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 Post subject: food recs please
PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2016 12:12 pm 
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my friend and i will be ending our epic summer of traveling to see shows in Chicago in mid September.
we will be there for a day.

we are staying at the Congress Plaza Hotel which is located at 520 South Michigan Avenue,

looking at the map it looks like it's right by a park and touristy area.
we get to Chicago around 10 and i believe our friend is picking us up at the airport.

would prefer to find a vegan/omni friendly place for lunch near our hotel within walking distance. (if that's possible)

that night we're going to a show at the Vic so it would be preferable to eat in that area.

any thoughts?
any Chicago must sees?

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 Post subject: Re: food recs please
PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2016 1:05 pm 
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Your hotel is indeed right by the park, and the Art Institute, and lots of fun tourist stuff. You'll be about a half a mile walk from the Loop Native Foods, which is all vegan, but in my experience appeals to omnis.

The Vic is a 10-15 minute walk from the Lakeview Native Foods, Chicago Diner, and Pick Me Up Cafe.


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 Post subject: Re: food recs please
PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2016 8:20 am 
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LP, please take a look at the existing threads for these kinds of requests! There's already a ton of information about what to eat in Chicago.

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 Post subject: Re: food recs please
PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2016 11:24 am 
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Kitchen 17 (all vegan and would definitely appeal to omnis) and Yummy Yummy Asian Cuisine (has both vegan soy and seitan options and meaty options) are also walkable to the Vic, about comparable to Chicago Diner/Pick me up but Native Foods is definitely the closest and would be great if you're short on time. There's also a very cute tea place next too Yummy Yummy, and other great coffee shops up and down Broadway if you've got some time to wander around between dinner and the show.

Downtown doesn't have as many great food options in general as other neighborhoods, because a lot of it is more fast casual lunch stuff for business people, but there's Meli Cafe on Dearborn for a brunchy option- mostly omni but they do have a vegan section on their menu. I only went there once (to a different location) but it was pretty good. There are a few very vegan friendly falafel places: I Dream of Falafel has a few locations, and Naf Naf Grill is also right by the L stop near the art institute, at Wabash and Monroe. Some of the hot dog stands near the museum campus actually have veggie dogs, so you could get a Chicago dog like a real Chicagoan. If all else fails there's a Trader Joe's at State and Roosevelt!

Other things to do downtown, aside from museums: Definitely take a walk through Millenium Park/Maggie Daley Park/the Art Institute grounds/Grant Park/the lake. I'm not sure what events are going on in Millenium Park as the summer winds down but there's often free concerts and stuff at the pavillion, and you can bring your picnic and bottle of wine and stuff and it's great.

The Chicago Visitor Center! It is just down the block from Millenium Park. I am always trying to convince visitors to stop there. They have really great free art exhibits, amazing mosaics and other architectural details throughout the building, and two huge Tiffany glass domes. One of my favorite sights in Chicago.

You're very close to the Harold Washington Library, our 8 story library which is a beautiful old building also with various art displays up and a beautiful atrium on the top floor. Maybe this wouldn't be my 1 stop for a single day trip, but on a longer trip would be a great place to bring a cup of coffee or tea and hang out for a while.

Go to the bar at the Willis Tower for a happy hour cocktail overlooking the lake.

Get to Lakeview early and wander around, window shop and people watch.

The Lincoln Park Conservatory is also free, nice, and surrounded by nice grounds/the lake for walking around, and isn't TOO far from the Vic (under two mile walk, or a pretty short bus ride or super easy Uber ride). Dinner at Yummy Yummy would split the distance perfectly for walking.


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 Post subject: Re: food recs please
PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2016 12:30 pm 
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thanks everyone! great suggestions!

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 Post subject: Re: food recs please
PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2016 12:50 pm 
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when native foods says "native chicken" do they mean actual bird?
i remember some controversy about a veggie chain starting to serve meat and i dont remember which one

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 Post subject: Re: food recs please
PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2016 1:14 pm 
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Nope it's all vegan, they just mean it is house made.


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 Post subject: Re: food recs please
PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2016 2:20 pm 
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ok thanks. it was in a special box and they spelled out "chicken" so i got confused.

thanks!

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 Post subject: Re: food recs please
PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2016 9:08 pm 
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Do I need to be terrified of the Chicago subway? More than any other major city?
My friend and I are taking the subway from the airport to Chicago Diner then to our hotel and our friend who lives in Chicago is making me feel like I'm definitely going to get robbed and murdered at 11am on the subway.

I've managed the subway in Boston, NYC, and Portland all in the middle of the night so I feel we can handle Chicago in the afternoon.

I've even survived subways in foreign countries where I didn't speak the language

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 Post subject: Re: food recs please
PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2016 10:22 pm 
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I think the Chicago subway is the best there is! It's so easy to understand.
Its not scary at all IMO, especially from the airport. I mean you could get mugged just like in any other big city. Just don't join a gang.

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 Post subject: Re: food recs please
PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2016 6:30 am 
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Thanks! That's what I was thinking! I dont know what image my friend has of us in her mind. I'm aware of how to conduct myself while traveling. She must think we walk around looking confused with an open wallet in our hands and an expensive camera around our neck.

She seriously sent me this text making think I was definitely going to get murdered. Geesh.

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 Post subject: Re: food recs please
PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2016 6:31 am 
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We're going to uber back to our hotel after the show tonight just so we're not wandering around a strange city late at night but subway from the airport should be fine in the middle of the afternoon

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 Post subject: Re: food recs please
PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2016 9:03 am 
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You'll be fine. The subway from the airport is so easy, I can't even tell you how many times I've taken it and never gotten mugged. Tons of business travelers, pilots, etc do it every day too, so I dont know why she thinks it would be so bad. Does your friend live in the suburbs?


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 Post subject: Re: food recs please
PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2016 9:49 pm 
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We call it the L, for elevated, even when it's underground cause we're weird that way. I would happily ride the Chicago L at 2:00am if I had a friend with me. Proud L rider since before I can remember.


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 Post subject: Re: food recs please
PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2016 12:07 pm 
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Long boring convoluted story but our friend ended up picking us up at the airport, then we acquired some Lyft coupons so used those to get to and from the show. This morning we did take the subway back to the airport because we had time to kill.

It was exactly like taking the subway in Boston. I mean there was a couple elderly ladies who looked like maybe they wanted to mug me but they didn't.

Not sure what our friends deal was. I think where she lives in Chicago is not the best area as I know she posts a lot about hearing gun shots and stuff like that but we were totally fine in the areas we were in. No different than any other city ive been to.

Places we ate:

Chicago diner: very loud inside! Got a super delicious shake. My spicy chicken sandwich practically burnt my face off so I only ate part of it. Service was pretty slow but it was really busy

Native foods: yum!

Meli cafe: not vegan but had a vegan section on menu. Kinda expensive but big portions. Vegan menu had honey on it so there's that but otherwise was good

Also we stayed at the congress plaza hotel. What a giant convoluted labryinth of weirdness

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 Post subject: Re: food recs please
PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2016 4:08 pm 
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Yeah, you have to look out for those old ladies on the Chicago L. If you aren't on your guard they will mug you, or worse yet, tell you about all the medications they are on, gripe about their grand kids, and knit you an ugly sweater, all before your stop comes along.

There are stops along the L in questionable neighborhoods for sure. You shouldn't get off at any old stop if you don't know the neighborhood, but just passing through on the train has never been an issue for me.

Glad you had a good time in my home town! I've never heard of Meli Cafe. I'll have to check it out.


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