Quantcast

Restaurants near Chicago Union Station

Help Support Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum:

Ronnie1a

Train Attendant
Joined
Jun 8, 2011
Messages
20
I know this has been asked before but I could not find it. I have a layover of several hours in Chicago and am looking for suggestions on restaurants walking distance from Union Station.
 

dlagrua

Conductor
Joined
Nov 24, 2009
Messages
3,140
Location
Hillsborough, NJ
There are many to choose from. There are a host of restaurants about 5 blocks away on So Halstead Street in Greektown. If you like Greek Food the Greek Isle is one of the best. If not there are pizzaria's, and a large supermarket Marianos that has a food area where they will cook and season any meat or fish that you can find in the fridge. They also have a large bakery where you can find cookies and cakes to go and a liquor store. One block away is Paul Mitchell's, a diner type establishment and four blocks away is the Ogilivie transportation center where on the ground level you will find the French Market that is full of food stands with a large dining area..
 

Bob Dylan

Conductor
Joined
May 31, 2009
Messages
20,280
Location
Austin Texas
I know this has been asked before but I could not find it. I have a layover of several hours in Chicago and am looking for suggestions on restaurants walking distance from Union Station.
Dlagura gave you good info! As said,there are Tons of joints around Union Station including Greektown to the West, Giorodanos Pizza across the River on Jackson to the East, Foodcourts in Union Station ( Upstairs)and nearby Ogilivie Station (Better).

Close by Joints you might like include Lou Mitchell's Classic Diner( Breakfast and Lunch),and Al's Roast Beef( with Peppers!!).

The Upscale Joints aremostly over in the Loop but I believe there's still a Michael Jordans Steakhouse ( Pricey and there are Better Steak Houses)in Sears Tower( now Willis Tower).

Google is your friend in the Windy City!
 

NSC1109

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Aug 14, 2016
Messages
333
Location
MI
Dlagura gave you good info! As said,there are Tons of joints around Union Station including Greektown to the West, Giorodanos Pizza across the River on Jackson to the East, Foodcourts in Union Station ( Upstairs)and nearby Ogilivie Station (Better).

Close by Joints you might like include Lou Mitchell's Classic Diner( Breakfast and Lunch),and Al's Roast Beef( with Peppers!!).

The Upscale Joints aremostly over in the Loop but I believe there's still a Michael Jordans Steakhouse ( Pricey and there are Better Steak Houses)in Sears Tower( now Willis Tower).

Google is your friend in the Windy City!
Giordanos is a must when you’re in Chicago. Great food. It’s usually very busy though to try calling ahead.
 

Trogdor

Conductor
Joined
Aug 3, 2004
Messages
5,492
Location
Here
Close by Joints you might like include ... Al's Roast Beef( with Peppers!!).
Sad to say, the Al's that was a block west of Union Station is now closed (as of maybe a couple of weeks ago). Closest ones are now the eastern part of the Loop, or south of UIC on Taylor Street.
 

tim49424

Conductor
Joined
Dec 20, 2010
Messages
2,972
Location
Holland, MI
Giordanos is a must when you’re in Chicago. Great food. It’s usually very busy though to try calling ahead.
Or go to their website to order ahead, to do take out, if you wish. I did that here at home as there is one about a mile from me.
 

Gary Behling

Train Attendant
Joined
Mar 28, 2019
Messages
47
I know this has been asked before but I could not find it. I have a layover of several hours in Chicago and am looking for suggestions on restaurants walking distance from Union Station.
Do you want to do something SPECIAL during your Chicago layover?
I'm from Milwaukee (85 miles north of Chicago) and anytime I wanted to really impress a new girlfriend, we'd take the train from Milwaukee to Chicago. We'd leave Union Station out of the Adams St exit (NE corner) and walk East on Adams 9 blocks to just before Michigan Ave. There we would go in to "Russian Tea Time" which is just across the street from the Art Institute. The walk is fun, you go by Sears Tower, the Chicago Board of Trade and the Federal Building. This is a safe walking tour and interesting too.

