Three dinners in Chicago, during Restaurant Week?
January 7, 2020 1:56 PM   Subscribe

I'm seeking restaurant recommendations for three dinners in Chicago, January 28-30. This is during restaurant week, and the selection of participating restaurants is overwelming. What participants would you recommend? Or do you have other recommendations? Price range not more than about $50 for at least 2 courses before wine. I'm staying at a Magnificent Mile hotel but am fine with public transportation/Lyft. Comfortable for a woman alone is a plus. Thank you!
posted by CheeseLouise to Food & Drink (13 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I’ve been to, and really like, the following restaurant week participants:
- Arami
- avec
- Galit
- Smyth

I think I’d be comfortable dining solo at all of them (and it’s much easier to get a good reservation at Galit as a solo diner!)
posted by cimton at 2:16 PM on January 7, 2020

Best answer: Seconding Galit. Make that happen. G T Fish and Oyster and Tortoise Supper Club are both relatively nearby and very recommended. I enjoy eating out alone, so I'm not sure if I am a good gauge for comfort level, but I would feel good at either on my own. Also, Sepia in the west loop. Wow.

If you want more variety and to see more of the neighborhoods, Dusek's in Pilsen is great and I really love Le Sud in Roscoe Village.
posted by kaelynski at 2:36 PM on January 7, 2020

Arami was the best sushi I ever had.

I also love the Little Goat.
posted by eirias at 3:09 PM on January 7, 2020

If you can snag a brunch table at Duck Duck Goat for their dim sum, do it--it's a great value. I don't see any exclusions for a solo diner (and I believe they have a bar you can eat at, if you prefer); you may want to follow up with them to be sure.
posted by carrienation at 3:14 PM on January 7, 2020

I've eaten as a solo female diner at both Coco Pazzi and Mercat a la Planxa and had good service and food, and have been to Harry Caray's where I had excellent service (ask if Tweed is still there as a waiter and request him if so) but less interesting food. They are all workable in your price range.
posted by OneSmartMonkey at 3:27 PM on January 7, 2020

If you like seafood, try Portsmith. I, a single lady diner, eat there often. It's not on your short list, but it's near Mag Mile.

I'd also recommend Sepia an excellent choice.
posted by crush at 3:46 PM on January 7, 2020

(I see that's someone else's short list) (carry on)
posted by crush at 3:47 PM on January 7, 2020

Best answer: Oh wow, this list is making me hungry. So many amazing options! I’ve tried and thoroughly enjoyed the following restaurants that meet your criteria for price and solo dining:
- Acanto (upscale yet cozy)
- Bar Takito (omg the guac)
- Barrio (omg the ezquites style corn)
- Bistro Campagne (you must try the roast chicken, it will change your life)
- Cira (really special place - everything I tried blew me away)
- Davanti Enoteca (the meatballs!)
- Ella Elli (another really special place with a wonderful ambiance and great food)
- Owen & Engine (out of the way but worth the trip)
- River Roast (go for the meat, stay for the cocktails and the view of the Chicago River)
- Sepia (a beautiful space with great food and great service)
- Split-Rail (elevated versions of comfort food that knocked my socks off)

posted by slmorri at 9:08 PM on January 7, 2020

Here's my two cents.

Bar Roma: one of the most delicious meals I ever ate. There were tears, it was that good. Traditional Italian, I think you would be made to feel very comfortable eating here alone.

Big Jones: So good. hearty. The cocktails are great. (Both Bar Roma and Big Jones are in Andersonville, which is a really nice neighborhood to wander around in the evening.)

Smoke Daddy: If you like BBQ, this place is amazing. They catered my wedding!! They have live jazz some nights. Its a lot of fun.

Blackbird: wonderful food, very fancy. The clientele were not so much fun to be around (lots of rich people who were conspicuously uncaring about the food).

Big Star: truly delicious tacos. But, it does get very very, crowded, so you might feel uncomfortable here on your own. Lots of wannabe hipsters. Wicker Park is kinda unpleasant.

damn, I miss Chicago....
posted by EllaEm at 10:13 PM on January 7, 2020

Arami, Cafe Robey, Dusek's, and TWO are the standouts on the list that I can personally vouch for. All would be totally fine for a single diner, I think.
posted by merriment at 5:20 AM on January 8, 2020

I haven't eaten their food, but Cindy's has an absolutely amazing view from the rooftop and great cocktails. Worth a trip just for the view.
posted by mai at 3:30 PM on January 8, 2020

Also I've heard Demera Ethiopian is amazing, but you could order off the menu for less than the prix fixe option given here. Friends just ate at Le Colonial and really liked it, it's been around for a long time.

If you're willing to come south of downtown, I recommend the Duck Inn in Bridgeport. The duck is very good!
posted by mai at 3:37 PM on January 8, 2020

Response by poster: Thank you very much everyone! I made reservations at Marisol, Galit, and Acanto. Really looking forward to it!!
posted by CheeseLouise at 7:54 AM on January 9, 2020 [1 favorite]

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