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Heading to Chicago for the first time...


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#1 celts5407

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 02:30 PM

My wife is dragging me to some show in a Chicago in a few weeks, so I'm looking for recommendations to salvage the rest of the week. Where do I go and what do I do guys? Best deep dish? And yes, we've already got cubs tickets, and no we aren't playing golf unfortunately. I'll try and drive by medinah just to smell it or something...

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#2 golfingjohn

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 03:11 PM

Best deep dish is Lou Malnati's, but a better tourist destination may be Gino's East.  An architecture boat tour is a great way to appreciate the Chicago architecture.  I wouldn't bother driving by Medinah.  If you're not going through the gate, you're just seeing an average Chicago suburb.

Chicago is filled with a bunch of great neighborhoods.  Depending on where you're staying, there's a lot to do in Chicago, especially in the summer.  There's always a bunch of activities and fests going on.  If you're into the food scene, there are some great restaurants and microbreweries.  You can't go wrong with the restaurant scene on Randolph Street in the West Loop.  Best burgers and beers are at Au Cheval.

I can give you more suggestions based on what you're in to.

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#3 onlyomar

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 04:27 PM

The architectural boat tour is pretty fun. If you like Mexican, try on of Rick Bayless's restaurants.

Edited by onlyomar, 18 July 2017 - 04:29 PM.


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#4 Markrip

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 05:33 PM

The Field museum, Museum of Science and Industry, the Planetarium and the Shedd Aquarium are all good places to go. Navy Pier is touristy but if you haven't been to Chicago it's not a bad way to spend part of the day. The Lincoln Park Zoo and the beaches nearby are also good on a summer day. Their is a pizza place by the zoo called Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinder. It is not the traditional deep dish pizza but it's good. It's in a great old building right across the street from where the St. Valentines Day massacre happened.
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#5 glk

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 06:39 PM

Hopleaf.   Kuma's on Belmont.   Lou's.  Hoosier mama pies

Edited by glk, 18 July 2017 - 07:39 PM.


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#6 MtlJeff

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 07:13 PM

Chicago is great, I've come to love the views of the city while sitting on delayed planes.


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#7 celts5407

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 07:41 PM

Thanks for the recommendations guys, keep them coming!
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#8 onlyomar

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 08:47 PM

View PostMarkrip, on 18 July 2017 - 05:33 PM, said:

The Field museum, Museum of Science and Industry, the Planetarium and the Shedd Aquarium are all good places to go. Navy Pier is touristy but if you haven't been to Chicago it's not a bad way to spend part of the day. The Lincoln Park Zoo and the beaches nearby are also good on a summer day. Their is a pizza place by the zoo called Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinder. It is not the traditional deep dish pizza but it's good. It's in a great old building right across the street from where the St. Valentines Day massacre happened.

I will second this pizza place. It comes in a pizza pot pie like a giant pizza ball.

Hancock Tower at night.

Edited by onlyomar, 18 July 2017 - 08:47 PM.


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#9 highergr0und

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 08:48 PM

What kind of scene do you like?  Neighborhoods there vary quite a bit....

Plan on going straight back to the hotel after your deep dish pizza adventure....  You will feel like an overstuffed, bloated wreck after you leave dinner and will need some recovery time.

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#10 glk

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 08:59 PM

Money museum in the fed on lasalle street.   See where they really flipped that truck in dark knight.    Visit the underground.     Drive lower wacker

Eat at Lawry in old McCormick mansion.   Big & littles.   Take in show at second city.    Smoque.   Pierogi heaven if you don't want to venture to Milwaukee avenue for all the real deal.      Go to Munster for three floyds brewery and pub.    Gibsons cause that were the celebs hangs and the steaks are really good.  
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Portillos.  Al's.   Vito and nicks.  

So many places just depends on what you want to eat and spend.       Google is your friend.

Edited by glk, 18 July 2017 - 09:27 PM.


