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Place for great sandwiches or early lunch near Westin Michigan Ave.?

Ingrid Ingrid Nov 9, 2010 02:05 PM

My husband and I are staying at the Michigan Ave. Westin (909 North Michigan Avenue) on Saturday and leaving for the airport on Sunday morning. Our flight leaves from O'Hare at 3:05 pm. I figure to be safe, we should hop on the train by 12:30. Are there any places near our hotel walking distance that has great sandwiches to go for the plane ride? How about any places for an early lunch? Thanks Chowhounders!

  1. nsxtasy Nov 9, 2010 03:34 PM

    You could have lunch at Cafe Spiaggia, which is a block away and opens at 11:30. And if you let you know of your time constraint, I'm sure they could get you through in an hour. However, I'm not sure that that allows enough time. I'm assuming you're planning to walk to the CTA station at Chicago and State (5 minutes walk), taking the Red Line south to Jackson (up to 10 minutes wait for a train, plus 10 minute train ride), walking through the lower-level tunnel to the Blue Line (2-3 minutes), and taking the Blue Line to O'Hare (up to 10 minutes wait for a train, plus 35 minute train ride). Add it up and you've got a trip that may take 1 hour 15 minutes, which means you'll arrive at the O'Hare CTA station at 1:45. Given the time it takes to clear security - it took me 30 minutes a couple of weeks ago, at an off hour - that's cutting it pretty close (even more so if you have to check bags). I would leave the Westin no later than 12:00 noon. And that doesn't allow enough time to lunch at Cafe Spiaggia.

    Here are a couple of alternative suggestions. If you don't have much luggage, you could leave for the airport around 10:00-10:15 a.m. and stop along the way for a nice brunch at a place that's open all morning. For example, Bongo Room is a block from the Damen stop on the CTA Blue Line, and Lula is a block (across the park) from the Logan Square stop on the CTA Blue Line.

    Another possibility - one I often use myself - is to have lunch in the airport itself. My preferred food place at O'Hare is the Wolfgang Puck restaurant with locations in terminals 1 and 3. They have sandwiches and salads available for carry-out as well as various items for dine-in. This way you could play the timing by ear, dining in if you have the time, getting a carry-out if you don't.

    One last possibility is to get sandwiches to go at the Loop location of Pastoral at 53 East Lake. You could take the CTA Red Line to State/Lake, stop at Pastoral, then walk to Clark and Lake to catch the Blue Line to O'Hare.


    1 Reply
    1. re: nsxtasy
      nsxtasy Nov 9, 2010 09:35 PM

      Just a couple more notes, because I just realized you're talking about a Sunday. Bongo Room and Lula both get very busy on Sundays and neither one accepts reservations, so there's a likelihood of a wait to be seated of up to half an hour or so - probably not a great idea. Pastoral opens at 11 on Sundays, which probably works okay with your trip to the airport.

    2. j
      jbw Nov 9, 2010 08:26 PM

      L'Appetito, right across the street at Watertower Place for takeout sandwiches. Opens Sunday at 8:30


      875 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611

      1 Reply
      1. re: jbw
        Chargenda Nov 10, 2010 07:16 AM

        I think their sandwiches are great too! I was going to suggest L'Appetito.

        875 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611

      2. i
        Ingrid Ingrid Nov 15, 2010 06:43 AM

        Thanks for everyone's suggestions, especially nxstasy's breakdown of how long it will take us to get to O'Hare. Yes, that's the route I was thinking of taking. I assumed it would take me about 45 minutes. I'll also be about six months pregnant so will be moving a bit slower than normal. I'll have to adjust my food choices accordingly. Looks like sandwiches from L'Appetito are in order!

        875 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611

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