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May 30, 2012 12:25 PM

Chicago Bound

I'm going to Chicago at the end of June to celebrate turning 50 (yes...this is a celebration!). We are staying toward the south loop - one day will be spend at Chinatown/Navy Pier, one at the art museum, one at the zoo and of course another shopping! I need some feedback on some good, cheap, local restaurants. (a couple meals I don't mind paying a little more) Make sure you give me some ideas for Chicago pizza. Thanks for your help!

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  1. Hi, may I ask that you take a cruise through this board which would provide a response. I'm sure we'll all gladly make some more crisp remarks once you've narrowed down your request.

    5 Replies
    1. re: jbontario

      I'm big on going with local restaurants vs. chains and love all kinds of food. Would like a recommendation for a place in Chinatown, in Little Italy, a restaurant around the Art Museum and also somewhere around the Oak Street Beach or Zoo. Would like to try a Chicago Dog and like I said in earlier post Chicago Style Pizze.

      1. re: cinemb

        A number of the better pizza places are local chain like Lou Malnatis, Pizanos, Giordanos, and Bacinos. There is also the birth place of Chicago Style pizza Pizzeria Uno and its sister restaurant Due - not to be confused with Uno Chicago Pizza chain even though the chain is based on Unos - There is a Pizzano near the Art Institute -

        1. re: weinstein5

          Thank you! I'm counting down the days....

        2. re: cinemb

          The Italian roast beef sandwich with peppers is also not to be missed. Luke's at 215 W. Jackson is convenient if you're staying in the south loop.

          1. re: Big Easy

            Max's on Adams is far better (I had Lukes for lunch today).

      2. I have tons of places I love in Chicago. I have a son and his family that live in Bucktown and we eat someplace different every time we go. As far as pizza -- Piece Pizza is our favorite and it is NOT Chicago style. Here are a few other suggestions, The Publican, Longman and Eagle, Engine and Owen, Carnavale, I could go on and on, Big Star, North Pond restaurant (had brunch there one Mother's day), I will get out my list and see what else I have. We also went to a local gourmet grocery one summer, bought some pates and then rented a sailboat (with captain) and ate out while we were cruising. Have a great 50th.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Cflower5

          One correction above: Owen and Engine, not Engine and Owen.
          Cinemb, if you are staying in the South Loop, Mercat a la Planxa will be a convenient stop. Very good for tapas.
          Consider jumping on the Red Line train for the short trip to Chinatown. If you like spicy food, Lao Sze Chuan is very good.

        2. Something unique and cheap close to the museum is the Oasis Cafe. It's located in the loop, but it's mostly interesting feature is that it's in the very back of a jewelry store! That's right, you can peruse diamonds on the way to this gem. They have great falafels and hummus. It's worth the hunt.
          I also recommend Longman & Eagle (roasted bone marrow & whiskey anyone?), The Publican (homemade pork rinds to die for), and Big Star (awesome, awesome tacos). In the Pilsen area try Nuevo Leon for the perfect mole. The Signature Lounge at the 95th in the Hancock Bldg is great for cocktails (food is pricey and not worth it IMHO. High Tea at the Ritz is spectacular and very frou-frou if that's your thing.

          2 Replies
          1. re: sheilal

            Thanks - some of these place look unusual - that is what I like!

            1. re: cinemb

              I would second Oasis Cafe - one of the true hidden gems (no pun intended since it is in the heart of the jewelry district) in downtown Chicago-