Last updated: 08:00 PM ET, Wed October 28 2015

Opinion Home | Far-Sighted Field Notes

  • Rosalind Cummings-Yeates | October 28, 2015 8:00 PM ET

    4 Lesser-Known Chicago Dining Destinations

    4 Lesser-Known Chicago Dining Destinations

    Photo via Wikimedia Commons, all others by Rosalind Cummings-Yeates

    The Windy City is a food lover’s dream. This is the town built on steaks, hot dogs and pizza thick enough to shield you from the notorious cold. Michelin-starred restaurants and top chefs are as plentiful as Black Hawks fans and you'll never find a neighborhood without at least one go-to eatery.

    Despite all of this gustatory notoriety, there are still some places that manage to stay under the foodie radar. Sometimes, locals like to hang out in buzz-free restaurants devoid of crowds and scenesters. If you prefer your meals without hype or long waits and don't care about trendy ingredients, there are still a few places left in Chi-town to cater to your straightforward needs. Check out these downtown eateries the next time you're searching for low key dining:

    Maxwell's At The Club

    Tucked inside of the Chicago fitness institution of the East Bank Club, it's easy to miss Maxwell's if you're not a member.  But walk past the packed bars and noisy clubs that line Kinzie Street and you'll be rewarded with casual elegance and high quality dishes. Maxwell's is an old school classic just like the East Bank so you'll sample throwbacks like shrimp cocktail, oysters on the half shell and chicken in the pot. Watch for the live music, including a Sinatra-crooning lounge singer Tuesday-Friday evenings. Maxwell's is closed Saturday and Sunday.

    Pittsfield Cafe

    Located inside a historic and gilded Art Deco building, most people walk by without having a clue about the treasures inside. But it’s totally worth the stop, even just to peek at the '20s era architecture and grab a biscuits and gravy special to go. The cafe is known for hearty breakfast and brunch fare as well as signature sandwiches like chipotle chicken. The service is speedy and there's an indoor patio great for hanging out and gazing at the building’s golden fixtures. The cafe closes at 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.

    Beef N' Brandy

    South Loop workers head to The Bar Below, a legendary watering hole underneath this classic Chicago diner, but many forget that an impressive range of dishes are served above it. Situated on a quiet stretch of State Street, Beef N' Brandy offers the perfect respite from a long day shopping or sightseeing. Try the namesake strip steak with a mushrooms and brandy sauce or the notable Angus beef burgers.

    Oasis Cafe

    A favorite Chicago secret restaurant that's hidden in the back of a jewelry store, Oasis is revered for fast, good and cheap food. The Middle Eastern menu supplies everything from shawarma to Moroccan chicken but the tasty falafel is the go-to. The daily specials are also notable (don't miss the lamb kebabs). If things get tight during the lunchtime rush, more tables and chairs are located upstairs. The cafe is open until 5:30 p.m. every day.

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Rosalind Cummings-Yeates Far-Sighted Field Notes

Rosalind Cummings-Yeates Rosalind Cummings-Yeates is a journalist, author and blogger who specializes in travel and culture topics. She loves guiding readers through the richness of various cultures and discovering the essence of a destination. Her travel and culture blog, Farsighted Fly Girl, offers travel insights through the music, food, art and history of various countries and cultures. Join her on the journey at www.Rosalindcummingsyeates.
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