Visiting Chicago for the AFP International Fundraising Conference?

Wanna have some fun?

First prepare for the weather – if you want to be outside of the shuttle bus and convention center. March weather in Chicago can be anything…..warm, cold, rainy or snow. is your best option but it changes fast.

Best drink with a view – Signature Room at the 95th – John Hancock North Michigan Avenue (Hint: You don’t need to pay to go to the observatory, go have drink instead!) And while you’re there, you can check out Chicago’s first INDOOR (and very small) ice rink made of pseudo ice.

Millennium Park has much to offer – mostly outdoors. For outside ice skating, the rink here has everything you need, ice skates, hot chocolate, ice cream. Park Grill is right in the Park next to the rink for dinner or cocktails. (All for a price). Michigan Avenue between Randolph and Michigan.

Nearby hoods with great eats and only a relatively cheap cab ride there and back from conference hotels!

AND BONUS March 20-26 is CHEF WEEK in Chicago! Gourmet Three-Course, Prix-Fixe Menus $22 lunches and $33 dinners.

  • Cibo Matto –Dinner only. Not valid on Sun & Mon    Downtown / Loop    Italian
  • The Gage Downtown / Loop    American
  • Lockwood Restaurant and Bar Downtown / Loop    American
  • N9NE Steakhouse – Not valid on Mon    Downtown / Loop    Steak
  • Terzo Piano Downtown / Loop    Italian
  • bistronomic- Dinner only    Gold Coast /Streeterville  – Contemporary French
  • Capital Grille – Chicago – Lunch only – Not valid on Sat & Sun    Gold Coast / Streeterville  – Steakhouse
  • Le Colonial – Chicago Gold Coast / Streeterville    Vietnamese
  • Market House Gold Coast / Streeterville    American

West Loop – My neighborhood

  • Province – Latin bistro
  • Avec and Blackbird – American (place to see and be seen)
  • Meiji – great innovative sushi – no wasabi or soy sauce necessary
  • Sepia – $$$$ but worth it
  • Girl and the Goat – of Top Chef fame

Michigan Avenue – North

  • Bistro 110 – $$$ Classic French
  • Spiaggia – $$$$ Tony Mantuano of Top Chef fame, fabulous, upscale Italian with a view
  • FoodLife – $$ – A good for you cafeteria on steroids….salad, Italian, wok, Chinese, BBQ, pizza, dessert….anything you want. Self service gluttony
  • Cheesecake Factory – $$$

Michigan Avenue – Middle

  • Grand Lux Café – $$$
  • Bice – $$$$ Classic Italian bistro

West of Michigan Avenue

  • Pizzeria Uno and Due (THE original) Chicago deep dish – my favorite along with Lou Malnati’s
  • Mr. Beef of Jay Leno fame – classic beef sandwiches
  • Ed Debevic’s – Classic diner with singing waiters with obnoxious service (on purpose)
  • Frontera Grill, Topolobampo and Xoco – Rick Bayless Mexican heaven – Of Top Chef fame (getting a trend here?)
  • Hub 51 – American Grill turns club at around 10pm
  • Sable at Hotel Palomar – new and great

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