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Oct 5, 2009 08:29 AM

We have less than 48hrs in ChiTown----what do you think? Need ideas---thanks!

Hi All,

The wife & I are coming to your fair city 10/23-10/25.
Here is what I have planned.
Please critique itinerary and make meal recomendations.
We are coming in at 930am Friday and leave b4 breakfast on Sunday.
Staying at Intercontinental but don't let that influence your ideas, they're free nights.
We're looking for non-high end places.
We'll be walking or taking public transit everywhere.
We're 30somethings.
Places without screaming kids running around would be nice.
Want to try local joints.
Must have -at least- one meal with a good chicago dog, and italian beef.
Dinners could be Italian, Pizza, Polish, PubGrub, American, etc.
No Indian or similar foods.
Please no fancy-places.
Let's stay under $20p for each meal.

I know the schedule is tight but we're trying to get it all in!!

1030am Drop bags at hotel
11am Lunch at ???
1pm Shoreline Architectural River Cruise - Navy Pier
2pm Lighthouse, Ferris Wheel, Carousel - Navy Pier
3pm Walk up & down Michigan Ave
5pm Dinner at ??
7pm Sears Tower

7am Breakfast at ????
9am Field Museum
1130am Lunch at ???
1pm Museum of Science & Industry
5pm Dinner at ???
730pm Blackhawks v Predators
11am Rush Street bars or ??

Thank you for all your help and suggestions.

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  1. Sounds good. Skip Navy Pier since you have such little time and it's just a HUGE tourist trap.

    I am a 30-something too, so here's what I would do.

    Lunch on Friday. If you're on mid-Mich Ave for your hotel (i.e. Chicago Ave is mid-point with address of 800 North, so if your hotel has an address of 600 North or less you're on the lower half), I would walk West a little to W Ontario and N Clark and go to Portillos. Started in Chicago area 40 years ago as a hot dog stand.

    Another tidbit on directions in Chicago. We are a huge grid system where every 800 street numbers is one mile. The zero/zero line is State Street and Madison in the middle of the Loop.

    Dinner on Friday - one of my most favorite new restaurants, Publican. Phenomenal food and a terrific exotic belgian beer list. Also the best homemade spicy pork rinds ever.

    Unless you really want to go on "the Ledge" at Sears tower, you can go up to the Signature Room bar at the top of John Hancock building to "have a drink" and then it's free. View is cool since you look across at Sears tower. It's 95 stories up versus Sears is 102.

    I will let others jump in now.

    Saturday breakfast. One of my favorite neighborhood places is Flo. It's on W Chicago Ave, about a 10 minute cab west of MI Ave. It's mexican influenced breakfast. In the West Loop over by Oprah's studio is Wishbone, great southern breakfast.

    4 Replies
    1. re: jbontario

      Publican is a great rec, except 'under $20p for each meal' is going to be very iffy at Publican.

      I 2nd Flo. Great local joint, neighborhood place. I go there every Saturday morning, except when i'm out of town, or bedridden. From the Intercon, walk north to Chicago Ave. Take the #66 bus going westward.

      1434 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60642

      1. re: jbontario

        I agree on skipping Navy Pier, except that the Chicago River Cruise is worth doing. Might depend on the weather though.

        I would check out Millenium Park and the Art Institute. The Gage is a good gastro-pub type of place across the street from the park.

        1. re: rjka

          I just returned from a trip where we took the Wendella river tour that departs right near the Michigan ave hour tour, very enjoyable-----and no Navy Pier.

          1. re: rjka

            The Gage will also be tough (but not impossible) to do for <$20. Here's the menu:

        2. Thanks all. We're only going to Navy Pier because that's there the boat tour leaves from....thought we'd hit the ferris wheel etc too as we will have the GO Chicago card and they'll be free.

          Are we still wasting our time at Navy Pier if we literally only do the cruise then the ferris wheel/lighthouse/carousel?

          Any other good eats around the hotel, United Center, Field Museum or MSM?

          Where should we go for the Friday & Saturday night dinner?
          Friday night could be anywhere within a mile or two of the hotel.
          Saturday dinner would be nice if it was close to the United Center.


          1 Reply
          1. re: paz68123

            Given your price points and itinerary, I would suggest:
            Lunch after the Field Museum in Chinatown, which is fairly nearby. My personal favorite there is Moon Palace but search the Board for other opinions.
            Dinner Saturday before the Blackhawks game in Greektown, which is due east of the UC, by about 1/2 mile. The restaurants there are very accustomed to dealing with patrons who are headed to the United Center; some have free shuttle buses. Again, search the Board for views as to which Greek restaurant is best. My personal recommendation would be Greek Islands.

          2. For Saturday lunch you could walk down to the Bongo Room and feast on specialty pancakes (I'd suggest BR for breakfast, but it doesn't open 'till 9:00; not much opens early around the Field, except Starbucks); or you could work your way down to Hyde Park and have lunch at Piccolo Mondo (near the entrance of MSI--the #6 will drop you off right near there at HP Boulvard & 56th) for some solid Italian fare. Try the gnocchi with capers.

            1. Hi there. Just reading over the posts. Just wanted to comment on your concern about wasting time at Navy Pier. As a Chicagoan, I think Navy Pier is beautiful and worth seeing.
              No, sounds like you will spend a total of 2 hours there which is just fine - especially in 50 degree weather. Dress warm. Layer. Come back in the summer when you can enjoy some drinks and the Saturday night fireworks. It is a beautiful city with EXCELLENT food. Make sure to grab a portillos italian beef or Lou Malnatis pizza!

              1. Thanks again everyone. Just bumping this thread in case someone else has any ideas...I'll be there Friday!! Thank you.