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30-ish hours in Chicago in late September - What to do / where to eat?

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30-ish hours in Chicago in late September - What to do / where to eat?

Old 06-22-16, 02:28 PM
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30-ish hours in Chicago in late September - What to do / where to eat?

No, I'm not going to steamworks.
Yes, I've read all about how dangerous Chicago is.
I'll only be at the airport and the theatre district.

I'll be flying in to Chicago on a Tuesday morning and leaving the next day, in the evening. Aside from a show on the Tuesday night, I have nothing else planned.

Need to figure out:
Lunch and Dinner on the Tuesday
Breakfast and Lunch on the Wednesday
Quick/easy things to do:
- Cloud Gate - giant silver bean thing (within walking distance of hotel)
- brown line loop (elevated train, you pervs)
- record store (reckless records looks like it's close by)

What else?

Last edited by Dan; 06-22-16 at 02:35 PM.
Old 06-22-16, 02:39 PM
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Re: 30-ish hours in Chicago in late September - What to do / where to eat?

I haven't been, but I did see the episode of The Layover there, I dunno what's still around but there's Bourdain's hitlist:

http://www.travelchannel.com/shows/t...o-travel-guide (the episode is on Netflix)
Old 06-22-16, 02:50 PM
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Re: 30-ish hours in Chicago in late September - What to do / where to eat?

Make sure your last will and testament is in order
Old 06-22-16, 02:51 PM
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Re: 30-ish hours in Chicago in late September - What to do / where to eat?

Maybe read the dozen other Chicago threads?
Old 06-22-16, 02:58 PM
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Re: 30-ish hours in Chicago in late September - What to do / where to eat?

Dove's Luncheonette mixes Southern and Mexican food in a diner with a very long (40+) mezcal list.

If it sounds interesting, you should check it out.

http://www.doveschicago.com/#about
Old 06-22-16, 02:59 PM
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Re: 30-ish hours in Chicago in late September - What to do / where to eat?

Originally Posted by davidh777 View Post
Maybe read the dozen other Chicago threads?
A restaurant that was good in 2013 is not necessarily as good (or unique) now.

Restaurants also open and close often (especially in big cities), so a new thread can be useful.
Old 06-22-16, 03:01 PM
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Re: 30-ish hours in Chicago in late September - What to do / where to eat?

Originally Posted by davidh777 View Post
Maybe read the dozen other Chicago threads?
I did a search, and although there are a ton of threads, the only ones updated in the last 2 years seemed to focus on news/violence in the city, and not things to do. The one asking for an "Adventure" in the city seemed to take a dark turn quickly, but I didn't read through the whole thing.

Old 06-22-16, 03:03 PM
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Re: 30-ish hours in Chicago in late September - What to do / where to eat?

Originally Posted by The Bus View Post
A restaurant that was good in 2013 is not necessarily as good (or unique) now.

Restaurants also open and close often (especially in big cities), so a new thread can be useful.
Seems the same can be accomplished by bumping a thread (and chances are a lot of responses in a new thread would be repeated from the old one), but I don't really care.

Originally Posted by Dan View Post
I did a search, and although there are a ton of threads, the only ones updated in the last 2 years seemed to focus on news/violence in the city, and not things to do. The one asking for an "Adventure" in the city seemed to take a dark turn quickly, but I didn't read through the whole thing.

And you expect this thread to be different?
Old 06-22-16, 03:03 PM
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Re: 30-ish hours in Chicago in late September - What to do / where to eat?

Originally Posted by The Bus View Post
Dove's Luncheonette mixes Southern and Mexican food in a diner with a very long (40+) mezcal list.

If it sounds interesting, you should check it out.

http://www.doveschicago.com/#about
That does sound good. It's along the Blue line, so I could check it out for a late lunch before I leave for the airport.

