Chicago restaurant recommendations?


The family is going to Chicago later this month for an alumni weekend, and I'm interested in safe and unsafe restaurant recommendations/warnings--especially in the Hyde Park and Magnificient Mile areas.

Any experience there?

On Oct 8, 2005

While I don't know from experience, I have a recent issue of an allergy magazine that has allergy-friendly restaurants listed. Here they are:

Adobo Grill 312-266-7999

Bistro 110 312-266-3118

Everest 312-633-8920

Frontera Grill 312-661-1434

Luciano's 312-266-1414

Thyme 312-226-4300 [url=""][/url]

Vinci's 312-266-1199

Now some of these might just be gluten-free friendly places, so I'd call to double check. I sure hope this helps. If you try any of these, please report back. I am an hour outside of Chicago, and I'd like to try some myself if we ever get some $$. [img][/img]

------------------ [i][b]Allergy Eliminator [/b][/i]

On Oct 8, 2005

How old are your children? Bistro 110's (on Pearson) head chef has a PA child and has emailed me to tell me that should we ever come in to speak with him and he will prepare a meal for us that is safe. That is in the Mag Mile area. But this is a nicer place, but I would feel uncomfortable taking my children there for dinner (they are 1 and 4) but maybe lunch only.

Also, there is a Cheesecake Factory at the bottom of the John Hancock tower that will accommodate you, and the food court (2nd floor) in Water tower has something for everyone. We have eaten there a few times and my son has had the soups and pizza. Ask for the manager and he will guide you to stations that are safe and not.

There are a few italian places slightly off of Mag Mile that we have eaten at as well that have been within our comfort zone (Rosebuds, Unos and Carluccis).

On Oct 9, 2005

Thanks so much both of you! Wow--this is really helpful.

DS is 7 and is well behaved. I'd love to take him to Pizzaria Uno, so I'm glad you mentioned it. Frankly, there's a pizzaria dear to my heart from grad school days that I'm going to check out, the Medici on 57th street in Hyde Park, where we'll be spending a bit of time. They used to have the most delicious spinach pizza, and DS' favorite veggie is spinach, so I am hoping that they're still in business and SAFE!

I have to make one more trip to Fields on State Street before it becomes Macy's, and I'd love to go to the Berghoff (sp) but don't know if we'll get the chance. We used to do that after Christmas shopping. We'll be staying close to Water Tower (we're not paying for it. :-)

DS has never been to Chicago, and I'm so excited he's getting to see it. DH and I went to grad school there, and I can't wait for DS to see that, too. DS and I could have stayed home, but he chose to miss his school's Fall Festival and go. He said, "This Fall Festival will probably be like every one I'll get to go to, but we won't always get to go to Chicago."

I'm looking forward to taking him to the Museum of Science and Industry and the Shedd Acquarium. We may have time for a couple of hours at the Art Institute. And we'll go to Sears Tower.

Thanks so much--I'll look into these places.

On Oct 9, 2005

The Lettuce Entertain You group of restaurants are very allergy conscious; they may have nuts in the kitchen, but the manager will walk the order through completion, and they have a special order slip they use for allergic customers, etc. The web link with listing if their restaurants is: [url=""][/url]

Other places we eat in the North Suburbs include Lou Malnati's Pizza in Lincolnwood and CrossRhodes (Greek) in Evanston.

On Oct 9, 2005

We went to the museum of Science and Industry last Tuesday. DS (5) had a blast. Lots of neat stuff to look at. And admission is free on Mondays and Tuesdays this time of year. Can't beat that!

------------------ [i][b]Allergy Eliminator [/b][/i]

On Oct 9, 2005

We've taken our boys to The Cheesecake Factory numerous times. If you go there, make sure you leave enough room (which is incredibly difficult to do) for some cheesecake.

There is another good restaurant on the bottom level of The Water Tower Place that is suitable for children.

Plan ahead with reservations if you want to go somewhere decent or show up around 5:30 at the latest.

Sooo many great restaurants in downtown Chicago you really cannot go wrong.

Welcome to Chicago [img][/img]

Oh, another thing. Dress for cold weather!

On Oct 10, 2005


The Shedd, Field and Plantarium are all now connected by walkways and trolly cars. You can actually do two in a day if you are quick.

We have been able to do the Field and the Shedd (pay the extra money for the Wild Reef worth it). I think that the Field has a McDonalds and the Shedd has a food court with a Pizza Hut in it. We have eaten at both of these places, I just can't remember which has what.

Also, NikeTown is a big hit with the boys. If you have a chance pop in there with your son.

