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Old 10-24-2008, 03:31 PM   #1
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IL - Chicago ... Loop - Cheap eats?

I'm going to be in Chicago for a week or so for a conference; looking for some food suggestions, in the $10-15 or cheaper range (meaning the restaurants already mentioned in the other Chicago post doesn't really apply, lol). We also have a baby and a toddler, so family friendly I guess. I'm sure there are plenty of things, but if there are some great hole-in-the-wall, hidden-secret, kind of things, it would be great to know - take-away even. I'm staying and am going to be downtown in the Loop mostly, but also want to hit up Greektown (my wife and I both lived in Greece for a few months), and will be at the zoo, maybe aquarium, and who know what else. Thanks

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Old 10-24-2008, 04:20 PM   #2
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Greektown Gyros if you go to Greek town (239 S. Halsted). The place does not look like much from the outside but the gyros are very good. I would have to say they are the best I have had. I went to school close by so I have fond memories of this place.

Taza - 176 N Franklin St. I go there atleast once every couple of months. If you like Middle eastern food they have the best falafels and shwarma. Lines can be very long on weekdays around lunch but it's worth waiting. It's cheap.

Cosi - Many of them in the loop. It's your standard soup, salad, sandwich type of a place but they make sandwiches out of flat bread. I really like the options and it's not that expensive.

Potbellys - Many of them in the loop. I love their sandwiches

There are also two inexpensive but incredibly good thai restaurants

Singha - On 340 N. Clark just accross upper Wacker and my absolute favorite is Siam Rice on 117 N. Wells

Outside of these Thompson Center (located between Clark and LaSalle) has plenty of food options in the basement.
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Old 10-24-2008, 05:48 PM   #3
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The aquarium is wonderful - we took my son there as a toddler and he loved it. Navy Pier might be a fun place to take the kids to - there is a children's museum inside and beautiful stained glass collection inside. There are alot of restaurants there too - and a food court. Make sure you get some pizza for sure - I like Lou Malnati's but I'm not sure if there are any in that area - I think a Gino's East might be close by - alot of people like that. Also, get a good hot dog or beef too!
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Old 10-24-2008, 09:24 PM   #4
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Oh, I also came across some BOGO coupons at Home | ChicaGO Guide to Special Values , namely Dragonfly Mandarin, Fireside Restaurant, Mother Hubbard's, and another deal for Buca di Beppo (which I gather is a chain, no matter). Anything going for or against these, if one knows?
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Old 10-26-2008, 05:04 PM   #5
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Bucca's is an italian restaurant that is a chain but has very good very VERY LARGE portions - like each meatball weights 1/2 lb - I'm serious, they weigh it before they cook it! The food is good but one meal could probably feed your entire family. The restaurant is decorated very cool and patrons are invited to roam the place - nothing is off limits and that includes the kitchen as well as all bathrooms. It is a fun place but usually good for a large group of people because of the portions. I don't know anything about the other restaurants but I checked out the list - Hackney's has great hamburgers and the Walnut Room is always a wonderful treat - especially at Christmas time. I don't think the Walnut Room would be fun for you if you had a baby and a toddler - Hackney's and Bucca are both family friendly - loud too!
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Old 10-28-2008, 08:38 PM   #6
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Garretts popcorn. Got to have it.
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Old 10-30-2008, 09:39 AM   #7
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A must for any visit to Chicago for me is a Chicago Hot dog (there are tons of hot dog stands around)

And an Italian Beef Sandwich. Again many around. Often at the Hot Dog stands.

I have also had some great Pan Pizza but do not remember the names of any of the down town locations.
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Old 11-04-2008, 09:57 PM   #8
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Thanks for the suggestions. Managed to try most of the Chicago staples, all great food, though I'm not convinced a hot dog can be much more than, well, a hot dog, and that there can be such a thing as too much cheese in a pizza (the Giordano's "stuffed" pizza).

Went to Greektown gyros, and had a great gyro much like I remember from my time in Athens/Greece, though I was used to pork not beef. At least I thought I went to Greektown Gyros, lol - as we were about to leave the restaurant, looking across the street we saw a place called "Greektown Gyros". I had unwittingly went to "Mr. Beef's Greek Gyros" or something of the sort, haha. Well, it was a good gyro nonetheless!
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