Originally Posted by RichC2 View Post
I haven't been, but I did see the episode of The Layover there, I dunno what's still around but there's Bourdain's hitlist:

http://www.travelchannel.com/shows/t...o-travel-guide (the episode is on Netflix)
There's a couple from his list that are in the area I'll be in. One appears closed, and the other seems good, but a bit out of the way. We'll see.
Old 06-22-16, 03:11 PM
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Re: 30-ish hours in Chicago in late September - What to do / where to eat?

http://auchevalchicago.com/

Great burger but the wait sucks.
Old 06-22-16, 03:49 PM
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Re: 30-ish hours in Chicago in late September - What to do / where to eat?

Au Cheval is damn good. The kitchen doesn't open until 5pm, but you can get a seat at 4 and drink up until the kitchen opens.
Old 06-22-16, 03:53 PM
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Re: 30-ish hours in Chicago in late September - What to do / where to eat?

Originally Posted by Neitzl View Post
Au Cheval is damn good. The kitchen doesn't open until 5pm, but you can get a seat at 4 and drink up until the kitchen opens.
My friend is a big fan of theirs. I heard they apparently changed that back in January, they're still closed from 3 - 5 pm on Saturday and Sunday but otherwise the Kitchen is open anytime the bar is.

Last edited by RichC2; 06-22-16 at 03:58 PM.
Old 06-22-16, 04:48 PM
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Re: 30-ish hours in Chicago in late September - What to do / where to eat?

A buddy of mine says Au Cheval makes the best burger in America.
Old 06-22-16, 05:18 PM
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Re: 30-ish hours in Chicago in late September - What to do / where to eat?

Au cheval is really good. There's a ton of restaurants right around there (Randolph & Halsted) that are also delicious. Stephanie Izzard has 3 restauarants right nearby, and Graham Eliot has at least one. Favorites of mine (besides Au Cheval) include Little Goat, Green Street Smoked Meats, de cero, Cemitas Puebla, and Bar Siena. All of those are within a block and a half of Au Cheval, so you can just gorge yourself silly without any effort if you're so inclined.

And if you want to drop a ton of money, I highly recommend Grace.

But Chicago has literally hundreds of quality restaurants. And a lot of neighborhoods filled with great ethnic cuisine -- Chinatown, Argyle (Vietnamese), Devon (Indian and Pakistani), Greektown, Pilsen (Mexican). Asking "where should I eat" in Chicago is like asking "What should I read" in a library. What do you like?

Moving away from food, Chicago's got some great museums -- the Art Institute, the Field Museum (natural history), and the Museum of Science and Industry. Plus the Shedd Aquarium and the Adler Planetarium.

Stay away from Navy Pier. It's an over-rated tourist trap.

If shopping is your thing, Michigan Avenue north of the river has a ton of great stores.

Also: Theater in Chicago in September -- tell me you didn't score tickets yesterday? If so, I'm super jealous!
Old 06-22-16, 05:36 PM
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Re: 30-ish hours in Chicago in late September - What to do / where to eat?

Originally Posted by JasonF View Post
Au cheval is really good. There's a ton of restaurants right around there (Randolph & Halsted) that are also delicious. Stephanie Izzard has 3 restauarants right nearby, and Graham Eliot has at least one. Favorites of mine (besides Au Cheval) include Little Goat, Green Street Smoked Meats, de cero, Cemitas Puebla, and Bar Siena. All of those are within a block and a half of Au Cheval, so you can just gorge yourself silly without any effort if you're so inclined.

And if you want to drop a ton of money, I highly recommend Grace.

But Chicago has literally hundreds of quality restaurants. And a lot of neighborhoods filled with great ethnic cuisine -- Chinatown, Argyle (Vietnamese), Devon (Indian and Pakistani), Greektown, Pilsen (Mexican). Asking "where should I eat" in Chicago is like asking "What should I read" in a library. What do you like?
Thanks! With so many mentions of it, I think I'll try my hand at Au cheval on my way in from O'hare. If there's already a line up around 11am (on a Tuesday? I hope not!), I'll go to one of the nearby places you mentioned.

Moving away from food, Chicago's got some great museums -- the Art Institute, the Field Museum (natural history), and the Museum of Science and Industry. Plus the Shedd Aquarium and the Adler Planetarium.
Nice!

Stay away from Navy Pier. It's an over-rated tourist trap.
I figure the theatre district is enough of a tourist trap, so yeah, I'll avoid Navy Pier.

