2 1/2 days in chicago
I will be staying at Hotel 71 near Mccormick place in a couple of weeks.
I wanted some breakfast/lunch ideas near that area.
Dinner can be anywhere, something fun and nicer than breakfast and lunch.
Italian, Mexican, seafood for dinner
Hot doug's is already on the list for lunch
First, please note that Hotel 71 is NOT located near McCormick Place. Hotel 71 is in the north end of the Loop. McCormick Place, our big convention center, is three miles south of there. I assume you will be spending your days at McCormick Place, evenings around the hotel, so I'll try to give you some suggestions reasonably close to each.
You'll find recommendations for the places closest to McCormick Place in this discussion: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/368426 However, most are not in the immediate vicinity, and the one that is - Cuatro - is not open for lunch.
Chinatown is about 3/4 mile from McCormick Place and is a good choice for lunch. If you enjoy spicy Szechuan food, I strongly recommend Double Li and Lao Sze Chuan. You'll find more Chinese recommendations in the topic at http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/594324
Bongo Room, at Wabash and Roosevelt, is a great place for breakfast; they feature delicious pancakes with sweet sauces on them. Their standard order size is three huge pancakes; although it's not shown on the menu, you can also order one-third and two-thirds portion sizes at a reduced price, either so you can try more than one, or for the smaller appetite. It's about 1.5 miles north of McCormick Place. Places close to your hotel for breakfast include South Water Kitchen ( www.southwaterkitchen.com ) and Atwood Cafe ( www.atwoodcafe.com ).
For Italian food, Gioco ( www.gioco-chicago.com ) is the closest place to McCormick Place. However, I think two of the very best mid-priced Italian restaurants are Vivere ( www.vivere-chicago.com ), in the Italian Village complex in the Loop (about a ten minute walk from your hotel), and Cafe Spiaggia ( www.cafespiaggia.com ), at the north end of North Michigan Avenue, about a mile north of your hotel. For more Italian recommendations, see http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/360990
For Mexican food, I love Mundial Cocina Mestiza ( www.mundialcocinamestiza.com ), which is in Pilsen, a couple miles west of McCormick Place. Frontera Grill and Topolobampo ( www.rickbayless.com/restaurants ) are both close to your hotel. For more Mexican recommendations, see http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/463572
There's a cluster of our best seafood restaurants just north of the Loop, very close to your hotel, including Shaw's ( www.shawscrabhouse.com ), Fulton's on the River ( www.levyrestaurants.com ), and Catch 35 ( www.catch35.com ). For a more upscale "casual fine dining" seafood experience, consider Spring ( www.springrestaurant.net ), in Wicker Park, three miles northwest of the Loop. For true haute cuisine (expensive) with an emphasis on seafood, consider L2O ( www.l2orestaurant.com ), in Lincoln Park, three miles north of the Loop. For more seafood recommendations, see http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/370202
Feel free to ask more questions, and enjoy your visit!
Hotel 71 is a good mile+ from McCormick Place. It's in the northeast corner of the Loop at Wabash & the River, about 300 north. Will your days be spent near the Hotel, or at McCormick Place? There are literally hundreds of restaurants within 1 mile of Hotel 71. Search the Board for restaurants in "the Loop," "River North," "Streeterville," "Magnificent Mile," for those close to Hotel 71. Search for "South Loop" for those close to McCormick Place.