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Chicago Layover


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#21 Ryan

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 05:49 PM

We often go to Giordano's on Jackson st.
 
https://giordanos.co...n-central-loop/

 
This is the One True Answer.
 

The French Market is just a few blocks away and definitely worth a stroll.


Although you'll not go wrong following Sarah's advice.
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#22 RSG

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 05:59 AM

While I wouldn't call it in very close proximity of the station, when I have visitors coming into town, and the weather is nice, which in late August should be quite nice, I like to take them down to the recently completed riverwalk, along the south bank of the Chicago River. Between State and Dearborn along the riverwalk is City Winery. The menu is fairly simple: sandwiches, salads, and charcuterie plates, along with plenty of wine and mixed drinks. Get a table and watch the world go by. Very relaxing. Can't beat the view.
 
The riverwalk stretches from Michigan Ave. to Lake Street, close to Ogilvie Station. So, incorporating another suggestion here, grab something at the French Market to go and take it over to the riverwalk and enjoy it there.


I'll second the Riverwalk as a delightful spot to spend some time; I visited it for the first time on my trip to CHI in June and loved it so much I went back a second time. Unfortunately both times were late in the evening and the food/beverage hangout spots were about to close, but there are still opportunities independent of the operating hours of the businesses there to BYO food/dessert item and hang out in the public areas. The only caveat is that it is somewhat weather-dependent as to the suitability for visitation. I would hate to be caught in a downpour without an umbrella as there are limited opportunities for shelter (and the nearest exit from the Riverwalk could be a block or two away, depending on one's location).

#23 dogbert617

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 02:43 PM

 

What day of the week? There is a nearby food hall that people on this board have talked about, but it is a weekday only location.

It will be a Saturday. But I'll keep this in mind for future trips. Thanks!

 

Yep, Revival Food Hall would be a good one to keep in mind for future trips when you're here on a weekday. All the food stands inside there(correct me if any are different) seem to all be open till at least 7pm, there.

 

Chicago French Market would be a fair substitute for Saturday, but keep in mind many of the stands inside there close by 4pm. When I skimmed through their website, I only saw one that was open till 5pm. My favorite places inside there were Frietkoken, and Fumare Meats. But there are others, that also are decent too(i.e. Saigon Sisters).

 

If you're arriving from a train from the east into Chicago at 8:45am(forget if that scheduled time is the Cap Limited or the Lake Shore Limited, and eventually riding the Empire Builder going west that day), I don't think you'll have any problems doing the walk north to Chicago French Market.



#24 SarahZ

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 08:12 PM

Vanille Patisserie is my favorite place in the French Market, if only for browsing their beautiful petit fours and pastries. I spent about 15 minutes trying to pick one last time.** They're a little spendy, given the serving size, but it's so worth it.

 

http://www.vanillepa...om/Petit-Fours/

 

They also have a huge selection of macarons. 

 

** I was out of the way and not holding up the line. ;) 


Edited by SarahZ, 08 August 2017 - 08:13 PM.

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#25 crescent-zephyr

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 09:08 PM

As you can tell... Lots and lots of options exist.

If you like old diners at all.. Lou Mitchels is really fun. They bake their own bread, have fresh orange and grapefruit juice, and they are just the definition of a quirky old diner. I always enjoy a meal there and it's a super easy walk from the station.

Giordonos is the closest chicago pizza place. They are no match for Genos East or Lou's in my book but hey... It's still deep dish. Ha.

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#26 SarahZ

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 09:38 PM

Gino's East is disgusting. Their crust tastes like shredded wheat covered in cornmeal.  :P  ;)

 

I'll give you Lou Malnati's. I love their Chicago Classic. :) I try to balance Lou Malnati's with Giordano's, just depending on who's closest to wherever I'm staying/adventuring. Sometimes I prefer Giordano's because they use SO. MUCH. CHEESE.


Edited by SarahZ, 08 August 2017 - 09:39 PM.

Amtrak Miles: 43,318

 

Amtrak Routes: Blue Water, California Zephyr, Capitol Limited, Carl Sandburg, City of New Orleans, Coast Starlight, Crescent, Empire Builder, Hiawatha, Illinois Zephyr, Lincoln Service, Southwest Chief, Texas Eagle, Wolverine

 

Metropolitan Rail: Chicago Metra, Chicago L, Dallas TRE, Detroit People Mover, New Orleans RTA, San Francisco MUNI, Seattle Monorail, South Shore Line (NICTD), Toronto Subway & RT, Washington DC Metro


#27 brianpmcdonnell17

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Posted 09 August 2017 - 12:39 AM

Gino's East is disgusting. Their crust tastes like shredded wheat covered in cornmeal.  :P  ;)
 
I'll give you Lou Malnati's. I love their Chicago Classic. :) I try to balance Lou Malnati's with Giordano's, just depending on who's closest to wherever I'm staying/adventuring. Sometimes I prefer Giordano's because they use SO. MUCH. CHEESE.

