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Apr 1, 2010 09:42 AM


I am travelling to Chicago for a business meeting and have one free night with my 2 co-workers..we don't want to break the bank, but want an ideal for our evening out...we love Italian food and laughing!! Any thoughts?

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  1. Since you love Italian food, I'd go to Cafe Spiaggia. It's our best moderately-priced Italian restaurant, and it's right at the north end of the Mag Mile. If you look at their website at make sure you click on CAFE. (Clicking in DINING ROOM takes you to info for Spiaggia, its big-bucks sister restaurant next door.) Reservations are available on

    Cafe Spiaggia
    980 North Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611

    980 North Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611

    1. I'd like to recommend Scoozi; It 's in the Lettuce Entertain You group of restaurants.
      It's a little more casual than Cafe Spiaggia, and a more bustling atmosphere. It's not right on Michigan Av but not far. A more traditional type of Italian food.

      Cafe Spiaggia
      980 North Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611

      410 West Huron, Chicago, IL 60610

      1. Cafe Spiaggia is an excellent recommendation. Wonderful food, good service. A choice worth considering, also, is Coco Pazzo Cafe, just off Michigan Avenue. Go to and click on "Coco Pazzo Cafe", not its sister restaurant, Coco Pazzo, which is owned by the same group. Their specialty is Tuscan cooking, discussed on the website.

        If you have good weather, Coco Pazzo Cafe is ground-level and will have tables outside, and they're always filled, you'll need a reservation. CPC is a favorite of mine because they have wonderful pasta, the Linguine Alla Vongole (white clam sauce) is a favorite, a reasonably priced wine list, and delicious baskets of focaccia that they bake in-house, served with delicious Monini olive oil for dipping. I cannot find, or bake, bread as good as theirs.

        I live near this cafe, and bump into neighbors whenever I go there. If time permits, you might have a glass of wine at the bar, look at a menu, then stay, or, stroll to Cafe Spiaggia. Both have great locations. If you enjoy dining outdoors, though, CPC is the place. Cafe Spiaggia doesn't offer that.