In Chicago Thursday to Sunday… recommendations?

I haven’t been In Chicago since I was a kid! My wife and I are in Wisconsin until Thursday, and in Chicago until Sunday! Looking for things to do, drinking and dining recommendations in Chicago especially! Understand it is a place that celebrates deep dish and steak? Options, suggestions?

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Where are you staying and what are you looking for (cuisine, price point, etc.)?

For “Chicago-style” pizza, I prefer Lou Malnati’s which is a chain, so best to find one close to where you are staying.

There are loads of steakhouses. Arguably the best is Bavette’s but it can be hard to get reservations, though IIRC you can also sit at the bar and it’s first come, first served.

I think there’s a lot more to chicagos wonderful food scene than steak and deep dish. That said, if that’s what you and your wife want to do, then go for it.

Otherwise, water publishes a pretty handy cheat sheet:

And Michelin (bib gourmand, stars), does a fairly good job of Chicago (although not without debate):

In terms of activities, what are you in to/curious about?

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Bavette’s holds a few tables when they open for walk-ins. You can also sit at the bar. I would recommend Pequod’s over Lou Malnati’s.

However, I agree with @Clayton_Wai-Poi that Chicago is so much more than deep dish and steaks.

Most Michelin bib gourmands will be great.

From the link Clayton provided above, I would recommend Gilt Bar, Ciccio Mío, Proxi, Avec, Cabra, Tzuco, Mott St., Chefs Special Cocktail Bar, Giant, Lula Cafe


Grab a cocktail at the bar at Kumiko. Enjoy a steak burrito and margarita at Mi Tocaya Antojeria. Pretend like you are in Naples and enjoy hand-crafted pastas from Tortello. Savor the tasting menu at Kai Zan.

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Blackbird was a favorite when I used to go in business (pre pandemic). Is in still around?

No. It went out of business during the pandemic.

Still very sad about this. Blackbird was my favorite spot in Chicago for a long time. Had several memorable wines, the food was always top notch, and the only complaint was that you could barely squeeze in between the tables because they packed it in so tight (but you often got to know new people as a result!).

I like Kevin’s recommendations here, particularly Pequods over Lou’s.

The tip I always give visitors is to venture out beyond the loop and river north areas…they’re fine, but the best food is found in and around the more residential Chicago neighborhoods, particularly West Loop, Logan Square, Bucktown/Wicker Park and up and coming hotspots like Pilsen and Avondale are great to experience something memorable, authentic, and shockingly affordable.

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Minghin Cuisine was really good dim sum. I also thought Mr. Beef’s burger was better than all the $$$$ burgers in the city. I was quite disappointed with some of the top burger spots on these food lists… Mr. Beef’s burger is grilled on open flame. Au Cheval etc. they all do it on a flat top which makes it lowkey taste like Carl’s Jr.

Some of our favorites in no particular order. Sepia, Purple Pig, Boka, Topolobampo/Fronterra, Momotaro, Lula Cafe, Obelix, Au Cheval (we love the burger), Virtue, El Ideas (byob only), high end tasting we like Oriole. Haven’t been to Alinea in a long time. The RPM restaurants are all good as in consistent and reliable. For steakhouses I would second the Bavette’s suggestion or Maple and Ash but we don’t do a lot of steakhouses. We haven’t had deep dish in years but Perquod’s or Malnati’s if you must.

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2x on the recommendation for Sepia, Boka, Purple Pig, Momotaro

[quote=“Bweiss, post:9, topic:306112, full:true”] particularly West Loop, Logan Square, Bucktown/Wicker Park

One could easily have an insanely awesome Saturday just meandering around these areas. Start at ipsento for Coffee and then make your way slowly south going down Milwaukee and then over to Damen before making your way up to and around Logan Square.

Big Star, Piece Pizza, Taxim (for dinner), Mama Delia, Le Midi, Daisies, Red&White (for btg and bottles), Irazu (just across from R&W), and Andros Taverna just off the top of my head can fill a day and then some.

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Thoughts on Girl and the Goat? Flying in on Saturday, likely have on shot at a restaurant I get to pick (going for an offsite), so being picky. Less focused on Michelin stars and more on a nicer bistro/gastropub experience.
As always, thanks in advance.

Asador bastien might be your speed meat wise

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So we hit a couple different places for a couple different reasons… but ultimately my concensus with my wife was that all around we enjoyed the “Purple Pig” the most of all!


If your looking for casual bourbon friendly spot, Big Star is hard to beat.Tacos, seafood and more.3 locations.:tumbler_glass:

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Got a bar reservation for Sat night. Thanks.

Now to figure out how to evade the work team on Sunday night :slight_smile:

I think you’ll really like it, the emphasis on Spanish beef is pretty rare in this country

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More love for Purple Pig here….

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