Greetings to all of you fabulous people heading to BlogHer this month! For those of you not attending, feel free to take a tour of my favorite city on the planet as I offer Chicago touristy tips and how to prepare yourself for 4 glorious days in Chicago. Hopefully, you didn’t miss my first Chicago BlogHer post, because…well I thought it was fucking awesome…and helpful. Because I can help you get cheap parking.
So I work in the Loop. I work on State Street. Two blocks from the giant metal jellybean that we call The Bean. I’ve included my top eateries in the area (and a few that are slightly out of the way) for you to nosh on when you’re not rockin’ the conference at BlogHer.
Quick Serve/Fast Casual Restaurants
As I’m always on the look-out for fast, cheap or easy, here are my favorites.
Pastoral: My favorite city cheese shop. Go grab a sandwich, a salad or just enjoy a hunk of cheese, a container of olives and some meaty meaty meat candy. I freakin’ love this place. It’s on Lake, just west of Wabash. Go. Do it. You’ll thank me.
Toni Patisserie & Cafe: Looking for a sweet treat? How about a little French bistro? This place is fantastic. A great little French bakery with tasty salads and sandwiches.
Oasis Cafe: Another Mediterranean spot, hidden in Jeweler’s Row. Literally, you have to trek to the back of a jewelry store for this one. Worth the trip.
Hannah’s Bretzel: Brian really likes this place, though I think it’s a little hipster. The breakfast sandwiches are amazing, though.
The Chasement: The basement of the Chase Building on Dearborn and Madison/Monroe, this weekday operational lunch cafeteria boasts several tasty treats in one spot. We’ve got lots of cafeteria dining in The Loop, so you can head out with your blog friends and eat 27 different things.
Macy’s on State: The 7th Floor boasts several quick serve options (Get the chicken Caesar salad from the salad bar on the 7th floor OMG) and the basement offers another cafeteria (I like the basement salad spot–make your own tasty salad on the cheap-ish). Plus it’s the original Marshall Field’s. Go. Steer clear of Frontera Fresco if you don’t want to spend $5 on a single tamale that tastes like soggy cornbread with no accouterments save a tiny bit of salsa. If you’re looking for a nicer dining spot, The Walnut Room is world famous and lovely!
The Gage: This upscale tavern across from Millennium Park offers a tasty venison burger, indulgent wild boar poutine and a delightful Scotch egg that I wish I could still consume (darn glutens). Cool atmosphere. Great food. $$$
Elephant & Castle: There are a few of these laced throughout the city. An English style pub, where you can enjoy a pint and the closest thing to my mom’s Yorkshire pudding that I’ve ever tasted. Good food. Great beer selection.
Monk’s Pub: They don’t split checks, so bring cash, but the awesome atmosphere at this tavern is worth it. Throw your complimentary peanuts on the floor and enjoy one of the largest beer menus I’ve seen in a while. Gluten-free beer indeed.
Kitty O’Sheas: They have a killer bloody Mary. This Irish pub is located across from Grant Park on Michigan Ave in the Hilton. We stop in for a drink before Bears games. Tasty.
Guys, this is Chicago. There are THOUSANDS of tasty places to consume noms and drinks. Explore. Our food is delicious. If you need help deciding, YELP is a Godsend. Get the App. No, they aren’t paying me. Yes, you can follow me on Yelp and read my reviews.
What are your favorite restaurants in downtown Chicago?