Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Chicago Area >
Jun 10, 2014 11:38 AM

3 days in chicago

Coming with my brothers for a getaway june 29 - july 2. Staying at palomar in river north. Have already booked:
Gibson's for dinner june 30
Frontera Grill for lunch July 1
Going to White Sox game on the 1st

Looking for advice on:
1. Dinner on the 29th. Preferably casual with good drinks. Gastropub or BBQ place would be ideal.
2. Breakfast/brunch near hotel.
3. Dinner near ballpark (or at ballpark if worthwhile).

Any other can't miss breakfast/lunch ideas would be welcome too!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. The original comment has been removed
    1. >> 1. Dinner on the 29th. Preferably casual with good drinks. Gastropub or BBQ place would be ideal.

      Go to Sable. It's right in your hotel, and it's one of my favorite restaurants in the entire city. They feature Heather Terhune's contemporary American cuisine in a small plates format, with most menu items available in half portions. Also terrific craft cocktails from one of the top mixologist teams in the city. Casual, and the food is moderately priced.

      Sable would be my top pick, but it's not barbecue. If you want to do barbecue, Bub City is quite good and fun, and it's only two blocks from the hotel.

      >> 2. Breakfast/brunch near hotel.

      Meli Café on Wells has a huge menu (twelve kinds of French toast!) and the quality is very good.

      >> 3. Dinner near ballpark (or at ballpark if worthwhile).

      There isn't a lot that's walkable from the Cell. I really like Han 202, which is about 0.8 mile away. The cuisine is a combination of French (salads and desserts) and Chinese (starters and mains), and it really works. It's casual and inexpensive, with a $35 four-course prix fixe menu.

      I don't think the food at the Cell is great, merely adequate. For a guide to the best of what's there, see

      >> Any other can't miss breakfast/lunch ideas would be welcome too!

      We have some really unusual breakfast/brunch specialty restaurants, but they are mostly located away from downtown. They're worth a trip, though, and most are near public transportation. There are three standouts IMHO. Jam is near the Logan Square stop on the CTA Blue Line, five miles northwest of downtown. Chef-owner Jeffrey Mauro came from a fine dining background and wanted to apply his creativity to a casual inexpensive breakfast/brunch/lunch place, and that's Jam. M. Henry is on Clark Street in Andersonville, seven miles north of downtown, and features an eclectic mix of great breakfast and lunch items. Bongo Room has three locations (South Loop a mile south of downtown, Wicker Park three miles northwest, and Andersonville seven miles north). Their specialty is creative pancakes with sauces, such as pretzel pancakes with white chocolate caramel sauce. Tip: A standard order consists of three GIGANTIC pancakes, but you can order a one-third or two-thirds portion size at reduced cost, which lets you try more than one dish.

      If you just want to go with pastry/donuts and coffee in the morning, we have good places for those, too. On Hubbard near the hotel you'll find creative donuts at Firecakes and Glazed & Infused. A little further, in the Loop, are Intelligentsia on Randolph for great coffee , Toni Patisserie for French pastry and bread and Do-Rite Donuts for donuts and Dark Matter coffee.

      For lunch, my top picks include our delicious local specialty of deep-dish Chicago-style pizza; the original Pizzeria Uno and Pizzeria Due are only a couple of blocks from your hotel. Also GT Fish & Oyster does a great job with seafood in a small plates format. If you're having lunch at an off hour - say, 1:30-4:30 in the afternoon - consider the Purple Pig, which has terrific Mediterranean-focused small plates but doesn't accept reservations and has horrendous wait times during normal meal hours.

      Finally, don't miss Garrett's for caramel and/or cheese popcorn, with several locations downtown while you're here, and locations at O'Hare to grab some on your way home.

      1 Reply
      1. By the Cell
        One-two punch of Pleasant House and Maria's Packaged Goods

        Order a meat pie and go next door to Maria's for a beer (over 475 selections!) They will bring your food over to you.

        1 Reply
        1. re: delk

          Just so you know, Pleasant House is half a mile further from the ballpark than Han 202. So it's about 1.3 miles away. (It's not clear how close you were hoping to get when you said "near ballpark".)

          In addition to eating at Han 202, another strategy I've used for Comiskey is to get carry-out food that travels well from a restaurant downtown, and bring it with me into the ballpark. If you do that, you can't bring in non-water beverages. From the Sox website: "Bottles/Cans - Only one (1) sealed water bottle 1 liter or less is allowed in U.S. Cellular Field. No other beverage containers, glass or otherwise shall be permitted into U.S. Cellular Field."