HOME > Chowhound > Chicago Area >


Loop advice

  • 9

I'll be coming to Chicago next week with my 17-year old daughter, who will be auditioning at the Unifieds, where high school students gather to perform for multiple college theater programs. We're staying at the Palmer House for convenience, since that's where the auditions take place. We're certainly willing to venture beyond the Loop for good chow (if the temperature is above 0!), but I'm wondering where to go in the general vicinity of the hotel. Especially for breakfast and lunch, when we won't have time to gad about. And is there any worthy place nearby for a pre-game Superbowl Sunday dinner? The two of us visited Chicago in August and fell in love with the city, but we had a car (which we won't this time) and the weather conditions were friendlier. Thanks!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. For breakfast you're near a couple of options that are among the best in the area, The Bongo Room and Meli Cafe. Meli is within walking distance (less than half a mile) - weather permitting. Bongo is walkable but I'd get in a cab in this weather. It's about 5 minutes away.

    1. Since the Polar Vortex is forecast to be visiting the city again soon it might be wise to not plan on going too far from the hotel.
      The Lockwood Restaurant, right in the Palmer House, is actually very well thought of. Seasonal, locally sourced, all that.
      Miller's Pub, 134 South Wabash, just a few steps from the hotel, is a real old-school hangout complete with signed celebrity photos on the walls (Larry Storch! Milton Berle!) & good food. Great pre-SB place.
      Pizano's Pizza, 61 East Madison, a block and a half away. Very tasty!

      1. I second the suggestions already made, but if you don't want a big or elaborate breakfast (which you will get at Bongo Room or Meli), you are also near two Intelligentsia coffee bars, one on Randolph and one on Jackson, each a few blocks away in different directions. Toni's Patisserie on Washington St. is also an option for both breakfast and lunch. Pastoral on Lake St. has excellent sandwiches and other high-end deli stuff, and Ba Le at 166 W. Washington has good Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches.

        1. Pizano's on Madison is a two minute walk for excellent pizza. The Gage might be an option for a pre-game meal. Heaven on Seven is also close by and always feels festive. There's also the excellent food court at Macy's on State.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Breadcrumbs

            Thanks much for all of your suggestions. Exactly what I was looking for!!

          2. Heaven on Seven (on Wabash) also offers one of the better breakfasts around (particularly if you like it with a Cajun touch)

            1 Reply
            1. re: jbw

              Be aware, Heaven on Seven, the Wabash location, is cash only.

            2. If the weather is bad, consider using the subway, which is very convenient to the Palmer House. Look online at the CTA subway map. PH is on State St---Red Line runs under State, Blue Line one block west on Dearborn, Brown and Orange lines one block east on Wabash. You can get pretty much anyplace in a few minutes, and you'll be traveling out of the weather. Example: take Red Line in direction of Howard and get off at Clark & Division (maybe 6 minutes) then walk two short blocks east to Rush and turn right (south) and you will have a rich array of restaurants: Gibson's and Morton's for steak, Hugo's for seafood, Carmine's for Italian, Big Bowl for Asian, Bistro Zinc for French, Malnati's and Connie's for pizza, and a couple of dozen more.

              1. Macy's (formerly Marshall Field) has the Walnut Room. Ethnically interesting and right around the corner is Russian Tea Time, on Adams. Also on Adams, the Berghoff. Atwood Cafe is in Hotel Burnham. For a curious urban hole-in-wall wildly popular at lunchtime, try Oasis Cafe (Middle-Eastern) at rear of jewelry mall on Wabash. Someone already mentioned Heaven on Seven. All are online for details. All are within a block or two of the PH.