot Doug's (http://hotdougs.com/default.htm). Doug's regular dogs are pretty fabulous, but for extra flair, check out "today's specials." Doug's is open 10:30 to 4:00, and not a minute past, Mon through Sat. There's always a line out the door, but I've never not gotten a seat. Doug plays some cool music, and he's always there to take your order. Friendly guy, too.
There's also lots of middle of the road places that are just as fun, and too many to mention. If you have some ideas you'd like to get a yay or nay for, just let us know.
I am pretty sure the "scenery" you are talking about isnt related to views of the skyline, or the lake.. Try the Rush street area, Gibsons, Tavern on Rush, etc for drinks, and some good "scenery". The food at these places is average, but the drinks, and people watching are very good.
Hot Doug's is a decent place(I dont care for his take on the hot dog, but his duck fat fries are relly good), but not the place to go for a true Chicago Style Dog. Stay away from Deep dish pizza chains like Giordano's as well. Make sure to get an Italian Beef, or Beef and sausage combo while in town. Losts of threads, and opinions on hot dogs, beef sandwiches, & pizza on other threads.
My current favorite area for food is the Argyle/Broadway area on the North side. Vietnamese, Thai, and Chinese foods that are some of the best in the city in my humble opinion. My two favorites right now are Sun Wah BBQ(duck, pork, etc) and Tank Noodle(Pho, noodle dishes, etc)
enjoy your visit.
Nice catch swsidejim! For the best "scenery" in Chicago, not much can beat Gibson's and the Rush St. area. :P
And once again we are *mostly* aligned with our great tastes; I agree, skip Hot Doug's, it's highly overrated, and more of a "freak show in a bun" than it is great food. I personally would take the fresh cut fries at Al's on Taylor with a real Chicago Italian Beef any day over the duck fat fries and any sausage monstrosity of the day at Hot Doug's.
sw: Since your spending so much time in my old “hood”, I’m wondering if have you ever been to the slightly more "Americanized" Schezwan place on Sheridan & Balmoral called Wing Hoe? I wake up in the middle of the night and debate driving the 50 miles down south just because I'm craving those egg rolls! They also make a great Kung Pao chicken too.
As to pizza...Me? I love ALL the styles, just not "all" the places!
I have not been over that way, our visit to Tank Noodle coincided with a vist to the Lincoln Park Zoo with our daughter. Tank Noodle was a great experience, and ranks up there with Sun Wah, with their display window with ducks, and cuts of meat hanging, and their cooks cutting up pork, duck, and other chinese bbq meats. We also liked the grocery store about a block south of Argyle, picked up some thai oyster sauce, some Shark brand srirachi, some sweet chili sauce, I was tempted by their ground pork, and live crabs, but didnt go for it with the long ride back to the country.