Foodies travelling to chi-town for a bachelor party!!!
My only responsibility for this bachelor party (8 or so guys), is to choose the restaurants. Dinners on Friday and Saturday, as well as lunch on Saturday. We want an excellent food experience, keeping in mind it will be a large group of guys in bachelor party mode. In other words the atmosphere has to be appropriate for us to have a great meal and not offend the rest f the patrons.
If you are staying in town and the guys are traveling in from out-of-town, you might keep a couple of touristy destinations in your back pocket for a fun lunch alternative, like Portillo's Hot Dogs or Al's Italian Beef. I'm sure one of the natives in your party will have a strong preference.
In addition to some of the other great recommendations (i.e. Publican, Mercat, Carnivale, Nacional 27, and places in Greek town), I would reccomend a classic steakhouse. I think a place like Gibsons - which by its nature is loud and boisterous, would be a perfect place for a dinner. I haven't been to David Burke's but it gets pretty great reviews. I would even suggest Smith and Wollensky - altho a chain - because you can get outdoor seating by the river and it seems to be less "stuffy" when you can dine outdoors. For a Saturday lunch, I'd head down to Bucktown to grab seats at Big Star and have some beer and tacos.
The only place I would hesitate to recommend is Quartino's. I was there for a bachelorette party a couple of weekends ago with 8 girls and it was perfect for us. Lovely portions and the salumi was incredible. Plus liters of wine and bellinis. And the chocolate fondue...... Anyways, I just can't imagine a group of 8 guys out for a night on the town eating there and getting enough of a food base to help soak up the rest of the night out. But I am basing this assumpation on my guy and his guy friends so please take a look of the menus and make a decision based on that.
Have fun and good wishes to the groom!
626 N. State Street, Chicago, IL 60654
325 W. Huron, Chicago, IL 60610
702 West Fulton Market, Chicago, IL 60661
If you really want excellent food in a good atmosphere, you might consider booking the whole pig roast at Mercat a la planxa. Superb creative tapas and I've seen the pig presented and would imagine it would entertain a group of guys out for fun.
We've been lunching frequently at Mercadito (the non-Bayless mexican option in RIver North since the Bayless spots are not quite the right scene I suspect) and the food has been fun - interesting tacos, ceviches, etc and they seem to get quite lively at night.
Also in the same area, Epic for great steaks and a wonderful rooftop cocktail lounge that seems very busy indeed.
Mercat a la Planxa
638 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60605
112 West Hubbard Street, Chicago, IL 60654
108 W. Kinzie, Chicago, IL 60610
I think that Mercadito is a great option. If you are willing to wait a long time for tables than Big Star also works. I would also consider Longman & Eagle for interesting gastropub fare and whiskey although the location is a bit out of the way.
Epic is a good choice if you want a more modern steak house, plus they have a really good scene. If you are looking for a more quintessential steak house then I think Gibsons is your place.
For upscale pub food downtown you might want to consider Bull & Bear and Rockit, both have a good scene and good food.
Bull & Bear
431 N Wells St, Chicago, IL 60654
108 W. Kinzie, Chicago, IL 60610
I believe they are referring to Chinatown. Try Lao Sze Chuan or Double Li for spicy options that won't disappoint. Other good options elsewhere in the city - no need to go to Chi-town if it's not otherwise convenient. Not following the 'Canadian Girls Gone Wild' suggestions. Perhaps I've missed something. If so, sorry!
Lao Sze Chuan
2172 S Archer Ave, Chicago, IL 60616
>> I believe they are referring to Chinatown
>> Perhaps I've missed something
What you may have missed in that other topic is that, IN ADDITION TO their girls party, they asked about a dim sum recommendation, so there was one post about Chinatown. For dim sum, Chinatown is fine, but for a bachelor party, not so much (unless you have a lot of people in a private banquet room). I mean, I love the food at Double Li and Lao Sze Chuan, but what you really want for a bachelor party is a restaurant where you won't be out of place having fun and making a little (or a lot of) noise. There are other places that fit that mold better than the ones in Chinatown.
If I had to recommend only one restaurant above all others for a bachelor party, it would be Sunda. Pan-Asian and sushi are on the menu, and every day of the week, you'll see a crowd having a raucous good time. Some of the other places that are extremely suitable are the ones recommended in both of the links (as well as by chicgail and others below) - Carnivale and Nacional 27 for Latin fusion cuisine, Cafe Iberico and Mercat a la Planxa for tapas, Red Light and Opera for pan-Asian cuisine, Quartino for Italian small plates, all the Greek restaurants in Greek Town, and the Publican for pork and seafood. These are all places where you can celebrate your bachelor party and eat and drink to your heart's content, without standing out or getting stares from other diners. That's why these recommendations - here as well as in the two linked topics - are perfect for the occasion.
I think you'll find recommendations that are exactly what you're looking for in these discussions about girls weekends - places with great food and where you can be a bit noisy/rowdy without upsetting anyone:
5 Canadian Girls Gone Wild in Chicago - http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/603040
Recommendations for Girl's Night Out in Chicago - http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/617007
If you still have questions after reading through those, please feel free to ask and we'll try to help!