If shopping is your thing, Michigan Avenue north of the river has a ton of great stores.
Thanks but nope. Not a shopper. Aside from the record store I already mentioned, I can't think of any specific shopping I'd want to do on this short of a trip.

Also: Theater in Chicago in September -- tell me you didn't score tickets yesterday? If so, I'm super jealous!
Opening night!

I also got a ticket for the afternoon show on Oct 5th. Got that one first, actually... then scored the 27th after. But it looks like they're not allowing any kind of legal resale of tickets, even at face value? Lame. So my wife is considering flying out the week after me, just to use my 2nd ticket. But she's not as excited as I am, so she might not. Which means it might go unused, which would be a damn shame. I tried, but failed, at getting two tickets together for either of those shows, and didn't think about trying to get two single tickets for the same show, but separate.
Old 06-22-16, 10:27 PM
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Re: 30-ish hours in Chicago in late September - What to do / where to eat?

Spider-Man: Into the Dark is coming to Chicago!? F#*k yeah! Seriously, what show?

If you are within walking distance of Millenium Park (where The Bean is) I'm guessing you will be in the area I usually stay in (Hilton Chicago). I'm the adventure guy, so go read that thread! (Most of my threads turn dark, it will be Ok.)

If you are looking for "not gourmet" and don't mind walking a little bit, consider the Billy Goat Tavern ("Cheeseburger, cheeseburger, cheeseburger!") or Harold's Chicken Shack.

A definite recommend is the 11 City Diner -- that is a must for my group for breakfast at least once while we are there. I would participate in crazy Chicago violence for their French toast and homemade root beer (blonde or dark). Not sure if I would participate in a Steamworks trip for 11 City, but I would consider it.
Old 06-22-16, 11:11 PM
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Re: 30-ish hours in Chicago in late September - What to do / where to eat?

Originally Posted by Abob Teff View Post
Spider-Man: Into the Dark is coming to Chicago!? F#*k yeah! Seriously, what show?
Nah, I saw that one in NYC in 2011. I enjoyed it.

I'll be seeing Hamilton. I'm sure it won't be quite like it is right now in NYC with the original cast and creator, but I couldn't get tickets to that so opening night in Chicago is exciting enough for me.

If you are within walking distance of Millenium Park (where The Bean is) I'm guessing you will be in the area I usually stay in (Hilton Chicago). I'm the adventure guy, so go read that thread! (Most of my threads turn dark, it will be Ok.)

If you are looking for "not gourmet" and don't mind walking a little bit, consider the Billy Goat Tavern ("Cheeseburger, cheeseburger, cheeseburger!") or Harold's Chicken Shack.
Cool. Yeah, I'm not much of a gourmet guy for the most part, so I'll keep those in mind.

A definite recommend is the 11 City Diner -- that is a must for my group for breakfast at least once while we are there. I would participate in crazy Chicago violence for their French toast and homemade root beer (blonde or dark). Not sure if I would participate in a Steamworks trip for 11 City, but I would consider it.
Damn. Kinda wishing I booked an extra day there so I could try out all these good suggestions.
Old 06-22-16, 11:25 PM
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Re: 30-ish hours in Chicago in late September - What to do / where to eat?

Assuming we go for our work conference this year, I will miss you by just a few days. I'll be there later that week.

Of the three I suggested, 11 City is a must for the food.

Billy Goat is neat for its history and "atmosphere." http://www.billygoattavern.com/legend/snl/
(Clarification -- go to the original location on Michigan)

Harold's is just damn good chicken, but could be easily skipped.

Last edited by Abob Teff; 06-22-16 at 11:40 PM.
Old 06-22-16, 11:41 PM
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Make that 54-ish hours in Chicago in late September - What to do / where to eat?

Originally Posted by Dan View Post
Damn. Kinda wishing I booked an extra day there so I could try out all these good suggestions.
Fuck it. I just changed my flights and hotel. I'm staying two nights now.

Originally Posted by Abob Teff View Post
Assuming we go for our work conference this year, I will miss you by just a few days. I'll be there later that week.