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#11 krzeczowskimatt

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 10:12 AM

Pequods is far and away the BEST PIZZA in Chicago and it is not even close. Anyone who really lives in the city will agree. I would tell you for Deep Dish Pequods is where people who live in the city go to get pizza

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#12 deadsolid...shank

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 12:23 PM

View Postkrzeczowskimatt, on 19 July 2017 - 10:12 AM, said:

Pequods is far and away the BEST PIZZA in Chicago and it is not even close. Anyone who really lives in the city will agree. I would tell you for Deep Dish Pequods is where people who live in the city go to get pizza

I've only been there a couple of times so very limited experience. But, we didn't care at all for Lou Malnati's pizza. Our family liked the pizza from Pizanos(I don't even know if that is a "name" place there, or just a place the kids found and liked)  Also enjoyed Portillos like someone mentioned earlier.

The architecture  boat tour was awesome.
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#13 VNutz

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 12:31 PM

I've never been the biggest fan of Malnati's, but it's all personal taste. I prefer Gino's East or Giordanos if you're going deep dish, even if Gino's East is a tourist trap.

What I tell all my buddies that end up staying downtown: Ditka's Pot Roast Nachos.

What show are you going to? If you're going to Hamilton you're in for a treat, and I really dislike theatre.

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#14 ritz0019

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 12:50 PM

Architectural boat tours are great
Shopping on Michigan
Field Museum

Lou Malnati's on the deep dish.
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#15 glk

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 01:52 PM

Since a picture is woth ...

The Lou - spinach, mushroom, tomato's on butter crust. Can get the buttercrust on other pies too just have to ask and it might be a bit more.
ct-lou-malnatis-pizza-expansion-0922-biz-20160921.jpg

Kuma's back when they did waffle fried (they don't do them anymore and I'm glad they don't).   The mac &cheese is great too - they've lightened it up so it's not so much a gut load anymore but still really, really good.   And the beer, did I say beer.
Posted Image


Hopleaf. Mussels and frites and belgian beer (or just about any beer made anywhere)  Can't get enough bread to dip the broth!
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#16 celts5407

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 08:32 PM

View PostVNutz, on 19 July 2017 - 12:31 PM, said:

I've never been the biggest fan of Malnati's, but it's all personal taste. I prefer Gino's East or Giordanos if you're going deep dish, even if Gino's East is a tourist trap.

What I tell all my buddies that end up staying downtown: Ditka's Pot Roast Nachos.

What show are you going to? If you're going to Hamilton you're in for a treat, and I really dislike theatre.

It is Hamilton. I hope you're right because I'm not a play/theatre guy either.
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#17 celts5407

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 08:34 PM

View Postkrzeczowskimatt, on 19 July 2017 - 10:12 AM, said:

Pequods is far and away the BEST PIZZA in Chicago and it is not even close. Anyone who really lives in the city will agree. I would tell you for Deep Dish Pequods is where people who live in the city go to get pizza

I've heard a lot about Pequods. We might try that. We've had Lou malnatis shipped to us in Florida before so we probably won't go there just because we've had it.
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#18 krzeczowskimatt

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Posted 20 July 2017 - 05:41 AM

View Postcelts5407, on 19 July 2017 - 08:34 PM, said:

View Postkrzeczowskimatt, on 19 July 2017 - 10:12 AM, said:

Pequods is far and away the BEST PIZZA in Chicago and it is not even close. Anyone who really lives in the city will agree. I would tell you for Deep Dish Pequods is where people who live in the city go to get pizza

I've heard a lot about Pequods. We might try that. We've had Lou malnatis shipped to us in Florida before so we probably won't go there just because we've had it.

Celts I promise you will not be disappointed the crust is one of a kind. It is known by people who live downtown most people on here are from the Suburbs like me and have never even heard of this place. I am lucky enough my brother lives right down the street so whenever i go down to visit it is where we go. I recommend it to everyone when they ask about pizza in the city.

