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Chicago in November

ForteKitty

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There is a really cheap deal for lax-ord (travel now thru mid nov), so we booked. $200 including tax!! But due to other stuff going on, the only time we can go is the first week in November. We're from california and we love snow, but chicago wind is notoriously scary. It's too late now, but are we going to freeze?

eta: We'd love some recommendations on which areas to stay in since it's just me and my girl friend. We would like to go out to pubs or lounges at night after a good steak dinner! Thanks!!
 

centralsquare

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Relatively speaking, it's not that cold in Chicago at that time, compared to February. It's pretty nasty in Feb! That said, Nov will still be cold...just not miserably cold. Not sure on snowfall though...not sure how much there is then (that sticks).
 

sillyberry

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Early November isn't too bad. It could be cold, but you're not guaranteed it will be cold, if you know what I mean. Halloween '08 I was wearing shorts!

It sounds like your tastes run more upscale, so I would suggest staying in River North near the Magnificent Mile. They have most of the big chains around there, but one of the Kimpton hotels might tickle your fancy.
 

ForteKitty

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kenny- i saw the weather chart but really have no idea how it would "feel" w/ the windchill factor. You know there's no wind here in LA. :cheeky:

centralsquare- thanks! that's what i'm hoping to hear. I will bring a coat and lots of layers!

sillyberry- oh no, we're not into upscale... fancy stuff makes me uncomfortable! I love a good deal and we're just looking for a safe area since we're two females travelling alone. We'll be out all day anyway so no point paying $$$ for hotels. I'm notoriously cheap when it comes to hotels and have thrown a (small) hissy fit when i have to pay more than $100 for a 4*. :bigsmile: :nono: That's why priceline is my best friend!!
 

lliang_chi

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I live in Chicago. Early Nov is brisk. Think leather jacket, sweater, tall boots. I personally think it's the best season in terms of fashion, and I'm not a fashionista like some of the lovely PS ladies.

As for where you'd like to stay: River North/Mag Mile will be pretty central to the "main" Chicago attractions. Downtown, shopping etc. Do NOT stay in the Loop, it's COMPLETELY DEAD in the evening time. If you're up for a more "local experience" you can stay in some of the neighborhoods. Fun active areas include: Lakeview, Wicker Park, Lincoln Park (although LP is still quite touristy).

Have fun! Hopefully you'll bring us some LA sunshine and warmth :bigsmile:
 

Aoife

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In November the weather could be nice, bright and cool, or cold, windy, and rainy. Who knows? I'd check the weather forecast a couple of days before you go and pack accordingly. For a visitor who wants to walk, eat well, and have a few drinks, the area near Michigan Avenue/Magnificent Mile is hard to beat. So far as where to stay goes, a lot depends on your budget. We like Four Seasons, Ritz Carlton, and the Wyndham on St. Clair, but we tend to look at recent reviews on Tripadvisor before we commit. A location directly on Michigan Avenue can be noisy, and some hotels have rooms that are notoriously small, so that's why I suggest looking up recent reviews.
 

ForteKitty

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This is my guide for bidding on priceline.. it lists all the hotels that have been reported as a priceline hotel. Would you guys mind telling me if the Chicago (North Michigan Ave - River North) and (Millenium Park - The Loop - Grant Park) are good areas? Sillyberry i know you said north river/magnificent mile.. that corresponds to the north michigan ave-river north zone, right?

Thanks!!

http://www.betterbidding.com/index.php?showtopic=159&
 

ForteKitty

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Thanks lliang-chi and aoife! I think i'll stick to the river north area. It sounds like it's easier to see stuff/do things/eat. :) I travel light so will probably only bring tennis shoes. i might look like a tourist but i dont care... miserable feet = miserable me.
 

Aoife

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ForteKitty|1311192561|2973237 said:
This is my guide for bidding on priceline.. it lists all the hotels that have been reported as a priceline hotel. Would you guys mind telling me if the Chicago (North Michigan Ave - River North) and (Millenium Park - The Loop - Grant Park) are good areas? Sillyberry i know you said north river/magnificent mile.. that corresponds to the north michigan ave-river north zone, right?

