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The Signature Room, at the top of the Hancock Building, is only ok, but definitely unique for it's views. You might look up our local restaurant review tv show, Check, Please! for current "hot spots" - there really is a lot to choose from in Chicago, so it depends on your taste and budget and how far from downtown you want to go.
 

Grayewolf

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I've got an overnight layover in Chicago the 12/13 of this month. Looking for a good, inexpensive coffee/sandwich shop to wile away about 6-7 hours while enjoying a good book. Close to Union station preferred.
 
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Bob Dylan

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I've got an overnight layover in Chicago the 12/13 of this month. Looking for a good, inexpensive coffee/sandwich shop to wile away about 6-7 hours while enjoying a good book. Close to Union station preferred.
You can't go wrong by heading for the Hostel International on Congress,( a few blocks East close to Michigan Ave and State Street, Google it up) they have a nice cafe in the lobby with great Cuban sandwiches and coffee drinks and a block away is the Harold Washington Main Library which is a fantastic place to visit and hangout!
There are several Colleges and trade schools in the area and a Barnes and Noble Bookstore with a Starbucks is close by just around the corner on State Street!
 
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AmtrakBlue

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I've got an overnight layover in Chicago the 12/13 of this month. Looking for a good, inexpensive coffee/sandwich shop to wile away about 6-7 hours while enjoying a good book. Close to Union station preferred.
You can't go wrong by heading for the Hostel International on Congress,( a few blocks East close to Michigan Ave and State Street, Google it up) they have a nice cafe in the lobby with great Cuban sandwiches and coffee drinks and a block away is the Harold Washington Main Library which is a fantastic place to visit and hangout!
There are several Colleges and trade schools in the area and a Barnes and Noble Bookstore with a Starbucks is close by just around the corner on State Street!
Sounds like he's looking for some place open late, if not all night. That's my interpretation of his "overnight layover" / "6-7 hours"
 

Grayewolf

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You can't go wrong by heading for the Hostel International on Congress,( a few blocks East close to Michigan Ave and State Street, Google it up) they have a nice cafe in the lobby with great Cuban sandwiches and coffee drinks and a block away is the Harold Washington Main Library which is a fantastic place to visit and hangout!
There are several Colleges and trade schools in the area and a Barnes and Noble Bookstore with a Starbucks is close by just around the corner on State Street!
Heh, HI Chicago is actually where I am staying overnight. By 6-7 hours I meant between 11am checkout and the time the Cardinal leaves.
 
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Bob Dylan

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The HI will hold your bags for you after checkout, not sure of any charge, it used to be free, until time to head for Union Station. Since you're already in the area the places I mentioned should be of interest! The desk people @ the Hostel are very good @ recommending places to see, things to do in Chicago so sounds like you're all set! Have a nice trip and let us know how it goes!
 
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Grayewolf

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Will do. I catch the EB here Monday evening and get to Chi-Town Wednesday ... some time. Emailed the HI Chi about the traisn delays etc and am assured my booking is good no matter what time the EB pulls in. Of course with all the freight delays staying overnight was my only option so I need to kill time Thursday until it's time to catch the cardinal down to Charlottesville then the crescent to Atlanta.
 

NorthShore

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Twin Anchors in Old Town is a noted, but in some ways underknown, rib place and tavern worth a visit. It's about a block and a half from the Sedgewick L stop, just down the block from the 72 North Ave bus, and the 37 stops at the corner by the door.

Second City is nearby, also.
 

Orie

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Someone mentioned it but I just wanted to second Portillo's.
 

Swadian Hardcore

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I stayed at the Holiday Inn Skokie last time just in case anybody wanted to know. It was a decent hotel.
 

dogbert617

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I've certainly read about Hot Doug's and seen them featured on cable TV shows. They're mostly known for their exotic meats, the foie gras topped dog, and their fries cooked in duck fat.
The owner closed Hot Doug's down, in October 2014. :( Two of the cooks that worked at Hot Doug's opened Hot G Dog, and I'd recommend going there if you visit Chicago, and miss Hot Doug's. A lot of the menu items are still on the menu, at Hot G Dog. It's on Clark Street, just north of Saint Boniface Cemetery and Lawrence Ave.

