4th of July dining suggestions for 5 nights...???
So far my itinerary is
Thurs, July 4 - Catch 35
Fri, July 5 - Frontera Grill
Sat, July 6 - Siena Tavern
Sun Brunch - Frog and Snail
Sun, July 7 - Sable
Mon, July 8 - Chicago Cut:
For breakfasts I was looking at Yolk, Lou Mitchell's, Wildberry Cafe, Ann Sather.
We like more comfort food rather than the Gastronomy cuisine so popular in Chicago. I am a little more adventurous, but my partner likes "normal" food. Any other suggestions? We are staying at the Hotel Allegro in the Loop and have CTA passes for our entire stay. Really like neighborhoods rather than tourist spots. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
Crowne Plaza is an excellent hotel. There is a 24 hour Walgreens,a Dominicks, and Mariano's. I know when I travel, I like to know where to get water and fruit!
Au Cheval, is down the street, Publican Quality Meats and Little Goat.
I read this review: www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/mike-sula-reviews-siena-tavern-from-fabio-viviani/Content?oid=9112446 As I understand it, most of the attention it has gotten is as a drinking place, rather than raves for the food. All second hand, I haven't been there.
We have so many terrific Italian places though - Anteprima is simply outstanding, Piccolo Sogno is solid (and has a lovely outdoor patio), and I've had excellent meals at half a dozen other Italian places in the last year alone. Really, though, since you prefer neighborhood places, if you want Italian, just go to Anteprima. More info at www.anteprimachicago.net
I forgot to mention CTA info for Anteprima (and the other spots in Andersonville). The fastest way would be to take the Red Line north to Berwyn and then walk a half mile west to Clark Street. The most direct route (least walking) is to take the #22 Clark bus all the way, which will take only a few minutes longer door to door than the Red Line.
Thanks for all of the great suggestions!! We actually had planned to explore Lakeview and Andersonville, as well as Wicker Park/Bucktown. I had seen Meli Cafe over on Halsted as we are staying our first night at the Crowne Plaza Metro after a late flight in from Boston. I will rethink Catch 35 as it was one of the only interesting sounding places with availability on the 4th. Lou Malnatis is a definite - but will probably do lunch there. We also are going to try and fit in Book of Mormon if we can swing it. I had not heard of Hopleaf, but will take a look... Thanks again for all the great info
>> I had seen Meli Cafe over on Halsted as we are staying our first night at the Crowne Plaza Metro after a late flight in from Boston.
Yes, same place with two locations, one in Greek Town (that stretch of Halsted is lined with Greek restaurants) and the other in River North.
Given your two hotel locations, I'd also recommend visiting the French Market, which is in the concourse of one of our commuter train stations, about halfway between your two hotels. They have some terrific food - Vanille for pastries, Fumare for Montreal-style smoked meat, Pastoral for cheese and sandwiches, etc. Closed Sundays and holidays. www.frenchmarketchicago.com
>> Thurs, July 4 - Catch 35
Not my favorite. In fact, my most recent dinner there was just not good at all, with dishes sent back to the kitchen, etc. If you're willing to consider other places, I think you can get far better seafood at GT Fish & Oyster, Shaw's Crab House, or Hugo's Frog Bar. GT and Shaw's are a short walk from your hotel.
>> Fri, July 5 - Frontera Grill
Good choice, if you have a reservation or are going early.
>> Sat, July 6 - Siena Tavern
>> Sun Brunch - Frog and Snail
>> Sun, July 7 - Sable
Still one of my favorites.
>> Mon, July 8 - Chicago Cut
If you want to do a steakhouse while you're here, it's an excellent choice, one of our best.
>> For breakfasts I was looking at Yolk, Lou Mitchell's, Wildberry Cafe, Ann Sather.
I agree with all of ferret's comments. These four are NOT among our best places for breakfast.
Our very best places for breakfast are located some distance from the Loop. My favorite is Jam, which was opened by a chef with a haute cuisine background; it's a block from the Logan Square stop on the CTA Blue Line. I also love M. Henrietta, the sister restaurant to M. Henry, which ferret mentions. Both restaurants are similar, but M. Henrietta is right at the Granville stop on the CTA Red Line. Don't miss the blisscakes and, on weekends, the "out of this world bread pudding". I love Southport Grocery, north of the Southport stop on the CTA Brown Line, for their bread pudding pancakes and adult pop tarts. Bongo Room, which ferret also mentions, is another good choice, with their creative pancakes; the closest of their three locations to the Loop is at Roosevelt (12th) and Wabash, next to the Roosevelt stop on the CTA Red/Green/Orange lines. If you want a place within walking distance of the hotel, consider Meli Café on Wells.
>> We like more comfort food rather than the Gastronomy cuisine so popular in Chicago. I am a little more adventurous, but my partner likes "normal" food. Any other suggestions? We are staying at the Hotel Allegro in the Loop and have CTA passes for our entire stay. Really like neighborhoods rather than tourist spots. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
How about our delicious local specialty of deep-dish pizza? Lou Malnati's on Wells is a short walk from your hotel. For "cheap eats", you're also not far from Portillo's on Ontario, where you can have excellent representations of Chicago-style hot dogs and Italian beef sandwiches.
Two of my favorite neighborhood-ey spots are Deleece and Anteprima. Deleece serves contemporary American cuisine in Lakeview, ten minutes walk from the Southport stop on the CTA Brown Line and from the Sheridan or Addison stops on the CTA Red Line. Anteprima serves Italian cuisine in Andersonville (yes, down the street from Bongo Room and Hopleaf which ferret mentions - all are along Clark Street). Both Deleece and Anteprima are affordably priced with friendly folks working there. Anteprima has an excellent deal for dinner Sundays through Thursdays, with any three courses for $29; they also have an amazing deal for Sunday lunches (noon to 3), with any three courses for $19.
Yolk is pretty generic, not in a bad way, but it doesn't offer anything unique. Bongo Room is a better bet. I wouldn't cross the street for Lou Mitchell's, it's coasting on nostalgia, as is Ann Sather (at least in my opinion). If you're thinking of the Andersonville location of Sather, do yourself a favor and go a little farther North (5-10 minute walk) to m. henry - way better. And Andersonville is a good neighborhood to visit. There's a Bongo Room up that way also and other great spots like Hopleaf, the prototypical gastropub - great beer menu, solid food.