My wife and I are coming for an extended weekend for a first time visit. We're set with dinner reservations with Frontera, Girl And the Goat and Cafe Spiaggia.
We're staying at the Talbott Hotel and would love suggestion for a really great breakfast spot.
I'd also love any suggestions for lunch given our day plans.
I think we're planning on:
Friday afternoon: The Architecture Tour - suggestions for lunch in Magnificent Mile area.
Sat: Frank Lloyd Wright's Robie House and surrounding hood + Magnificent Mile - Thinking Slurping Turtle for Lunch.
Sun: Art Institute & Millennium Park - Suggestions in that area?
Mon: 3pm flight so figure time for breakfast - ideas, and maybe quick area to explore?
>> We're staying at the Talbott Hotel and would love suggestion for a really great breakfast spot.
Here are two suggestions within a few blocks.
The Original Pancake House is on East Bellevue. The Chicago locations of this franchise have an unusually high level of quality, thanks to the presence of the Walker Brothers franchisee. Don't miss the huge puffed-up cinnamony apple pancake.
For weekend brunch, try Cafe des Architectes in the Sofitel. They have a very nice brunch, including a great sampler plate, plus terrific complimentary French breads and pastries.
>> Friday afternoon: The Architecture Tour - suggestions for lunch in Magnificent Mile area.
From your mention of the Mag Mile, I'm guessing you mean the boat tour of the Chicago Architecture Foundation, leaving from the river at Michigan Avenue...? If so, there are lots of great places for lunch within a few blocks, including Sable (contemporary American small plates), Shaw's Crab House (seafood), Piccolo Sogno Due (Italian), and the Purple Pig (Mediterranean small plates).
>> Sat: Frank Lloyd Wright's Robie House and surrounding hood + Magnificent Mile - Thinking Slurping Turtle for Lunch.
I'm confused. Robie House is in the Hyde Park neighborhood, about 8 miles south of the Mag Mile.
>> Sun: Art Institute & Millennium Park - Suggestions in that area?
Right inside the Art Institute is Terzo Piano, the Italian restaurant from Tony Mantuano of Spiaggia. Near the museum is Pizano's on Madison, for our delicious local specialty of deep-dish pizza. Also nearby are the Gage (gastropub) and Henri (French bistro).
>> Mon: 3pm flight so figure time for breakfast - ideas, and maybe quick area to explore?
Maybe we can provide some suggestions that are on the way to the airport. Which airport are you leaving from?
re: Mr Bigglesworth
>> Any suggestions for Hyde Park?
I haven't been in Hyde Park in quite a long time. But you can find some recommendations in these discussions:
>> We are flying out of O'Hare.
One of our very best breakfast-specialty restaurants is in the Logan Square neighborhood, on the way to O'Hare and just a couple of blocks from the Logan Square station on the CTA Blue Line to O'Hare. It's called Jam. It's what you might imagine a high-end chef would do to create a breakfast-focused restaurant. www.jamrestaurant.com Another very good restaurant in that neighborhood (and again, a couple of blocks from the el station) is Lula, and they are open for breakfast too. www.lulacafe.com Yet another of our breakfast-focused restaurants is Bongo Room, which specializes in creative pancakes, such as their pretzel pancakes with white chocolate caramel sauce. Their Wicker Park location on Milwaukee Avenue is right near the Damen stop on the CTA Blue Line, so it too is on the way to O'Hare. (It's also not all *that* far from your hotel, if you want to go there earlier in your trip.) www.thebongoroom.com Logan Square and Wicker Park are both recently-redeveloped neighborhoods that are fun to walk around.
3PM flight from O'hare gives you a lot of time on Monday as long as it's not international. I'd eat anywhere you want to try in town and then pick up lunch for the plane right at Tortas Frontera - Rick Bayless' Ohare spot in terminals 1 and 3.
On the weekends, I really enjoy brunching at Perennial Virant - the view of the park and Old Town neighborhood and the food make it lovely.
Along Michigan Ave, we've recently had some enjoyable meals at Bar Toma - esp. the lamb sausage pizza and some of the small plates like the carrots with goat cheese.
Re Hyde Park -- as much talk as there is locally of what is set to open in Hyde Park in the future, it remains my experience that there isn't much worth seeking out today. One place not too far from Robie House is the Medici. The Med is fine, food-wise -- lots of atmosphere for being a U of C campus institution with a warm, lively atmosphere and food that... is fine. There are a lot of great reasons to visit Hyde Park but great dining options isn't one of them (yet).
Re Friday afternoon -- there's a cheese shop not far from the boat dock called Pastoral. They also make great sandwiches and salads, though seating can be limited. If you don't mind a slight detour to the West Loop, Publican Quality Meats is a phenomenal place for sandwiches/salads, as well.
The boat dock is also quite close to Fox & Obel, our premier gourmet grocery store. They have some of the best baked goods in the city. And you can get a carry-out lunch there, your choice of many prepared foods, or sandwiches and salads (they can make them to order in the cafe, or they have plenty pre-made in the refrigerator case). They also have a cafe but it's no longer self-serve, so carry-out would be the better option, especially before the boat cruise. www.fox-obel.com
Thanks for all your help!
We have a bunch of confirmed spots, with a few openings to be filled on the fly. So many choices but really excited for our first visit!
tomorrow - lunch @ Sable, snacks & Fox & Obel post Architecture Tour. Nap. Dinner @ Girl & The Goat
Saturday: Breakfast at either Original Pancake House or Cafe des Architectures. Visit to Frank Lloyd Wright House & Area. Late lunch at Slupring Turtle. Late afternoon walk around somewhere in River North / Gold Coast and West Loop or perhaps Willis Tower. Dinner @ Frontera Grill, butter cake @ Mastro's.
Sunday: light breakfast somewhere, followed by Art Institute + walk in around Millennium Park. Lunch at Lou Malnati's. Snack Goal: hot dog somewhere. Nap. Dinner @ Cafe Spiaggia.
Monday: Breakfast somewhere, hit up more River North / Gold Coast ,etc. Lunch at Bayless' spot @ O'Hare.