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Apr 28, 2012 06:38 AM

Chicago/Oakbrook Terrace Trip - Summer - Need Ideas!

Hi Everyone:

We will be visiting Chicago this summer (Saturday, Sunday, Monday) and need ideas. Looking for cheap/inexpensive places that are must-do's. Will be celebrating an 18th Birthday and he wants to go to 'must-do's.'

Saturday - Need a dinner place in Oakbrook Terrace as we will be staying there

Sunday - Will be at the Cubs game at 1:20pm. Lunch at Wrigley - need the must do's. Then, need a dinner place either in Chicago, en route to Oakbrook Terrace or in Oakbrook Terrace

Monday - Will do the Navy Pier and Downtown Chicago. Need a lunch place around Pier/Downtown and dinner either in Chicago, en route to Oakbrook Terrace or in Oakbrook Terrace

Chicago Pizza place is not a must but an option. Do we go to Superdawg just for the experience or better else where? Any snack places or food trucks that are just killer?

I am a total foodie and looking for as much feedback as I can possibly get!!!

Thank You All!

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  1. Get more specific on what kinds of foods you like or want to try. Maybe things that are not readily available in your current area? Also, what do you consider cheap/inexpensive?

    For dinner in Oak Brook on Saturday, without knowing what you like, or want to try:
    Giordanos for a small stuffed pizza, BUT ALSO, get a small thin or extra thin crust pizza.

    Reza's for Persian food. I'd suggest the grilled mushrooms, vegetarian shami, the standard dippy apps (baba G/ hummus) and the grilled dark meat chicken kababs.

    If you have a car, and you wanna get down and dirty with some hole in the wall Indian / Pakistani food out that way, there is a joint named Desi Grill in Lombard that can sling out some really great food if you catch them on the right day. It is a DIVE.

    You can also get your Chicago Dog / Italian Beef fix at a Portillo's out that way.
    Those would be my cheap/ inexpensive must do's out in Oakbrook, however, if you get specific as to what kind of food you want to get, I think you'll get better answers.

    For 18 yr old cheap boy food, if you have a car, I'd try to stop at Las Asadas on Western before the Cubs game for steak tacos, if you both like steak. You also might want to get a beef at Mr Beef on Orleans (Mr Beef is a touristy Must Do type of joint, I'd say.)

    Snack Places- Garret's Popcorn, joints up on devon for bhel puri, maybe a sub sandwich, Chinatown, a jibarito, bahn mi, sweets??? What are you looking for?

    One thing I'd try to put on your list is Korean BBQ if you have never had it before -but again, without knowing what you like, or want to try, who knows?

    If you can, do everything in your power to NOT eat a meal at Navy Pier. Get offsite.

    So, what kinds of foods do you want?

    6 Replies
    1. re: gordeaux

      Thank you for all of the ideas!!! Cheap/Inexpensive is $10 - $15 bucks per person.

      Would like to try places that are area landmarks/must dos. No need for Fast Food places unless there is a must do that is just in Chicago.

      No Asian food. We love Mexican Food. We will have a car so will be able to travel a bit.

      Do you think its better to eat lunch before Wrigley or at Wrigley? I'm sure the prices are insane in the park but, if there is a must do.

      We won't be going to Chinatown or doing Persian food...18 year old is kinda picky.

      Sub/sandwich places are good along with 1 hot dog place, Italian beef, any of that.

      Snacks - sweets, popcorn and 1 ice cream place is a must!


      1. re: wkbdgrl1223

        OK -
        Picky 18 yr old
        Love Mexican food.
        No Asian Food (tho I still think Korean BBQ might surprise the hell out of you, but whatevs)
        10 - 15 per person.

        Before the Cubs game, I'd still hit Las Asadas for lunch. Please get some steak tacos. It's basically a taqueria. You can still get some overpriced bad snacks at Wrigley at the game.

        Beef Sandwich and a Chicago hot dog are going to be fast food joints that you can only get in Chicago. Mr Beef on Orleans is kind of a "landmark." Al's on Taylor st. is also a landmark, with an added bonus of being able to get an italian ice at Marios.

        How does Greektown strike you? It's completely on the way between the places you'll be and pretty landmarky for Chicago. Flaming cheese, gyros, roasted chicken? There are several Greek restaurants in the area, I don't think I can comment on which is best.

        Superdawg is kind of a hike, you'll have to decide. I'm not a big hot dog lover, so I wouldn't even consider going unless the kid had his heart set on it.

        You might want to check on Ed Debevic's or Dick's Last Resort as Chicago landmarks more for the novelty than the food.

        So, I'd lean towards pizza, italian beef, chicago hot dogs on the Oakbrook side, then Mexican, novelty-ish, and Greektown on the Chicago side? Although, Mr Beef, and Al's on taylor would be great choices for a beef as well. And to be even more wishy washy - the "original" pizza joints on the city are fine choices as well for Chicago landmarky choices. Uno, Due, Lou Malnatis. I still think I'd get Pizza out of the way at Giordanos in Oakbrook for dinner the first night. Ok -

        Dinner in Oak Brook on Saturday: Pizza. There is a Giordano's on Cermak (22nd) if nothing else. I'd get a small stuffed, but also a small thin or ultra thin crust to try as well.

