Where to meet in Chicago?
October 19, 2011 10:01 AM   Subscribe

Looking for suggestions for a convenient (and delicious?) place to meet a friend traveling through Chicago with a small dog.

A friend is driving through Chicago (coming in on 80W) with his girlfriend and small dog on Friday around noon before he heads off to Wisconsin. I plan to drive up to Chicago from Champaign to meet them. We will probably want to grab a quick bite to eat. I am almost completely unfamiliar with Chicago, and am looking for some suggestions about a convenient place for us to meet that maximizes the time that I get to interact with the dog (we used to share custody and I miss him, dangit! Plus, he's elderly, and this will probably be the last time I see him). Cheap, delicious, and fast are pluses. Non-food-related options also welcomed.
posted by quiet coyote to Travel & Transportation around Chicago, IL (6 answers total)
Chinatown is extremely easy to get to from the highways, and is generally pretty easy to park in. Go to one of Tony Hu's places (Lao Beijing is great if you like peking duck; if you go to Lao Sze Chuan, get the Mongolian lamb and pan-fried pork), and you're sure to get a quick, delicious meal for not too much money.

The only hard part will be the dog. I think you'd be hard-pressed to find any restaurant that would allow you to bring a non-helper animal in with you. Might have better luck if you bring him in a little puppy duffel. Alternatively, Lao Sze Chuan has large windows all the way around, so you could tie him up outside and easily keep an eye on him. (Might be pretty chilly, though.)
posted by phunniemee at 10:23 AM on October 19, 2011 [1 favorite]

How about Big Star taco in Wicker Park? Outdoor seating on the large patio if the weather is nice. Then go to the actual Wicker Park around the corner for some dog time.
posted by Jason and Laszlo at 11:43 AM on October 19, 2011

The Lincoln Mall area of Matteson would be a good spot. It has all the usual food spots one finds in a suburban retail area - Cracker Barrel, Applebee's, Olive Garden, plenty of fast food options - plus a Petsmart where you could visit with the dog. There are also a few hotels in the area with a little bit of open space if you wanted to take him for a walk.

Exit from 57 northbound at Lincoln Highway, go east. Everything is right there at Lincoln Highway and Cicero Avenue. From 80, exit 57 southbound and Lincoln Highway is the second exit. Then your friend can take 57 north into the city and meet up with 94, or take 80 east to 294.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 3:33 PM on October 19, 2011

There is also a Panera Bread right there too, a Starbucks and an iHop.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 3:34 PM on October 19, 2011

We met at the Panera in Matteson, and it worked out really well! Thanks!
posted by quiet coyote at 1:31 PM on October 21, 2011

Glad to help! That's my go-to meeting-up area with friends from downstate.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 8:03 PM on October 21, 2011

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