Hello dear Chowhounders,
I am visiting Chicago for the first time in April and really need some help with my restaurant/food choices.
Obviously there is already a wealth of information on this board and I've read lots of posts, but it's almost too many, there seems to be so much amazing food in Chicago!
To give you some ideas what I'm looking for:
I'll be visiting a friend for 5-6 days and I do want to do some sightseeing but for me it's really about the food. I had my heart set on Alinea, and there was tables available during my stay, but my friend axed it as it's over his budget. I would go alone, but paying for a 2-top alone is definitely out of my price-range, too. As far as I've read there is next to no chance getting a reservation for one, is that correct?
Otherwise I guess I can convince my friend to one splurge fine-dining meal (bit less pricey than Alinea I guess) and a few other mid-range meals, recommendations are welcome. I really wanted to try Girl & the Goat as I loved the chef on Top Chef, but it seems it's harder to get a reservation there than Alinea.
Otherwise I like modern food but not too out there, but also more down-to-earth style. To give pointers to the ones who have been to Spain, Mugaritz had a few too many misses for me but I loved Etxebarri, Azurmendi, Arzak and especially Sant Pau.
I love street-food, too and want to get the real Chicago experience, so what are must-eats?! I guess an Italian Beef, a hot dog and deep-dish pizza (although I love thin-crust Italian pizza)?! What about sweet treats such as donuts etc.?
Please send me your recs for a great itinerary in your eyes for a foodie on their first-time Chicago...I know I'm asking a bit much as I practically like everything want to try all of Chicago's offerings, but please bear with me :-)