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I'm visiting Chicago, where to eat?

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My turn to be a tourist! I'm coming from San Francisco and am visiting Chicago for the second time. What's going on in Chicago's food scene that I should check out? I've got a reservation at Trotter, and I've already been to Graham Elliot and Hot Doug's, as well as a myriad of pizza and hot dog places. What else should I eat? My ceiling for the rest of my meals is $100 per person per meal, that's including dessert and perhaps two glasses of wine. My preference is for something that I can only get in Chicago, but not pizza or hot dogs. If there happens to be some kickass dirt-cheap place, then I would make that a must-try. Paper napkins and plastic flatware okay.

Recommendations?

Thanks in advance.

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  1. Try an Italian beef at Al's on Taylor or Portillo's.
    An Italian sub at Graziano's or Bari.
    Great taco scene; try Tierra Caliente or La Chaparrita #1.
    Delicious Mexican stews: Goat at Birrieria Zaragoza or Carne en su jugo at Taqueria los Gallos #2

    1 Reply
    1. re: camusman

      Yah I saw that Italian beef came up a lot in other threads as a quintessential Chicago food. I didn't know that; that's definitely on my list now. Thanks!

    2. Some of the best venues I have dined in recently where you can have a nice meal with drinks for under $100 would be Sola, iNG, Girl & the Goat and Mexique. These represent a nice contrast of styles of cuisine too (Hawaiian Fusion, Molecular Gastronomy, Nose-to-Tail and Mexican). Longman & Eagle (Michelin starred, but relatively inexpensive) is nice too. If you really want to go cheap, Sun Wah BBQ is something to consider; be sure to reserve their pekin duck (you have to order it at least a day in advance).

      1 Reply
      1. re: Gonzo70

        Ooh, molecular gastronomy? There's very little of that in SF. I love San Francisco's food scene, I think I might even prefer it to New York's, but there's no arguing that San Francisco's diners don't have very broad palates, at least compared to NY and perhaps Chicago. SF people get defensive about it, but there's some truth to David Chang's "fig-on-a-plate" comment, and Nate Appleman's "tripe-in-a-bowl" remark. On the other hand, we probably have the highest ingredient quality in the entire world, so why get in the way. Either way, definitely going to give iNG a look.