Thanks!!

http://www.betterbidding.com/index.php?showtopic=159&

Some of the hotels listed in the Loop area would be fine, since they are fairly close to the river, others are way, way out of the way. You'd be safer sticking with the North Michigan Avenue listings.
 

athenaworth

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Jun 19, 2010
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I went to Chicago (from LA) at the end of October, 2008, and was shocked how nice it was. The evenings "dipped" to about 70. I wish I would've read up a little more before I went though because I brought all of my super dooper cold weather clothes and then boiled.
 

ForteKitty

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haha, that sounds like what i did on my alaskan cruise. i brought 2 coats, some sweaters, extra shoes, poncho, and only used a sweater. :bigsmile:
 

centralsquare

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ForteKitty|1311192561|2973237 said:
This is my guide for bidding on priceline.. it lists all the hotels that have been reported as a priceline hotel. Would you guys mind telling me if the Chicago (North Michigan Ave - River North) and (Millenium Park - The Loop - Grant Park) are good areas? Sillyberry i know you said north river/magnificent mile.. that corresponds to the north michigan ave-river north zone, right?

Thanks!!

http://www.betterbidding.com/index.php?showtopic=159&


I like the Michigan ave area..great shopping and good food. Easy to get to other places too.
 

Italiahaircolor

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Dec 16, 2007
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If you're going in early November, it could be really wonderful. Fall in Chicago is really nice. But, late November can be a beast.
 

NOYFB

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Nov 16, 2008
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The weather in fall here is hit or miss. Sometimes it's 70 degrees and sometimes it's 30 degrees. It's hard to tell. I would definitely bring a sweater and a light jacket and boots, just to be sure. My fave downtown hotel is the Dana Hotel and Spa. It's close to the mag mile so there is lots of shopping/nightlife/restaurants. DH and I stayed there for 3 days for our anniversary last year.

http://danahotelandspa.com/
 

AprilBaby

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I doubt it will snow here in November and it could even be a bit warm, maybe low 50"s? On the other hand it could be quite chilly but not freezing. Make sure to check out the Art Institute, Navy Pier, Michigan Ave. We have an awesome city!
 

lliang_chi

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Millenium Park is OK. It's kind bridging the Loop & Mag Mile area, so it can be kinda dead at night.

I'd bring at least 1 pair of comfortable leather shoes. Doesn't have to be boots. Only because if it's brisk out, tennis shoes are drafty. Either that or get some wool socks.

Let me know if you need some restaurant suggestions. There's plenty of great places to eat.

~LC
 

ForteKitty

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Thank you ladies!! I finally managed to priceline a hotel. Got the Felix Hotel for $115 (normally $269- what are they smoking?!) which is way over what i expected to pay initially. However, after looking at the convention calendar, i found 3 semi-big conferences in town... which explains why the rates are so high and un-budging. (Hotwire has that same hotel for $129, figured it out by lookng at the amenities, so thank you PL, you are my friend) The hotel looks nice and sleek.

So ladies... here comes the most important part of the trip and the main reason we're visiting: tell us where to eat!!! We will be there for 5 days, and we want steaks and good pizza. :bigsmile: We have Mortons and Lawry's here, so preferably something unique to Chicago? I bookmarked this a loooong time ago, but when we yelped the two recommended steak huses, the reviews were just so-so. http://www.travelchannel.com/Places_Trips/Travel_Ideas/Food_And_Drink/Food/Steak_Paradise_Part_Ii Wonder if it's because they got super busy after the article came out and the quality went down, or if they paid off the writer... either way.. natives... please enlighten me!! tell me where to get the BEST steak and pizzas in Chicago!! (and whatever else i might like.. i like everything)

OH!! please recommend some lively pubs too. Preferably somewhere not too trendy... because i dont wanna pack any of that fancy stuff.

Thanks!!!!!
 

Haven

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Mmmmm . . . steak and pizza.

Well, honestly, my favorite steak is a Morton's Cajun ribeye, but Keefer's and Gibson's are good steakhouses, as well. Although, I always end up getting lobster at Keefer's because the tank is right there and I can't resist!

