Chicago in March
March 2, 2004 12:32 PM   Subscribe

Chicago? Going to be there March 4th through 7th. What to do? Where to eat? I'd like some good greek or chinese food, or both. Oh, and I need to find a sports bar there that will be showing the Duke/Carolina game on Saturday night.
posted by corpse to Travel & Transportation around Chicago, IL (15 answers total)
First, go to Centerstage Chicago and search to your heart's content.

Greek: Greek Islands. Chinese: all I know is take-out, not very sit-downy.

What to do?

I'd say, "Avoid Navy Pier." (It's terribly overrated and is quite touristy.) Explore the neighborhoods: Andersonville, Lincoln Square, Logan Square, Wicker Park, River North, Hyde Park, Pilsen, Chinatown. Each has its own feel and character, and almost everything in the city is accessible by El or bus (the CTA's site will help.)

If you venture into the suburbs, you'll find cool stuff in the ring of burbs around the city, and things get progressively more suburban the farther out you get.

Where to eat?

You may get thousands of answers. It depends on what you're looking for. I love Hot Doug's, and for Honest-to-God Chicago deep dish, Lou Malnati's.

I need to find a sports bar

That will not be difficult. You'll find something to your liking, most likely, in one of the neighborhoods listed above or ultimately, in Wrigleyville, if you want a typical "sports bar" experience.

You'll probably want to hang around Gapers' Block for news and happenings, too.
posted by hijinx at 12:50 PM on March 2, 2004

Chinatown is convenient to the L (Red line, Cermack), and there are dozens of great restaurants within walking distance. THE PHOENIX (2131 S. Archer) is noted as being the best for dimsum (dumplings), which they serve daily from 8am to 3pm, but most people go on the weekend, so the lines tend to be long. There are about 10 restaurants across the street from there in the Chinatown "Mall," and all seem to do very brisk business on the weekends as well, and the asians definitely outnumber the anglos.
posted by crunchland at 1:03 PM on March 2, 2004

just walk down Halsted near downtown, scream "OOMPA!" and wait for the flames.
posted by Peter H at 1:11 PM on March 2, 2004

everyone seems to like Costa's [340 S. Halsted St. (Van Buren St.) Chicago, IL, 60661-5406 (312) 263-9700; 1 S. 130 Summit Ave. (Roosevelt Rd.) Oakbrook Terrace, IL, 60181 (630) 620-1100]. the one on halsted is close to the Loop, so that's easy to get to for most guests of the city.

chicago is pretty spread out, and pretty well neighborhood based, so it's hard to make suggestions without some idea of what part of the city you'll be in.

sports bars are an infestation around here, and all the corner taverns have some sort of game on most of the time, and usually a nice request made of the bartender will get you the channel you want on at least one of the tubes.
posted by crush-onastick at 1:18 PM on March 2, 2004

I second Hot Doug's, though the Weiner Circle after midnight is an experience unlike anything else (and I say that having seen a lot of crazy stuff in my life).

Why the food criteria, btw? It's not like Chicago is reknowned for either.

See if you can get tickets to Second City or Improv Olympics on Saturday night.
posted by mkultra at 1:54 PM on March 2, 2004

Food, because it's just what i'm in the mood for.

Staying in the Gold Coast Area, near the Water Tower.

Things definetly doing:
Liveband karaoke on Friday night at Pontaic in Wicker Park
Dinner at the Hop Leaf Thursday night.
Game somewhere on saturday night.
posted by corpse at 1:57 PM on March 2, 2004

There was a similar thread a few months ago on a travel to Chicago, not necessarily food-related but worth checking out. I've really enjoyed returning to Penny's Noodle Shops in several locations (byob!), The Big Bowl downtown (touristy chinese but actually fun - and you might get seated next to Joan Cusak), Frances' Deli on North Clark for breakfast (feel like a local).'s "Cheap Eats" section is great for finding good places.
posted by Gortuk at 2:11 PM on March 2, 2004

Greek: Pegasus.
Stuffed pizza: Bacino's.
Reasonably good hamburgers and...creative...decor: The Medici (only if you're already in Hyde Park).

As someone else noted above, see the earlier thread for suggested activities.
posted by thomas j wise at 2:57 PM on March 2, 2004

If you are architecturally inclined check out Frank Lloyd Wright's Home and Studio in Oak Park. Short Drive.
posted by trbrts at 3:02 PM on March 2, 2004

Hey, thanks for the plug, hijinx.

I would have suggested Hopleaf, so I'm glad you're already going there. If you'd be willing to do Mediterranean (ie Lebanese, etc.) instead of Greek, Andie's in Andersonville is quite good. It's just up the street from Hopleaf. Hot Doug's is a must-visit -- go for lunch on Sat/Sun and get their duck fat-fried, er, fries. Should you care for some German food and entertainment, head over to the Chicago Brauhaus, where there's live music and dancing every night.

You could also hunt around on the Chicago Chowhound board for some suggestions.
posted by me3dia at 3:04 PM on March 2, 2004

Why not ride a bike?
posted by @homer at 5:12 PM on March 2, 2004

A third vote for Hot Doug's. No visit to Chicago is complete without it. (Closed Sundays.)
posted by bradlands at 5:21 PM on March 2, 2004

Greek Food: Greek Islands for regular-hour food, Zorba's for greasy after-hours food or great diner breakfast. Both off Halsted in GreekTown. Zorba's coffee makes me weak. My friends think I am insane for this.

Chinese: My FAVORITE in Chinatown is actually Malaysian: Penang (2201 S. Wentworth just north of the Cermak el). The mango chicken is alarmingly good and the other food is like nowhere else I've seen.

I also LOVE Seven Treasures in Chinatown (2310 S. Wentworth). It's not fancy-looking, but it's where the locals (you may be the only non-asian there) and the cops go for food.

Three Happiness is good too. For Dim Sum, Furama is the best to me.
posted by answergrape at 7:42 PM on March 2, 2004

Greek: Santorini—best Saganaki ever, outstanding service, great atmosphere.
posted by smich at 9:56 PM on March 2, 2004

You might want to check out Why Chicago Rules for some user-driven reviews.
posted by acornface at 12:14 PM on March 3, 2004

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