Russian Tea Time is the restaurant in the opening scene of Julia Roberts "My Best Friend's Wedding" If you are interested in the classy Russian Food that Putin eats (not potato soup) check the menu. Regardless of what you order-- make certain that you get a Tashkent Carrot salad. Simply Google Russian Tea Time and then click the website. This place is SO GOOD that every girl I took there wanted to be with me because I could find special things to do. I always went to Chicago and I know my way around like a local. After you are done eating, take a cheap cab back up Adams the 9 blocks and go relax in the Metropolitan Lounge.

PS-- leave your luggage in the Metropolitan Lounge. They watch it for you and tag it too.
 
Last edited:

Rasputin

OBS Chief
Joined
Jan 17, 2019
Messages
745
Greek Islands restaurant, corner of Adams and Halstead (I never can remember if it is South or North Halstead). It is about a ten minute walk down Adams from Union Station. You can check out their extensive menu online.

On the way St. Patrick's Church is an interesting and historic place to visit. I believe it is either the oldest church or the oldest Catholic church in Chicago.
 

DSS&A

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Aug 21, 2015
Messages
385
Two other very good Greek Restaurants, are next to Greek Islands; Santorini across the (street) and Athena (just to the south on Halsted).
 

DSS&A

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Aug 21, 2015
Messages
385
If you like Italian cafes that serve the food quick, there are two near the station. Venice Cafe is on the north side of Monroe between Canal and Clinton in a building storefront. Bombacigno's J & C is a family owned Italian cafe on the north side of Van Buren between Clinton and Jefferson. I have always had good food at both cafes. They both have seating, but no waitresses, so they quickly cook and serve the food and you retrieve over a counter. Venice Cafe has been around for over 20 years and Bombacigno's J & C for over 30 years.
 

SarahZ

Conductor
Joined
May 8, 2011
Messages
8,087
Location
KAL
[...] "Russian Tea Time" which is just across the street from the Art Institute. The walk is fun, you go by Sears Tower, the Chicago Board of Trade and the Federal Building. This is a safe walking tour and interesting too.
I love that walk, and there is a ton of architectural history along that corridor.

Russian Tea Time has been on my list FOREVER. Sadly, I've never seemed to be able to fit it into my schedule. I always seem to be underdressed when I'm in that area and have time.
 

Seaboard92

Conductor
Joined
Dec 31, 2014
Messages
3,637
Location
South Carolina
If you want to eat in a vintage American diner you can’t go wrong with the White Palace. It’s been featured on diners, drive ins, and dives. And a lot of railroaders go in on layover. Good food at good prices.
 

dogbert617

OBS Chief
Joined
Aug 19, 2016
Messages
836
Location
Chicago, IL
Dlagura gave you good info! As said,there are Tons of joints around Union Station including Greektown to the West, Giorodanos Pizza across the River on Jackson to the East, Foodcourts in Union Station ( Upstairs)and nearby Ogilivie Station (Better).

Close by Joints you might like include Lou Mitchell's Classic Diner( Breakfast and Lunch),and Al's Roast Beef( with Peppers!!).

The Upscale Joints aremostly over in the Loop but I believe there's still a Michael Jordans Steakhouse ( Pricey and there are Better Steak Houses)in Sears Tower( now Willis Tower).

Google is your friend in the Windy City!
Honestly as far as food courts go, Revival Food Hall(a few blocks east of Union Station) is probably my favorite one in downtown Chicago. Which actually has locations of well known restaurants and food trucks, in Chicago. Note that Revival is ONLY open on weekdays, and until 7pm on those days. You also could go to MetraMarket/Chicago French Market(known by both names, but it's the same place next to Ogilvie Transporation Center where Metra operates trains out of, and only a few blocks north of Union Station), from Monday to Saturday. The one in Union Station is okay, but honestly I really prefer to get food outside of there rather than inside Union Station. But only my opinion, plus on the side I was saddened to recently notice Au Bon Pain had closed. Corner Bakery is still there, as I remember.

And speaking of deep dish pizza places, you also could potentially eat at Pizano's, which is just to the west of the Art Institute(forget the address, you could google it though). Between those 2, I'd pick Pizano's over Giordano's, but that's just my opinion. And as I remember the closest Lou Malnati's locations would either be the one at Polk/State(South Loop), or the one at Wells/Hubbard(River North). Both are about a smidge over a mile walk away(1.1 miles per google), and you may want to get an Uber/Lyft/cab if you go to either location. Unless you're up for a 1.1 mile walk, each way.