Another option(if you don't mind that it's super expensive to get a bleacher seat at Wrigley Field, so you'll probably be fine opting for the former) is to sit in the bleachers during a Cubs game, and eat at the stand Doug Sohn set up there. Just don't try to sneak into the bleachers if you have a ticket to a different part of Wrigley, since unlike other stadiums(i.e. Sox Park/Comiskey/refuse to say naming rights name, where it's easy to sneak into that part of the stadium from other parts of the lower deck) they do very strictly check who is entering into the bleacher part of the stadium. :( The menu is supposedly tiny, and nowhere near the number of food options you can order at Hot G Dog.

if your at union station

near by on clark street is royal pawn shop

hardcore pawn chicago on tru-tv a fun place to visit between trains
I remember that show, and for whatever reason I always thought the pawn shop that was in the Detroit area(which they had more episodes of) seemed more interesting of those 2 shops. Maybe I'll check Royal Pawn Shop out someday once, just to say I visited.

And for the poster who was asking about 24/7 diners near Chicago Union Station, the White Palace Grill at Roosevelt and Canal is probably the closest one to there. It's an easy Uber/Lyft ride south from CUS.
 
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Hey, I know I'm a little late but in case there are some fellows still subscribing this thread, Downtown Dogs serves the best hotdog in Chicago
 

dogbert617

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Hey, I know I'm a little late but in case there are some fellows still subscribing this thread, Downtown Dogs serves the best hotdog in Chicago
I've never tried Downtown Dogs, but from doing quick googling I see it's on Rush Street, just north of Chicago Ave. Maybe one of these days, I'll check that place out. In the Loop(and south of River North), I really like UB Dogs a lot. It's on the northwest part of the Loop, and a little bit of a walk from the closest L station, but worth visiting IMO. Thankfully after UB Dogs closed for a brief while, the owner finally did decide to reopen a few months ago.
 

SarahZ

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I've never tried Downtown Dogs, but from doing quick googling I see it's on Rush Street, just north of Chicago Ave.
I'm not a fan of hot dogs, so I can't personally vouch for it, but several of my friends love this place.
 

dogbert617

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I'm not a fan of hot dogs, so I can't personally vouch for it, but several of my friends love this place.
I'm with you, that basic hot dogs don't excite me a lot. Myself, I prefer it when you can get some unique flavored sausages besides just a traditional hot dog, i.e. thuringer sausage, chicken sausage, etc. I think for me, that's why I like Hot G Dog(which I mentioned a few posts above in this thread, and their menu is extremely similar to the late Hot Doug's) so much. Ditto with UB Dogs in the Loop, where you can get sausages besides just traditional hot dogs.
 

dogbert617

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Yeah, I usually order a Polish. I also like the all-beef dogs used for coneys.
I like polish dogs, myself. And coney dogs/chili dogs are good, IF you can find a place serving them. As I notice not all hot dog stands in Chicago(and also suburbs) serve that, sadly to say.
 

SarahZ

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I like polish dogs, myself. And coney dogs/chili dogs are good, IF you can find a place serving them. As I notice not all hot dog stands in Chicago(and also suburbs) serve that, sadly to say.
I was speaking generally. I meant coneys in Detroit; though, you can sometimes find them in other places in Michigan. I'm not sure if they've spread throughout the Midwest.
 

dogbert617

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If it ain’t in Detroit, it ain’t a real coney! [emoji12]
Nothing beats a coney and Vernors at Lafayette on a Detroit afternoon!
Speaking of that, what is the main difference with how coney dogs are prepared at American and Lafayette, in downtown Detroit? I remember TV food shows say there's some small difference, in regards to how the coneys are prepared at both places. Funny enough I did try American Coney Island(yes, owned by the same owner as the one in Detroit, except this is attached to The D Casino in Las Vegas, and they also have some Detroit-based local Italian restaurant chain upstairs to the side) on my last Vegas trip, and they were pretty decent. I'd one day like to try Lafayette Coney Island, to see how they compare myself!
 

