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Apr 30, 2009 12:24 PM

Any can't miss lunch spots downtown?

I will be up there tomorrow in time for lunch and will be there Saturday as well. I would love to find a couple of really good places for lunch. I will be with 3 other people. We are staying at the Sofitel Water Tower. We are eating at Alinea Friday night. Lunch doesn't have to be something like Alinea though. I am really just curious if there was something really good that is should definitely catch. Thanks so much.

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  1. Here are three recommendations, each excellent in its own way.

    The restaurant in the Sofitel itself is called Cafe des Architectes, named after the spectacular architecture of the hotel. It is excellent, one of our very best contemporary American restaurants. It is open for all three meals each day.

    Chicago-style deep-dish pizza is a local specialty you can't get elsewhere. Pizano's on State ( ) is a block from the Sofitel and is an excellent example of the single-crust "pizza in the pan" style, maybe the best one to try if you've never been here before; Giordano's on Rush ( ) is two blocks away and is a good example of the double-crust "stuffed" style. Either place, phone ahead with your pizza order to avoid waiting 30-45 minutes while seated for your pizza to bake.

    Cafe Spiaggia ( ) is perhaps the very best moderately-priced Italian restaurant in the city, and is 2-3 blocks from the Sofitel. If you look at the website, make sure you're looking at information for the Cafe, and not Spiaggia, its very expensive sister restaurant next door.

    All of the above are open for lunch, seven days a week. Cafe des Architectes and Cafe Spiaggia accept reservations on

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    1. Heaven on Seven for cancun and creole cooking. Of its 3 locations the original one, on the 7th floor of a downtown office building (right across the street from the former Marshall Fields), is the best. It's extremely crowded at noon, so go there around 1.