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Please critique our itinerary: leaving for Chicago in two days!

m
mackrelmint Jul 2, 2013 09:28 AM

A friend and I will be visiting Chicago for six days beginning July 4, and of course, much of our trip will revolve around food. We'll be staying in the Loop for the first three nights, then River North for the last two nights, and relying exclusively on public transportation—so we're not looking to venture too far, though we're certainly willing to travel for a good meal. We're 29 & 30 and just want to eat good food, whether it be high-end or hole-in-the-wall. After extensive research, our tentative itinerary is listed below. Any and all suggestions are welcome!

I really appreciated the format posted by TeacherFoodie at http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9065... was extremely helpful in planning my own itinerary—so I'm posting in the same format. TeacherFoodie, if you're reading this: thank you!

----------------------------------------

Thursday, July 4:
- Arrive at O'Hare around 1 pm, take L to the Loop
- Check in at hotel in South Loop
• LATE LUNCH at Pizano's in the Loop
- Walk around the Loop, visit the Rookery if open
- Walk to Navy Pier, walk around
* We want to eat a light snack at/around Navy Pier, just to tide us over until we go over to The Purple Pig for a late dinner. Is there anywhere halfway decent in the area?
- Fireworks
• LATE DINNER at The Purple Pig

Friday, July 5:
- Bus to the Museum Campus area
• BREAKFAST at The Bongo Room
- Spend the day at Adler, Shedd, and Field
• LUNCH at Kim & Carlo's Hot Dog Stand (so we won't need to leave Museum Campus—and we want to try a real Chicago dog anyway!
)- Bus back to the Loop, relax a while
- Bus to Logan Square (arrive around 5:30–6 pm)
• DINNER at Fat Rice
* We really want to eat at Fat Rice, but it is somewhat out of the way. Worth it? And if so, is there anything to do in the Logan Square area? We may want to walk around before or after our meal to check out another part of Chicago.

Saturday, July 6:
- Bus to Lincoln Park area
• BREAKFAST at Green City Market (our other option was Lincoln Park Farmers Market, but Green City seems to be better for prepared food and tourists like us—true?)
- Lincoln Park Zoo
• LUNCH at Slurping Turtle
- Walk around Millennium Park
- Visit Art Institute
• DINNER at Sable (have reservation)

Sunday, July 7
- Check into new hotel in River North area
• BRUNCH at GT Fish & Oyster (have reservation)
- Walk around Magnificent Mile
• LATE LUNCH at _____________
* Our Sunday is currently pretty open, so if there's a great place for lunch or a must-do activity that we should try, please let me know!
• LATE DINNER at Next (this is a definite!)

Monday, July 8
- Bus to Hyde Park area
- Museum of Science and Industry
• LUNCH at _____________ (is there a good lunch option located within walking distance to MSI and the Robie House?)
- Robie House tour
* We may walk around Hyde Park after the Robie House tour—recommended? What is there to see in the neighborhood?
- Bus to Girl and the Goat
• EARLY DINNER at Girl and the Goat (don't have reservations, so we'll show up at 4:30)
- Return to River North area and walk around, possibly relax at a coffee shop
- Drinks at the Signature Lounge at the 96th Floor

Tuesday, July 9
• BREAKFAST at _____________
- Museum of Surgical Sciences
• LUNCH at Frontera Grill
- Chicago Architecture Foundation River Cruise
- Walk around and shop for gifts
• EARLY DINNER AT _____________
- Take L to O'Hare at 6 pm (flight departs at 8:30)

----------------------------------------

And finally, some other places we're interested in trying that haven't yet been scheduled onto our official itinerary include:

- Jam
- Hoosier Mama Pies
- Doughnut Vault or Do-Rite Donuts
- Publican
- Batter & Berries

Please let me know if you have input on any of these places. And all comments on our itinerary—whether we should shuffle activities/meals around, forget about certain places, add in others—are greatly appreciated. Thanks so much! (And thanks for reading this LONG post.) We can't wait to visit your amazing city.

  1. m
    mackrelmint Jul 7, 2013 06:51 PM

    Quick request for opinions/input!

    We still have one undecided meal left for this trip: Tuesday dinner around 5 pm, just before we leave (flight departs O'Hare at 8:30). Lula Cafe was a possibility until we found out they're closed on Tuesdays. So, our current choices are:

    GT Fish & Oyster
    Quartino
    Table Fifty-Two

    Any recommendations for one of those places over the others—or something else entirely? We're open to any kind of cuisine, and though we love small plates, we're fine with standard plates too... just looking for a dinner that won't take too long (gotta catch that flight!) and is relatively close to our hotel in Magnificent Mile/River North area.