I don't go to Chicago enough to experiment, so recently I have gotten Lou Malnati's after trying it for the first time. Next year when I move to Chicago, I'll make sure to try Giordano's because I have heard many good things about them as well. The only other place I had Chicago pizza in Chicago was Pizzeria Uno, which was disappointed and required an extremely long wait.

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#28 Philly Amtrak Fan

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Posted 09 August 2017 - 05:01 AM

 

Gino's East is disgusting. Their crust tastes like shredded wheat covered in cornmeal.  :P  ;)
 
I'll give you Lou Malnati's. I love their Chicago Classic. :) I try to balance Lou Malnati's with Giordano's, just depending on who's closest to wherever I'm staying/adventuring. Sometimes I prefer Giordano's because they use SO. MUCH. CHEESE.

I don't go to Chicago enough to experiment, so recently I have gotten Lou Malnati's after trying it for the first time. Next year when I move to Chicago, I'll make sure to try Giordano's because I have heard many good things about them as well. The only other place I had Chicago pizza in Chicago was Pizzeria Uno, which was disappointed and required an extremely long wait.

 

 

Pizzeria Uno is a national chain. They have one in the Philly area. I second the Giordano's nomination.


Edited by Philly Amtrak Fan, 09 August 2017 - 05:01 AM.

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#29 lstone19

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Posted 09 August 2017 - 09:01 AM

If you cross the River from Union Station there is a very nice Food Court in the Basement of the Willis( Sears) Tower that has better selections and a more pleasant atmosphere than the Upstairs Food Court @ Union Station.

In The other Direction (in close walking distance) there is Lou Mitchells, a Chicago Institution, Al's Italian Beef, (get the Peppers on your Sandwich) and Greek Town is located a little bit to the West with several excellent places to enjoy lunch.


Recently retired from a job that had me working in Willis Tower for six years. There was no food court in the basement (Lower Level 1 as they call it) - just a single restaurant that closed about a year ago and a donut shop. I believe all Willis Tower restaurants (the ones on the lobby level and 2nd floor) have now closed (except maybe Starbucks) as they renovate and totally redesign the lobby.

-- Larry


#30 crescent-zephyr

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Posted 09 August 2017 - 09:08 AM

Ahh lobby renovations! I was wondering what happened to the Argo Tea Stand. I always try to get Argo Tea when in Chicago and the Willis Tower location was super close to Union Station and I always got a little kick out of sitting inside the tower with my tea. My last trip this summer I noticed it was gone.

There were quite a few restaurants on the 2nd floor... They are all closed? The lunch spots around the tower must be doing a lot of extra business now.

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#31 Bob Dylan

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Posted 09 August 2017 - 10:34 AM

Thanks for the update, I didn't realize that all of the places in Willis Tower had closed. It's been a couple of years since I was on a layover in Chicago!

SAD!😣
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#32 crescent-zephyr

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Posted 09 August 2017 - 12:04 PM

[quote name="Philly Amtrak Fan" post="719967" timestamp="1502272877"][quote name="brianpmcdonnell17" post="719959" timestamp="1502257170"] 
Pizzeria Uno is a national chain. They have one in the Philly area. I second the Giordano's nomination.[/quote]

The Uno and Due are not run as chain stores and have a totally different menu. Uno and Due were the first chicago deep dish pizzas and still operate in their original locations which are both historic and charming.

I've eaten at both over the years and enjoyed them, but I don't think the pizza is as good as Genos or Lou's, but I do think it's better than Giordonos.

For what it's worth, Lou's feels more like a modern chain restaurant to me... Very little charm. (But very tasty pizza!).

Amtrak: - Coast Starlight*, Pacific Surfliner, San Joaquin*, Cascades*, Empire Builder*, California Zephyr*, Southwest Chief*, City of New Orleans*, River Cities, Illinois Zephyr*, Wolverine, Cardinal, Capitol Limited*, Lake Shore Limited, Downeaster, Acela Express*, Crescent*, Carolinian*, Silver Star*, Silver Meteor*, Maple Leaf* Texas Eagle.

 

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#33 MisterUptempo

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Posted 09 August 2017 - 03:28 PM

 

What day of the week? There is a nearby food hall that people on this board have talked about, but it is a weekday only location.

It will be a Saturday. But I'll keep this in mind for future trips. Thanks!

 

Just a thought - You mentioned that your layover is on a Saturday later in August. If that Saturday happens to be August 19th, please be advised that the Chicago Air and Water Show takes place on the 19th and 20th. That could change the dynamic just a little. Attendance has been estimated at over 2,000,000 spectators over the two day show. And while Union Station isn't by the lake, expect lots of attendees to use Metra to get downtown. Plan accordingly.