If you want to eat in a vintage American diner you can’t go wrong with the White Palace. It’s been featured on diners, drive ins, and dives. And a lot of railroaders go in on layover. Good food at good prices.
Always wanted to try White Palace, but still never have. Hopefully I'll try that place, someday.

I love that walk, and there is a ton of architectural history along that corridor.

Russian Tea Time has been on my list FOREVER. Sadly, I've never seemed to be able to fit it into my schedule. I always seem to be underdressed when I'm in that area and have time.
Does Russian Tea Time have a dress code? I didn't think it did, but never made it there just yet myself. Had seen that place millions of times I think whenever I've passed by there(lol), and yet another place I've always wanted to try at some point.
 

Barb Stout

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Mar 13, 2019
Messages
479
With regard to the Russian Teatime and any dress code, when we went there, we weren't well dressed, but we were also not scruffy. I don't think one has to worry very much about dress. Yes, you will hear Russian-speakers there or at least we did.
 
Joined
Mar 10, 2016
Messages
986
I'm not really a fan of Russian Tea Time, I found it to be, well, too Russian in the wrong way or sense, as in surly service, though their cocktails are reasonably priced for after work (though not as good as Ceres in the CBOT building). I prefer the restaurant next door - no, not Panda Express, on the other side, Tesori. Just a block west on Adams is BeinMeSabe, a Venezuelan/Colombian Arepas (dumpling/empanadas) which is really good, though I don't know their hours anymore.

If you are looking for something unique, Italian Village on Monroe is worth a visit (no elevator to the basement or second floor, which are quirkier than the expensive restaurant on the main floor, however) - ok food, but one of the oldest restaurants in Chicago and retro decor.

In the 300 S. Riverside building (immediately above the south platforms) there is a lunch/cocktail place called Little Toasted which isn't bad and has outdoor seating for good weather (Chicago has been cold and foggy so far this "summer").

Pizano's is definitely better than Giordano's. However, near Union I recommend Beggers Pizza, a south side chain, at 310 S. Clinton which is literally kitty corner across the street from the SW corner of the Great Hall. And is pretty darn good!

Some office buildings, such as the Board of Trade (in the basement) still have cafeteria's rather than "food halls" (gussied up food courts to my mind) which can be pretty good. Most places in the loop are now pricy fast casual lunch places these days rather than old school lunch grills, though there are still a few. There's a Chicken Planet at Wells and Van Buren which does decent roasted chicken with sides - not fancy, but I think they have a couple of tables. Greek Kitchen at Wells & Van Buren is ok too.

Manny's at Jefferson and Roosevelt is pretty unique and inexpensive - you might also spot local political celebrities there (though you probably don't know then on sight).
 

SarahZ

Conductor
Joined
May 8, 2011
Messages
8,087
Location
KAL
Does Russian Tea Time have a dress code? I didn't think it did, but never made it there just yet myself.
I’m not sure. I’m just not comfortable going to a tea room in jeans and a sweatshirt. I’d prefer to wear trousers or a skirt/dress.

That’s not a judgment on anyone else. It’s simply my personal, slightly old-fashioned preference. :)
 

Rasputin

OBS Chief
Joined
Jan 17, 2019
Messages
745
Great suggestions here. The sad thing is that if you are only in Chicago between trains you usually have time to only try only one of these places. Of course if you arrive on the City of New Orleans and are leaving on the Lake Shore you might have time to have a late breakfast, lunch and dinner which would allow you to check out three different places.
Decisions, decisions!
 

PVD

Conductor
Joined
Jul 8, 2015
Messages
4,805
Location
NYC/Queens
St Patrick's is the second Parish but the first English speaking in Chicago. It is the oldest public building in the center of the city, since it managed to survive the fire.....It is also the oldest church building in Chicago
 
Last edited:

dogbert617

OBS Chief
Joined
Aug 19, 2016
Messages
836
Location
Chicago, IL
I’m not sure. I’m just not comfortable going to a tea room in jeans and a sweatshirt. I’d prefer to wear trousers or a skirt/dress.