    3 Replies
    1. re: mackrelmint
      t
      TeacherFoodie Jul 8, 2013 10:19 AM

      A friend of ours that lives in Chicago and writes reviews for websites like eater.com says that GT Fish and Oyster is her favorite restaurant in Chicago. As long as you like seafood you should love it there!

      1. re: mackrelmint
        chicgail Jul 8, 2013 10:31 AM

        Quartino is a pretty standard, pretty decent Italian/American restaurant. It's good, but not silver-box great.

        Table 52 (Art Smith) is upscale Southern comfort. It surprised me. I didn't expect to like it as much as I did.

        GT F&O is very good, but i am a sucker for good seafood of any kind. It would be my first choice of those three.

        1. re: mackrelmint
          m
          masha Jul 8, 2013 10:45 AM

          The one time I ate at Table 52, I really was underwhelmed. That was largely because the service was horrible, with long delays at ever juncture, and the food not special enough to compensate. So, based on that one experience, I cannot recommend it.

          Of the 3 you listed, I'd probably go to GT.

        2. t
          TeacherFoodie Jul 4, 2013 02:47 PM

          Really interested to know what you thought of the food at Sable so please report back. Some hounds seem to consider it to just be good but not great.

          5 Replies
          1. re: TeacherFoodie
            nsxtasy Jul 4, 2013 04:27 PM

            >> Really interested to know what you thought of the food at Sable

            While Sable has a few persistent critics here (as does just about every restaurant in Chicago), many others have lauded its praises. Here are some examples:

            "Every aspect of Sable was excellent; food, wine and service. ... If this restauarant was local to us we'd eat there weekly (at least)." by cap - read the full post at www.chow.com/topics/900997#8159375

            "LOVED LOVED it. ... Highly recommend Sable." by cookingmatterschef - read the whole review at www.chow.com/topics/875649#7678857

            "But the very best thing, not only here at Sable but of the whole trip (including Publican, Ginos East, brunch at Sable, Jam and Meli Cafe) was the corn creme brulee. OMG!!! The ultimate sweet/savory/creamy/ crunchy treat anywhere on the planet. ... Superb. Heavenly. Wonderful. We left as very happy campers and while it seems there's a bit of a consensus that Sable is mostly for drinks and the food is secondary, I'd go back for food. Both the brunch (reviewed separately) and this little meal were great." by plafield - read the full review at www.chow.com/topics/860226#7483417

            mackrelmint, as TF suggests, please post after your meal there, as well as at the other stops in your itinerary. All opinions are helpful and welcome!

            1. re: nsxtasy
              t
              TeacherFoodie Jul 5, 2013 06:00 AM

              Nsxtasy, thanks for the compilation of positive reviews!

              TF :)

            2. re: TeacherFoodie
              m
              mackrelmint Jul 5, 2013 11:02 PM

              Going to Sable tomorrow and will be sure to report back!

              1. re: mackrelmint
                m
                mackrelmint Jul 7, 2013 06:39 PM

                Went to Sable last night. Only one dish really blew us away, but overall, we enjoyed our experience and would recommend Sable. Here's a breakdown of the dishes we had:

                Fried cheese curds with spicy ketchup: Very good. Not revolutionary, but delicious and addicting. The spicy ketchup was also very tasty. The curds tasted like they might have been sitting out for a few mintues before being delivered to our table (they didn't have that sizzling "just fried" heat or taste), but it's fine—we thoroughly enjoyed them.

                Sweet corn creme brulee: Absolutely spectacular. Loved. It was just unique enough without being over-the-top crazy, with the perfect balance of sweet (but not too sweet) + salty. This dish kept tasting better the more we ate it. We both agreed we'd return to Sable for the sweet corn creme brulee alone! And it's somethig we may not have ordered had it not been specifically mentioned by Chowhounders, so thank you!

                Fresh fettucine pasta: Good. This was one of yesterday's specials, consisting of fresh fettuccine, bacon, baby fennel, pea shoots, egg yolk, and parmesan cheese. We enjoyed it, but didn't think it was anything special—just a tasty pasta. It's possible that our standards were raised after that amazing sweet corn creme brulee, however!

                South Indian vegetable curry: Good. We liked this dish, but probaby would order other items from the menu next time.

                Warm sticky toffee pudding cake: Didn't really care for this. We agreed it was almost too sweet, with not a whole lot of flavor other than... sweet. And the bourbon ice cream definitely tasted strongly of bourbon, of which neither of us are fans—on the upside, if you love bourbon, you might love this dessert!

                Again, we're glad we went to Sable and would definitely stop by again to get the sweet corn creme brulee and try some other dishes. Thanks for the recommendation!

                1. re: mackrelmint
                  t
                  TeacherFoodie Jul 8, 2013 10:18 AM

                  Thanks for the review!! I'll be sure to order the Corn Creme Brulee!

            3. m
              masha Jul 3, 2013 07:34 AM

              With respect to your plans for pizza at Pizzano's on the day of your arrival, note that, since you are staying in the South Loop, you could substitute pizza at Malnatti's on south State St. (just south of 8th St.). Their pizza is essentially the same as Pizzano's is also owned by a branch of the Malnatti family. Just a question of which is more convenient to your schedule.

              2 Replies
              1. re: masha
                m
                mackrelmint Jul 3, 2013 10:43 AM

                Good to know! It looked like the Pizano's Loop location is pretty close to where we'll staying, but now we can look at both options and go to whichever is closer. Thanks!

                1. re: masha
                  nsxtasy Jul 3, 2013 11:24 AM

                  Yes, it's not clear from that first post up top where your hotel is; in one place you say that you're staying in the Loop, in another that you're in the South Loop (basically, the area south of Congress, such as where the Hilton Chicago is). I'm not trying to be picky, but masha's advice is spot on; if you're south of Congress, Lou Malnati's at 8th and State is closer, and just as good. Also, if you're in the South Loop, you can walk to Bongo Room at Wabash and Roosevelt (12th), no need to take a bus.

                2. k
                  kathryn Jul 2, 2013 02:12 PM

                  > Thursday, July 4:
                  > - Walk around the Loop, visit the Rookery if open
                  > - Walk to Navy Pier, walk around

                  The forecast says there's a chance of storms on Thursday. Your flight may be delayed (not sure where you're coming from), so plan in advance for that. And if it's raining hard, you may not want to walk all the way from the South Loop to the Rookery to Navy Pier, then to Purple Pig, etc. either.

                  Also consider calling ahead and ordering your pizza before you arrive at Pizano's. Dependent upon how hungry you are when you land.

                  There's not much to see at the Rookery unless you take the official tour. For example, they do not allow you to go up the stairs (they're roped off), and walk around unless you're with a tour group. When I took a tour there last year, there were a lot of disappointed people who just showed up, saw there wasn't much else to see but the lobby & gift store, and were told the tour was sold out.

                  > Friday, July 5:
                  - Bus to the Museum Campus area
                  • BREAKFAST at The Bongo Room
                  - Spend the day at Adler, Shedd, and Field

                  A ton of people will have this day off, so I imagine the line at Bongo Room may be long.

                  See if you can buy your museum tickets online ahead of time, so you can avoid waiting in a long line, too.

                  You could also move these activities to a day like Monday or Tuesday, where more people have gone back to work.

                  > * We really want to eat at Fat Rice, but it is somewhat out of the way. Worth it? And if so, is there anything to do in the Logan Square area? We may want to walk around before or after our meal to check out another part of Chicago.

                  2nd Yusho and Longman & Eagle in Logan Square. And drinks at Billy Sunday (same folks who run Yusho) and/or The Whistler. The newly opened Parsons Chicken & Fish also looks like it has an amazing patio space.

                  Also I'd consider moving the Chicago Architecture Foundation River Cruise earlier in your trip for weather reasons. Friday and Saturday look like they're going to be great.

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: kathryn
                    nsxtasy Jul 2, 2013 02:18 PM

                    >> A ton of people will have this day off, so I imagine the line at Bongo Room may be long.

                    That's quite possible, and may be true of our other breakfast specialty restaurants as well. I don't know how you feel about going early, but any day of the week, you can walk in for immediate seating if you arrive within 15 minutes of when they open (at Bongo Room, that's 8 a.m. weekdays, 9 a.m. weekends).

