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CHICAGO! Tips, restaurants and hotel advice!


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Jun 27, 2012, 10:39pm   #511
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Originally Posted by gymangel812
it's right off of michigan ave

Sprinkles is on Walton, just west of Michigan Ave., not far from Bloomingdales.
Jun 27, 2012, 10:45pm   #512
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Originally Posted by mainguyen504
Hi guys! I am looking to plan an August trip to Chicago for me and my bf. Would it be better for us to stay downtown(the loop) or Magnificent Mile? Which would you prefer? We aren't the partying/bar type... I rather shop lol. Also, does anyone recommend us renting a car to get around or is a cab easier? Is there any outlet shopping center around?
Tia!
Outlet shopping is in Aurora, Chicago Premium Outlets. It is a ways from the city though. A cab would be really expensive. If you did rent a car, it'd be worth going. They do have some decent shops, but it's not something that is a must when you come to Chicago. Other cities have much better outlets. I'd stick to the downtown area. You will love it.
Jun 27, 2012, 10:47pm   #513
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Originally Posted by mainguyen504
Hi guys! I am looking to plan an August trip to Chicago for me and my bf. Would it be better for us to stay downtown(the loop) or Magnificent Mile? Which would you prefer? We aren't the partying/bar type... I rather shop lol. Also, does anyone recommend us renting a car to get around or is a cab easier? Is there any outlet shopping center around?
Tia!
If you want to outlet shop, then definitely rent a car (but I would only do it for a day, because parking downtown is insanely expensive, especially if you valet it at your hotel. The good outlet malls are in Michigan City, Indiana (about an hour drive) and Aurora, Ill. (also about an hour drive). Gurnee Mills and Huntley are good too, and also about an hour or so from downtown. Sadly, these are all in different directions from each other, so you'd pretty much have to commit for one for the day.

As for hotels, I think River North is the place to stay if you'll be shopping--that's where most of the shopping is. If you want to venture into neighborhoods, Wicker Park/Bucktown has a ton of boutiques (especially vintage) and isn't far from downtown. State Street has some good shopping, but most of it duplicates what you can find along Michigan Avenue.

There's a free trolley that runs around downtown to major points of interest--Michigan Avenue, State Street, Navy Pier, so that's a good alternative to cabs. And most of the buses that run down Michigan Avenue end up on State Street, if you want to be able to shop both areas. But if you have walking shoes, it's completely doable to walk from the State Street area up to Michigan Avenue and into the Gold Coast.

Have fun!
Jun 28, 2012, 10:43am   #514
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Thank you for all the input ladies! I will have to look up the outlets to find if it is worth going. I am from New Orleans and we have HORRIBLE shopping here! I have to travel 4 hours to Houston to get decent shopping.
This might be a silly question, but is Michigan ave, State St, and Oak St all downtown? Or is the trolley and cab the way to go in Chicago?
Jun 28, 2012, 11:04am   #515
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Originally Posted by mainguyen504
Thank you for all the input ladies! I will have to look up the outlets to find if it is worth going. I am from New Orleans and we have HORRIBLE shopping here! I have to travel 4 hours to Houston to get decent shopping.
This might be a silly question, but is Michigan ave, State St, and Oak St all downtown? Or is the trolley and cab the way to go in Chicago?
Michigan Ave, Oak St. & State St. are all downtown. If you don't like to walk you may cab it to State St., but you can certainly walk it.

I'd stay away from Huntley outlets. They are awful IMO. Michigan City is quite the drive but the Burberry outlet there is sometimes worth it. Have fun!
Jun 28, 2012, 12:16pm   #516
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For downtown, not only is it walkable from magnificent mile down to south loop even, but you can always take the train (very easy) and buses (tons of options that run around downtown). :)

Also, I know you asked for shopping recommendations, but I also wanted to mention that the Art Institute is definitely worth a look. It's right by Millennium Park as well, so you can get in more sightseeing in that area even if you aren't big on art museums.
Jul 1, 2012, 2:50pm   #517
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ame
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Stupid question: are there a lot of Caribou coffee locations downtown / michigan ave?
Jul 1, 2012, 11:05pm   #518
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Originally Posted by ame
Stupid question: are there a lot of Caribou coffee locations downtown / michigan ave?
Yes there are not to mention a ton of starbucks
Jul 21, 2012, 9:40pm   #519
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I noticed there were a bunch of restaurant recommendations a few pages back that were written in 2011. Any current recommendations? I like Italian and casual dining (not into spicy food.) We are also going to the Polish Jewish area for food (mmmm...) so don't need suggestions for that :)

Thanks!!
Jul 21, 2012, 10:31pm   #520
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Originally Posted by Eviekins
I noticed there were a bunch of restaurant recommendations a few pages back that were written in 2011. Any current recommendations? I like Italian and casual dining (not into spicy food.) We are also going to the Polish Jewish area for food (mmmm...) so don't need suggestions for that :)

Thanks!!
All downtown:
Bar Toma, RPM Italian, Frankies Scaloppini, Grill on the Alley, Cheesecake Factory, Hub 51, Paris Club, Harry Carays, Public House, LuxBar, Cedar Hotel, Mity Nice Bar & Grill, Jake Melnicks Corner Tap. All great places :)
Jul 21, 2012, 10:49pm   #521
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Also anyone know of good eats by the Donald E Stephens convention centre in Rosemont?
Jul 22, 2012, 11:32am   #522
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Originally Posted by Eviekins
Also anyone know of good eats by the Donald E Stephens convention centre in Rosemont?
They just built a new area with a ton of restaurants- Kings, a bowling alley that has a restaurant area, Park Tavern (american style food), Gila's (Mexican) and Four Roses Irish Pub. There is a Hoffbrauhaus (german) restaurant opening, but it is still under construction. Also a Toby Keith bar or something, but I'm not in to country music so I haven't paid any attention to that. Muvico is also there, which is a movie theater with a restaurant inside, in case you want to see a movie. There is also a Morton's Steakhouse and a Gibson's Steakhouse across the street from the convention centre. Down the road a bit at the Intercontinental Hotel, there is a McCormick & Schmicks, which is seafood.
Jul 22, 2012, 12:27pm   #523
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Thank you guys for all your suggestions! I'm going to start checking these out online and making plans! :)
Jul 22, 2012, 12:35pm   #524
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I was just in Chicago for the Taste of Chicago and ate at the Grand Lux restaurant. It's a beautiful restaurant right downtown and the food was incredible!! They also make great drinks and desserts!
Jul 23, 2012, 7:14pm   #525
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Lioness71
Originally Posted by Eviekins
I noticed there were a bunch of restaurant recommendations a few pages back that were written in 2011. Any current recommendations? I like Italian and casual dining (not into spicy food.) We are also going to the Polish Jewish area for food (mmmm...) so don't need suggestions for that :)

Thanks!!
For mid-range Italian - Coco Pazzo Cafe at 636 N. St Clair. Pretty much right in the heart of Streeterville/Mag Mile but not a tourist trap.
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