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May 1, 2010 11:18 AM

good deals on GREAT food in chicago

Soo I have been planning my nyc foodie trip for last few weeks and found a whole bunch of ways to enjoy great amazing food at decent prices
most of them for lunch with prix fixe menu and pre theater menus
like daniel boulud's weekdays prix fixe for $24 or 11madison park prix fixe for $28/42
These are places that would mean a big investment if going for dinner.

I am saving for my Alinea dinner in september for our anniversary, we have been enjoying Bonsoiree thanks to my groupon and now I am thinking maybe there are ways to enjoy more delicious food without breaking the bank.

Do you guys know of such prix fixe/lunch deals at good restaurant with decent chefs that usually more expensive.
Already tried the prix fixe at the cafe des Architectes (was not a fan)
Anymore recommendations ? is good for some of this but usually dont have the nicer restaurant

1723 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60614

2728 W Armitage, Chicago, IL 60647

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  1. I know of two prix-fixe deals along Michigan Avenue that are not the gourmet experience of your life but do have something else going for the that makes them fun. 1) Lunch Mon-Sat at the Signature Room, 96th floor of the Hancock, $20 for ad lib service, and you go there for the astonishing VIEW of course---the walls are made of glass. (Go to "Chicago restaurant menus" to see regular price---the $20 is a deal.) 2) LB Bistro & Patisserie, Hotel Sheraton, lower level, has a prix-fixe BREAKFAST that allows you to take infinite advantage of all the chef stations---this is a fun option for breakfast.

    1. There is NOTHING like that deal at EMP anywhere, IMO, aside from perhaps the Modern in NYC (Both are Dany Meyer places and both Chefs Beard Award Winners)

      A couple of great lunches I've had in Chicago that you can get for ~$25 would be Blackbird, David Burke Primehouse (a steal,) Cafe Spiaggia, The Gage, and....well, to be fair, it isn't "fancy" but I'd rank Hot Dougs setting, experience, and food over MANY prix fixe meals I've had in LV, LA, NY. :-)

      Hot Doug's
      3324 N California Ave, Chicago, IL 60618

      Cafe Spiaggia
      980 North Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611

      2 Replies
      1. re: uhockey

        Jean Georges has a $29 2 course prix fixe lunch which is every bit as good as EMP. Del Posto has a $29 3 course lunch which is pretty good, but no EMP. The $69 3 course lunch at Le Bernardin is the best value of all, as the food is sublime.

        Here in the Chi, Blackbird offers a $22 3 course lunch during the week, which has limited selections but is a very good value.

        1. re: deesher

          Been to both JG and Le B - and disagree strongly. Both are good (LB is sublime) but dollar for dollar, dish for dish, I'd take EMP over either of the others. YMMV.

          My recs for Chicago still stand, some GREAT lunch bargains out there. Would add Topalobampo to the list, though $25 might be a little lowballing it - in which case, Frontera.

      2. Far from haute cuisine, but one of the better deals downtown is the $25/2 salad/pizza/wine lunch at La Madia. The glass of wine is one of the wines/day, the pizza is prepared in a wood-burning oven and is one of the better Neapolitan versions downtown (their sausage is homemade--our usual choice, but the goat cheese leek we tried the other day was quite good) and the ambience is one of the more relaxing in the area. Also a good place for solos, and there is a $15 special for them, too.,

        1. Chicago has approximately 10-12 restaurants in the top tier of haute cuisine. However, unlike New York, all but one of those restaurants are not open for lunch. The one exception is NoMI, Christophe David's restaurant in the Park Hyatt. Frank Brunacci's Sixteen, in the Trump Hotel, is also open for lunch and is borderline regarding whether you include it in those fine dining restaurants.

          In the next tier of dining are all the "casual fine dining" restaurants. Many of these are open for lunch, including Blackbird, Cafe Spiaggia, Naha, Topolobampo, Vivere, Coco Pazzo, David Burke's Primehouse, and Sunda.

          Just about anywhere you go for lunch, you will pay prices lower than dinner. However, there are often deals and bargains to be had at dinnertime as well. For a discussion of some of the best values to be had in Chicago dining, see the discussion at

          2 Replies
          1. re: nsxtasy

            Thanks everyone. I am taking time off work for an afternoon to go to Blackbird lunch (got some appointment to go to, that fits perfectly) :)

            I am a little diaspointed because
            a) I wont make emp in ny cause they are closed on memorial monday..
            b) most restaurant have no deals on weekends and are closed that monday so it is turning out to be way more difficult to plan our weekend..
            c) sounds like chicago does not run much specials.. probably will have tried them all by the end of the year :)
            oh well! I check out your recs anyway :)
            And will keep my friends in mind.. Groupon did bring me to bonsoiree after all

            1. re: kirikara

              Chicago runs a lot of specials. They just don't consist of lunch deals at our fanciest restaurants. The restaurants in that "30 for $30" article mentioned in the other topic are one great example of specials. For more, I looked up restaurant deals on Metromix for this coming Tuesday and they have 156 deals listed. A lot of those deals offer savings significantly better than the $10-25 amount you'll typically save on or Groupon. Not that those are bad either, especially if they are for places you would be going anyway. But you can find better deals and some of them are for really good places.

              Incidentally, the very best bargain among our high-end chef-driven restaurants is almost certainly the pre-theater prix fixe dinner at Everest, 3 courses for $50 at 5:00/5:30 every day.

          2. If you'e looking for a place for the next 2 weeks, and you're a Rioja fan, this may be of some help: