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Nov 11, 2013 12:44 PM


What are fun exxy venues in Chicago what are fun and cheap venues in Chicago yes I am looking for both for lunch and dinner brunch. What hotel should I stay at? I am a foodie and have been to per se and fat duck. Preferred venues in this order Quay, TFL , per se Le Brendadian, fat duck. I love some cheaper venues to.

120-300 for exxy
30-40 for 'cheap'

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  1. "Exxy" was a new one for me. Glad you defined it.

    Some of this is going to depend on when you are going to be here and how much time you have to get reservations.

    I would recommend El Ideas, Elizabeth, and Grace at the top end. And Schwa (with an *) because getting through to make reservations can be difficult and because they have been known to just cancel at the last minute. Trencherman is also good, and there are lots of other options in that price range.

    For the "cheaper" option, Telegraph is a big favorite of mine, as is Longman and Eagle (no reservations). Girl and the Goat takes reservations waaaay out and is hard to scores less than 5 months out. Fat Rice is very hot now. Very inexpensive and there can be waits up to 90 minutes on Tuesday at 6 pm. Seriously.

    1. L20 is somewhat similar to Le Bernardin (which I'm guessing you meant by 'Le Brendadian'), based on three meals at L20 and two at LB.

      Alinea is somewhat similar to Fat Duck. At least one magazine has Alinea rated as the top restaurant in the world, a position FD held a few years back.

      I don't know of any places similar to French Laundry and Per Se, but I haven't dined at that many places in Chicago. Maybe Grace, but not really ...

      >> "What hotel should I stay at?"

      What we've eventually figured out is to find a hotel a few blocks from one of the downtown Blue Line stops so we can cheaply and relatively quickly ride the train from O'Hare. A few bucks for the train vs around $35 for a cab, and the cabs get caught in rush hour traffic, which is when we usually seem to arrive. The Clark/Lake stop is near a hotel we stayed at in River North, for example (lots of hotels there in various price ranges, 3-4 blocks from the train station).

      So you are close to many interesting downtown areas, but you can take a cab from the hotel to the dining venues. Last visit (earlier this month) we were within walking distance of places like Sixteen, Purple Pig and Topolo, yet it was still under $10 to take a cab to Alinea or L20.

      3 Replies
      1. re: willyum

        yes I did terrible spelling. I might just stay at trump

        1. re: Chadsie

          @Chadsie "I might just stay at trump"

          Yeah, that's a short walk across the river from a subway station with the train to the airport.

          There's also a Michelin 1* restaurant there called Sixteen. We almost had lunch there a few weeks ago but were too full from the night before so didn't. But we walked over and checked it out and it has some nice views of the city. Maybe next time ...

        2. re: willyum

          The tasting at Alinea is between $ 210 and $ 265 pp depending on the day of the week and without wine. There are two wine-tasting choices, a non-alcoholic option and you can order by the bottle. Advance ticket sales are required.

          L20's prix fixe is $140 pp without wine. I have not eaten there but there have been mixed reviews.

          Other more conventional but excellent top spots include Tru ($158 tasting; wine $125) and Everest where the tasting menu is $168. At both you can also order off the menu.

        3. If you can get in, Goosefoot or Schwa for exxy. Both of these locations are BYOB. Otherwise, L2O, Grace or Tru.

          For cheap, Girl and the Goat or Ruxbin.