Places for a lunch meeting in Chicago (near the Hilton...)?
April 26, 2013 1:46 PM   Subscribe

I had to do this last year for San Francisco. This year, it's in Chicago! I'm looking for a place that can comfortably seat a group of 7 for an informal lunch meeting. It has to be within a five-minute walk of the Chicago Hilton, reasonably priced, decent food, and have a semi-quiet environment. I see some possibilities on Yelp, but it's hard to judge from there whether they'd actually be suitable. Any kind of food is fine, but vegan/vegetarian recommendations are especially welcome. Thank you for your help!
posted by mariokrat to Food & Drink (6 answers total)
Tamarind, 614 S. Wabash
posted by hydrophonic at 2:12 PM on April 26, 2013

It's more of a 10-minute walk, but if you walk fast The Gage is really good. Henri, next door, is supposed to be excellent but pricier/more upscale. They both have vegetarian options, though neither is exclusively vegetarian.
posted by theuninvitedguest at 2:34 PM on April 26, 2013

And, if you don't want to walk at all, I have eaten at 720 South, in the hotel itself, and it was surprisingly excellent. I had a delicious scallop dish with an excellent wine recommendation.
posted by theuninvitedguest at 2:40 PM on April 26, 2013

Too expand on my answer above, Tamarind is a better-than-average Pan-Asian place with tasteful and contemporary decor, yet pretty low-key.

Oysy Sushi is really good (my Japanese co-worker agrees). However, when I was there last summer, they really needed a fresh paint job. Maybe it's not the best place for impressing people. Their bench seating and open plan might not be comfortable for you either.

I haven't been to Brasserie by LM, but I've been to their other places and they do a fine job. It looks like they welcome business-related private dining.

Gioco has a private room, but perhaps it's a bit of a hike.

Getting fancier, I haven't eaten at Mercat either, but the decor is very impressive (I peeked inside), and it comes recommended.

It's hard to find a restaurant in Chicago without at least one vegetarian option, but veganism might require a bit more research or calling ahead. I wouldn't be surprised Tamarind uses a lot of fish sauce, even if you order tofu.
posted by hydrophonic at 4:06 PM on April 26, 2013

How about Eleven City Diner, on Wabash between 11th and Roosevelt? Super yummy everything, upscale casual, and they shouldn't have trouble seating a group. (Bonus: challah. Om nom nom.)

Hackney's Printer's Row, on the corner of Polk and Dearborn, has a variety of good things for the veggies, too, shouldn't be too noisy for lunch, and definitely can seat a group.
posted by sldownard at 7:23 PM on April 26, 2013

Mercat is spectacular. Highly, highly recommended, though it depends on your definition of "reasonable".
posted by eamondaly at 2:20 PM on May 2, 2013

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