That’s not a judgment on anyone else. It’s simply my personal, slightly old-fashioned preference. :)
I hear you, on that. Also did just look up Russian Tea Time's website, and saw no mention of any dress code for that restaurant over there. Don't worry, I'm not one of those people who are lazy as all heck, and dress not well if I went to a place like Russian Tea Time. :) I'd try to dress semi nice if I went there more than likely, but maybe not quite all the way shirt and tie like. But yeah, you should dress how you prefer to do there.

NOTE if you want to visit Russian Tea Time, that there is a note on their website that they WILL close between mid-July to mid-October of this year(no exact date for July and October posted, when the closing will start and end) for renovations. So thought I'd post this, so that noone accidentally tries to eat there during their renovation period.

I'm not really a fan of Russian Tea Time, I found it to be, well, too Russian in the wrong way or sense, as in surly service, though their cocktails are reasonably priced for after work (though not as good as Ceres in the CBOT building). I prefer the restaurant next door - no, not Panda Express, on the other side, Tesori. Just a block west on Adams is BeinMeSabe, a Venezuelan/Colombian Arepas (dumpling/empanadas) which is really good, though I don't know their hours anymore.

If you are looking for something unique, Italian Village on Monroe is worth a visit (no elevator to the basement or second floor, which are quirkier than the expensive restaurant on the main floor, however) - ok food, but one of the oldest restaurants in Chicago and retro decor.

In the 300 S. Riverside building (immediately above the south platforms) there is a lunch/cocktail place called Little Toasted which isn't bad and has outdoor seating for good weather (Chicago has been cold and foggy so far this "summer").

Pizano's is definitely better than Giordano's. However, near Union I recommend Beggers Pizza, a south side chain, at 310 S. Clinton which is literally kitty corner across the street from the SW corner of the Great Hall. And is pretty darn good!

Some office buildings, such as the Board of Trade (in the basement) still have cafeteria's rather than "food halls" (gussied up food courts to my mind) which can be pretty good. Most places in the loop are now pricy fast casual lunch places these days rather than old school lunch grills, though there are still a few. There's a Chicken Planet at Wells and Van Buren which does decent roasted chicken with sides - not fancy, but I think they have a couple of tables. Greek Kitchen at Wells & Van Buren is ok too.

Manny's at Jefferson and Roosevelt is pretty unique and inexpensive - you might also spot local political celebrities there (though you probably don't know then on sight).
I ate at Italian Village years ago, and liked that restaurant myself. That wouldn't be a bad choice, to eat at in the Loop. And I always forget Beggar's Pizza has a location close to Union Station, that'd be another possible option as well. I remember once eating at a location of Blaze Pizza, that wasn't too far away from both Union Station and Ogilvie Transportation Center(for Metra trains on its 3 Union Pacific/Chicago and North Western lines) a few years back. Just mentioning that they are an option, for anyone who likes Blaze besides myself. I like Beggar's, from when I tried them in the past. And on the note of pizza places, I keep forgetting the Aurelio's(known for thin crust pizza, and they have stuffed pizza with a middle layer of toppings, as well) that was next to the Holiday Inn at Harrison and Canal closed. That said, there since is a new location of Aurelio's at Michigan and Roosevelt, which would only be a short Lyft/Uber ride away.

Chicken Planet and Manny's are both great places, and like you said aren't expensive. Also 2 other mom and pop restaurant and bars that are often overlooked by many, but are good and not too expensive would be both Boni Vino, and also Exchequer. And also, Miller's Pub has been a place that's been around forever, and has always been reliable.

If time allows, The Walnut Room at Macy's State Street (Marshall Fields), is not only a great restaurant, but it's the last of it's kind in the USA.
The menu has the old favorites, but also features plenty of updated food and drink offerings.

http://macysrestaurants.com/walnut-room/

Ken
Have been to the Walnut Room a bunch of times over the years, including also more recent years after Macy's takeover. The place isn't bad, but sometimes I do worry with Macy's quiet financial struggles behind the scenes how much longer this restaurant may go on for. So you should eat there, while you still can. Hopefully, it continues on and doesn't close anytime soon, knock on wood. And if you visit during Christmas, seeing its decorated tree is a MUST. It's too bad they closed the 8th floor(1 floor above Walnut Room) for good last November, since it was always fun to go one floor above the Walnut Room and get a pic of its tree that way.