SarahZ

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Speaking of that, what is the main difference with how coney dogs are prepared at American and Lafayette, in downtown Detroit?
This is getting completely off-topic, but here you go.

Lafayette has a more old-school atmosphere, with tile walls and turquoise paint, servers and cooks yelling back and forth, and communal seating. It feels like Detroit.

American feels like a modern roadside diner that tries to look retro. It's brighter and "cleaner". There's nothing wrong with that, nothing at all. I just prefer the atmosphere at Lafayette.

Lafayette uses pork dogs from Eastern Market, National chili, and Spanish onions (which results in a slightly sweeter taste).

American uses Dearborn hot dogs and the original Keros family chili recipe.

Lafayette is no longer owned by the Keros family, FYI. It was a family rivalry for years, but now it's simply a restaurant rivalry.

Here is one of my favorite pictures from Lafayette. They try to get the food out as fast as possible, so this is how the waiters carry everything:

QZDSJih.jpg
 

dogbert617

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This is getting completely off-topic, but here you go.

Lafayette has a more old-school atmosphere, with tile walls and turquoise paint, servers and cooks yelling back and forth, and communal seating. It feels like Detroit.

American feels like a modern roadside diner that tries to look retro. It's brighter and "cleaner". There's nothing wrong with that, nothing at all. I just prefer the atmosphere at Lafayette.

Lafayette uses pork dogs from Eastern Market, National chili, and Spanish onions (which results in a slightly sweeter taste).

American uses Dearborn hot dogs and the original Keros family chili recipe.

Lafayette is no longer owned by the Keros family, FYI. It was a family rivalry for years, but now it's simply a restaurant rivalry.

Here is one of my favorite pictures from Lafayette. They try to get the food out as fast as possible, so this is how the waiters carry everything:

View attachment 15748
Thanks for describing the difference, between American and Lafayette! I know we did go off topic briefly, but not the end of the world I think for such a topic, as chili dogs and coney islands casually came up in this topic. I would for sure like to try Lafayette, whenever I revisit Detroit at some point!

And as for Chicago, I wish a LOT more local hot dog stands did serve chili dogs! I think unfortunately there's a lack of a high number of hot dog stands doing that, sadly. Even at Skyline Chili in Cincinnati, you can order a chili dog there if you want to! Not that it's impossible to find a good chili dog in Chicago, I just wish more places did so besides at Sonic, and certain other chains and a VERY limited number of mom and pop hot dog stands here.
 

MisterUptempo

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Thanks for describing the difference, between American and Lafayette! I know we did go off topic briefly, but not the end of the world I think for such a topic, as chili dogs and coney islands casually came up in this topic. I would for sure like to try Lafayette, whenever I revisit Detroit at some point!

And as for Chicago, I wish a LOT more local hot dog stands did serve chili dogs! I think unfortunately there's a lack of a high number of hot dog stands doing that, sadly. Even at Skyline Chili in Cincinnati, you can order a chili dog there if you want to! Not that it's impossible to find a good chili dog in Chicago, I just wish more places did so besides at Sonic, and certain other chains and a VERY limited number of mom and pop hot dog stands here.
Strange. Never had a real hard time finding a chili dog in Chicago, not that I get them very often. Hell, Portillo's sells chili dogs, and they're everywhere.

When I was in high school, I'd occasionally get off the 49 bus and stop by Fat Johnnies at 73rd and Western. Chili dogs were a specialty there. As a matter of fact, they had a dish called "the mother-in-law" a tamale in a hot dog bun topped with chili and onions.

When I worked in Glenview, I'd pass (and occasionally stopped at) a joint called Mallo's Hot Dogs in Morton Grove. Chili dogs and incredible char dogs.

And I know you can get chili dogs at the Vienna factory store at Damen and Elston.
 
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