On Oct 10, 2005

I have no clue as to whether it is safe or not wrt food allergies, but I've been meaning to check it out for my cubs: Pegasus and The Greek Islands. Greek Town. I'd be tickled if there were still bellydancers on Friday's. So would hubby [img][/img]

It's just I've not eaten in restaurants so accommodating. [img][/img] But that's just my own highly individual, personal, and unique experience. Individual Mileage May Vary. I am not offering advice in any manner or form. [img][/img]

On Oct 10, 2005

I've been trying to rememeber the place we used to go in Greek Town. I minored in Greek in college and like all things Greek. We are not Greek (got that Scottish/PA link thing going), but I used to play a Greek tape for DS when he was little, and we taught him "Opah!" from early on. I'd love him to see folks flinging plates and such at the wall.

Alas, our schedule will probably be too tight for plate flinging, although it might definitely give me incentive to come back to Chicago in the spring when DH has a meeting. And I'd feel better about a restaurant that I can thoroughly check out than going to a Greek festival (surely Houston has one--Dallas and Fort Worth did).

Boy---all this info is great. Now I wish I had an extra three days so we could all meet. I had a blast today meeting Rae. It meant a lot to me. If any of your are in the Hyde Park area, do email me.

[This message has been edited by McCobbre (edited October 10, 2005).]

On Oct 10, 2005

Oh--about Cheesecake Factory--did y'all know that those avocado roll appetizer things are safe? At least down here (Texas) they are--even the dipping sauce. We have gone back and forth and back and forth about it with the manager and got reassurred and finally let DS have some. And they are absolutely divine!

Okay--so the weather. I remember what it's usually like in October there, but goodness--it just climbed below the mid-to upper 90s here, and I can't imagine being chilly. Friday we actually had temps in the 70s!! I've got to figure the weather thing out. How cold has it been? I don't know if DS even owns appropriate clothing that fits! Well, I knew there was a reason to keep that Land's End catalogue. :-)

I'm just hoping the leaves are still there when we get there. DS rarely gets to see actual colorful leaves, and the Chicago campus is gorgeous in the fall!

On Oct 13, 2005

Best Pizza in Chicago is at the Exchequer Pub on Wabash street on the DePaul campus. I've eaten there many times...

On Oct 13, 2005

I just recently ate at Artopolis in Greektown and it was wonderful. Don't know about nut safety though; they definately had nutted desserts, as do most Greek restaurants, and they make them in their own kitchen at this place. If you go, the spanakopita, greek poato salad, and the crostini appetizer were delicious.

On Nov 6, 2005

I wanted to give a report back on our restaurant experiences in Chicago for any Chicagoland people out there. DS is alive and well, and we had an absolutely fabulous time.

Our hotel was adjacent to the Hancock tower, and our first meal was there--as was our last. DS wanted to go to the top, and while we were walking toward the Cheesecake Factory (which we have where we live and had in Dallas, too) we were asked if we wanted to eat in the restaurant at the top--in the buffet. DS gave an enthusiastic "YES." And minutes later, we were 90 some odd floors in the sky (it's been two weeks, and I've forgotten the details. The chef guided us through the lunch buffet, and DS ws able to eat there just fine, although most of the items weren't to his liking. He did find enough to eat, though. The quality and selection wasn't worth the $18/plate for DH and me, but DS' lunch was just $10. And the reason to be there obviously was the view. And seeing as we weren't able to make it to Sears Tower during the weekend, the cost ended up not bothering me in the long run. The green beans normally have almonds; they didn't the day we were there.

Sunday we were late for the airport and hadn't eaten lunch and went to the gourmet Italian deli and market in the area on the bottom/sub bottom floor of the Hancock Tower--that's accessible from the outside from Michigan Avenue. The cheese and pepperoni pizza were safe for DS. And the market was a delight! There were items I haven't seen since my last trip to Italy.

In between, we went to a restaurant that I wanted to let y'all know about the next time you go to the Museum of Science and Industry or are in Hyde Park. It's on 57th Street down the street from the Museum of S&I--and it's my favorite part of Chicago. The restaurant is called The Medici. I'd called ahead and asked about the spinach pizza, because DS adores spinach. The restaurant is about a 7 minute walk from the Museum on the south side of the 57th street just before you get to 57th Street Books, an absolutely delightful bookstore. (and before you get there, you'll pass a rare books/antiquities bookstore where in grad school I bought 17th century vellum bound book of Italian morality plays and this trip bought an illuminated manuscript--a real jewel): O'Gara & Wilson's. It's on the north side of the street.

Back to The Medici: The only nuts are pecans in salad that are prepared in a different area by different staff than prepare the pizza. Our waiter requested that the person who prepared DS' chocolate milk use new gloves because he also prepares deserts and was concerned about cross contamination with may contains.

Dinner came off without a hitch, and DS loved the pizza. We did, too.

So if you're in the area, you may want to consider this place. Call first, but we found it to be a safe place for DS. And it was full of memories from grad school days for DH and me.

On Apr 8, 2006

Bumping up for 29 y/o PA who is going to Chicago tomorrow.