Monday night football in Chicago. Good place to go after game?
We are arriving in Chicago, Sunday morning on the 21st. Leaving Tuesday night. We are staying at the Wyndham Blake Chicago Hotel. I have no idea where it is but according to the website it is located four blocks from Grants Park and is two blocks from train station. We will be using the train, cab or walking to get around the city. At first, I had some general ideas of what to do but after reading several discussions on restaurants, I can see I need some help. We want to visit the navy pier, Willis tower and Millennium Park Cloud Gate. We want to take a tour of Wrigley Field. The French Market sounds interesting but not sure if it is close. I need to do some more research on places to visit but those are a few we know about.
I had read somewhere, that John Hancock has a place to eat and to try to make reservations around sundown. Any advice on this idea?
My big question is where should we go to dinner, before the football game on Monday and after the game to have some drinks/food? A place where we can people watch, listen to music..etc.....
We want to go to either Andy's jazz club or Green Mill I have also read about The Violet hour. Not sure how far any of these places are. We had considered those places for after the game but we are not sure if that is a good option or should we go the Jazz Club Sunday night.
We want to try Pizzeria Uno and the Bongo room. I would like to try North pond but not sure if I can get reservations this late in the planning. We heard Honey one BBQ is good but would like other opinions on that. We are in need of suggestions for other places to eat. So any advice would be appreciated.
Thanks for any suggestions!
The John Hancock has the Signature Room which is on the 95th floor of the building. Amazing views if it is not too overcast or foggy, but the food is mediocre and overpriced. While it might be worth checking out if you have not been before, probably better going for a cocktail and/or an appetizer than for a full meal.
Violet Hour is a cool cocktail lounge, but can have a long wait. The Aviary is my favorite cocktail lounge, but also can be hard to get into; unlike Violet Hour, The Aviary does take a limited number of reservations - so you can try e-mailing them the morning that you want to go and they will get back to you around mid afternoon if you are in. Edit: Scratch that - Aviary is not open Sunday or Monday nights, so would not be an option.
Green Mill is popular, but be advised it is in a bit of a sketchy neighborhood, so I'd recommend using a taxi rather than public transportation if you opt to visit there.
North Pond does have availability for Sunday evening according to Open Table. Outstanding food and such a beautiful view and ambiance - though service is not always on par with the cuisine and ambiance. Because of the great view, it is a wonderful choice for an out of towner. You may want to book soon though if you want to go.
I have not heard of Honey One BBQ, but Bongo room is a great choice for breakfast or brunch (lines can be long if you go Sunday) and the original Pizzeria Uno (not the spin offs) is a good choice for pizza (Lou Malnatis and Pizanos also are good options).
For dinner before and drinks/food after the game, what price range are you considering and what types of food/cuisine do you like and dislike?
Since you mention you're from KC (in your other post) I would avoid our BBQ. It's just not as good as yours, heck you have the American Royal Competition, ABs and Fiorella's. Honey 1 is an example of the aquarium smoker we use here in Chicago, but I wouldn't really spend time unless you are diehard Q fans. Honestly, I really like Chicago Q restaurant in the Gold Coast for the best chicago BBQ sauces.
Lots of great information. We are looking for steak or chicken before the game, something filling. We will be dressed very causally and the same after game , as we will not be going back to the hotel to change. Not fast food price range but not fine dining prices...somewhere in the middle maybe? As for after the game. Cocktails and finger food...something more experimental then nachos and fries. A place to listen to music (maybe JAZZ) and people watch.
In the other topic, I mentioned Gioco, an Italian restaurant in the South Loop. It's VERY close to Soldier Field, so it ought to work well for dining before the game (and casual attire is fine).
As for after the game, just keep the time in mind. Kickoff is at 7:30 and the game is likely to end between 10:30 and 11:00. You will then be leaving the stadium with the crowds, and it will take a while to get anywhere. There are places open late, and places that have music, but you'll want to check on their hours (either on their website or by phoning) to make sure they're open late enough on a Monday night that you don't miss the music and munchies.
I've replied at length to most of your questions in the other topic you created, at www.chow.com/topics/873643
One quick note here, though. North Pond is not open on Mondays. So you may include it in your itinerary on Sunday or Tuesday, but not before or after the football game Monday night.
I think you'll love, and be fascinated by the tour of Wrigley Field. A national treasure. So if you're in Wrigleyville somewhere around lunch or dinner, you might want to try Palermo's Pizza at Red Ivy. RI is a great bar and lounge that caters to Big Ten schools alumni living in Chicago. The pie is amazing. But it takes a while to come out of the kitchen. Have a great time!