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#19 hogans71

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Posted 20 July 2017 - 06:22 PM

View Postkrzeczowskimatt, on 20 July 2017 - 05:41 AM, said:

View Postcelts5407, on 19 July 2017 - 08:34 PM, said:

View Postkrzeczowskimatt, on 19 July 2017 - 10:12 AM, said:

Pequods is far and away the BEST PIZZA in Chicago and it is not even close. Anyone who really lives in the city will agree. I would tell you for Deep Dish Pequods is where people who live in the city go to get pizza

I've heard a lot about Pequods. We might try that. We've had Lou malnatis shipped to us in Florida before so we probably won't go there just because we've had it.

Celts I promise you will not be disappointed the crust is one of a kind. It is known by people who live downtown most people on here are from the Suburbs like me and have never even heard of this place. I am lucky enough my brother lives right down the street so whenever i go down to visit it is where we go. I recommend it to everyone when they ask about pizza in the city.

Totally agree... Have lived in Lincoln Park for over two decades and it's by far the best. My opinion, skip the deep dish all together...

Gibson's for the best steak in the Midwest. Can't go wrong with the atmosphere in and around state and oak.

The West loop has some fantastic spots as well- up and down Randolph.

Don't try to do any "visiting" outside the city limits (Medinah). Once you see the time it takes to get back downtown, you'll lose your ever loving mind. Traffic is bad- ALWAYS. Something to keep in mind when you're planning your days.

Take the El to Wrigley as well...

We have wonderful museums and such if you're into that- not a bad walk up and down Michigan Ave..

Just food for thought..

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#20 HoganApexBlades

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Posted 20 July 2017 - 06:38 PM

Specifically, the RED LINE on State Street North to Addison (3600 North) if you're in the Loop. Otherwise, take the UPRR METRA NORTHWEST line to Irving Park station, get off and take a CTA bus to Clark Street. Walk South on Clark to Wrigley and hit as many bars as you can before The Cubby Bear (right outside main entrance). Then go to Murphy's on Sheffield behind RF/centerfield scoreboard.

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#21 VNutz

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Posted 20 July 2017 - 06:42 PM

View Postcelts5407, on 19 July 2017 - 08:32 PM, said:

View PostVNutz, on 19 July 2017 - 12:31 PM, said:

I've never been the biggest fan of Malnati's, but it's all personal taste. I prefer Gino's East or Giordanos if you're going deep dish, even if Gino's East is a tourist trap.

What I tell all my buddies that end up staying downtown: Ditka's Pot Roast Nachos.

What show are you going to? If you're going to Hamilton you're in for a treat, and I really dislike theatre.

It is Hamilton. I hope you're right because I'm not a play/theatre guy either.

I don't care for musicals and theatre, but I do like history. If you care to I'd suggest downloading it on iTunes so you can have an idea of what you're in for, otherwise you might not be able to follow. For me listening to it so much ahead of time helped me connect the characters and story together so much better in person.

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#22 JDFish

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Posted 25 July 2017 - 03:30 PM

I was there a few weeks ago.  You won't get into Gibson's unless you already have a reservation so I highly recommend Prime and Provisions as a substitute.  We had a great meal at El Che Bar (modern Argentinian).  Drinks at the rooftop bar at the Hyatt.  And, if you like Chinese food, go down to Chinatown - we had a fantastic meal at Won Ke.  And, if you like champagne, Pops Champagne Bar is a great place to spend an hour or two.
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#23 sefus12

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Posted 26 July 2017 - 07:23 AM

If you're downtown and looking for a good sports bar with some of the best wings you'll ever have, check out Jake Melnick's on East Superior.  Amazing wings.

My wife and I visit Chicago a few times a year but tend to stay north of downtown in the Lincoln Park/Roscoe Village area (she lived in LP for 4 years when we were dating).  If you have any questions about anything around that area or Wrigleyville, feel free to reach out (especially if you like craft beer).  Enjoy!  Chicago is a fantastic city to visit!
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#24 Argonne69

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Posted 26 July 2017 - 03:29 PM

Definite "yes" on the Architectural boat and/or walking tour. The lakefront is wonderful. There's really no other city that has that much protected parkland in its front door. If the weather is nice, a walk along the lake from Navy Pier to the Planetarium, with a short side trip to check out Buckingham Fountain, is fantastic. Sit for a few minutes on the grass near the planetarium and enjoy the skyline. 'Probably the best view in the city.

