Coming to Chicago in Sept. How are my plans?
We're coming in late on a Thursday, staying at the newer Trump hotel. We were planning on just grabbing a quick bite at the hotel sushi bar (name?) that night.
Friday - lunch at Topolobampo (reserved)
dinner at David Burke's (reserved)
Saturday lunch -?
dinner - Naha (reserved)
dinner - The Girl and the Goat (reserved)
1. We want a Chicago hot dog, but don't want to spend two hours waiting at Hot Doug's, I've heard Portillos Franks, and/or Al's Beef n' Dogs are near my hotel and would be fine for a dog (or an Italian Beef sandwich). Is this true?
2. We want to see a musician on Saturday night (local boy Jon Langford of mekons fame) at Quencher's. How far away is that from the hotel? Does anyone know what time their shows start?
3. Is it still worth going to Pizzaria Uno or Due for lunch one day?
4. How far away is Girl and the Goat from our hotel?
5. Any other lunch suggestions (we'll be going to the museums during the day mostly), and breakfast musts?
6. Any other must eats late on Thursday instead of the hotel sushi bar?
7. Would I feel out of place at any of the places we are planning on going to with a nice shirt, and nice pair of jeans?
Thanks in advance, can't wait to experience your city for the first time!
3324 N California Ave, Chicago, IL 60618
445 N Clark St., Chicago, IL 60610
500 North Clark St., Chicago, IL 60610
7132 183rd St, Tinley Park, IL 60477
Thanks for all the suggestions, we're really looking forward to our visit. I have a pair of black "jeans" that are sort of denim, but no one thinks they are. They are my usual go to when I need something other than blue jeans. I'll make sure I pack them. Thankfully here in Boston, only a small handful of places would require anything nicer than a nice pair of jeans and dress shirt. I'm a t-shirt and jeans guy usually, but I clean up nice! ;~)
Your plans sound great, and there are good comments in the replies above! Here are a few more.
>> 1. We want a Chicago hot dog, but don't want to spend two hours waiting at Hot Doug's, I've heard Portillos Franks, and/or Al's Beef n' Dogs are near my hotel and would be fine for a dog (or an Italian Beef sandwich). Is this true?
Go to Portillo's. It's a 5-10 minute walk from your hotel.
>> 2. We want to see a musician on Saturday night (local boy Jon Langford of mekons fame) at Quencher's. How far away is that from the hotel? Does anyone know what time their shows start?
Quencher's is at Fullerton (2400N in Chicago's numbering grid) and Western (2400W), which is about three miles west and three miles north. Allow 20 minutes by cab. For showtimes, check the calendar on their website at www.quenchers.com by clicking on LISTEN / TO MUSIC.
>> 3. Is it still worth going to Pizzaria Uno or Due for lunch one day?
Yes, absolutely. And it's only a couple of blocks from your hotel. Lou Malnati's is good too but there's no reason to walk the extra 10+ minutes when Uno and Due are so close. Phone ahead with your pizza order to avoid waiting 30-45 minutes while there for your pizza to bake.
>> 4. How far away is Girl and the Goat from our hotel?
It's a bit over a mile (Google says 1.3 miles), so the 30 minute walk mentioned above is accurate. I would take a cab unless the weather is nice and you don't mind the walk.
>> 5. Any other lunch suggestions (we'll be going to the museums during the day mostly), and breakfast musts?
For lunch near the Art Institute, if you want your pizza lunch then, Pizano's has a location on Madison. Park Grill, at the entrance to Millennium Park, is very good for burgers, salads, and other American food. The Gage is a nearby gastropub.
A breakfast "must" is Bongo Room; it's further south, at Wabash and Roosevelt, near the Field Museum of Natural History, Aquarium, and Planetarium. They specialize in unusual pancakes with sauces, such as their pretzel pancakes with white chocolate caramel sauce. Tip: The standard portion size is three GIGANTIC pancakes, but you can also get one-third and two-thirds portion sizes at reduced prices, which lets you try more than one dish.
