It's been a few years, but I loved Spiaggia (expensive). And I always have lunch at The Berghoff -- it's been around for over 100 years, they have their own beer (alcoholic and root), and it's fairly inexpensive. Right downtown. And of course there are Frontera Grill and Topolobampo -- Rick and Deann Bayless's restaurants. But there are tons and tons of places there, that others here will know better.
You can also browse on: Chowhound -- very opinionated, but covers the whole range of price, ethnicity, etc. Reliable info there.
The Berghoff is a German restaurant. Not terriably authentic anymore, but not too bad either. Eeyore, what is your budget, as I can give you numerous places in any price range. Will you have a car or must you cab and public transport it?
For now, here is a short list of some of my faves in Chicago:
-Blackbird (very expensive) Paul Kahan's food is awesome!
-Le Bouchon (med.-low priced) French bistro (my fave!!!)
-Harvest on Huron (expensive) lots of game dishes, was the sous there for almost 3 years
-Wishbone (lower priced) great southern a la carte brunch on Sat. & Sundays, stay away the rest of the time
-Flat Top Grill or Mongolian BBQ (lower priced) make your own stir-fry place, you build it, they cook it, all you can eat, lots of fun.
Give me some more info about your trip and I can give you some more places you may want to check out.
I am going for a weekend...no car..but not afraid of mass transit. May do one expensive meal, a couple of moderate and a few mid-range to cheap.
Not interested in southern food or BBQ, being from the south. When Im in FRance I eat french food, and Italian food in Italy and southern food here. lol Anyway I would probably be snobby about it and say it was nothing like real southern food whether it was or not. lol :bounce:
However I am a HUGE Thai fan and am always ready to try a new place! Thank you!
I would suggest La Sardine on Carpenter street right in front of Harpo Studios. They have reasonably priced French Food. Really good Eats...
I agree with Aruns, on Kedzie...it's really good Thai cuisine.
Frontera and Topolobampo are good choices as well...you'll have to fall in line early for Frontera Grill coz they don't take reservations...Topolobampo does though...a bit more pricey than Frontera...
Masck, sp? is another good choice...it's located in Deerfield but is worth the trip. You'll have to resrve in advance to get seats for weekend dining here...
Cafe Babareeba is a good choice for tapas...it's located on Halsted st.
I suggest going to Toast for Breakfast coz they have really good breakfast food there...it's located on Lincoln and Webster...Be ready to fall in line!
Any of these is great but be ready to pay more:
-The Dining Room at the Ritz, on Pearson Street
-Charlie Trotter's, on Armitage and Halsted
-Aubriot, on Halsted
-Spiaggia, right across the street from the Drake
-Carlos' in Highland Park
-Le Nomades,on E. Ontario street
-Le Titi de Paris, on Dundee and Kenicott in Arlington Heigts
-Trio, on Hinman st in Evanston
-Park Avenue Cafe, on Walton and Mies Van der Rohe Way sts.
Arun's is great for thai, but ultra expensive. A good alternative is Pasteur way up on Broadway. Not quite the level of Arun's but definately a large step up from the standard thai. Talking about Thai, the corner of Sheridan and Arglye is the heart of Chicago's Thai community, great place for Thai pastries and food, don't wander around there late at night though, as it is a little seedy.
I personally would skip Charlie Trotter's. Yes, it is good, but i think that there is better. The Dining Room at the Ritz is very good. Chef Sarah Stegner is great! Le Sardine is owned by the same chef as Le Bouchon. Very good place but I prefer Le Bouchon (just a personal bias of mine).
Of course if in Chicago you must have a Deep-dish pizza, and a chicago style hot dog, for cheaper eats. For the pizza I prefer Gino's East or Pizzeria Uno. For the dog Gold Coast dogs or Demon Dogs (under the Red Line stop at Fullerton) are a must. Then there is Al's Beef! You must try an Al's Italian Beef on Taylor (west of the Loop, just south of UIC). If you like spicy order one with hot peppers. Warning, these are not for the faint of heart.
For Italian, there is Mia Francesca. I do love Spiaggia, but it can get very expensive. A good alternative is Mia. There are a few around the city. One on Taylor street, in Little Italy, and one on Clark St. between Fullerton and Belmont.
If you want Greek, then head over to Halstead and Van Buren (west of the loop). Just walk up Halstead from there and chose a Greek place that looks interesting. Hope this helps.
If you like Thai then I can thoroughly recommend Vong's Thai Kitchen, but take a torch as it's quite dimly lit! Trotter's is a fair haul out to Armitage, but fabulous food and if you have to ask how much, you can't afford it.
Remember most of the places mentioned (Bayless, Vong, Pizzeria Uno - and Due) will ALL require reservations on a Saturday night.
I met rick tramonto in parma ,italy last summer.he run`s TRU and brasserie T.he is a real nice guy,(if your reading this chef hi from colin bibendum london)
if i was in chicago i`d go to his brasserie.
Hey, you guys, has anyone read my post about losing the Italian grocery and bakery in the West Loop?
I'm on a mission to rediscover it. Check out my posting. I know that one of you knows this location.
Berghoff doesn't brew their own beer. It is brewed in Wisconsin. I believe by Huber Brewing in Monroe, WI. What I heard is that they gave (or sold) it to their daughter who runs a catering company. In fact, I used to work for her. All we did was off-premise stuff as we had no facilities for on-site parties, but I guess that has changed now.