Posted: Sat Oct 03, 2009 5:18 pm Post subject: Chicago
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.
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:
Joined: 11 Nov 2007 Posts: 236 Location: Madison, WI
Posted: Mon Oct 05, 2009 5:38 am Post subject:
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.
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 (especially since I finally have a kitchen that isn't the size of a matchbox).
Joined: 10 Nov 2009 Posts: 41 Location: Chicago suburbs
Posted: Thu Nov 12, 2009 6:01 pm Post subject:
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. _________________ "Food is an important part of a balanced diet..." Fran Leibowitz
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