Places to stay & things to do in Chicago - Schamburg area
March 21, 2014 12:38 PM   Subscribe

My husbands 30th birthday is coming up in April and he'd like to go away for a romantic weekend to Chicago.

I want to give him a great weekend. Things he has mentioned wanting to do a trip to Mistuwa for an early lunch on the Sunday, because he is loves the food there, and maybe a meal at a Portilos Sunday evening, he also wants to stop at Ikea for bits for a project he is working on while we are there, so as neither of us are super confident driving in Chicago I am assuming staying in the Schamburg area puts us in a central position to do those things.

I would really like to find recommendations for nice upmarket hotels, or even B&B's to stay the Saturday night in the area. We'd like large comfortable beds (for the romantic part nudge nudge wink wink), and a spa/whirlpool bath would be perfect, if possible. I know it's hard to avoid traffic noise in busy cities but a hotel that avoids the worst of it or is decently soundproofed would be good to as we've had a bad experience or 2 in our travels.

Also we'll be there around lunch time on Saturday so some suggestions of something to do on Saturday & Sunday afternoons would be great. We like a wide range of things and are a big fan of museums & zoos, we've hit all the major Chicago ones a couple of times but are there any other ones we may have missed?

I'd really love to take him to a kick ass top of the line uber fancy restaurant for dinner for his birthday on Saturday night, he loves to eat good food but rarely treats himself, the only requirement would be no pizza :(,he is lactose intolerant and that would ruin the romantic part of the weekend and no seafood as he's allergic. Also we think Portilos does a great Roast Beef Sandwich, which is why he wants to go there, but if you know a place you think is better comparing the 2 places might be fun.

And before you ask, yes we love Chicago for other reasons than the food, but we live in a town full of nothing but boring food so tend to go a little crazy when we get to the big smoke and eat our weight in delicious delicious foodstuffs and burp contentedly all the way home.

Any and all suggestions appreciated.
posted by wwax to Travel & Transportation around Chicago, IL (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
If price is no object, my wife and I stayed in one of the more extravagant suites at Sybaris for a few nights during our honeymoon (yes, we honeymooned in Chicago, what of it?) and it was very nice. Lots of solitude, a comfy bed and having a full-sized pool and hot tub all to ourselves was positively decadent.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:41 PM on March 21, 2014

Personally I love sushiya. It's small and not all that quiet but the people are nice and the sushi is good (though if you are from a place with honest to god fresh seafood don't even try. This is Chicago after all. it took me a few years away from the coast to even try)

Ikea is a half day trip. I'm not sure of hotels but a relative had her wedding at the Westin and I remember it being nice.

Have fun !
posted by AlexiaSky at 12:46 PM on March 21, 2014

The Schaumburg area indeed will be central to all of those things. You'd be better off staying out there instead of hotelling in the city and then driving back and forth on the expressways.

If you'd like something quieter and nicer, the best romantic/comfortable inn that I know of in the western suburbs of Chicago is the Herrington Inn in Geneva, about a 30 minute drive from Schaumburg.

Geneva is a nice little town on the Fox River and has a walkable downtown with nice bars and restaurants, especially Bien Trucha, which Zagat's just rated as the best Mexican restaurant in Chicago (even above Rick Bayless's flagship Topolabampo). Memail me if you want some other pointers including tips on how to visit Trucha since they don't take reservations.
posted by JoeZydeco at 12:51 PM on March 21, 2014 [4 favorites]

The one night I begged off the usual pub crawl to dinner, was the night the gang went to the Weber Grill Restaurant. I was crushed!

This is in your area, and frankly, I may go to Chicago on a milage run just to eat there!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 12:55 PM on March 21, 2014

As it occurs to me, we stayed at the Hyatt Regency Schaumburg and really enjoyed it. You should get good rates for the weekends.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 1:03 PM on March 21, 2014

Grew up in that area, but haven't been there much recently. But the last time I was there Nana's Hot Dogs in Streamwood was still there. If you want a sublime hot dog, sausage, or italian beef experience, consider it. If you get their hot dog with the fresh cut fries on top, you may see the Creator. Other than that, I can not help you.
posted by Toekneesan at 6:00 PM on March 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

Closer to the city, Dengeo's and Max's Italian Beef have great Italian beef if you want to branch out. Dengeo's baby back ribs are good as well. (From Schaumburg, take 294-N to Dempster, then Dempster east to get to that area. There's also a Portillo's on the way there, actually.)
posted by ignignokt at 6:24 AM on March 22, 2014

I guess it's living in the area, but I really think of Chicago (and its close-in suburbs like Oak Park and Evanston--really, anywhere that has CTA 'L' light rail service) as a separate beast from the farther out suburbs of Chicagoland, out 30-35 miles (to me, anywhere that has Metra commuter rail service). There are many wonderful places out in the suburbs, and I would give very different recommendations for the west suburbs of Chicago than for the city itself.

When you mentioned a fancy restaurant for dinner, my first thought was Meson Sabika in Naperville: they serve wonderful Spanish cuisine, mostly tapas-style. They're housed in a beautiful mansion (I'm going to a wedding there pretty soon) and it's just lovely. I've had larger parties there for birthday meals several years running, and have had a nice romantic Valentine's Day dinner as well, and it was equally great for both. Was there once on a Friday night and there was a flamenco guitarist/dancer team going between the tables. (Not sure if it's an every Friday thing or if that was a special occasion.) I've also heard good things about their Sunday brunch but not yet gone personally.

The downtown of Naperville (Meson Sabika is not really downtown, but it's not far) in general has a cute riverwalk area and many shops and restaurants, if you want to wander a bit before or after the main event. As mentioned, Geneva also has a cute walkable downtown, as does its neighbor on the river, St. Charles.

JoeZydeco mentioned Bien Trucha in Geneva--which, I can't believe I didn't think of that, because it is fantastic! I've been to Rick Bayless' Frontera Grill and I still think Bien Trucha is awesome. One thing to know about Bien Trucha is that they are quite small and they don't take reservations. However, their sister restaurant A Toda Madre is literally right next door and they do take reservations, if you're anxious about maybe having to wait on a special Saturday night. I've had another romantic Valentine's Day there and it was lovely and delicious. Check it out!

If your husband is the type to like IKEA projects and Mitsuwa, perhaps he would like American Science and Surplus? There's a location in the West Chicago/Geneva area. It's zany, science-y fun for everyone!

Also, I've not yet been to Mitsuwa, but there's an HMart in Naperville, and it's pretty fun. They've got great produce and food, appliances/non-food stuff, a food court, and a small "mall" area.

I've heard there is a Medieval Times in Schaumburg, if that sounds like fun.

(By the way, I promise I am not at all trying to make fun of you, just trying to be helpful, and Google probably doesn't care, but you might find more information searching for 'Schaumburg', such as here.)

Finally, my favorite thing to take visitors to in Chicago proper is the crazy shoestring absurdist improv theater show Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind, but the Neo-Futurists may or may not be your cup of tea. They do have a Sunday evening show, however, in addition to the very late Friday and Saturday nights.
posted by spelunkingplato at 7:28 AM on March 22, 2014 [2 favorites]

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