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Non-swanky steakhouse downtown?

Will be staying downtown for a summer weekend of baseball games with old buddies and seek advice on a good value steakhouse that's not a swanky joint. I see rave reviews for Jordan's, Burke's and Gibson's, but they seem too upscale for our tastes. We're just looking for a reliable place that serves great steaks in the $30 range. Thanks.

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  1. You're not going to find much in that price range. Wildfire might be your best bet.

    2 Replies
    1. re: camusman

      There's always Ronny's, although you can't be 100% sure their steaks are sourced from cattle:


      1. re: ferret

        hmmmm... Eight bucks for an 8 oz. steak with all the fixins? Their breakfast menu looks great.

    2. There's Wildfire, which bills itself as a 1940s Chicago Supper club.
      Or you might consider Mon Ami Gabi in the Beldon Stratford Hotel on Lincoln Park West. It features steak frites with every imaginable cut and style of steak. It's not exactly downtown, but it's in your price range.

      1. Saloon Steakhouse might work for you guys. And if one of the games is up in Wrigley, you might swing by Tango Sur (Argentine steak house, BYO).

        200 East Chestnut St

        Tango Sur
        3763 North Southport Ave

        2 Replies
        1. re: danimalarkey

          Just worth noting that Tango Sur doesn't take reservations - at least not for parties smaller than 6 - and the wait can be long.

          1. re: chicgail

            verrrrrrrrrrry loooooooooooooooooong

        2. Thanks all for the fine feedback. Just what I was seeking.

          1. Is Ronnys far from the Palmer House? Their breakfast menu looks terrific. Any experience with breakfast there? Thanks again.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Skip30

              Ronny's is walking distance from the Palmer House. But I've never eaten there.

              1. re: Skip30

                I hate to sound like a snob, but Ronny's is disgusting. It's like one of those $1.99 Vegas places of the 70s and 80s.

                You say that Jordan's, Gibson's, etc are "too upscale for your tastes." Do you really mean too much money or are you not sure about the actual dress code/feel of the places.

                If you don't go at least the level of Wildfire, which is jeans and a nice shirt, you will be eating subpar quality steak of the kind that you would get a low-end grocery.

                You don't need to dress up to go to a place like Gibson's--don't wear shorts and tshirts, but jackets are by no means required. The quality of beef and the skill of the broiler-man at the reputable steakhouses is much much much higher than the others.

                1. re: jbontario

                  Thanks for saying what I was reluctant to say, jbontario. Ronny's isn't "like"" one of those $1.99 Vegas places. It is one of those places.

                  Maybe breakfast would be ok there.

                2. re: Skip30

                  I was not trying to send you to Ronnie's. I was hoping my tongue-in-cheek warning about not being sure their steaks were sourced from cattle would be a clue. There are better breakfast spots in the area.

                  A nice cheap option is Cafecito, about a 10-minute walk from your hotel. It's a great Cuban sandwich place that serves terrific breakfast sandwiches and Cuban or regular coffee.


                3. How do the steaks at the Belden and Stratford hotel French bistro restaurant stack up?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Skip30

                    I mentioned them above. The restaurant is Mon Ami Gabi. They are fine. Not great. Not horrible. Not especially French. But they are steaks and they are reasonably priced. And It's the Belden Stratford (no "and").

                  2. Another option that may fit your price range is the Grill Room, which is right downtown on Madison. Not great, but acceptable food especially if you stick to steaks, salads, and other relatively non-fussy preparations. OpenTable is currently running a promotion through Savored where, if you pay $10 upfront & reserve, you get a certificate for 30% off. Here is the link: http://www.opentable.com/percent-off-...

                    That would bring it into your price range.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: masha

                      I think Wildfire will also fall into your price range and if it's a bunch of guys in for a baseball game, this is a great place. Steaks at wildfire more what you're looking for than at Mon Ami Gabi. Grill Room is OK, but at night the place is dead since it's in office land,

                      1. re: jbontario

                        I agree that Wildfire is probably the best fit for the OP. Mon Ami Gabi is a French Bistro, which really does not sound like the vibe that OP is looking for. Discount pricing at Grill Room probably is to drive business to a locale that is otherwise dead at dinner.

                    2. Not too far to the south is Chicago Firehouse Steakhouse. Once our former mayor's favorite hangout for steaks (although with his current pension plan, he can probably now afford better), it may not be the best steak in Chicago but it's within your price range, and quite dependable:


                      1. Sullivan,s is perfect.great steaks and seafood. The bone-in filet is excellent. you get a choice of toppings,I chose the Oscar,which is lump crab meat,asparagus and a bear aisle sauce,was delicious, the sweet and hot fried calamari was good,it had Thai or vietnamese flavors.the potato au gratin was good. The quality was high.they have 28 day aged and 56 day dry aged steaks. The red snapper with plum sauce was very good.the prices are reasonable, I like this place better than Jordan's,diktats,gibsons etc. it's right up the block from house of blues.