RESTAURANTS NEAR N WATER ST CHICAGO SHERATON
There is a fun breakfast place right at the Sheraton, the LB Bistro & Patisserie on the lower level. It's set up with chef stations and for one price, about $20, you can visit forever all the omelets, fruits, crepes, skillets, and pastries your heart desires. And this is nice: they put a quart thermal pot of coffee on the table and leave it there.
Cabs around the city are not very expensive, you can get from Sheraton to most neighborhoods in under $20 and everything in River North, Randolph Street/West Loop, Gold Coast are less than $10 in a cab.
The following are all walkable or less than $10 in a cab and mid-range.
New places that I really like: Slurping Turtle, Au Cheval, Roka Akor.
Recent places (more than one year, less than 5) that I really like: Sable Kitchen (maybe more for the great cocktails), Davanti Enoteca (a few minutes further in Little Italy), The Gage.
Will she have a car? If not, the CTA system should make most recommendations accessible that aren't within walking distance.
What kind of food/price range is she looking for?
Edit: Fox & Obel is just around the corner from the Sheraton. Great prepared foods if she needs a quick breakfast or lunch. Or, just read this thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/707224
thanks for the link. she won't have a car which is why i asked about restaurants near the hotel. i didn't mention type of food or price because that isn't relevant. she'll eat most anything & her company is covering costs(for the most part).
again, thanks. the list on the link gives her a pretty wide range to choose from.
One omission from nsxtasy's list would be Purple Pig which is only a few blocks from the Sheraton. Also, keep in mind that thread was from May 2010. There are undoubtedly new restaurants, and there are definitely restaurants that are just a quick bus/taxi ride away from her hotel (i.e. GT Fish & Oyster, Spiaggia, etc.).
It might be worthwhile for her to get a CTA pass (3day = $14, 7day = $23) which allows unlimited bus/train rides. That would open up her options to the not so close places on the other side of the river such as Girl and the Goat, Blackbird, Publican, etc.
A quick browse through the rest of the Chicago board should yield a solid list of recommendations that will far exceed your wife's five day stay. :)