                    1. re: kathryn
                      m
                      mackrelmint Jul 2, 2013 03:33 PM

                      Those are great points. We don't mind going to eat early, but it would be better to avoid all those long lines and crowds if possible. Now I'm considering switching our Friday and Monday itineraries, so that we do the Museum of Science and Industry/Robie House on Friday and Museum Campus on Monday. I'm guessing that MSI might be a bit less crowded on Friday than Museum Campus? Then, perhaps we can still aim for dinner at Girl and the Goat on Monday and Fat Rice on Friday. So:

                      Friday, July 5:
                      - Bus to Hyde Park area
                      
- Museum of Science and Industry
                      
• LUNCH at _____________ (possibly Medici)
                      
- Robie House tour

                      
- Bus to Logan Square (arrive around 5:30–6 pm)

                      • DINNER at Fat Rice


                      Monday, July 8

                      
- Bus to the Museum Campus area

                      • BREAKFAST at The Bongo Room
                      
- Spend the day at Adler, Shedd, and Field
                      
• LUNCH at Kim & Carlo's Hot Dog Stand
                      - Bus to Girl and the Goat

                      • EARLY DINNER at Girl and the Goat (show up at 4:30)
                      
- Return to River North area and walk around, possibly relax at a coffee shop
                      
- Drinks at the Signature Lounge at the 96th Floor

                      1. re: mackrelmint
                        nsxtasy Jul 2, 2013 09:29 PM

                        >> I'm guessing that MSI might be a bit less crowded on Friday than Museum Campus?

                        They will probably both be very crowded on Friday, but not much at all on Monday.

                        I think switching the two days makes sense, to avoid waits at Bongo Room.

                      2. re: kathryn
                        m
                        mackrelmint Jul 3, 2013 10:47 AM

                        Yikes, how bad is Chicago summer rain? We looked at the weather forecast, but figured that the "rain" days would be like summer rain in New York—sudden and short. But could it actually be hot and rainy all day in Chicago? Sorry for the dumb question... we're coming from California, and we're not used to summer rain! I'd like to know what to expect/pack—would just an umbrella be OK, or should we pack our raincoats?

                        1. re: mackrelmint
                          m
                          masha Jul 3, 2013 11:14 AM

                          It's been an unusually rainy summer, although mainly in the form of violent storms that pass through rather quickly. The key thing to know about Chicago weather is that there's a high degree of inaccuracies as to forecasts that are more than 36 hours in advance, especially as to precipitation (temperature predictions tend to be accurate). I don't know if it's because of the lake but the paths predicted for storms often veer north or south, so predicted storms don't materialize, etc. Up to you whether to pack a "rain coat" -- a casual hooded slicker or windbreaker might make sense.

                          1. re: mackrelmint
                            k
                            kathryn Jul 3, 2013 12:01 PM

                            I think the raincoat might be overkill, if only because you'll find yourself warm and sweaty due to the humidity.

                            If you get cold easily inside buildings, that might be something else to consider -- institutions cranking up the AC because it's so humid out. I get cold easily in the summer due to AC and often find myself wishing for a cardigan at a nicer restaurant.

                        2. d
                          delk Jul 2, 2013 01:35 PM

                          Hyde Park has a Giordano's pizza plus the Woodlawn Pub which has been around forever. Countless U of C students met there and got married! I'd go for a drink, but they do have okay burgers.

                          Keep in mind that Navy Pier is going to be crazy packed and I would bet that the waits at Purple Pig that night will be long, even at a late time. You may want to switch like nsxtasy suggested.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: delk
                            nsxtasy Jul 2, 2013 02:14 PM

                            >> Keep in mind that Navy Pier is going to be crazy packed and I would bet that the waits at Purple Pig that night will be long, even at a late time.

                            Good point! I didn't even think of that, but with hundreds of thousands of people just a few blocks away, all watching the fireworks, I bet you're right!

                            1. re: nsxtasy
                              m
                              mackrelmint Jul 2, 2013 03:15 PM

                              Yes, good point, and thank you! I think we've decided that we'll go to Purple Pig another day—most likely for a late lunch on Sunday as nsxtasy suggested, or if we decide to do Publican/Next in the same day, perhaps an early dinner on Tuesday before we leave for the airport. Although I do want to try Lula Cafe as well. Chicago has too many delicious restaurants, I tell you. Not a bad problem to have...

                          2. t
                            TeacherFoodie Jul 2, 2013 11:55 AM

                            Thanks for the shout-out! I hope you have a great trip! Can't wait to hear what you liked/didn't like!

                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/906528

                            1. d
                              danimalarkey Jul 2, 2013 11:30 AM

                              Re Friday -- I'm assuming you meant 'Blue line' to Logan Square instead of a bus -- the L will be much, much faster.

                              I like Fat Rice a lot but I go early and on non-peak nights. The place is small and it gets crowded. But there's a good reason for that and if the cuisine sounds appealing, go for it. Just be prepared to wait.

