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Apr 30, 2011 10:24 PM

First time in Chicago from Los Angeles...

I will be in Chicago for 4 days starting May 13th,please give me some ideas of must eat restaurants...thanks

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  1. Here are links to two discussions that will give you an overview of what Chicago has to offer, with specific recommendations of "must eat restaurants". This discussion tells what foods and places are unique or specialties in Chicago, foods that Chicago is particularly good at:

    first time Chicago -

    This discussion has an overview listing some of our best in various food categories, as well as advice for getting the best value for your dining dollar:

    Where are the best Chicago dinner *values* - the hidden gems? -

    After looking at them, you'll probably have more questions about the places mentioned there, so feel free to ask and we'll try to help! Also if you tell us where you'll be staying and/or spending time, we can tell you what's close by and what isn't; like L.A., Chicago is a large city, and even our downtown area extends for as much as three miles from one end to the other. And note that you're only two weeks out and some places are filling up by now, so you'll want to make reservations as soon as possible.

    2 Replies
    1. re: nsxtasy

      If I had to name "must eat" restaurants, they would include:

      Haute Cuisine - Alinea
      Contemporary American - Sable, North Pond, Michael, Inovasi
      Creative Mexican - Mexique, Mundial Cocina Mestiza, Mixteco Grill
      Deep-dish pizza - Lou Malnati's, Pizano's, Uno/Due
      Italian - Cibo Matto, The Florentine
      French bistros - La Sardine, Kiki's Bistro
      Tapas - Mercat a la Planxa
      Breakfast - Walker Brothers, Bongo Room, M. Henry, Jam

      1. re: nsxtasy

        If you asked me where I've had the best dinners in the Chicago area in the past five years, I'd answer: Alinea, Michael, Inovasi, and maybe Deleece (which I should have included in the contemporary American list above).

        By way of comparison, I haven't eaten a lot of places in Los Angeles, but one place I've eaten during that period that I loved as much as those best dinners was Animal.

    2. Here are some of my favorites:
      The Publican
      Frontera Grill
      Table 52
      Chop House

      Hope that helps.

      Avec Restaurant
      615 W Randolph St Ste A, Chicago, IL 60661

      Frontera Grill
      445 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60654

      3 Replies
        1. re: ParisKat

          LOL - That looks like a list of the LOUDEST restaurants in the city! :)

          1. re: nsxtasy

            also look at
            Girl and Goat
            Purple Pig
            North Pond
            Graham Elliott
            Big Star

        2. Check out Kinzie Chophouse! It is one of my favorite neighborhood places! The food is great and the service is unparalled!

          Kinzie Chophouse
          400 N. Wells St., Chicago, IL 60610

          1. Here are my faves:
            The Publican
            The Bristol
            Cafe Spiaggia
            Mercat a la Planxa

            1. My favorites: Alinea, Schwa, Yoshi's Cafe, Avec, Carnivale, Province

              Other famous Chicago places of interest: restaurants of Rick Bayless (specifically Topolobampo, Frontera Grill), restaurants of Tony Mantuano (I like Cafe Spiaggia, Spiaggia, and Terzo Piano; no so much Purple Pig), Uno/due for deep dish, Hot Doug's for interesting hog dog concoctions, gastropupbs (such as Longman and Eagle, Publican)