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Where to go for dinner in between Chicago and Madison?

Where to go for dinner in between Chicago and Madison?

Old Sep 19th, 2008, 01:28 PM
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Where to go for dinner in between Chicago and Madison?

My daughter and I are doing a midwest college tour trip on 10/8-13. We're flying in to Chicago on Wed., 10/8, renting a car and driving immediately to Madison, WI, to see [email protected] the next day. Any good ideas on where to eat as we travel there? Or should we wait until we hit madison, which I expect to be around 7:30ish.

We both are foodies so any kind of food would be fun, but we'd be bummed out to have to settle for fast food on the highway, yet bummed out if we get to Madison and can't find anything at that time of night (not sure how late-night Madison is...). I'd be happy to make reservations for around 8;30 if I knew where I was going, though I'd just assume go off the highway to something interesting along the way if anyone has recommendations.
kflodin is offline  
Old Sep 19th, 2008, 06:04 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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I would wait til Madison. Having made the trip from Madison to O'Hare many times, there are restaurants in Schaumburg, about 10 miles from O'Hare and not too far off the interstate. But Madison restaurants are awesome are you staying and what type of food and ambiance are you looking for? We love living in Madison b/c of the vast selection of restaurants and ambiance. One of Madison's draws is its vast selection of ethnic restaurants.
k is offline  
Old Sep 19th, 2008, 06:58 PM
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If you are on time getting out of O'Hare, I'd suggest going straight to Madison. If you are still staying at the Best Western near the Hospital, Lombardinos is right across the street and you can be seated there 15 minutes after you check-in. Excellent Italian and you will be fine without a reservation. If you prefer, you can drive 5 minutes, park the car and eat at any number of places on State Street or the Capitol Square. Check out www.thedailypage.com for dozens of places. The Old Fashioned would get you into the Wisconsin spirit. Or, Brocach if you are interested in Irish pub fare.

If you are delayed out of O'Hare, I'd suggest exiting south at 355 about 20 minutes west of the airport. Shaw's Crab House would be good. There is almost nothing but fast food between Schaumburg and Madison with a tiny exception of a couple of places in Rockford that are not worth mentioning. Finally, if you have to stop for fast food on the way, try Culver's. It is about as good as fast food gets.
ChiDad is offline  
Old Sep 20th, 2008, 08:06 AM
Join Date: Aug 2006
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Madison is a late-night town around State Street and the UW campus so finding a restaurant even MUCH later is easy. Be sure to get ice cream at the Union while on tour. It is a great university and city even though it gets really crazy on days with football games. A GPS would be a good idea if you don't know Madison streets. Enjoy your visit!
CollegeMom is offline  
Old Sep 20th, 2008, 08:44 AM
Join Date: Oct 2004
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I agree with the advice to wait until Madison. There are so many good restaurants on State Street. We're particularly fond of the ethnic ones like Husnu's and Kabul. However, if you feel it'll be too late by the time you get there, there are several chain restaurants at the Janesville exits.
CAPH52 is offline  
Old Sep 20th, 2008, 09:38 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
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I agree that you should wait until you get to Madison. In addition to Lombardino's, there's a good Mediterranean restaurant near your hotel - it's called Lulu's.

If your flight is delayed, I'd suggest eating at the Great Dane. It's a bar/restaurant with good food. The one at Hilldale is about a 5 minute drive from your hotel, and has loads of free parking nearby.

State St is great too, and I second the recs for Husunu's and Kabul. There's a bunch of other great restaurants too - I'm happy to give more suggestions if you'd like them. Enjoy your trip!
bethke14 is offline  
Old Sep 20th, 2008, 11:37 AM
Join Date: Jun 2008
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Culvers is great. Best hamburgers and custard ice cream.

Our friend from Finland stayed with us for 3 months. She always wanted to go to Culvers for chicken tenders and a banana milkshake.

Maybe if you see a Culvers at lunchtime - try it. Their Norwegian cod sandwiches are great too.
bratsandbeer is offline  
Old Sep 20th, 2008, 07:11 PM
Join Date: Oct 2004
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I'm also a fan of Culver's root beer. But it's better in Wisconsin than Illinois. For some reason, the Culver's in the Chicago area water their root beer down too much.

Speaking of hamburger places, Dotty Dumpling's Dowry has a great burger menu.

Ian's pizza http://ianspizza.com/ is huge among UW students.
CAPH52 is offline  
Old Sep 22nd, 2008, 05:55 AM
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great advice! thanks, folks! I'll report post-trip!
kflodin is offline  
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