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Sunday Brunch/Lunch in Pilsen

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My DH and I are coming to Chicago for a weekend next month. We're somewhat familiar with the city and have been frequently. We have Saturday dinner reservations at Grace, and on Sunday are planning on visiting the Mexican Art Museum in Pilsen.

two questions:
-We'd like a moderately priced brunch or lunch in the neighborhood. Caveat is that it must take reservations - we need to leave soon after lunch and museum, and can't afford a long wait for a table. Any type of cuisine, as long as it's delicious!
-I've never been to this neighborhood - is there parking available, or would transit be better? Our hotel is on the Mag Mile.

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  1. Have not been myself, but have had a couple of friends say nice things about Nightwood. They are located in Pilsen and accept reservations via Opentable.

    1. Nightwood is quite good.
      If you would like to keep with your Mexican theme for the day, Sabas Vega at 1808 S. Ashland has many tasty options, especially the succulent carnitas. But these kinds of neighborhood places are not into taking reservations at midday.

      1. >> -We'd like a moderately priced brunch or lunch in the neighborhood. Caveat is that it must take reservations - we need to leave soon after lunch and museum, and can't afford a long wait for a table. Any type of cuisine, as long as it's delicious!

        Mundial Cocina Mestiza serves terrific contemporary Mexican cuisine, and it's moderately priced. It's on 18th Street, about three blocks (five minutes walk) from the museum. They accept reservations by phone. I've had brunch there (as well as numerous dinners) and it's always been excellent. www.mundialcocinamestiza.com

        Nightwood serves contemporary American cuisine, and they have an excellent brunch as well. However, it's about a mile and a half east of the museum, so you would need to park twice or otherwise get over there. They accept reservations by phone and on Opentable. www.nightwoodrestaurant.com I posted a report on a brunch there at www.chow.com/topics/364403#6619275

        Both are excellent. But given the geography, I'd choose Mundial, for its proximity to the museum.

        >> -I've never been to this neighborhood - is there parking available, or would transit be better? Our hotel is on the Mag Mile.

        Parking is relatively easy. In most of Chicago, parking on main streets requires payment at pay boxes; on the side streets, it's free. I've never had any trouble finding parking within a block of Mundial. I've had to park a bit further for Nightwood, though - a couple blocks away.

        Public transit is always an option. The CTA Pink Line stops at 18th Street, half a block from Mundial and three blocks from the museum. From the Mag Mile, you would catch the CTA Red Line, then change to the Pink Line at State/Lake or at Jackson, going from underground to elevated; use a fare card or get a pass for the free transfer, to avoid paying two fares. www.transitchicago.com

        Comparing the two, each way it's probably 40-45 minutes by transit, vs a 10-15 minute drive. The CTA is $2.25 per person each way; your hotel may or may not have free in-and-out privileges and otherwise may charge you $25-40 for an extra day of parking. You may want to ask your hotel what their parking policy is.

        I generally prefer public transit when it's convenient, especially if no transfers are involved; however, in this case I would lean towards driving, unless it ends up costing you a lot more for parking an extra day at the hotel.

        HTH

        1. Thanks! We haven't decided yet, but all these options look good...more input is welcome.

          As for parking, we are driving back to Ohio Sunday afternoon, so it looks like leaving the hotel by car, visiting the museum and lunch, then heading out would be the best bet, since we'll be close to 90/94S anyway.

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