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Jan 30, 2014 02:21 PM

Suggestions for Itinerary in March

This is my first time going to Chicago and I made a tentative itinerary for the trip. I'm getting there Sat 3/8 afternoon and leaving wed (3/12) evening. I haven't had a time to arrange everything relative to attractions as I plan on purchasing a Chicago citypass and using public transportation to get around. Originally I had Yusho for Sun night might I think that's pushing my budget as I'm still a student. I would be open to any suggestions that are in the $10 range for that meal. Also I would like thoughts on the general thoughts of the itinerary/anything glaring I'm missing that I should hit on first trip. I left off breakfast as I'm planning on just grabbing something light like a bagel or something of the sort. Thanks for the help!
dinner- Everest pre-theatre dinner
lunch- Maxwell Street Market
dinner- ?? (Maybe move Billy Goat Tavern dinner here)
lunch- Blackbird prix fixe
dinner- Chinese food (Lao Beijing? something cheap comfort food similar to chinese food in NYC)
lunch- Billy Goat Tavern (prob gonna be in Hyde Park area for Museum of Science and Industry)
dinner- Girl and the Goat
lunch- Lou Malnati's
dinner- italian subs

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  1. I would skip Billy Goat Tavern. I know it has a kind of panache from the old SNL routines with John Belushi, but it's just a very ordinary greasy spoon with uninteresting burgers.

    If you say where you're staying or where you'll be on Tuesday, we can probably make much more interesting (and equally inexpensive) recommendations for lunch.

    Everest is pretty pricey for pre-theatre. Did you say where your theater is? If it's at Steppenwolf or the Royal George, there are a lot of very good, much less expensive venues for pre-theater dinner that would be within a block of the theater.

    Lao Beijing isn't bad, but I have brought people there who complained about how dirty it looked and how bad the service was (I certainly didn't argue). There are LB locations in Chinatown and on the North Side. I'm not sure it is comparable to what you find in NYC. We could suggest some really good - and authentic - Thai or Vietnamese places in the same price range that might be much better.

    5 Replies
    1. re: chicgail

      Tentatively I would like to go to Field Museum and Shedd Aquarium Sun. Art institute and Skydeck Mon. Museum of Science and Industry Tues. I'll be staying near Magnificent Mile. I wanted to go to Everest because of all the good reviews it has gotten as well as it being Michelin starred. And I believe the pre theatre prix fixe dinner is ~$56. I'm actually planning on going to chicago symphony orchestra after dinner which should be near there. As for chinese food I only want something simple like beef noodles.

      1. re: yanks12

        Gotcha. Then Everest is a pretty good choice. $56 is a great deal for Everest. And it's closer to the CSO than it is to the theatre district so that works.

        If you're going to be at the MSI on Tuesday, that's pretty close to Chinatown. I would consider having Tuesday lunch there. My two favorites in Chinatown are Moon Palace and Emperor's Choice. Or you might want to try dim sum at Phoenix or MingHin, also Chinatown.

        1. re: chicgail

          I would be open to suggestions of thai or viet restaurants that are good (hopefully ~$10 range). Chinatown seems pretty far from MSI via public trans as google says its about 45 min away. Are there any restaurants you would recommend in the Hyde Park area? Thanks a lot for all the help.

          1. re: yanks12

            Apologies, I didn't realize it was that hard to get from MSI to Chinatown via public trans. I don't know much about anything great in Hyde Park and I was just at MSI with a six year old and we had an exceptionally mediocre meal at the cafe there (she didn't mind it that much, but I did!).

            I am now hesitant to suggest the good Thai or Vietnamese options because they are in neighborhoods north of the central tourist area. For Thai I would recommend Spoon Thai, Sticky Rice or TAC. For Vietnamese, there is a whole neighborhood to choose from, but again, pretty far north on Argyle St.

            1. re: chicgail

              Hi yanks12 - Portillo's would be a good option for your Sunday dinner. You could have an Italian beef and Chicago style dog. Pretty close to Mag Mile

    2. For Thai near MSI, Hyde Park has a number of options. When I was a student in that neighborhood, Snail Thai (1649 E 55th St) was a favorite -- but that was also ten years ago. There was also Thai 55 and Siam. I think they were all fine and definitely affordable.

      Chinatown isn't necessarily out of the way between downtown and MSI -- not to go terribly off-topic, but you would just take the 55th St. bus to the Red line and then ride North to the Chinatown stop. Probably a little longer than heading North directing from the MSI but it's not a huge detour. And you can eat in Chinatown. My favorites are Lao Hunan and Go 4 Food.

      Sundays at Yusho are, arguably, the best day to go if you want something more affordable. They offer a $20 prix fixe that is a solid value: . I'm not sure offhand if this is lunch only deal or is available all day - it might be worth a call/email.

      Miller's Pub, in the Loop, could be a fun stop - it's got some great character and the food is solid bar food. Probably more memorable for its ambiance than cuisine, it's pretty well located if you're coming from Museum campus. This article speaks to its history a little bit:

      1 Reply
      1. re: danimalarkey

        The $20 deal at Yusho is plainly a best bet because those little plates add up - and everything is smaller than you'd expect (the chicken wings are delicious and not to be confused with anything you'd find in a sports bar, but if somebody's idea of a good deal is quarter night, then they're eyes will pop out of their heads seeing two bites for about $7). They have some kick-ass cocktails - and I'm not really a drinker. I had their gin and tonic with housemade tonic and the Lion's Tail - both were awesome.