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Apr 19, 2010 08:56 AM

Chicago Family Gathering-Need Restaurant Ideas

We are a large, geographically disperse family. One of my sisters will be celebrating her
50th birthday in June and we have decided to all meet in Chicago for a weekend celebration.
We want to eat well and have fun without breaking the bank. Would love some recommendations for centrally located restaurants in Chicago. Thank you in advance.

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  1. How many people will be eating together? Where will you be staying (what hotel)? Knowing the answers will help narrow things down to places that will best meet your needs.

    2 Replies
    1. re: nsxtasy

      12-14 people at dinners; we will be staying in a centrally located hotel, but not sure where yet - Michigan Ave most likely

      1. re: jmk38

        That's just small enough that you probably don't want to bother getting a private dining room, and can be seated in the main dining room anywhere.

        Here are some of the moderately-priced places I would recommend near North Michigan Avenue (the "Mag Mile" stretch):

        Contemporary American - Cafe des Architectes -
        Steaks and Seafood - Hugo's Frog Bar -
        Italian - Cafe Spiaggia -
        Pizza - Pizano's (on State) - , Giordano's (on Rush) -
        French bistros - Bistro 110 - , Brasserie Jo -
        Pan-Asian - Sunda -
        Latin Fusion - Nacional 27 -
        Tapas - Cafe Iberico -
        Mexican - Salpicon -

    2. 1) When we have family in from out of town everybody loves Big Bowl, unusually good Pan-Asian (see their website). One is a short block off Michigan on Ohio (just around the corner from Eddie Bauer) and the other is in the Near North Side restaurant district at the corner of State & Cedar, just where Rush joins State. Moderate prices. 2) Roughly at same interesection is Heaven on Seven, Cajun (2nd floor facing Rush in same building as Eddie Bauer). Go to "Chicago restaurant menus" website for >3000 actual menus showing selections and prices. For a group dinner you might like Maggiano's, Clark & Grand, ordering the Family Meal---so much per head and a ton of food. From there walking east there is a good Indian lunch buffet, I forget the name, and at Grand & Dearborn, Brazzaz is a deal at lunch (costs half as much as dinner for meat ad lib plus many other dishes and a huge salad bar).

      Big Bowl
      60 E Ohio St, Chicago, IL 60611

      Heaven on Seven
      600 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611

      539 N. Dearborn Street, Chicago, IL 60654