Visiting Chicago for the first time ever and I’ve done some research. Since I hate blind pleas for suggestions without any context, the following probably has more detail than necessary.
I’ll be coming in this Saturday for a conference that starts on Monday, staying the entire time downtown. I’ll be staying near Hancock Tower over the weekend before switching hotels to Hyatt Regency on Monday. Starting Monday evening until Wednesday evening I will have work obligations. But I’ll have Thursday morning and early afternoon before my flight leaves in the late afternoon.
I’ll be eating in nicer places during the conference. Usually, I love hole in the wall and ethnic places. I’m looking to try food that is unique to Chicago. There’s nothing I won’t eat unless it’s overwhelmed by cilantro. Otherwise, I’ll try it at least twice. The second time just to make sure. I’m trying to avoid any Asian or Mexican I can’t find in Los Angeles.
I won’t have transportation but am willing to walk 2+ miles as long as the neighborhood isn’t completely unsafe. My safety standards are probably lower than most since I walk around Los Angeles a lot.
Please review my current plans and I appreciate any suggestions or criticisms:
Saturday night dinner, Café Spiggia. Any clubs or bars around miracle mile that have good music and drinks for after dinner?
Sunday morning, is the Maxwell Street Market worth the Mexican food stalls? Is this too far to walk from the Hancock Tower or should I take a cab?
Sunday evening, I’m still looking for a place. I’d love to try an ethnic cuisine that’s strong in Chicago. Unfortunately I have a friend joining me who isn’t fond of Greek but she’s open to anything else. Indian , Polish or ? Preferably easy accessibility from the miracle mile or a relatively quick and inexpensive cab ride.
Monday morning, Fox and Obel for breakfast. Monday lunch, we plan on a river tour and research points towards dish dish pizza for easy logistics. Which of the following would be easier? Bacino’s, Giordano’s, Lou Malnati’s, Uno’s or Gino’s East? We both need to be back at the hotel by late afternoon for meetings so won’t have the ability for a long leisurely lunch and the river tour.
Thursday brunch, Billy Goat Tavern. We’re both big SNL and dive bar fans.
I realize I don’t have Italian Beef or hot dog in here. We do have a Portillo’s in Southern California. Is there a can’t miss family neighborhood place I can duck into nearby for either of those two items if I can squeeze in an extra meal or snack?
Is this a good intro to Chicago? Am I missing anything crucial? I'd love to try some bbq but it doesn't look like downtown has anything worthwile? Thanks in advance!