 

ETA - The Air and Water Show hours are 10AM-3PM.


Edited by MisterUptempo, 09 August 2017 - 03:30 PM.


#34 NorthShore

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Posted 09 August 2017 - 04:23 PM

The only other place I had Chicago pizza in Chicago was Pizzeria Uno, which was disappointed and required an extremely long wait.

 

The real one on Ohio and Wabash or the place by the same name in Union Station which sells crappy pizza?



#35 Bob Dylan

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Posted 09 August 2017 - 04:49 PM

All you Chicago Pizza fans need to get out of the Windy City and try other types, and also eat some "Chicago Style" 'Dogs and Italian Beef Sandwiches!

Deep Dish Pizza is way Overrated and Costs too Much!😁 YMMV
"There's Something About a Train! It's Magic!"-- 1970s Amtrak Ad
 "..My heart is warm with the friends I make,and better friends I'll not be knowing,
Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take,No matter where its going!.." -Edna St. Vincent Millay

#36 MikefromCrete

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Posted 09 August 2017 - 04:52 PM

Forget the deep dish pizza. It isn't worth your time or money. Get yourself over to Roosevelt Road and Michigan Avenue and have an Aurelio's thin crust. You'll be in heaven. After that have a hot dog and an Italian beef sandwich. Those are true tastes of Chicago. 



#37 SarahZ

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Posted 09 August 2017 - 05:49 PM

Deep Dish Pizza is way Overrated and Costs too Much! YMMV

 

You shut your blasphemous mouth.

 

;)

 

Chicago Dogs are disgusting. There. I said it.

 

Give me a good Polish any day.


Amtrak Miles: 43,318

 

Amtrak Routes: Blue Water, California Zephyr, Capitol Limited, Carl Sandburg, City of New Orleans, Coast Starlight, Crescent, Empire Builder, Hiawatha, Illinois Zephyr, Lincoln Service, Southwest Chief, Texas Eagle, Wolverine

 

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#38 crescent-zephyr

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Posted 09 August 2017 - 05:50 PM

All you Chicago Pizza fans need to get out of the Windy City and try other types, and also eat some "Chicago Style" 'Dogs and Italian Beef Sandwiches!

Deep Dish Pizza is way Overrated and Costs too Much!😁 YMMV


Like New York Pizza Supreme right outside NY Penn? :)

Amtrak: - Coast Starlight*, Pacific Surfliner, San Joaquin*, Cascades*, Empire Builder*, California Zephyr*, Southwest Chief*, City of New Orleans*, River Cities, Illinois Zephyr*, Wolverine, Cardinal, Capitol Limited*, Lake Shore Limited, Downeaster, Acela Express*, Crescent*, Carolinian*, Silver Star*, Silver Meteor*, Maple Leaf* Texas Eagle.

 

VIA: - Canadian*

 

Iowa Pacific - Hoosier State*, and City of New Orleans Pullman*.   


#39 Bob Dylan

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Posted 09 August 2017 - 06:03 PM


Deep Dish Pizza is way Overrated and Costs too Much! YMMV

 
You shut your blasphemous mouth.
 
;)
 
Chicago Dogs are disgusting. There. I said it.
 
Give me a good Polish any day.
I don't disagree about the Polish (Brats too!😙)Sarah, but the Chicago Dogs I've had were very tasty and filling compared to the standard dog with mustard and relish! ( But No Ketchup!😄)

Edited by Bob Dylan, 09 August 2017 - 06:44 PM.

"There's Something About a Train! It's Magic!"-- 1970s Amtrak Ad
 "..My heart is warm with the friends I make,and better friends I'll not be knowing,
Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take,No matter where its going!.." -Edna St. Vincent Millay

#40 SarahZ

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Posted 09 August 2017 - 06:41 PM

I don't like onions, tomatoes, sport peppers, or relish. :P 

 

I do like Vienna Beef dogs, though, so sometimes I'll just order a plain one and put a bit of mustard on it. I can usually get a Polish wherever there are hot dogs, though, so I tend to go for that or a bratwurst. :)


Amtrak Miles: 43,318

 

Amtrak Routes: Blue Water, California Zephyr, Capitol Limited, Carl Sandburg, City of New Orleans, Coast Starlight, Crescent, Empire Builder, Hiawatha, Illinois Zephyr, Lincoln Service, Southwest Chief, Texas Eagle, Wolverine

 

Metropolitan Rail: Chicago Metra, Chicago L, Dallas TRE, Detroit People Mover, New Orleans RTA, San Francisco MUNI, Seattle Monorail, South Shore Line (NICTD), Toronto Subway & RT, Washington DC Metro





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