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NY hound visits Chicago

Tom Philpott | Jun 6, 2002 04:37 PM

Hi everybody,
I'm coming to town for a conference soon at the riverfront Hyatt. At last year's conference, I was very rushed and didn't have the leisure to sample the town's food genius properly.
Here are a few questions.
1) Is there any decent coffee around the Hyatt, or am I sentenced to Starbucks swill?
2) Are there any good restaurants in the $20-$25 range in the area?
3) What about Wicker Park? I've heard it's a great are--what are the must-haves out there?
4) Beyond C Trotter, which I can't afford, and Frontera Grill, which I've been to and loved, what are the restaurants most worh seeking out? Will I need to make a reservation for Frontera? (I'll be there in about 2 weeks.)
5) What about coffee houses? The coffee scene in NY is bleak. Is there any great space that roasts its own coffee?
6) what's the best local beer, and where do I find it retail, particularly close to the hotel?
7) I remember heading north up Clark used to mean finding all sorts of great ethnic eats. Still true?
Much obliged.

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