Eating in Chicago

Although this might be a more appropriate post before Worldcon last.

I thought that I would mention some of the more fun food outings that I had in Chicago, so if you find yourself downtown, looking for some food, well, you can check these places out.

Pat Scaramuzza and Beth, his SO, and Beth’s family took me and my roommate Michele to Billy Goat’s Tavern, immortalized by Saturday Night Live in their cheeseburger skits in the 70s. It was a real hole in the wall, with cheeseburgers on homemade buns, chips and soft drinks. Also, atmosphere so thick you had to cut it with a machete. For a place with character and atmosphere, not to mention economical food, it was a good trip.

And remember, if a stray billy goat wanders into your bar, the obvious thing to do is open a burger joint.


Next up, a trip with many great writers (hello Lawrence and Fran and Oz!) to La Tavernita, which bills itself as a sexy, spirited, modern restaurant. Lots of unusual tapas and many great drinks, and you feel you are nibbling your way to oblivion in a tiny bites kind of way. Easily the tastiest restaurant I got to all weekend. It is a bit atmospheric as well. Hearing cannot always be your main priority at La Tavernita.


Finally, a Chicago staple for pizza, Giordano’s. Michele and I went for the deep dish lunch special. We were not disappointed, and it did seem appropriate to have at least some Chicago style pizza in Chicago.


The con was wonderful, which meant I found myself more often eating next to the hotel or in the hotel. I will say that the Indian restaurant near the hotel, Khyber Pass, was pretty bad, and I can’t recommend it to anyone. When we ate there, the buffet was poorly stocked, overpriced, and spoiled. Bleah.

DaddyO’s, the hotel’s Irish pub was adequate, but nothing special. Similarly, Houlihan’s was fine, although the reputation was a bit overrated.

But The Bistro at 151 gave me a couple of notable meals. Their portabello mushroom sandwich was faboo, and if you get stuck in the area, this is probably where you should eat. I thought that the green omelette I had while breakfasting with Jeannette and her husband was pretty all right.

There are, of course, a great many wonderful restaurants in Chicago. I regret that I was much too busy to get away from the hotel to try them, but them’s the breaks at a good convention.

Next Chicago post…I promise the Ursula Vernon story.


Author: Catherine Schaff-Stump

Catherine Schaff-Stump writes fiction for children and young adults. Her most recent book, The Vessel of Ra, is the first book in the Klaereon Scroll series. She is currently working on its sequel, as well as penning the middle grade adventures of Abigail Rath, monster hunter.

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