Out to lunch

The Chicago Tribune's guide to business lunching in the Chicago area.


Chef's Burger Bistro goes beyond the basics

April 7, 2014

Chef's Burger Bistro goes beyond the basics

Chef's Burger Bistro

Out to lunch: Terzo Piano, 159 E. Monroe St.

January 9, 2012

Out to lunch: Terzo Piano, 159 E. Monroe St.

Ambience: Clean and minimalistic, but what else would you expect in an art museum? Unadorned windows that run almost from floor to ceiling offer city views on three sides.

Out to Lunch: Gioco, 1312 S. Wabash Ave.

8:48 PM EDT, March 23, 2012

Phil Vettel: Out to Lunch: Gioco, 1312 S. Wabash Ave.

Who eats: Loop business types and conventioneers.

A Capital lunch plan

August 8, 2011

Phil Vettel: Steaks, seafood and a $15 deal all part of Capital Grille's appeal

Who eats: Lots of business types, some carrying folders, a few Yorktown Mall shoppers

Oysy, decor is fresh, and so is sushi

January 30, 2012

Oysy decor is fresh, and so is sushi

Who eats: Businesspeople, tourists and River North office workers.

Out to lunch: Topolobampo, 445 N. Clark St.

December 26, 2011

Phil Vettel: Out to lunch: Topolobampo, 445 N. Clark St.

Out to lunch: Topolobampo, 445 N. Clark St.Who eats: Businesspeople, out-of-towners and, this time of year, lots of end-of-year revelers.

Koda brings French country dining to Beverly

December 12, 2011

Koda brings French country dining to Beverly

Why eat: The French bistro offers a seasonal menu and a cozy dining room decorated in soothing bronze and gold and lots of light.

Phil Stefani's 437 Rush is a congenial place to conduct business

January 23, 2012

Phil Stefani's 437 Rush is a congenial place to conduct business

Who eats: Businesspeople and others who make their way to lower-level Rush Street.

Bombay Spice Grill & Wine offers escape with nontraditional fare

October 31, 2011

Bombay Spice Grill & Wine offers escape with nontraditional fare

Why eat: Even meat-and-potatoes folks are unlikely to balk at nicely grilled tandoori chicken wings. The dish may not sound so Indian — neither do chickpea ceviche and baked samosas — but Bombay Spice isn't going for traditional preparations.

Lao Hunan builds on Chinatown empire

December 5, 2011

Lao Hunan builds on Chinatown empire

Ambience: The Chinatown restaurant is small and by no means fancy, with basic wooden tables, simple padded chairs and a tiled floor. What it lacks in comfort, it more than makes up for in funkiness.

Miller's Pub a comfortable, authentic, filling experience

October 24, 2011

Miller's Pub a comfortable, authentic, filling experience

Why eat: Miller's Pub, around since 1935, has become a Loop institution, drawing big crowds from the nearby federal buildings and offices.

Mexican fare from ordinary to adventurous, with attentive service to boot

December 19, 2011

Mexican fare from ordinary to adventurous at Cafe Laredo

Why eat: This recently opened Near North outpost of the Dallas-based chain draws big crowds at lunchtime by serving up moderately priced, upscale Mexican food.

River North's Sunda has exotic yet cozy vibe and hearty Asian offerings

November 28, 2011

River North's Sunda has exotic yet cozy vibe and hearty Asian offerings

Why eat: Off the beaten path of bustling River North, Sunda provides an exotic yet comfortable atmosphere with big portions of tasty Asian fare.

Rosewood in Rosemont holds its own against the heavy steakhouse hitters

November 7, 2011

Phil Vettel: Rosewood in Rosemont holds its own against the heavy steakhouse hitters

Who eats: Business types; conventioneers on break from the nearby convention center.

Sayat Nova an exotic setting for tasty Eastern Mediterranean food

November 21, 2011

Sayat Nova an exotic setting for tasty Eastern Mediterranean food

Why eat: Sayat Nova serves reasonably priced and tasty Armenian -- think Eastern Mediterranean -- food in somewhat exotic surroundings.

