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Chicago itinerary suggestions

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Hubby and I will be visiting Chicago in early July for 5 days. We haven't been there in about 20 years, so we are looking forward to our visit. I have planned our meals for most evenings, but nothing at lunch. We will not have a car, so we will be using the metro or cabbing it, or walking whenever possible. We'll be staying at the Monaco, as hubby has a conference nearby (and I love Kimpton hotels...) Budget is flexible, and we will eat almost anything (although hubby is not the biggest seafood fan).

For dinners so far I have:

Saturday - waitlisted for Alinea but not holding my breath. Should that not come through, that leaves Saturday night free. Wouldn't want to substitute another "break the bank" experience (for that price, it's Alinea or nothing), but wouldl ike a recommendation of something unique to Chicago. Was thinking Lula or Avec or Purple Pig (but they don't take reservations, and is it too similar to other things I have chosen?), but am open to any suggestions.

Sunday night is Publican. Monday night is Girl & The Goat. Tuesday night is Topolobampo.

Lunches for Saturday and Sunday are open so far. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday are conference days, so I'm on my own for lunch those days.

Would like to try Aviary as well for drinks. Because it's near Publican, it might make sense to combine the two - I assume you'd do drinks after dinner? Can I reserve at Aviary or is it also walk-in (their web page is a little vague on that - send in a request and they e-mail you back the day of with confirmation? Can anyone clarify that one for me, please?)

Hubby would like recommendations for hot dogs or sausages - that would be one lunch. I will probably be spending Monday and Tuesday between shopping and museums, but anyplace I can get something light and yummy would be appreciated.

Thanks so much for any recommendations!

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  1. You've done some good planning.
    I would suggest Perennial Virant for a weekend brunch.
    Hot Doug's is the ultimate hot dog experience, but it's best to go for an early or late lunch to avoid long lines. Weekdays about 2 p.m. is a good time.
    Pastoral is good for lunch before the downtown museums. Great sandwiches.

    1 Reply
    1. re: camusman

      Hot Doug's is an "encased meat emporium." Given its out-of-the-way location and long lines, it is a wate of time for hot dogs. Great sausages if that's what you want.

    2. You have some great places selected. One FYI though, Aviary is not opened on Sunday and Monday, so it would not work out before/after Publican. They do take reservations via e-mail and will e-mail you back if you are confirmed. You stand the best chance of scoring a reservation if you request 6pm, 8pm or 10pm.

      1. If your Saturday night does come free, Avec for sure.