                              Nearby are several other solid options, too. Yusho (Japanese-inspired street food/small plates; accepts reservations), Lula Cafe (contemporary American; accepts reservations) and Longman & Eagle all come to mind (gastropub, heavy on the meat and salt - great cocktails, too; no reservations). If you wanted any cocktails before or after dinner, The Whistler (no food) and Billy Sunday are both very good.

                              Re Monday -- I had more meals than I can remember at the Medici and 'great' doesn't come to mind. It's cheap and feels like any other comfortable, college-area hole-in-the-wall. Since school is out, it shouldn't be that crowded, too.

                              Also, I don't know if there's much to really look at in Hyde Park but the U of C campus itself is gorgeous.

                              Other -- Do-Rite is very good and unlike Doughnut Vault, they keep making doughnuts throughout the morning (ie. they're less likely to sell out early in the day). Personally, I'd rather have brunch at the Publican than GT Fish & Oyster -- but if you're already going to Next that evening, you may not want to spend so much time on Fulton Market in one day.

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: danimalarkey
                                m
                                mackrelmint Jul 2, 2013 03:11 PM

                                Well, we will certainly be sure take the L to Logan Square now. Thanks for the tip!

                                Do you think we'd have a long wait even if we got to Fat Rice around 5:45 on Friday? And would you recommend any particular dishes there? After looking at the menu, we were most interested in the linguica, po kok gai, and piri piri chicken, but I'd love some feedback from someone who's actually eaten there.

                                Is there anything interesting to do in the Fulton Market area? Since our Sunday is still mostly open, perhaps we should have lunch at the Publican, then stay in Fulton Market until our late dinner at Next...

                                1. re: mackrelmint
                                  nsxtasy Jul 2, 2013 09:22 PM

                                  >> Do you think we'd have a long wait even if we got to Fat Rice around 5:45 on Friday?

                                  In my experience, most restaurants can give you a pretty accurate answer to questions like this if you phone them to ask.

                                  >> Is there anything interesting to do in the Fulton Market area?

                                  Not really. It's pretty much a restaurant row, with some wholesale food stores that are closed on Sundays. It's not like our other restaurant areas, which tend to be in trendy residential and shopping neighborhoods (e.g. Bucktown, Lincoln Square, etc).

                                  1. re: mackrelmint
                                    d
                                    danimalarkey Jul 3, 2013 09:33 AM

                                    I really like the namesake dish, Arroz Gordo, but that would probably be a good meal for 2 and you might be too full to try much else from the menu. The pickles section is usually a fun way to start the meal. I'm always a sucker for potstickers, too, and Fat Rice's do not disappoint. Fat Rice also has a decent waiting area with some small snacks and cocktails. If you get there by 5:45, I'm suspect you would be able to grab a table when the first few start turning over. But like nsxtasy said, I'd just give them a call and ask.

                                    While there isn't much to see or do in the Fulton Market area, it's also a 10 minute L ride (via the new Morgan stop) back to the Loop.

                                    1. re: danimalarkey
                                      m
                                      mackrelmint Jul 3, 2013 10:40 AM

                                      Will call Fat Rice, and perfect—we didn't realize the L ride was so short. I had mapped it on Google Transit, which indicated that the trip would take 35–40 minutes... anywhere from 10–25 minutes is no big deal! Thank you.

                                      1. re: danimalarkey
                                        m
                                        mackrelmint Jul 5, 2013 11:01 PM

                                        Went to Fat Rice today--got there at 5:50 and ended up getting seated right when they opened! Great start to a great meal. Will do a full report after the trip (when I can type on a real computer and not just my phone), but we loved Fat Rice. So glad we went--would definitely return. Thanks for the tips.

                                  2. GraceW Jul 2, 2013 10:20 AM

                                    For the lunch near MSI.. I am not sure if it is walking distance, but I have heard great things about Medici in Hyde Park.
                                    http://www.medici57.com/menus/

                                    Also make sure you try-out Garrett Popcorn downtown for the caramel-cheese popcorn mix. Or you can grab some at O'hare.

                                    I am so glad you are visiting the Museum of Surgical Sciences--it is an absolute gem!

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: GraceW
                                      m
                                      mackrelmint Jul 2, 2013 11:11 AM

                                      We will definitely get some Garrett Popcorn—sounds like a perfect piece of Chicago to bring back for co-workers. My office always appreciates something to eat.

                                      And thank you for your confirmation on the Museum of Surgical Sciences. My friend stumbled across it online just last night, and we both thought it sounded neat and worthy of a visit. Now I'm even more excited about it!

