Any places open on July 4th?
My boyfriend will be in town over the long weekend, and we're looking for places to eat for lunch and dinner on July 4th. In or close to downtown is preferable, but willing to drive to other neighborhoods for good food. Also, we're mainly looking for cheap eats and more or less casual mid-range restaurants. Just nothing too fancy. Any suggestions would be appreciated!
I went to opentable.com, entered July 4th at 7:30 pm, selected the lowest price range ($$) and the neighborhoods closes to "downtown" (Gold Coast / Streeterville, River North, Downtown/Loop, West Loop, River West, and South Loop) and I came up with 52 choices. And those are the close ones.
I'm not a fan of Taste of Chicago. The good stuff isn't there. There is a lot of pizza, ribs, turkey legs and fried stuff. There may be some interesting food, but good luck finding it. Plus you'll wind up eating it walking around in the crowd or sitting on the ground by the path. And for what it is, it's not especially inexpensive. I think your money is much better spent elsewhere. Tickets are sold in strips of 12 for $8. Large items are generally 9-10 tickets, side portions 6-7 tickets, soft drinks 4 tickets. Beer is more.
You probably want to try pan style Chicago Pizza. Pizano's is a good choice. Or go to the original: Unos or Dues on Ohio (NOTHING like the chain or the frozen pizza by the same name) or to Lou Malnati's (all three are family related, reliable and good.) For a Chicago hotdog or Italian Beef, Portillos does a decent job.
Don't miss stopping at a Garrett's Popcorn for a snack. Locals tend to favor the caramel/cheese corn mix. There are several outlets in different locations.
619 N Wabash Ave, Chicago, IL 60611
Pizano's Pizza & Pasta
864 N State St, Chicago, IL 60610
100 W Ontario St, Chicago, IL 60654
625 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL
This is great advice.
As for Taste of Chicago, if you're in the Loop anyway, it's easy (and free) to walk in and check it out. But I wouldn't skip any dinners to go there, that's for sure. I went there a few days ago and tried things from a dozen booths. With one exception, they ranged from just okay to dreadful (there were a couple of things I took one bite and threw out). The exception was Lao Sze Chuan, the well-known restaurant from Chinatown, appearing at Taste of Chicago for the first time. They were serving their dry chili chicken, and it was every bit as wonderful as at the restaurant. Warning, this dish is very hot (spicy)!
>> I went to opentable.com, entered July 4th at 7:30 pm, selected the lowest price range ($$) and the neighborhoods closes to "downtown" (Gold Coast / Streeterville, River North, Downtown/Loop, West Loop, River West, and South Loop) and I came up with 52 choices. And those are the close ones.
Looking at that same list on Opentable, places I'd recommend include Balsan (Mediterranean), Carnivale (Latin fusion), Coco Pazzo Cafe (Italian), the Gage (gastropub), and Quartino (Italian small plates).
Are you looking for anything specific? - For Chicago Style pizza I would check out Pizano's in the Loop - http://www.pizanoschicago.com/loop.html
For a good sampling of what Chicago has to offer check out the Taste of Chicago - http://www.explorechicago.org/city/en... - many Chicago restaurants will have booths to sample their dares -
Pizano's Pizza & Pasta
61 E Madison St, Chicago, IL 60603