Native Foods Cafe offers plenty of vegetarian, healthy options

October 3, 2011

Native Foods Cafe offers plenty of vegetarian, healthy options

Who eats: This new vegan chain from California is drawing more hipsters than hippies, along with Wicker Park shoppers and a handful of suits at lunchtime.

Rhapsody presents rustic Italian in magazine-worthy style

October 17, 2011

Rhapsody presents rustic Italian in magazine-worthy style

Ambience: Contemporary, white-table elegance, soft whites and polished wood throughout; outdoor patio beyond French doors offers a garden view, and the spaciousness of a hotel dining room. Handsome, dark-wood lounge and bar by front entrance.

Fixed-price lunch at Blackbird great deal

September 19, 2011

Phil Vettel: Fixed-price lunch at Blackbird great deal

Who eats: This West Loop dining room pulls in business types, a surprising number of students and the occasional mild-mannered reporter.

Ceres Cafe a laid-back experience near CBOT

September 26, 2011

Ceres Cafe a laid-back experience near CBOT

Who eats: At the top of the Board of Trade is Ceres, the goddess of grain. At the bottom is Ceres, the cafe, where traders mingle with other fans of '70s diner food. Rice pudding, anyone?

River North restaurant is hot spot for big steaks, big stars

September 5, 2011

Jon Yates: Chicago Cut a hot spot for big steaks, big stars

Who eats: The lunch crowd in this popular River North restaurant is predominantly businesspeople.

A fashionable place to dine

August 15, 2011

Fred's at Barneys is not your ordinary department store cafe

Who eats: A mix of creative business types, Gold Coast shoppers and tourists

Mity Nice a place worth finding

September 12, 2011

Mity Nice a place worth finding

Why eat: The location, hidden behind a food court in Water Tower Place, is a less obvious choice than the go-to restaurants on the Mag Mile, which makes it a great spot for confidential business conversation.

GT Fish & Oyster, a tasty pairing of Pottery Barn and Nautica

August 29, 2011

GT Fish & Oyster, a tasty pairing of Pottery Barn and Nautica

Who eats: The River North restaurant caters to businesspeople, couples and hard-core foodies.

Sushi Samba Rio offers overseas dining without leaving the city

August 1, 2011

Sushi Samba Rio offers overseas dining without leaving the city

Who eats: The River North restaurant caters to business people, tourists and couples at lunch.

Sam & Harry's Steakhouse offers modest prices amid sumptuous surroundings in northwest suburbs

July 24, 2011

Phil Vettel: Sam & Harry's Steakhouse offers sumptuous surroundings in northwest suburbs

Ambience: White-table elegance with a supercontemporary feel. Glass walls, leather chairs, curved booths, deep leather settees with throw pillows.

Bandera, an oasis along Michigan Avenue

August 22, 2011

Bandera, an oasis along Michigan Avenue

Ambiance: A reasonably priced American fare in a casual, comfortable oasis for the cognoscenti.

South Water Kitchen's diverse menu means there's something for all

July 4, 2011

South Water Kitchen's diverse menu means there's something for all

Who eats: Mix of business people, tourists and hotel guests (restaurant is connected to Hotel Monaco), giving South Water Kitchen a democratic feel.

Naha is a good way to impress an associate, and it offers a bright room, professional service and possibly the best burger in town

July 11, 2011

Phil Vettel: Naha offers a bright room and possibly the best burger in town

Ambience: White tablecloth elegance. Windows on south, west sides let in lots of light. Clean, uncluttered, contemporary look.

Helpful staff awaits in Italian Village's tucked-away cellar

July 18, 2011

Helpful staff awaits in Italian Village's tucked-away cellar

Why eat: The basement setting provides an escape from the hustle and bustle of the Loop and fosters intimate conversation.

Benny's Chop House all about the beef

June 20, 2011

Phil Vettel: Benny's Chop House all about the beef

Ambience: Clubby and masculine; cherry-wood paneling, thick carpets, double white tablecloth. Bar/lounge is sunny, less formal, popular with leisure diners and after-5 crowd.

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