                                      1. re: GraceW
                                        w
                                        W42 Jul 2, 2013 04:22 PM

                                        The Medici on 57th isn't that special, but it is probably the best go-to place in Hyde Park until later this year when Matthias Merges opens his two new places and the Longman & Eagle team opens theirs.

                                      2. nsxtasy Jul 2, 2013 10:13 AM

                                        Sounds like a great itinerary so far!

                                        As for your questions, and other comments...

                                        >> Thursday, July 4:
                                        >> * We want to eat a light snack at/around Navy Pier, just to tide us over until we go over to The Purple Pig for a late dinner. Is there anywhere halfway decent in the area?
                                        >> • LATE DINNER at The Purple Pig

                                        I haven't been all that thrilled with anything on the pier itself. Fox & Obel, our premier gourmet grocery store, is only a couple blocks from the pier, and it's the perfect place to get a snack - such as their sandwiches or salads or other prepared foods, and/or their baked goods like their yummy cinnamon swirl rolls.

                                        Just another idea - it seems that the schedule for this day centers on the idea of going to the Purple Pig for a late dinner. Which is fine; the waiting times drop off when you dine past 10 pm. However, as another suggestion, on Sunday you're having brunch and then a late dinner, and you asked about a place for a late lunch, presumably early to mid afternoon. You might want to consider that time slot for your meal at Purple Pig; that time of day, they're not likely to be busy. And then you could do a dinner somewhere else on this holiday, perhaps one of the places I mention below for your Tuesday dinner. Just a thought.

                                        >> Sunday, July 7
                                        >> • LATE LUNCH at _____________
                                        >> * Our Sunday is currently pretty open, so if there's a great place for lunch or a must-do activity that we should try, please let me know!

                                        See above regarding the possibility of moving your Purple Pig meal to your late lunch on Sunday.

                                        Another suggestion within walking distance of the Mag Mile is Café Iberico, for tapas.

                                        >> Monday, July 8
                                        >> • LUNCH at _____________ (is there a good lunch option located within walking distance to MSI and the Robie House?)

                                        Hyde Park doesn't get a lot of discussion here at Chowhound, which is unfortunate. Two of the more comprehensive discussions are these:

                                        What's Good To Eat Near The Museum of Science & Industry - www.chow.com/topics/724417
                                        Near the University of Chicago - www.chow.com/topics/658548

                                        >> * We may walk around Hyde Park after the Robie House tour—recommended? What is there to see in the neighborhood?

                                        Yes, highly recommended. You can also walk around the University of Chicago campus.

                                        Incidentally, I am not a fan of the Medici. It's a longtime university hangout, known primarily for its pizza, which is nothing special. It may be worth going to because it's convenient, but keep your expectations low. :)

                                        >> Tuesday, July 9
                                        >> • BREAKFAST at _____________

                                        If you want to keep it within walking distance of your next stop at the Museum of Surgical Science, you could consider Perennial Virant. Otherwise, this would be a good time to go to Jam.

                                        >> • EARLY DINNER AT _____________
                                        >> - Take L to O'Hare at 6 pm (flight departs at 8:30)

                                        There are several possibilities here. If you don't otherwise include tapas in your itinerary, you could have dinner at Mercat a la Planxa in the Loop. Or you could go to one of our great Italian places downtown (which include Vivere, Piccolo Sogno, Piccolo Sogno Due, tesori, and the Florentine). Another possibility is to eat at Lula Café on the way to the airport. It's a block from the Logan Square stop on the CTA Blue Line. It features contemporary American foods with an emphasis on local, natural ingredients.

                                        >> - Jam

                                        See above.

                                        >> - Doughnut Vault or Do-Rite Donuts

                                        Both have good donuts, although the lines at Doughnut Vault can be problematic. Also consider Firecakes in River North, and the many locations of Glazed & Infused.

                                        Feel free to ask more questions, and enjoy your visit!

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: nsxtasy
                                          m
                                          mackrelmint Jul 2, 2013 11:07 AM

                                          Thank you!! Your suggestions are so helpful. I think we just may follow your idea of having a late lunch at Purple Pig on Sunday. I also think that Fox & Obel sounds absolutely perfect for our Navy Pier day—I had seen mention of F&O in other places and wanted to check it out, but for some reason, I thought it was located outside of the downtown area. So happy to realize that it's close to Navy Pier. That's just the kind of dinner/snack we were hoping for that night (tasty, quick, grab & go).

                                          Thanks again!

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