Fave Inexpensive Restaurants Near the Loop?

Jul 12th, 2006, 05:11 AM
  #1  
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Fave Inexpensive Restaurants Near the Loop?

Any suggestions for cheap places to eat in the Loop/Millennium Park area? I'm not looking for gourmet or a wine list -- just some great places for a quick meal. Thanks!
Songdoc is offline  
Jul 12th, 2006, 06:54 AM
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Miller's Pub on Wabash. It's not really what I would call cheap. But it's less expensive than most of the places that are usually recommended on this board. I'd consider it somewhat of a Chicago institution, probably best known for it's ribs. The menu is sort of slightly upscale diner.
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Jul 12th, 2006, 08:01 AM
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I'm also looking for more restaurants similar to this...I'm traveling with my Mom and my 2 kids (3 and 12). We're staying at The Drake. Our main attraction is King Tut.

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Jul 12th, 2006, 08:27 AM
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Any of the famous pizza places would be cheap.
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Jul 12th, 2006, 01:36 PM
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Thanks! I like the idea of a Chicago "institution." I don't need it to be "cheap" -- just good food at reasonable prices; not expensive and pretentious.
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Jul 12th, 2006, 03:00 PM
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IMHO, Miller's Pub should fit the bill, Songdoc.
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Jul 12th, 2006, 03:10 PM
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Heaven on Seven (heavenonseven.com) is close to Mil. Park. I've only been lucky enough to eat there twice, but it was delicious. We had to wait in line about 30 minutes when we went at noon, so you might want to avoid that time if you don't want to wait.

Corner Bakery (cornerbakerycafe.com) has several locations in the area. I really liked their French toast and bacon for breakfast.
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Jul 12th, 2006, 04:26 PM
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CAPH52 and Aloha -
Thanks SO much. These look like exactly what I was hoping for. This is an awesome web site. - Songdoc
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Jul 13th, 2006, 04:09 AM
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If you want to see a Chicago institution before it disappears, there is a pretty nice food court in the basement of Field's.
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Jul 13th, 2006, 05:49 AM
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There is also a little more upscale food court on the 7th floor of Fields-great salads, noodle bar, soup, sandwiches, etc.
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Jul 13th, 2006, 06:12 AM
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Yes, I second what swalter suggested. Field's food is always (even in the suburbs) good and usually overlooked.

Don't worry about $$$ pricing because there are numerous places you'll see while you walk in Chicago that have reasonably priced and delicous food in the diner/bent stylewise. Golden Budhha is one for Asian/noodles- the kids would like. There's a bar/restaurant just off of Wacker/ LaSalle called Monk's that we got pushed into before the White Sox tickertape parade and we had a delicious steak sandwich for as much the usual McDonald's meal costs.

And those kinds of places do exist.

The food court at Watertower Place is great for a lunch with many good choices. That's a Chicago experience.

For real Chicago flavor- Due's or any signature pizza.

You can do a real review on www.metromix.com and see the distances/addresses for some single and double $$ choices.

pepper, with your kids I would hit the Shedd (right next door to the Field Museum). Kids love the Shedd- the 3 year old will adore the tide pools etc. I've heard the Field Museum is not bad for lunch now as well. But I've never been there to eat.

The Adler has Jim Lovell's spacecraft just put on exhibit. The kids might love to see that item.

In the Shedd there is a white table cloth restaurant (called The Soundings) and they were just TERRIFIC for us with kids (6 and 3) at luncheon. They even brought them play/eat appetizers for no charge, but it was a very non-busy day. It wasn't as expensive as some fast foods are now.

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Jul 13th, 2006, 10:11 AM
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Should we try Portillo's for hot dogs and beef sandwiches or just stick with places like Hot Doug's, Superdawg, Al's, Max's, Mr. Beef, etc.??

Anyone like Manny's??
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Jul 13th, 2006, 10:23 AM
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Portillos has arguably one of the best Italian beef sandwiches in the city-never had their dogs but definately try a beef-dipped, if you like 'em juicy!
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Jul 13th, 2006, 10:58 AM
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Al's are undersized for the price (beef).

Portillo's (IMHO) is slightly higher priced for what you get, but I also have to saw it has a soft spot in my heart because it was the first place my sweetie and I went for a bite to eat after meeting.

It wasn't downtown, but anything Dick Portillo opens/does- he does it well. I miss his Papa Luigi's tremendously; higher priced and delicious Italian.
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Jul 13th, 2006, 11:12 AM
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I like Cosi (http://www.getcosi.com/). There are several around Chicago, but I believe there's one location on Michigan Ave not far from Mil. Park.

Enjoy Chicago!
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Jul 13th, 2006, 01:19 PM
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Another vote for Miller's Pub on Wabash next to Palmer House Hilton. We keep going back several times each trip.
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Jul 13th, 2006, 02:38 PM
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Okay, it's been some years since I've been there...I would say all my family had the most fun when we went to the Billy Goat Tavern. The funniest part was my husband (then my boyfriend) hadn't seen the SNL skit or read Royko, and kept asking all the innocent questions. Played right into their hand.

It sounds even more touristy and the food was so-so but it was a scene.
http://tinyurl.com/fvjae
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Jul 13th, 2006, 05:37 PM
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Thanks JJ5 - I've got it down in my travel book.

...along with the Cosi locations, Heaven on Seven locations and Frontera Fresco in Marshall Fields (found that on my own).

Have any of you been to Nacional 27? Looks like good tapas.
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Jul 13th, 2006, 05:44 PM
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Don't know if you like art, but the Sculpture Garden at the Art Institute is a great place to have lunch in the loop. If I recall from memory, you can get into the main dining room without paying for entrance to the museum. The food is pretty good there too. There is also a cafeteria, but I do know you have pay entrance for that. Personally I found the food at Miller's to be very ordinary, but maybe you like meat and potatoes. We had brunch at the Atwood Cafe on State St. which was wonderful, dont know if that's in the area you are interested.
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Jul 13th, 2006, 07:02 PM
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On the 7th floor of Field's on State there is also an express branch of Frontera Grill called Frontera Fresco

http://www.fronterakitchens.com/restaurants/fresco/

Heaven on Seven is a good suggestion, the lines usually move quickly. It's on the 7th floor of the Garland Bldg, there's a sign out front, 111 N. Wabash.

On the other side of the Loop on Franklin, just south of Lake is Perry's Deli, ridiculously huge sandwiches for not too much money.

North of the Chicago River:

On Grand just off Michigan Avenue is a great burger place called Boston Blackie's

http://www.bostonblackies.com/

A little further into the River North area at 739 N. LaSalle (at Chicago) is a terrific place to get tapas, Cafe Iberico. Lunch is never overly busy, dinner on the weekends, expect a wait.

For Thai, two places, Star of Siam on Illinois and Big Bowl at 60 E. Ohio
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