Lou Malnati's and Pizzeria Uno/Due are deep dish. Giordano's and Edwardo's are stuffed pizza. 'Important distinction, as stuffed has an extra layer of dough on top, and generally enough cheese inside to put you into a two day food coma. I love all three, but Lou's would be my first choice. Pizzano's isn't bad, but it ranks behind the four listed.

If you have a bit of time to kill, I would take the Brown line instead of the Red line to Wrigley. The Red line is faster, but it's a subway for half the trip. The Brown line runs on the original elevated 'El', so you get decent views of the Loop, and the north side of the city. You'll have to transfer to the Red line at Fulletton or Belmont, but trains run every 10 minutes or less during the day, so no big deal.

I find parking on west Randoph to be a RPITA, so take a cab/Uber.

I like Joe's Crab and Steak for steak, but Gibson's is great, too.

A trip to the top of Sear's Tower, aka Willis Tower (blech), or the John Hancock is probably worth some time.

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#25 SilverBullets

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Posted 26 July 2017 - 06:24 PM

View Postkrzeczowskimatt, on 19 July 2017 - 10:12 AM, said:

Pequods is far and away the BEST PIZZA in Chicago and it is not even close. Anyone who really lives in the city will agree. I would tell you for Deep Dish Pequods is where people who live in the city go to get pizza

Ive been to Chicago 15 or so times... Went to Pequods after being annoyed with Gino's, Giordanos and Uno and all the tourist crowds they draw.  Pequods is hands down the best spot I have been to there.  I still crave it.  It's a must every time I am in Chicago.

Lou Malnatis is my next choice though (we have it here in Phoenix now too which is great except Chicago deep dish really loses it's novelty for me once I don't have to travel for it)

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#26 SilverBullets

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Posted 26 July 2017 - 06:28 PM

View Posthogans71, on 20 July 2017 - 06:22 PM, said:

View Postkrzeczowskimatt, on 20 July 2017 - 05:41 AM, said:

View Postcelts5407, on 19 July 2017 - 08:34 PM, said:

View Postkrzeczowskimatt, on 19 July 2017 - 10:12 AM, said:

Pequods is far and away the BEST PIZZA in Chicago and it is not even close. Anyone who really lives in the city will agree. I would tell you for Deep Dish Pequods is where people who live in the city go to get pizza

I've heard a lot about Pequods. We might try that. We've had Lou malnatis shipped to us in Florida before so we probably won't go there just because we've had it.

Celts I promise you will not be disappointed the crust is one of a kind. It is known by people who live downtown most people on here are from the Suburbs like me and have never even heard of this place. I am lucky enough my brother lives right down the street so whenever i go down to visit it is where we go. I recommend it to everyone when they ask about pizza in the city.

Totally agree... Have lived in Lincoln Park for over two decades and it's by far the best. My opinion, skip the deep dish all together...

Gibson's for the best most overrated steak in the Midwest. Can't go wrong with the atmosphere in and around state and oak.

The West loop has some fantastic spots as well- up and down Randolph.

Don't try to do any "visiting" outside the city limits (Medinah). Once you see the time it takes to get back downtown, you'll lose your ever loving mind. Traffic is bad- ALWAYS. Something to keep in mind when you're planning your days.

Take the El to Wrigley as well...

We have wonderful museums and such if you're into that- not a bad walk up and down Michigan Ave..

Just food for thought..

Fixed that for you lol.  Gibson's is good, for sure.  Its a great atmosphere, but, it's not in the top 5 best steakhouses in the Midwest which I have been to.  It's not St. Elmo or Hyde Park turf.

