Thanksgiving - Chicago Union - Where To Eat?

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John Bobinyec

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We'll be connecting from SWC 4 to LSL 48 on Thanksgiving Day. Where could we get a bite to eat in or near the station, given that most places will be closed for the major holiday?

Thanks,
jb
 

CraigInNC

Train Attendant
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Jul 9, 2013
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Hey John - I will be passing through CYN on Wednesday the 10th when I connect from the Silver Star to the Piedmont. I have 2 hours and 15 minutes to kill. Whats nearby that station? I might just walk around for an hour just for the exercise if not to eat depending on how full I get from breakfast on the Star.
 

John Bobinyec

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Best thing to do is go to Google maps and zoom in. It'll show you what there is. The town center is very small and is easily walkable. Just head south on Academy and turn around when you get to the end of it. You can also go east-west for a little ways.

One caution, don't plan on having that much layover time. 92 is often late.

jb
 

CraigInNC

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Jul 9, 2013
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Thanks. I was more concerned about the area being safe/friendly. The area around Charlotte is decidedly NOT walkable for a number of reasons. I can imagine the potential for lateness is why Amtrak booked the connection through Cary and not Raleigh adding a half an hour to the schedule. With everything operating on cue I would have 2 hours 15 minutes to kill, hence the walk but I wouldn't mind it if 92 was late an hour or so. It makes breakfast more leisurely and cuts down on the sitting around at the station.
 
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I would use OpenTable as a barometer of what’s open. The pizza places and fast food places may have reduced hours or be closed. I would make a reservation with the assumption of an on time arrival of 4. If it’s delayed you can always cancel.
 

WWW

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There is a food court in Union Station and two blocks away in the Metra Station also some food courts - - - - -

"BUT" I feel that things are really going to be sparse - - - - -

Using a Google Map - locate where the nearby restaurants are and call to check on if open T Day

Hope that Amtrak doesn't curtail the cafe/concessions dining cars on your trips
 

NorthShore

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Chicago
It's after Thanksgiving. And it's pandemic time. But, my instincts are that many restaurants in the city are actually open on Thanksgiving: it's usually a big business day. Given, some if the stuff which services the Loop might be less likely to be open, as there may not be theater/concerts that night and offices & banks are closed. (But there is a huge parade that morning.)

I've seen Macy's on State (the old Marshall Field's) hosting Thanksgiving dinner in the Walnut Room recent years.

Also, for some reason, though questions are often asked on this forum about food, the fact that significant restaurant options exist just a bit to the west of Union Station in both Greektown and the Randolph Street district is often missed. If someone has a little layover time and wants a good meal, these are obvious choices. Of course, it's understandable that some don't want to get more thsn a block or two from the station. However, one doesn't necessarily need to walk towards the Loop for food.
 

NorthShore

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White Palace Grill is open 24/7 365 days a year, it located at 1159 S Canal St. Chicago, about 6 blocks south of Union Station.
And, though I don't know if they were open on Thanksgiving, I've often recommended Manny's Deli, right there too:

 

NorthShore

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John Bobinyec

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CYN
This is a follow-up to the original post. So Thanksgiving morning, while we were still on 4, we ate breakfast. We decided not to eat lunch on the train. When we got to the Metropolitan Lounge in Chicago, snacks were being served, so we had some of those.

Within the station, McDonald's was open and so was Jersey Mike's (until 5). A sundries store was also open.

We just decided to stick with the snacks in the lounge and those that we brought. It was enough.

The next morning on 48, we had breakfast.

jb
 
Joined
Oct 10, 2019
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I wish I would have seen this post earlier. I've done the same connection you have a couple of years ago. And I used to live in Chicago for a dozen years prior to doing it.

I took LSL last month from Chicago home to Springfield MA. I was totally shocked that nothing in Union Station was open except the bar and the McDonalds at 7p. The upper level of the of the Metropolitan Lounge in CHI was closed and the bartender leaves at 5p. The only other place in a couple block vicinity that was open at that hour was CVS on Canal Street.

Hope you had a good trip!
 

SubwayNut

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South Bend
For awhile (pre-COVID 2018 to 2019) Pret would stay open until the Lake Shore Limited departed but on Weekdays only, I remember I was so excited that I could get something other than McDonalds on q quick run up to the food court on our normally tight connections from O'Hare to the Blue Line to the Lake Shore Limited home to South Bend. At one point during the pandemic my partner remarked "We never have McNuggets anymore." and my response was we don't because were no longer catching the train in Union Station and have McDonalds be the only thing open. The nuggets had become a part of our travel routine!
 
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For awhile (pre-COVID 2018 to 2019) Pret would stay open until the Lake Shore Limited departed but on Weekdays only, I remember I was so excited that I could get something other than McDonalds on q quick run up to the food court on our normally tight connections from O'Hare to the Blue Line to the Lake Shore Limited home to South Bend. At one point during the pandemic my partner remarked "We never have McNuggets anymore." and my response was we don't because were no longer catching the train in Union Station and have McDonalds be the only thing open. The nuggets had become a part of our travel routine!
Apparently Pret is down to one location in Chicago (at the University of Chicago for some reason) - I thought they'd closed them all in the States.
 
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