Feed me To and From Chicago
May 6, 2015 6:34 PM   Subscribe

Where can I eat as I travel from O'Hare to Champaign, IL on a Friday night, and then from Champaign to Midway on Sunday late afternoon?

Complications: A family of 9 and graduation-celebration-themed.

On Fri, half of my family will be in downtown Chicago and the other half will arrive in O'Hare around 6pm. We'd like to meet up *somewhere* for dinner, and then drive down to Champaign.

On Sun, we'll drive up from Champaign around 3pm and will need to eat before we fly out of Midway at 8pm.

I'm hoping there's something magically delicious en route and feels like a celebration of 6 years of schooling. We like all good foods.
posted by inevitability to Food & Drink (7 answers total)
There's a place called Riverside Restaurant in Riverside, IL that looks like a pretty ho-hum cheesy no name family restaurant, but they have excellent Czech food. Obviously you should order from the Czech food side of the menu and not get the chicken fingers/etc. Goulash, fruit dumplings, duck, kolacky...

I've been there with a group as large as 8 and it's kind of one of those places that benefits with a large group. You can order all the sides and share them around.

I don't know if that's special-feeling enough for you, but the food really is great.
posted by phunniemee at 8:48 PM on May 6, 2015

There's a Monical's Pizza in Kankakee. I'm a fan of Monical's, and they've always been pretty good about handling larger groups (I've never been to that one specifically; it's a regional chain).
posted by brentajones at 8:52 PM on May 6, 2015

I would use Yelp to search for restaurants near wherever you'll be, and use the "good for groups" filter in the advanced search options.
posted by AppleTurnover at 10:35 PM on May 6, 2015

I would focus on eating in Chicago and environs. Riverside, mentioned above, might be good, but it's not really easily accessible from either 294 (which you'll be taking south from O'Hare) or 94/55 (which you'll be taking to Midway). I have done the drive you're doing about a thousand times, and I can't say there's anything in particular I would stop for.

In the suburbs off 294, I am most familiar with LaGrange/Hinsdale/Western Springs, all of which have restaurants you might enjoy. Going back to Midway, you will be turning off the highway farther south. I would look at Burr Ridge (right at where 294/55 meet, there's some [sort of pricey] restaurants - went to a baby shower at Cooper's Hawk) or near the airport. If you're interested in a Chicago-y meal (Italian beer or pizza or Polish food), Cicero and the nearby neighborhoods will have plenty of options for you. I don't really know about nicer places, though.
posted by quadrilaterals at 6:19 AM on May 7, 2015

Oh hm, the first leg is people who are downtown + O'Hare? If you can swing it timewise, I would look at having your airport people take the blue line downtown and eat somewhere in the city. Then everyone can leave together for Champaign.

Alternately, there's always Steak 'n' Shake. I mean this with all love for Steak 'n' Shake.
posted by quadrilaterals at 6:21 AM on May 7, 2015

On Fri, half of my family will be in downtown Chicago and the other half will arrive in O'Hare around 6pm. We'd like to meet up *somewhere* for dinner, and then drive down to Champaign.

A couple of options to consider. Downtown will generally be harder to snag unless you book in advance.

Park Ridge (closer to O'Hare, near 90/294 & Blue Line – Cumberland stop): D'Agostino's for pizza
Downtown (River North technically): Reza's

Both of these options will work well for large groups.
posted by hijinx at 6:51 AM on May 7, 2015

Champaign is pretty awesome for food if you ask me - Brunch at Radio Maria maybe? Or Big Grove across the street?
posted by Dmenet at 2:50 PM on May 7, 2015

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