Another outstanding restaurant in Chicago is Gene and Gorgetti's.  Highly recommend it.  Thought the food was better than Gibsons.  A fun, tourist jam is The Billy Goat Tavern (the one on lower Michigan Ave I believe... not the others).  It's the place made famous by the curse of the billy goat and, of course, the SNL skit.  They actually make a pretty solid burger as well.

Edited by SilverBullets, 26 July 2017 - 06:33 PM.

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#27 burker72

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Posted 26 July 2017 - 09:40 PM

View PostSilverBullets, on 26 July 2017 - 06:28 PM, said:

View Posthogans71, on 20 July 2017 - 06:22 PM, said:

View Postkrzeczowskimatt, on 20 July 2017 - 05:41 AM, said:

View Postcelts5407, on 19 July 2017 - 08:34 PM, said:

View Postkrzeczowskimatt, on 19 July 2017 - 10:12 AM, said:

Pequods is far and away the BEST PIZZA in Chicago and it is not even close. Anyone who really lives in the city will agree. I would tell you for Deep Dish Pequods is where people who live in the city go to get pizza

I've heard a lot about Pequods. We might try that. We've had Lou malnatis shipped to us in Florida before so we probably won't go there just because we've had it.

Celts I promise you will not be disappointed the crust is one of a kind. It is known by people who live downtown most people on here are from the Suburbs like me and have never even heard of this place. I am lucky enough my brother lives right down the street so whenever i go down to visit it is where we go. I recommend it to everyone when they ask about pizza in the city.

Totally agree... Have lived in Lincoln Park for over two decades and it's by far the best. My opinion, skip the deep dish all together...

Gibson's for the best most overrated steak in the Midwest. Can't go wrong with the atmosphere in and around state and oak.

The West loop has some fantastic spots as well- up and down Randolph.

Don't try to do any "visiting" outside the city limits (Medinah). Once you see the time it takes to get back downtown, you'll lose your ever loving mind. Traffic is bad- ALWAYS. Something to keep in mind when you're planning your days.

Take the El to Wrigley as well...

We have wonderful museums and such if you're into that- not a bad walk up and down Michigan Ave..

Just food for thought..

Fixed that for you lol.  Gibson's is good, for sure.  Its a great atmosphere, but, it's not in the top 5 best steakhouses in the Midwest which I have been to.  It's not St. Elmo or Hyde Park turf.

Another outstanding restaurant in Chicago is Gene and Gorgetti's.  Highly recommend it.  Thought the food was better than Gibsons.  A fun, tourist jam is The Billy Goat Tavern (the one on lower Michigan Ave I believe... not the others).  It's the place made famous by the curse of the billy goat and, of course, the SNL skit.  They actually make a pretty solid burger as well.

Went to Geno and Gorgetti's in January, A++++.  Great food and even better atmosphere.

Amen on Billy Goat Tavern.

Near Gibson's is Tavern on Rush, also great food.

I enjoyed the Red Head piano bar.

I know it is not uniquely Chicago, but could have spent the whole day at Eataly, eating and drinking.

For some extra fine scenery, try Snickers.  Great juke box too.
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27

#28 hogans71

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 07:31 AM

View PostSilverBullets, on 26 July 2017 - 06:28 PM, said:

View Posthogans71, on 20 July 2017 - 06:22 PM, said:

View Postkrzeczowskimatt, on 20 July 2017 - 05:41 AM, said:

View Postcelts5407, on 19 July 2017 - 08:34 PM, said:

View Postkrzeczowskimatt, on 19 July 2017 - 10:12 AM, said:

Pequods is far and away the BEST PIZZA in Chicago and it is not even close. Anyone who really lives in the city will agree. I would tell you for Deep Dish Pequods is where people who live in the city go to get pizza

I've heard a lot about Pequods. We might try that. We've had Lou malnatis shipped to us in Florida before so we probably won't go there just because we've had it.

Celts I promise you will not be disappointed the crust is one of a kind. It is known by people who live downtown most people on here are from the Suburbs like me and have never even heard of this place. I am lucky enough my brother lives right down the street so whenever i go down to visit it is where we go. I recommend it to everyone when they ask about pizza in the city.

