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May 20, 2009 05:38 PM

chicago recos near swissotel

hi chowhounders,

hubby and i will be in chicago from july 1 - 5. we're staying at the swissotel.

can you please give me some dinner recos near our hotel? we'll need a total of four dinners for our trip.

we are looking for:
- unique chicagoan eats - hot dogs, pizzas, ribs, steaks, etc.
- we're NOT looking for michelin starred experiences
- we're on a budget - this trip decision has been made on a bit of a whim - we're already going to barcelona/paris later this fall - so dinner for under $50-60 US
would be much appreciated (especially considering our canadian dollar!!)
- we LOVE mexican ... we don't get a lot of good, authentic mexican in our hometown (toronto) ... i checked out rick bayless' properties but they were a bit out of our price range and also not exactly what we're looking for
- we're not into wine ... but hubby likes a good beer

ideally, after a day of sightseeing, we like to come back to the hotel, relax/shower/nap/etc. and then head out for dinner. i don't really want to schlep too far for grub - a 15 min walk would be fine.

also, i'm a BIT concerned about dinner on july 4th ... we've never been in the US for this holiday so i'm guessing that most places will be mobbed?? any tips on this one? we'd like to watch the fireworks but are also hoping we might be able to do it from our hotel...

some recos that i've gleaned from this forum already are: giordanos, portillos/al's beef, hop haus, brasserie jo...

finally, we'd like to catch a cubs game on thursday, july 2nd in the evening. any recos for good eats up near wrigley that might fit our requirements?



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  1. Navy Pier was built just for you!

    1. I would say that Navy Pier isn't just for you...but that is just my take. Not sure where the poster thinks you should eat there. I think that heading out into the neighborhoods not only gives you better deals but a better experience.

      I am biased because I live there, but head up to Andersonville. A cute neighborhood with lots of good eats. Check out hopleaf for the beer menu you are looking for, and check out Jin Ju or Big Jones up there.

      Or go up to Lincoln Park and go to Rose Angelis which I love and think is a steal, as well as a chance to walk through a residential hood and stare at some pretty houses.

      Just some quick ideas for you.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Chargenda

        hi chargenda ... thanks so much for the neighbourhood tips.

        to be honest, i'm not sure if the navy pier comment was meant to be sarcastic? all other comments i've read about navy pier signal to me that it's an over-priced tourist trap. anyway, i'm hoping the navy pier comment is meant to be humourous. (and yes, canadians spell that with an 'extra' "U")... :)

      2. hi again,

        one more question ... can anyone tell me whether there's a small grocery store near the swissotel where i can stock up on water/snacks/supplies? fox and obel looks close on the map but the google walking directions seem to be taking me on some really long roundabout to get there.


        6 Replies
        1. re: lilaki

          Check out Goddess and Grocer near you. They are cute and started in Wicker Park first. That's more upscale. Stick to Walgreens for just waters and other basics. Fox & Obel is a long walk just for supplies.

          1. re: Chargenda

            hi chargenda,

            i'm a bit confused ... i mapped goddess and grocer (on e delaware) and it's significantly further than fox and obel. the swissotel is on e wacker. is there another GG that i should be looking for?


            1. re: lilaki

              Ugh! I messed up, I was getting Swissotel and Sofitel confused! Go for Fox & Obel!

              1. re: Chargenda

                cool! fox and obel it is. just gotta figure out how to get there ... i'll ask when i get to the hotel. i read the directions from nxstasy on another post and didn't really understand. tks!

          2. re: lilaki

            As far as groceries/snacks are concerned, one of the finest artisanal cheese shops is nearby, Pastoral: Be sure to check their hours though, since this is a holiday weekend.

            Same goes for Chicago's Indoor Farmstand, here:

            By the way, you'll be here during "Taste of Chicago." Not for everyone so search around for much commentary.

            1. re: jbw

              OMG ... we LOVE cheese!!! tks!!!

          3. Some information about dinner & fireworks on the 3rd & 4th: Although our National Day of Independence is July 4th, the City of Chicago does its big fireworks display on July 3rd, not the 4th. The fireworks are displayed over Monroe Harbor (i.e, to the east of Millennium Park), so your hotel will be prime viewing area, assuming you are on a high enough floor, facing southeast.
            The area around Millennium Park on July 3rd, especially the evening, is jam-packed. It is not really that big a night for eating out. As another poster mentioned, our annual Taste of Chicago festiel will be going on then, so lots of people head there, or bring a picnic meal, to camp out in the park early, and get a good viewing spot. Especially if you head a bit north of the River -- say to Streeterville -- you will not have much trouble finding restaurants. I.e., as long as you stay away from restaurants immediately adjacent to the park (e..g., Park Grill, the Gage, restaurants in Navy Pier) you should be alright.

            1. hi all,

              thanks for the detailed recos!

              i did some reading about taste of chicago. we'll likely skip it ... we have something similar in toronto and it's really a 'been-there-done-that' kind of thing.

              and thank you for the clarification re: fireworks. i will re-jig our agenda accordingly. dumb question from a canadian (i guess) but why are the fireworks on the 3rd? and not the 4th??

              1 Reply
              1. re: lilaki

                Chicago does them on the 3rd, most of the suburbs do them on the 4th. My guess is that it's a non-compete sort of thing :)