        Sunday: Lunch at Las Asadas on Western Ave on the way to the game. Get steak tacos. The barbacoa is good as well, but the fire grilled steak is why I go. When at Wrigley, get a dog or something. (If you wanna get sneaky, seek out a sub place to stop at and bring it in the park. Sunday though, options might be limited. Bari on Grand ave is an idea for a sub.)

        Sunday dinner - Superdawg?

        Monday - Lunch I don't know too much around the pier. I was thinking if you were going to the pier from Oakbrook, stopping en route at Mr Beef on Orleans or Al's on Taylor would work for you.

        Monday Dinner - Greektown for flaming cheese, gyros, and whatnot. Perhaps Dick's Last Resort or Debevic's? I'd choose Greektown on the possibility of better food, but Debevic's and Dick's are definitely "scenes."

        If you can hit a garrett's popcorn location, do it.
        For ice cream, I'm clueless.

        Just some quick thoughts for you. Hopefully others have some better ideas too.

        1. re: gordeaux

          Okay so we will be able to key some things in now. Saturday for dinner we will def do Giordanos in Oakbrook for dinner.

          Sunday before the Cubs game, Las Asadas sounds good to me. We love authentic tacos and this will be perfect. Would rather just get a snack at the game if needed.

          I'm fine going out of the way for Superdawg but, only if that is a total must do as far as Chicago Dogs go. Know anything about The Weiners Circle? Worth a bother?

          Monday for lunch, Italian Beef joint will probably be the way to go. Is there one that is in the downtown area that is a must do?

          Monday for dinner I'm still not sure. My only concern with Greek is the 18 year old. Is there another good dinner place en route to Oakbrook or in Oakbrook? BBQ maybe?

          Will certainly try to find a Garrett's Popcorn Location for a snack on Monday. Are there many of them in the Downtown/Navy Pier area?

          Would love at least 1 idea for Ice Cream from anyone. Does Chicago have an ice cream speciality - creamy whip, custard, anything??

          Thank you again...I love your feedback

          1. re: wkbdgrl1223

            The Superdawg / Weiner's Circle thing is gonna be totally up to you.



            Beef place in downtown area:

            Mr Beef on Orleans st. famous / landmarky

            Portillos on Ontario st. very respectable chain. VERY respectable. Fries are very ho-hum, but the onion rings are good.

            You can get a Chicago dog at both joints.

            Monday Dinner. BBQ. I would have suggested Honky Tonk for you, but they are closed on Mondays. Smoque also. Closed on Mondays. Barn And Company also closed. I think I see a pattern here - lol.

            Smoke Daddy on Division is open - I've never been.


            Fat Willy's rib shack is open - I've never been.


            Both bbq joints are very easy access from 90/94.

            Garrett's popcorn has several locations that I would assume would be convenient for you in the downtowny area. Their website is kinda wonky right now, but look them up. Try the Chicago Mix if it looks good to you.


            For Ice cream, I'm sorry. I just don't have much intel. Not a big ice cream eater. For novelty's sake, there is I Cream- a place that makes your ice cream for you right on the spot - no idea if it's good or just a novelty.


            1. re: gordeaux

              Thank You again for all of your input. Do you think any of those BBQ places are a do not miss? If so, I would be fine with doing BBQ on Monday night for dinner and Chicago Hot Dog for dinner on Monday. I am not a hot dog eater but, obviously we need to make a stop at one of the locations. I feel as if I may be leaning more towards going out to Superdawg but we will see.

              I've heard a lot about the Chicago mix Garrett's popcorn so we will put that on our list for sure.

              I will look further for ice cream or see if any one else responds on that.

              Thank you so much for all of your feedback. As I put more of the trip in stone, I will update.


              1. re: wkbdgrl1223

                Smoque is pretty awesome.
                Honky Tonk is too. If you are interested in Texas Que, smoque is a do not miss.

    2. There is a Portillo's just west of Oakbrook Terrace on Butterfield. There is also a Labriola Bakery restaurant on Butterfield in Lombard...they have great burgers. Also a DMK Burger Bar on Butterfield. If you want to venture into fine dining, you could try Vie in Western Springs (about 10 minutes from OB Terrace).

      3 Replies
      1. re: dulcie54

        Thank you for the suggestions! Any Ice Cream places in the area that are must dos?

        1. re: wkbdgrl1223

          For ice cream I can't think of anything that will knock your socks off. It's not a Chicago-specific item, but Culver's has great frozen custard. The local chain, Oberweis, is very good, but it doesn't reinvent the wheel.

          If you want a unique Chicago experience then I'd suggest swinging by Taylor street (pretty much on the way to/from Western suburbs, including Oak Brook) for Mario's Italian ice. They're a local institution and right across the street from Al's Italian Beef.

          1. re: ferret

            Perfect! Custard is great and we don't have any of that where we live. And, a local institution of Italian Ice is just what we are looking for. Local is key. Thank you!