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Mar 16, 2010 06:18 PM

Staying at the Renaissance O'Hare Chicago. Any recs?

Are there any fabulous and fun restaurants away from downtown? I especially love ethnic foods. Thanks!


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  1. Yes, there are fabulous and fun restaurants away from downtown. But there isn't a whole lot in the immediate vicinity of that particular hotel, other than a Bennigan's in the office tower next door. Here are some nearby places that you can drive to:

    Gibson's (steaks) - www.gibsonssteakhouse.com
    Morton's (steaks) - www.mortons.com
    Capital Grille (steaks) - www.capitalgrille.com
    McCormick and Schmick's (seafood) - www.mccormickandschmicks.com
    Giordano's ("stuffed" deep-dish pizza) - www.giordanos.com
    Maria's (Mexican - rather ordinary IMO) - www.mariasmexicanrestaurant.com

    You'll need to drive a little further for good ethnic food such as:

    Elephant Thai - www.theelephantthai.com
    Red Apple (Polish buffet) - www.redapplebuffet.com (the location at 6474 N. Milwaukee is closer to your hotel)

    If you don't have a car, don't worry; the hotel is a short walk from the Cumberland station on the CTA Blue Line (see www.transitchicago.com ). For a quick overview of some of the restaurants along the Blue Line between Cumberland and downtown (to which you can also drive), see http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/608252

    1. I used to work just south of there. My wife and I always liked Pepe's for Mexican food.
      For Pizza, Lou Malnati's was big. Navy even flies them to Korea on planes on training missions.

      2 Replies
      1. re: mheldt

        There is no Lou Malnati's in that vicinity. Not even close. Last year I was meeting someone at O'Hare and we had to hike out to the far end of Elk Grove Village for the nearest Lou's.

        Giordano's is about a mile from the hotel. There's also a Gino's East nearby but I've heard people warn against that particular location.

        Pepe's is a local chain serving very ordinary Mexican cuisine. Chicago has some excellent creative provincial Mexican restaurants. If I were staying near O'Hare, I would consider either going out to Arlington Heights for Cocina Fuerte (formerly Fuego), or going into the city to one of Rick Bayless's places (Frontera Grill/Topolobampo). Two other places - Mixteco Grill (on Montrose at Kedzie) and Fonda del Mar (on Lincoln south of Irving) are on the north side, not exactly between O'Hare and downtown, but not that far either.

        1. re: nsxtasy

          >> There is no Lou Malnati's in that vicinity. Not even close.

          The closest is actually the one a few miles away on the other side of downtown Park Ridge, but that one is carryout and delivery only, and the Renaissance O'Hare isn't even close enough to be in their delivery zone.

          OTOH the pizza I had at the Lou's in EGV last year was the best Lou's pizza I've ever had.