My college friends are coming to Chicago
A bunch of my college friends are coming to Chicago, and most have never been here. I want to take them for the best pizza, and the best Chicago Hot dog. I also want to to go to a great steakhouse the last night they are in town. Any suggestions? I was thinking of taking the architecture tour of the sky scrapers by bus. Is there anything else anyone can recommend, they will be here Friday night until Monday morning.
The architectural tour from the boats is much better than the bus--of course the weather will be more of a factor.
Spring for a cab and hit Hot Doug's for a variety of dogs--beware--they've just got a bunch of new publicity and it will be more ridiculous than usual. Otherwise hit Wiener's Circle (2622 N. Clark Street--try Google) after you've had a few and if it's late enough you'll have a (non) memorable experience.
I'm not a big fan of Chicago stuffed pizza, but Pequod's on Clybourn (http://pequodspizza.com/
)is pretty classic. I like New York style from D'agastino's (http://ogden.dagsdelivers.com/zgrid/themes/753/portal/index.jsp) I go to the one near Wrigley Field on Addison, but there's one closer to your hotel on Ogden. No frills Italian.
For steak, you're going to shell some bucks. nsxtasy's idea of David Burke's is probably on the mark (I usually buy my steaks and take care of myself) but if I was going to spend that kind of money and want a 'Chicago' experience, I'd probably try to deal with the mafia at Gene & Georgetti (http://www.geneandgeorgetti.com/).
Oh yeah, don't forget to hit the Billy Goat Tavern (http://www.billygoattavern.com/home.html) before you pass out.
Well, I agree about taking the boat tour vs the bus... but not much else, LOL! You'll find info about the tours at www.architecture.org
Don't waste your time and money on going to Hot Doug's, especially if you're just looking for a Chicago-style hot dog. You'll spend $30-40 on cabs round trip, only to find yourself waiting 90-120 minutes in line - and unfortunately that's NOT an exaggeration - for sausages that are nothing special IMHO. Even Weiner's Circle, which is good, isn't worth the trip when you can walk to Portillo's for authentic Chicago-style dogs.
I'm also not a fan of Pequod's and their burnt crust style pizza. For a true "classic", you can go to Uno and Due, which are still operating in their original locations where they started deep-dish in 1943 and 1955. But again, you can save yourself the walk; you're getting virtually the same thing at Pizano's, which was started by a member of the Malnati family who worked at Uno and Due for years along with his father, one of the principal players in the restaurants' early decades. Get New York style pizza when you're in New York or elsewhere; when you're in Chicago, enjoy our delicious local specialty of deep-dish pizza, which you can't get anywhere else.
And Billy Goat is okay for the "shtick" but there are lots of places where you can get a better burger (including all those steakhouses).
Then for pizza, I recommend Pizano's on State, only a couple of blocks from the hotel, for our famous deep-dish pizza. www.pizanoschicago.com
For a steakhouse, my favorite is David Burke's Primehouse, which is about half a mile from the Westin. They dry age their meats and they are superb. www.davidburkesprimehouse.com However, if you want to stay closer to the hotel, Saloon is very good too and only a block away. www.saloonsteakhouse.com
Don't know what's around the hotel for Chicago-style hot dogs. Portillo's is my usual pick but their nearest location, on Ontario, is about half a mile away. www.portillos.com