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Visiting Chicago for a few days...what to eat?

s
sarcasmsk Sep 2, 2010 08:01 AM

I'm going to Chicago for a convention at McCormick Center and want to start thinking about where I will go eat. I have 3 full days, so I want to make the best of them.

Ideally breakfast and lunch places will be in that general area (someone else is planning our hotel, so I don't know where I'll be staying). Dinner I don't mind a bit of travel (few miles)

Breakfast places - either real popular or specialize in a particular item or two
Lunch - love a great sandwich shop or a hidden find
Dinner - I want to experience Chicago at all ends...My top 3 places I want to go at the moment are Alinea, Graham Elliot, and Table FiftyTwo. Please let me know if I'm being way too obvious.

I also love burgers. Please let me know the best burger (or top 3 since I know it's always a big debate)
Would love something very "typical Chicago" ...don't need pizza suggestions as I've had it a few times.
Is Hot Doug's worth the trip?

Thanks in advance,

-Scott

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Alinea
1723 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60614

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

Graham Elliot
217 W. Huron Street, Chicago, IL 60654

  1. nsxtasy Sep 2, 2010 08:53 AM

    >> Ideally breakfast and lunch places will be in that general area (someone else is planning our hotel, so I don't know where I'll be staying).

    There is virtually nothing within a half mile of the convention center, other than the unremarkable food in the convention center itself and the adjoining Hyatt hotel. Chinatown is about 3/4 mile away and has some good Chinese restaurants (I recommend Double Li and Lao Sze Chuan for Szechuan food).

    >> Breakfast places - either real popular or specialize in a particular item or two

    Go to Bongo Room for specialty pancakes, like their pretzel pancakes with white chocolate caramel sauce. The location at Roosevelt and Wabash is halfway between McCormick Place and the Loop.

    >> Dinner - I want to experience Chicago at all ends...My top 3 places I want to go at the moment are Alinea, Graham Elliot, and Table FiftyTwo. Please let me know if I'm being way too obvious.

    Alinea is a great choice for high-end haute cuisine; call them the first day of the month two months in advance for reservations (e.g. call them September 1 for November reservations). Graham Elliot is good for contemporary American food, although we have many additional good choices in that category. I haven't been to Table Fifty-Two (primarily because I haven't been overwhelmed by their menu), and you'll need to reserve well in advance as well. I also would not choose two casual fine dining American restaurants for a three-day visit. To provide some culinary diversity, I would add something like Topolobampo or Mexique for Mexican, Mercat a la Planxa for tapas, Red Light for pan-Asian, or some other type of food.

    >> I also love burgers. Please let me know the best burger (or top 3 since I know it's always a big debate)

    Read the discussion at http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/382781

    >> Would love something very "typical Chicago" ...don't need pizza suggestions as I've had it a few times.

    See the discussion at http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/693477

    >> Is Hot Doug's worth the trip?

    You mean, is it worth a $25 cab ride (each way) PLUS the 90-minute wait in line once you get there? IMHO, absolutely NOT.

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