I have been a die-hard Lou Malnati's pizza fan for years and years, and Uno's and Due's have always been my second favorite. However, I just spent a month in North Carolina and was craving some real pizza like you wouldn't believe, and we ended up at Due's, and it was amazing. I've always loved it, but OH MY LORD, we ordered a pepp, and then a pepp with onions and green peppers--to die for.

Some of my other favorite restaurants in Chicago:
MK
Sapori Trattoria
Athena
 

sillyberry

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I actually Pricelined the Hotel Felix when I took the Bar! It's nice, very modern, but your room will probably be small! Just a warning!

I've been to Gene & Georgetti's. I remember it being very old-school with good ambiance, but I was suffering from a horrible sinus infection and couldn't taste anything! Honestly, though, I've never had a steak in Chicago that made me delirious with delight. Lots of good beef, but nothing super memorable. Sadly my favorite is probably Morton's Filet Oscar.

My favorite restaurants in Chicago have nothing to do with steak or pizza. I actually don't like Chicago deep dish! But - (and I apologize for giving you some out of the way locations...I think they're worth getting to!).

Hot Doug's. The Foie Gras and Sauternes Duck Sausage with Truffle Aioli, Foie Gras Mousse and Fleur de Sel plagues my dreams. My mom did not want to go to "a hot dog place" and is now as obsessed as I am. Doug mans the counter, cash only, random hours, and a line (although I don't know how bad it would be in November).

The Purple Pig for charcuterie and small plates. Try the bone marrow and the panino con nutella. Excellent cheese plate. My new husband and I shared our first married meal there (after the wedding, of course)!

Stephanie Izard's restaurant The Girl and the Goat. They're not yet taking reservations for early November, but it's well-worth trying. If they have the sugo on the menu...oh the sugo.

Davanti Enoteca for their mascarpone risotto and daily ragu. The tomatoes and burrata also so so good (although I don't know how delicious the tomatoes would be in November). Excellent cheese plate.

Those last three are all what I would describe as New American (DE a little more focused on Italian), a lot of small plates with a focus on meat parts, so I probably wouldn't go to all of them in one week. Actually, I would, but I don't know if you would!

And the best dessert I think I've ever had was at Bistronomic - a white chocolate bread pudding where I may have licked the bowl. The rest of the menu was good, but the dessert? I would go for the bread pudding and a cocktail.

And if you need late-night nibbles in walking distance of your hotel, I love Quartino. Cheap carafes of wine and the dates stuffed with gorgonzola and wrapped in pancetta are to die for.

I just ate dinner but I'm hungry again...
 

lliang_chi

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I second Haven's suggestion of MK. Very tasty, and you should get a reservation.

Also second Silly's suggestion of Davanti Enoteca. OMG the BEST food, except they DON"T take reservations, so I'd go on a weekday and expect to drink a lot of wine while you wait. Not a bad thing since their wines are all pretty reasonably priced.

Steakhouses: Gibson is a Chicago "institution" if you will. Their steaks are good, it's kinda "business-y" if you ask me. If you want a quiet dinner, maybe you can try some of the "boutique-ish" steak places like David Burke Primehouse, I like Kinzie Chop House for a little lower price point but still tasty.

Chalkboard: In the more local neighborhoods, which can be kinda a hike from River North but I thought it was DELISH!

Places to drink: There's tons of bars around River North. If you like wine, I'd suggest Randolph Tasting Room. It's a bit away from River North, but it''s got great views and tons of wine.

~LC
 

ForteKitty

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Oct 7, 2004
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Awesome suggestions everyone, they look yummy! :appl: thanks!!!

I enjoy craft beer and cider more than wine. Is there anything local i should look for?
 

sillyberry

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ForteKitty|1311748389|2977785 said:
Awesome suggestions everyone, they look yummy! :appl: thanks!!!

I enjoy craft beer and cider more than wine. Is there anything local i should look for?
:o The horror! :o

I'm not a beer drinker, but I believe Longman & Eagle has a great beer selection.

Also, one of the best spots for craft cocktails in the city is The Violet Hour.
 

KatyWI

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Nov 20, 2008
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I second Bistronomic!!! We had a weekend trip to Chicago recently and the meal we had there was spot-on. I wish it was here in my city :bigsmile:
 
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