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Itinerary opinions please.

I will in Chicago for the first time at the end of May for a couple of days and have the following planned. Please let me know what you think.

Day 1 – Lunch –Pizzeria Uno (looking for Chicago deep-dish)
Dinner – Fronterra

Day 2 – Lunch – Purple Pig (how long are the wait times at lunch?)
Dinner – Hub 51 or Sunda

Day 3 – Lunch - ?
Dinner - Japonais (work function)

I am staying in the N Michaigan Ave & E Huron St. area. Can you recommend some great breakfast spots, even ones to grab a coffee & snack. Where can you recommend for lunch on Thursday serving food that Chicago is known for. Is Japonais similar to Sunda?

Thanks!

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  1. For breakfast, Bar Toma is nearby and opens at 8 a.m.; there is very good espresso and decent pastries. Hendricx Belgian Bakery has excellent pastries.
    For Thursday lunch, you could walk a few blocks to Portillo's for an Italian Beef or a Chicago hot dog.

    1. Sunda and Japonais are very similar. If you're going to Japonais, I would skip Sunda.

      Lunch around MIchigan & Huron - why don't you stop into Portillos for an Italian Beef or Chicago-style hot dog? Italian beef should be ordered "wet" with sweet and hot peppers. A combo (that includes an Italian sausage is also a good option.

      7 Replies
      1. re: chicgail

        Could you please tell us about yourself and your food interests? I think we could come up with more exciting options for dinner on day 2.

        1. re: GourmetWednesday

          I love all food, unfortunately my husband is not much of a foodie. He's a steak and potatoes guy, he recently was open enough to try sushi! We are looking for a restaurant that is vibrant, fun and won't break the bank. We're in our mid 30's.

          1. re: katbri

            For Purple Pig you should go right when they open at 11:30 or for a late lunch around 2 to avoid long waits.

            For Day 2 dinner Hub51 and Sunda are fine just not really the best Chicago has to offer...have you thought about Italian maybe? You could check out Piccolo Sogno or Cafe Spiaggia. Or Quartino for less expensive small plate Italian. I would strongly recommend reservations for any of these options.

            1. re: PHXeater

              Not a huge fan of going out for an Italian meal, I grew up on that food. Any other restuarants that you can recommend.

              1. re: katbri

                Sable might be an option. With moderate drinking you should be able to get out of there for $120 total. It's not the most steak and potatoes meal but I think there's plenty there for your husband.

                Might be more than you wanted to spend but maybe MK? Naha? If you're willing to venture outside of the area you're staying in that will open up some more options, so let us know how far you're willing to travel (10-15 minutes by cab?)

              2. re: PHXeater

                If hubby is a meat and potatoes guy and just tried sushi for the first time, Japonais may be plenty for him. Sunda may be pushing it.
                What about Le Sardine, a charming French bistro in the West Loop? www.lesardine.com

              3. re: katbri

                Carnivale might fit that bill. It's Latin focused (more South Am than Mexico. but they have great guacamole). Creative and flavorful presentations and there are at least three steak options on the menu every night. It's fun and lively and not that expensive. In West Loop/East Fulton Market.

          2. In immediate vicinity of Michigan & Huron you can get breakfast at Corner Bakery (St Clair & Erie) or Elephant & Castle (St Clair & Huron). A ten-minute stroll and you have Eggsperience at Dearborn & Ontario. Corner Bakery is more coffee-and-rollish while Elephant & Castle is a pub that does a full English breakfast. Eggsperience is the full line of egg dishes, pancakes, waffles et al. For a very fun breakfast, the Hotel Sheraton (on the river, walk down from Michigan) , LB Bistro & Patisserie has a prix-fixe breakfast that gives you ad lib entree to a number of chef stations that have everything.--lots of crepes and omelets done to order, fruit & yogurt parfaits, excellent pastry--- and they bring a liter thermal pitcher of coffee and leave it on the table, an endearing service.