Looking for great food in/around Magnificent Mile good for solo diner...oh, and cheap
Hi all, I am coming to Chicago for the first time next week for a conference, staying at the Hyatt on Wacker, near the Magnificient Mile and travelling each day up to Northwestern Unviersity.
I would really appreciate some recommendations for interesting places nearby either of these locations...I am an adventurous diner, looking for interesting, unique and/or fun places with very good food, where I won't feel totally out of place as a solo diner, and that won't break the bank. I would hope for lunches under $20 and dinners under $50, if that's any guide... Any advice or recommendations would be really appreciated. If the place featured some music, even better!
Just to make sure you understand the location of things... The Hyatt Regency Chicago is just south of the river and right off Michigan Avenue. So it's right near the south end of the "Magnificent Mile" stretch of North Michigan Avenue. It's also roughly at the northeast corner of the Loop, Chicago's historical and commercial downtown area. So many restaurants in or near the Loop, and River North (the neighborhood just north of the river and west of Michigan Avenue) may actually be closer to the Hyatt than those at the far end of the Mag Mile. The downtown campus of Northwestern is a different story, since it's east of the Mag Mile near its midpoint, so you'd definitely want to look for places near Michigan Avenue for proximity to that campus.
You'll find lots of recommendations for inexpensive dining near the Hyatt Regency Chicago in the discussion at http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/387291
If you're referring to Northwestern's main campus in Evanston, you'll find lots of recommendations for inexpensive dining in Evanston in the discussion at http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/586184 A post mentioning which moderately-priced places in Evanston are open for lunch on a Saturday is in the topic at http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/610379
Some quick, moderately-priced recommendations near Northwestern's downtown campus...
Cafe des Architectes ( www.cafedesarchitectes.com ) is one of our best contemporary American restaurants. Go for lunch, or go for dinner on a Sunday through Tuesday when they feature the "neighborhood friends" dinner special, 3 courses for $29.
Emilio's Sol y Nieve ( www.emiliostapas.com/solynieve.htm ) for tapas.
Cafe Spiaggia ( www.cafespiaggia.com ) for Italian food.
Quartino ( www.quartinochicago.com ) for Italian "small plates".
Sayat Nova ( www.sayatnovachicago.com ) for Armenian.
Frontera Grill ( www.rickbayless.com/restaurants ) for Mexican.
Boston Blackie's on Grand ( www.bostonblackies.com ) for burgers, don't miss the cole slaw.