For breakfast recommendations near your hotel, see this discussion:
River North Breakfast Ideas - http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/693985
>> 6. Any other must eats late on Thursday instead of the hotel sushi bar?
Quartino, mentioned above, is a good choice. Beware of long waits for seating at the no-reservations Purple Pig. Cafe Iberico is a bit further from the hotel and has good tapas.
>> 7. Would I feel out of place at any of the places we are planning on going to with a nice shirt, and nice pair of jeans?
Burke's, Naha, and the Girl and the Goat are all "business casual" type places. I agree with the above comment that jeans would be a bit too casual. Khaki "Dockers" would be about as casual as I would recommend.
Enjoy your visit!
Sounds like a great list!
#1- Portillos is good and close by- and if you want to try an Italian beef you could try it there too.
#3- I definitely would have some Chicago pizza while you're here. Uno Due or Gino's are all within a short walk. I prefer Gino's but everyone has a different opinion.
#4- The Girl and the Goat is a short cab ride away- it will take less than 10 minutes to get over there
#6- Other late night eats in the area- The Purple Pig- small plates, on Michigan Ave but really delicious, Quartino- small plates Italian- average food, but fun place, Hub 51- they have sushi, tacos and lots of other things, but it's surprisingly good. Take a look at the menus and see what you think but the Pig is the most unique, chowhound type place of the three
#7- I don't think so. Naha is the nicest of the list - so there will be men in sportscoats there, but I think there's people who wear jeans too.
626 N. State Street, Chicago, IL 60654
500 North Clark St., Chicago, IL 60610
Nice selection of places you've reserved already.
About the hot dog: I've never thought Hot Dougs was worth the wait, especially for a "Chicago Hot Dog." Portillo's serves a dog as good as they get.
I don't recommend the franchised Al's Beef in River North for anything. If you want a beef in that neighborhood I suggest Mr. Beef on Orleans.
If you're coming to town before Labor Day, a trip to the one and only original Al's on Taylor St. for a beef and an Italian ice from Mario's (across the street from Al's) would probably be an enjoyable jaunt.
If you're visiting the "Museum Campus" where the Field Museum, Adler Planetarium of Shedd Acquarium are located ... there's a very good hot dog cart selling classic "Chicago-Style" hot dogs ... located between the Shedd and Field, and the panoramic vista of the Downtown skyline and Monroe Harbor that you'll see while you eat your dog is one of the best in all of Chicago.
Pizzeria Uno or Due would be a classic tourist stop, and you might enjoy it. I don't. I prefer Lou Malnati's on Wells St., also an easy walk from your hotel - probably 10-minutes, to the west.
Girl and the Goat is probably a 30 minute walk west of your hotel. It's maybe a 10-minute ride in a taxi. A glowing, 3 star, review from the Chicago Tribune food critic appears in today's paper, which you can search for to read online.
There are so many lunch and restaurant possibilities in the neighborhoods near to your hotel it's not easy to make recommendations without knowing more about you.
An excellent sandwich shop is Pastoral at Lake St. and Wabash Ave., maybe a 5 minute walk to the south from your hotel. Good breads, meats and cheeses.
Shaw's is an excellent seafood place within a 5 minute walk to the north of the hotel.
If you enjoy your lunch at Topolo you could return to Xoco next door for a less expensive and quicker service, and sit in the pleasant outdoor patio area. Xoco has some breakfast items, also (and opens at 7 or 7:30 a.m.).
Steve's Deli on Hubbard just west of Orleans (no more than a 10-minute walk to the NW of your hotel) is a good and casual breakfast, lunch or dinner spot - a "Jewish-style" Deli.
The Ohio House Restaurant at LaSalle and Ohio St., is a lunch favorite of mine - a truly unique spot in the area. Some of the best and most inexpensive home-style breakfasts in the area are found there, as well. Come as you are! It's less than a 10 minute walk NW of your hotel.
Lots and lots of opportunities.
About dress code: I think jeans of any sort are out of place for the better restaurants where you've made reservations.
Enjoy the visit!