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Chicago! Chicago!

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Joined: 11 Mar 2005
Posts: 696
Location: israel

PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2010 7:30 pm    Post subject: Chicago! Chicago! Reply with quote

After not travelling to the states for 12 years, I will return this year the second time in the land of unlimited opportunities...
Due to my best friend's son decision to marry in November!!! in Chicago!!! , I'll board the plane once again towards the USA. (12 hours!!)
After a "must" week in New York ( there are some restaurants I did not eat at, some museums I had no time for and some shows I did not find tickets to in May) , I'll land in Chicago at the end of November! Brrr.. I'm freezing already ( which is a good feeling , considering the 35+ Celsius we have here now!) . After the 3-days party wedding , during which I will have to endure the pre dinner-wedding party, and the pre wedding brunch , and the in-laws dinner and the grandparent's breakfast, as well as the saturday synagogue service , and finally the weeding -, we ( my daughter an me) will stay for another 2 days to visit Chicago. I've heard it's worth it, so I booked two more days at my very central hotel.
My question is : I would like to eat some good, normal food after the 3-days splurge of the wedding. What and where, could you help me dear friends? Dear Chicago Bear, are you there? My daughter , a basket ball player, would like to go to a game of the Bulls (???) - I believe she is even capable of escaping the wedding for that. But I want to eat and see something of this city, despite the fact that probably the weather will be awful.
Hoping for a "little help from my friends", yours truely

No more war, Chicago is waiting for me!!
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Joined: 22 Oct 2006
Posts: 296
Location: Santa Barbara, CA

PostPosted: Sat Aug 14, 2010 5:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh wow, you're visiting my native city! I sure don't miss the weather in November (or for that matter, the weather between late October and the end of April Razz ) but there are certainly lots of places to eat well, cheaply and unpretentiously. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Russian Tea Time (Russian, of course - it has the added advantage of being across the street from the Art Institute)

Hema's Kitchen (Indian - there are two locations, the original on Devon Avenue and a newer one in Lincoln Park)

Xoco (Rick Bayless's latest and cheapest venture - a very high-class version of Mexican street food. Go for breakfast or dinner if you can; if you go for lunch, be prepared to endure a very, very long queue)

Gino's (Chicago-style pizza - this is definitely cold-weather food, preferably to be followed by a nap)

Not a restaurant per se, but Intelligentsia has the best coffee in the city. They have three branches (two downtown, one in Lakeview) and if you visit any of them, I'd recommend the one in the Monadnock Building (corner of Jackson and Dearborn), if only for the atmosphere and the beauty of the setting.

Hope that helps. Enjoy your trip - I'll cross my fingers for halfway decent weather then!
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Joined: 11 Mar 2005
Posts: 696
Location: israel

PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 7:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you Rachel. I've heard of course about the famous Chicago-Pizza , and though I'm not a Pizza fanatic, and I usually prefer those with a very very thin crust, I'll certainly try one of the local ones. With beer of course
( which will make a welcome change after 3 days of Champagne and Wine).
Do you know of any special chinese? I'll be coming from New York, where I practically "sleep" in chinese restaurants, but still...
Are there any specialties of Chicago ( besides the Pizza)?
Concerning the weather: after 5 days in Chicago I'm bound for Los Angeles , so I'll warm up.
How is Santa Barbara? My Los Angeles friends intend to take us to a famous brunch , in a famous restaurant in Santa Barbara. I remember from my last visit ( 10years ago) the beach and the view from the mission. I hope this tine I'll have some time to stroll in the city.
Thanks again,

No more war, more good food around a peaceful world!
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Kevin - Chocolate Parties

Joined: 18 Aug 2010
Posts: 1
Location: Chicago IL

PostPosted: Thu Aug 19, 2010 3:41 pm    Post subject: Chicago Chicago Reply with quote

Happy travels to Chicago.

Chicago is a great city for food. If you are looking for chinese I would highly recommend a quick 10 minute cab ride over to Chinatown.
What a great place to explore as well. It is only about 2 miles from central downtown and makes for a quick walk around, as chicago's chinatown is only about 5 square blocks in size. Keep in mind most chinatown restaurants serve dim sum on Sundays if you want to enjoy that great menu

check out the very affordable:
Triple Crown Seafood Restaurant
211 W. 22nd Place
Chicago, IL 60616
(312) 791-0788

Of course Chocolate Parties (cant resist talking about the chocolate rennaissance that is happening in Chicago right as we speak. You can find some unbelievable desserts and tastes in the world of chocolate.

Chocolate Bar at the peninsula hotel
Neighborhood: River North
108 E. Superior St.
Chicago, IL 60611
Price range: $$$ ($16-$25)

Vosges Haute-Chocolat
Chicago – Downtown
520 N. Michigan Avenue (North Bridge Mall)
Chicago, IL 60611
Ring: 312.644.9450
Hours: Mon-Sat. 10-8, Sun. 11-6

Take a tour of the chocolate academy in Chicago
Barry Callebaut USA
600 West Chicago Avenue, suite 860
Chicago IL 60610 USA
Phone: +1 312 496 7300

Sarah’s Pastries and Candies
70 East Oak Street
Chicago, IL [ map ]
Store Telephone (312) 664-6223
Store Fax (312) 664-4918
Oak Street Hours:
8am-6pm Mon-Sat and Sunday 10am-6pm

Hope that helps - Kevin/chocolatier
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Joined: 28 Nov 2005
Posts: 93

PostPosted: Thu Aug 19, 2010 11:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Simona.

Welcome to Chicago in November! There's a lot of great food here, much of it surprisingly accessible.

My favourite is Nightwood. It's not far from Chinatown, about 10-15 minutes from downtown. They do an amazing Sunday brunch! It's the sister restaurant to Lula Cafe in Logan Square, which is always great too.

I completely second Rachel on Xoco (which in my experience is the best of the Bayless restaurants), and on Intelligentsia.

Chicago is home to some of the best Mexican food in the US. The entire Pilsen area is full of great bakeries, taquerias, and family eateries. The birria at Zaragoza is awesome:

And if you are in the mood for something fancier, try Spiaggia downtown. The cafe is cheaper than the restaurant, but the food is unfussy and delicious.

Hope that helps!
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Joined: 28 Jul 2011
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 8:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually one restaurant that I ate at in Chicago that was really interesting was a place called Moto in the Fulton Market area. They offer a ten or twenty course menu along with wine pairings. The courses are very creative and inventive and it's definitely an experience as opposed to just a dinner. It start with the menu which is edible. They use a lot of dry ice, ice machines and liquid nitrogen to make interesting textures in the food and drinks.
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Joined: 16 Aug 2011
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 8:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I go to Lula Cafe by Milwaukee ave pretty often, nice place on the north side. If it weren't for the insane traffic during rush hours, I'd be visiting it more frequently. borderline personality disorder cholesterol levels
But then again there are plenty of other great place in the city worth visiting. Laughing
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