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Mar 11, 2010 03:24 PM

Visiting Chicago Easter Weekend with my wife...staying at the Hard Rock Hotel

Looking for a few things while we are there. 1. Definitely want to try a Chicago Style Hot Dog, where should we go? 2. Also, would love to find a great Irish Bar with fantastic Fish and chips. 3. Would like a reccomendation for a great steakhouse. Thanks for all of the help!

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  1. For the Chicago-style hot dog, there are two places on Ontario Street, a block apart from each other and about a 10-minute walk from the Hard Rock, and both have excellent Chicago-style hot dogs (as well as our local Italian beef sandwiches): Portillo's ( ) and Al's Beef ( ).

    The best steakhouse in the city is a 5-minute walk from the Hard Rock: David Burke's Primehouse ( ).

    Don't know about Irish bars, sorry.

    1. The Gage is an Irish gastropub that serves fish and chips

      1 Reply
      1. re: delk

        . . . and one of the better Irish breakfasts in town, according to the Trib:

      2. Also, how about a great Italian restaurant? I am looking for authentic, so it does not have to fancy to be good.

        1 Reply
        1. re: thrilla05

          Spiaggia is the best Italian restaurant in Chicago; however, it is also fancy/dressy and very expensive. Its sister restaurant next door, Cafe Spiaggia, is IMHO the best moderately-priced restaurant in Chicago. They share a website at

          There are a lot more excellent mid-priced Italian restaurants around Chicago, notably including Coco Pazzo in River North ( ) and Vivere in the Loop ( ).

          However, if I might make a suggestion... Instead of going to the same kinds of restaurants that you probably eat at all the time, why not try some places that are different from what you find back home? Whether it's our delicious deep-dish pizza, or our creative provincial Mexican restaurants, or North Pond with its unique setting in the park, or Alinea (one of the top ten restaurants in the WORLD), we have so much more than the steakhouses and Italian restaurants you can find anywhere in the country. Now, if you have your heart set on a good steak or Italian meal, you can certainly find it here. But if you'd be interested in trying something more specific to Chicago, well... See the discussion at for more details and website links.

        2. There are two Irish bars relatively close to the Hard Rock Hotel - Fado ( ) and Celtic Crossings ( ).

          5 Replies
          1. re: sis2catbat

            Thanks for the Irish bar rec's! Fado looks great, definitely will be going there! I am still looking for a great steak recomendation...dont know if I am sold on David Burke's???

            1. re: thrilla05

              Well, David Burke's Primehouse is the most oft-recommended steakhouse in Chicago, for a variety of reasons. One is the steaks, of course; they dry-age their meat and you have a choice of aging durations in your steaks. Another is the atmosphere; it's contemporary, rather than the bustling men's club atmosphere of the typical steakhouse.

              However, it's not the only steakhouse in the city by any means, and there is far from a consensus, with a fair number of folks preferring one or more of the others to Burke's. Within half a mile of the Hard Rock, you have over a dozen, including not only Burke's, but also Morton's, Joe's, and a bunch of others. You can find opinions about many of them, and links to websites for just about all the major steakhouses, in the discussion at

              1. re: nsxtasy

                thanks...I do feel a lot better abouyt David Burkes place now...I have been to Gibsons and thought it was great, but I wanted to try something different and looks like Daivd Burkes is the place...Thanks again!

                1. re: nsxtasy

                  Aany great Sushi rec's for Friday Night?

                  1. re: thrilla05

                    Here are some places within a five-minute walk of the Hard Rock where you can get sushi. However, I can't tell you how their sushi compares because that's one food I don't care for. Maybe someone else here can provide input.

                    Aria -
                    Sunda -
                    Oysy - (location on Grand)
                    Niu -
                    Sushi Taiyo -

            2. For pubs that serve fish and chips, I recommend Elephant & Castle. For steakhouse, I personally would not recommend David Burke. They have a tendency to overcook the steak. It's happened to me twice already (got medium well when ordered medium rare; got almost medium when ordered rare). If you are a medium to medium well kind of person, then maybe DB is suitable. But otherwise, I think Ruth Chris, Lawry's (if you like prime rib), and Wildfire are all better than DB in terms of execution. If you are willing to take a bus ride down Michigan Ave., I'd say Rosebud's near the Drake Hotel is worth checking out. For Italian, I'd say Volare, Osteria via Stato, or Coco Pazzo Cafe.

              Coco Pazzo Cafe
              636 N St Clair, Chicago, IL 60611

              201 E Grand Ave, Chicago, IL 60611