Also, one last note and edit to this post, to talk about food halls. Besides Revival and Chicago French Market/MetraMarket, there are at least 3 other ones. Which are Wells Street Market(which is also weekdays only, like Revival and probably a little similar), and Politan Row(this looks more upscale and potentially pricier, vs. the others that have been mentioned). Also there is one in the 900 N. Michigan mall, but it looks like mainly Hogsalt Hospitality concepts(i.e. the company that runs Donut Vault, Gilt Bar, Green Street Smoked Meats, Au Cheval/Small Cheval, etc). For visitors, I'd probably focus on either going to Revival or Chicago French Market/MetraMarket, and I suspect Wells Street Market would probably be similar to both Revival and Chicago French Market.
 
Last edited:

Maverickstation

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Mar 2, 2017
Messages
262
Location
Boston, MA (Eastie)
I hear you, on that. Also did just look up Russian Tea Time's website, and saw no mention of any dress code for that restaurant over there. Don't worry, I'm not one of those people who are lazy as all heck, and dress not well if I went to a place like Russian Tea Time. :) I'd try to dress semi nice if I went there more than likely, but maybe not quite all the way shirt and tie like. But yeah, you should dress how you prefer to do there.

NOTE if you want to visit Russian Tea Time, that there is a note on their website that they WILL close between mid-July to mid-October of this year(no exact date for July and October posted, when the closing will start and end) for renovations. So thought I'd post this, so that noone accidentally tries to eat there during their renovation period.



I ate at Italian Village years ago, and liked that restaurant myself. That wouldn't be a bad choice, to eat at in the Loop. And I always forget Beggar's Pizza has a location close to Union Station, that'd be another possible option as well. I remember once eating at a location of Blaze Pizza, that wasn't too far away from both Union Station and Ogilvie Transportation Center(for Metra trains on its 3 Union Pacific/Chicago and North Western lines) a few years back. Just mentioning that they are an option, for anyone who likes Blaze besides myself. I like Beggar's, from when I tried them in the past. And on the note of pizza places, I keep forgetting the Aurelio's(known for thin crust pizza, and they have stuffed pizza with a middle layer of toppings, as well) that was next to the Holiday Inn at Harrison and Canal closed. That said, there since is a new location of Aurelio's at Michigan and Roosevelt, which would only be a short Lyft/Uber ride away.

Chicken Planet and Manny's are both great places, and like you said aren't expensive. Also 2 other mom and pop restaurant and bars that are often overlooked by many, but are good and not too expensive would be both Boni Vino, and also Exchequer. And also, Miller's Pub has been a place that's been around forever, and has always been reliable.



Have been to the Walnut Room a bunch of times over the years, including also more recent years after Macy's takeover. The place isn't bad, but sometimes I do worry with Macy's quiet financial struggles behind the scenes how much longer this restaurant may go on for. So you should eat there, while you still can. Hopefully, it continues on and doesn't close anytime soon, knock on wood. And if you visit during Christmas, seeing its decorated tree is a MUST. It's too bad they closed the 8th floor(1 floor above Walnut Room) for good last November, since it was always fun to go one floor above the Walnut Room and get a pic of its tree that way.

Also, one last note and edit to this post, to talk about food halls. Besides Revival and Chicago French Market/MetraMarket, there are at least 3 other ones. Which are Wells Street Market(which is also weekdays only, like Revival and probably a little similar), and Politan Row(this looks more upscale and potentially pricier, vs. the others that have been mentioned). Also there is one in the 900 N. Michigan mall, but it looks like mainly Hogsalt Hospitality concepts(i.e. the company that runs Donut Vault, Gilt Bar, Green Street Smoked Meats, Au Cheval/Small Cheval, etc). For visitors, I'd probably focus on either going to Revival or Chicago French Market/MetraMarket, and I suspect Wells Street Market would probably be similar to both Revival and Chicago French Market.
The Walnut Room is not going anywhere, and the newer Walnut Room Wine Bar is also recommended. Macy’s wisely sold the building from the 8th floor on up, as much of that space sat unused for decades.

As for Macy’s finances, their more than fine, in fact their cash flow position is stronger than Amazon.

Ken
 
Top