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Jun 13, 2012 11:24 AM

weekend in chicago

We are going to Chicago for a long weekend in early July as part of my birthday gift from my husband. He has planned everything except the eating...the is my territory! Any suggestions for the must-eats in Chicago? We are not renting a car so limited to places easily reached by public transit/taxi/walking. Thanks!

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  1. The ones that come to mind - Chicago deep dish pizza - Pizzeria Uno or its sister restaurant Pizzeria Due the birthplace of deep dish or some of their offsprings - Lou Malnati's, Pizzano's, or Gino's East - Any of the Rick Bayless restaurants -

    1. Chicago has such a huge amount of great food, from cheap standup sandwiches to fine dining. Maybe you can give a little bit of what you're looking for? Fine dining or casual fine dining or really casual "joints"? Do you really love XYZ, for example Weinstein offers up the Bayless restaurants, which are regional high-end mexican and unlike most others.

      1. Here are some details... we are coming for a long weekend. I am a bit of a foodie but my husband is not so much(although I am working on him!). We enjoy a variety of things. I know Chicago is famous for its' deep dish pizza so will likely want to try it but I think we would like to go out for a least one fine dining meal during our stay. I know sometimes the best food doesn't come in "fancy" places so I am open to any suggestions! Thanks for your help!

        2 Replies
        1. re: esprake

          Your request is still a little too broad for me to address. Chicago is a food mecca with great food of a lot of cuisines and prices and locations ranging from the Alineas down though some wonderful neighborhood holes-in-the-wall. So bear with me for a couple more questions.

          I know you will have a car, but Chicago covers a lot of real estate. Where will you be staying or visiting - knowing your location might well make the recommendations work better for you.

          Also, is there a budget? I know you mentioned not necessarily "fancy," but if you have a price-point you want to stay inside of, that would be useful.

          And aside from deep dish pizza (Unos, Dues, Malnoti's or Pizanos), anything you'd love or want to avoid?

          1. re: chicgail

            I would definitely recommend lunch at Hot Doug's (take a cab) or, for a bit less adventure and yumminess but an easier commute, Franks N Dawgs (via cab, bus, or train). Both will offer something for each of you: Comfort and tradition for your man, and foodie points for you.

        2. Here's a little more info if this helps: we are staying at the Fairmont. which is at the north end of millenium park as far as I can see. We are there from Saturday morning to Monday evening (Late). On Saturday we were thinking of doing something casual so likely the pizza. I wanted to do something more on the fine dining end on Sunday evening. If there is anything close to where we are staying, that is great but we can take cabs/bus, etc. There isn't really a's my birthday so I think I deserve a good weekend :) There isn't really anything I want to avoid. I enjoy trying unique flavours!

          Thanks for all the suggestions!

          1 Reply
          1. re: esprake

            Since I still can't figure out what you like to eat, here's a list of places I frequent. Check out websites and if you have questions we can answer.

            In order from casual to more dressy, all within a cab ride of Fairmont

            Hot Dougs *


            Slurping Turtle *

            Au Cheval *

            Sable (terrific cocktails and good nibbles)

            Publican *




            Aterisk indicates current favorites.

            Oh yes, and for pizza there is a huge debate. My favorite deep dish is at Lou Malnati's -- the Lou with buttercrust and low-fat cheese is yummy. Search the board for many pizza discussions.

            Make sure to get the Chicago Mix at Garrets, it's
            awesome. Ten seconds in the microwave and you will understand.