Totally agree... Have lived in Lincoln Park for over two decades and it's by far the best. My opinion, skip the deep dish all together...

Gibson's for the best most overrated steak in the Midwest. Can't go wrong with the atmosphere in and around state and oak.

The West loop has some fantastic spots as well- up and down Randolph.

Don't try to do any "visiting" outside the city limits (Medinah). Once you see the time it takes to get back downtown, you'll lose your ever loving mind. Traffic is bad- ALWAYS. Something to keep in mind when you're planning your days.

Take the El to Wrigley as well...

We have wonderful museums and such if you're into that- not a bad walk up and down Michigan Ave..

Just food for thought..

Fixed that for you lol.  Gibson's is good, for sure.  Its a great atmosphere, but, it's not in the top 5 best steakhouses in the Midwest which I have been to.  It's not St. Elmo or Hyde Park turf.

Another outstanding restaurant in Chicago is Gene and Gorgetti's.  Highly recommend it.  Thought the food was better than Gibsons.  A fun, tourist jam is The Billy Goat Tavern (the one on lower Michigan Ave I believe... not the others).  It's the place made famous by the curse of the billy goat and, of course, the SNL skit.  They actually make a pretty solid burger as well.

I'm gonna have to kindly disagree with you bullets.. :)

Having lived in  Lincoln Park since 1993, worked at the CBOT since 1989, I've hit them all. On top of Gibson's, they own Hugo's From Bar, Lux Bar, Quartino, as well as run the kitchen at RL in Chicago and NYC. They also run the Boat House in Orlando... As an aside, they have their own line of cattle. Bottom line, they do it right, every time.

That being said, I love Chicago Cut as well as Joe's and Gene & Georgetti's. I suppose we are a bit spoiled with as many good steak houses. As such, I can see how people can have varying opinions... :)

Someone mentioned Eataly... Freaking fantastic place to check out.

28

#29 SilverBullets

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 11:40 AM

View Posthogans71, on 27 July 2017 - 07:31 AM, said:



I'm gonna have to kindly disagree with you bullets.. :)

Having lived in  Lincoln Park since 1993, worked at the CBOT since 1989, I've hit them all. On top of Gibson's, they own Hugo's From Bar, Lux Bar, Quartino, as well as run the kitchen at RL in Chicago and NYC. They also run the Boat House in Orlando... As an aside, they have their own line of cattle. Bottom line, they do it right, every time.

That being said, I love Chicago Cut as well as Joe's and Gene & Georgetti's. I suppose we are a bit spoiled with as many good steak houses. As such, I can see how people can have varying opinions... :)

Someone mentioned Eataly... Freaking fantastic place to check out.

hah fair enough.

Chicago absolutely does have an incredible food scene.  It's almost hard to go wrong (unless you are eating at massive chains).  The more I think about it, the more I appreciate how many great restaurants are in Chicago and how many great times my wife and I have had in that city.  Being a Midwest guy, I have always said if the weather were better, I would absolutely live in Chicago (Lincoln Park specifically).  It's my favorite city in the US.  I know when people talk about great food cities you always hear NYC and LA... Well Chicago is right there with them... Let's be honest here, Midwesterners know how to eat.
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#30 sefus12

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 12:38 PM

@hogans71

This is an aside, but you have one of the gems of the Chicago dining scene in the middle of Lincoln Park..... The Pasta Bowl on Clark.  The place is quick, cheap and freaking great for the money.  Also, I know it's not well known but Bacino's of Lincoln is a damn good pizza place, assuming you're looking for the uber deep crust style.  If only the Twisted Lizard hadn't closed...

This is an aside, but you have one of the gems of the Chicago dining scene in the middle of Lincoln Park..... The Pasta Bowl on Clark.  The place is quick, cheap and freaking great for the money.  Also, I know it's not well known but Bacino's of Lincoln is a damn good pizza place, assuming you're looking for the uber deep crust style.  If only the Twisted Lizard hadn't closed...

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