Of the three I suggested, 11 City is a must for the food.
Awesome. Now that I've added 24 hours, I'll check it out. Sounds excellent!

Billy Goat is neat for its history and "atmosphere." http://www.billygoattavern.com/legend/snl/

Harold's is just damn good chicken, but could be easily skipped.
I'll do some more research on those and all the other suggestions here.
Old 06-23-16, 12:12 AM
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Re: 30-ish hours in Chicago in late September - What to do / where to eat?

I saw Hamilton on Broadway a few months ago (I was lucky enough to get tickets before Hamilton mania took off). I'd love to see it again. You're in for a great show.

Two more restaurant suggestions that are Chicago institutions:

http://www.loumitchellsrestaurant.com

http://mannysdeli.com

And you can't go wrong with an Italian Beef Sandwich. I'm partial to Al's, which is one of the bigger names in Chicago, as well,as a little-known place called Bombacigno's J&C Inn.

And since you've got an extra day, if you like baseball and if the Cubs are in town, you might think about heading up to Wrigley Field. It's a fun part of town, and all indications are that this year, a late September Cubs game will actually be meaningful.
Old 06-23-16, 12:17 AM
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Re: 30-ish hours in Chicago in late September - What to do / where to eat?

I should also mention that Chicago doesn't have a theater district the way New York does. There are 3 or 4 big theat sr downtown that get Broadway shows, but they are all smack in the middle of the Loop, which is the business district. It's not like being on Broadway in New York. Chicago has kind of tried to brand a theater district, but it's really just downtown (and there are a bunch of other theaters -- notably the Steppenwolf, but there are literally dozens of others -- that are nowhere near the "Theater District.").

Also, Chicago is ground zero for improv, so consider trying to catch a show at Second City or iO.
Old 06-23-16, 12:26 AM
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Re: 30-ish hours in Chicago in late September - What to do / where to eat?

Thanks for the clarification. When I did a hotwire search for hotels, that zone was labeled as "theatre district" but yeah, you're right. Nobody else seems to call it that.

Good tip on SC/iO. That'll be a good way to chill on the second night if I have nothing else going on.
Old 09-30-16, 05:14 PM
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Re: 30-ish hours in Chicago in late September - What to do / where to eat?

Got back from my trip late last night. As usual, I didn't hit up nearly as many places for food/fun as I intended, but that's okay.

For food:
Giordano's - good stuffed pizza. Excellent fries.
Intelligensia - Had a mocha, and it was almost as good as my favourite place back home.
Eleven City Diner - Good coffee, GREAT french toast! Sat at the bar, where they had a picture of Tom Waits. Didn't end up ordering a root beer, though. Maybe next time.
Filter Cafe - OK coffee.
Max's Take Out - Pretty good hot dog, OK burger, warm coke.
Shake Shack - Just a chocolate malted shake. Good but expensive for such a small size.
Sawada Coffee - good latte.
Au Cheval - Single cheese w/ bacon & egg. Fantastic. Perfection? Maybe... I went early, before they opened, so I got to sit (at the bar) right at 11. Pretty good root beer, too.
West Town Bakery - Had a Chris P Cream donut. It was okay.

In terms of touristy stuff,
I saw Hamilton. First public performance in Chicago. It was fantastic, and better than I had hoped for.
Walked by the Cloud Gate. Cool bean.
Spent half a day at the Adler Planetarium. Took in two shows, both of which were pretty cool.
Bought some records at both Reckless and Permanent.

Overall, a pretty good trip. Au Cheval and Hamilton were absolutely the highlights. Nothing I did or ate was terrible, so I'd call it a successful trip.
Old 10-01-16, 09:28 AM
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Re: 30-ish hours in Chicago in late September - What to do / where to eat?

Sounds like a great trip! I'm glad the Chicago production of Hamilton is up to snuff -- I have tickets in April!
Old 10-01-16, 09:51 AM
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Re: 30-ish hours in Chicago in late September - What to do / where to eat?

Almost exactly three years ago, I was in Chicago for a day or so. Exchequer's deep dish was disappointing. And it was on some top lists too.

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