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Chicago

 
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nima



Joined: 28 Nov 2005
Posts: 93

PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 2009 5:18 pm    Post subject: Chicago Reply with quote

Hi everyone. I know it's been sometime since I've posted here. I was hoping to ask everyone for a favour.

My family and I just moved to Chicago, a place that is new to us. And I was hoping C&Zers, who are so well-versed in different parts of the world, could offer us some tips and advice. We want to get to know the city better.

Are there great gems (hidden or otherwise) we should know about? I'm particularly interested in food related things: restaurants, markets, etc.

Thanks!
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Rachel



Joined: 22 Oct 2006
Posts: 296
Location: Santa Barbara, CA

PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2009 4:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Nima, welcome to Chicago... if I can say that from Los Angeles! I'm a Chicagoan born and bred, so I'm happy to give you a few tips.

As far as markets go - disappointingly, farmer's markets finish in late October/early November and don't start again until May, so go while you can. The Green City Market in Lincoln Park is probably the biggest and best, but you can also look here to find out what's in your neighborhood: http://www.explorechicago.org/city/en/supporting_narrative/events___special_events/special_events/mose/chicago_farmers_markets.html

You absolutely must have Mexican food - it's one of the best bits of living in Chicago. Frontera Grill is justly famous for upscale Mexican cooking, but for a more down-home experience, go either to Pilsen or North Rogers Park (particularly on and around Clark Street) - there are far too many good places for me to recommend just one or two.

The best Chicago-style pizza, in my humble opinion, is actually not in Chicago itself, but in Evanston at Carmen's. If you've never had it before, I'd strongly recommend waiting for the weather to get really cold first - it's definitely winter food, to be followed by a good night's sleep. If you want Neapolitan pizza, though, go to Spacca Napoli. I could eat there every night and not get tired of it!

The best coffee I've found is at Intelligentsia, which has three branches, two downtown and one in Lakeview. The branch in the Monadnock Building (corner of Jackson and Dearborn) is by far my favorite - it has a very European feel and you can linger, if not all day, then at least for a few hours. If you're ever in Hyde Park, though, make sure to stop at Istria. It's a tiny cafe right under the South Shore Line tracks with outstanding espresso and gelato. I'm getting homesick just thinking about it...

You might also want to check out this blog, which is written by a Chicagoan and has lots of good recommendations:
www.lottieanddoof.com

Enjoy exploring!
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dory



Joined: 11 Nov 2007
Posts: 236
Location: Madison, WI

PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2009 5:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Where are you living in Chicago? I was in Chicago 1/2 time and am now in Madison, WI full-time. Some places that I miss are Tapas Barcelona in Evanston, for the food and the Heartland Café in Rogers Park for the atmosphere more than the food-- throw-back 60s hippie atmosphere.

Dory
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nima



Joined: 28 Nov 2005
Posts: 93

PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 4:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rachel and dory,

Thanks so much for this--I can't wait to try and check some of this out. We are currently living in Hyde Park but go up to Rogers Park and Evanston often enough.

Will keep you posted on how it goes.

Thanks again...
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gingerpale



Joined: 23 Jan 2006
Posts: 1324

PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 3:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Nima-- I remember your Indian cooking "lessons" here, from a year or two past. Smile
You could look at the Chowhound site, the Chicago section

http://chowhound.chow.com/boards/7

it's large and current.
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nima



Joined: 28 Nov 2005
Posts: 93

PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2009 4:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks again everyone for the great advice. We spent a day up in Evanston yesterday, followed by a stroll through the Indian/Pakistani groceries on Devon Ave in Rogers Park, and then tried one of the Thai places in the neighbourhood. A great success all around.

gingerpale, the Chowhound boards look great, thanks. As for Indian cooking, maybe I'll think about giving actual lessons one of these days Smile (especially since I finally have a kitchen that isn't the size of a matchbox).
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Onepot



Joined: 14 Oct 2009
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2009 5:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Metropolis on the north side! They roast their own beans, and the cafe is a lovely place to kill a couple hours on a rainy afternoon.

I'd suggest that you check out Union in Evanston--but the crowds are already out of control and I hesitate to further decrease my own chances of getting a table in under an hour. Wink

Chicago is an amazing city for food. (And for pretty much everything else, too!) Enjoy exploring.
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Mmel'ours



Joined: 10 Nov 2009
Posts: 41
Location: Chicago suburbs

PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2009 6:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very Happy Welcome, Nima! I can almost see Iowa from my roof on a clear day and don't get into the city often, but try Italian Village (three different restaurants in one). In Downers Grove, try Shere-a-Punjab on 63rd Street just east of I-355 for really good Indo-Pak food. They also have a really cool grocery store next door.
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"Food is an important part of a balanced diet..." Fran Leibowitz
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