CHICAGO (June 9, 11:35 a.m. EDT) — Walking McCormick Place's vast hallways filled with thousands of exhibitors is bound to stimulate an appetite.
Luckily, 5,500 restaurants in the metropolitan area make Chicago a good place to get hungry.
With everything from Filipino to fondue, Chicago's culinary scene should have something for even the most discerning of palates.
Before heading out, however, it would be a good idea to call ahead to check dress codes and make a reservation, as the city is apt to be very busy with the influx of people for NPE week.
Grouped by cuisine, the following is just a thin slice of what hungry visitors have to look forward to when visiting Chicago. Keep in mind this is not intended as a recommendation of restaurants, but rather a list of the types of eateries to expect.
A number of Web sites are available to help diners decide what restaurant is right for them. Further information can be found at www.chicago.il.org, www.zagats .com, www.fodors.com, www.usa today.com and www.cuisinenet .com.
Charlie Trotter's was named “Best Restaurant in the USA” in 2000 by the James Beard Foundation. On its menu, diners can find Hawaiian big-eye tuna with leeks, green and purple Brussels sprouts and coriander-infused chicken with liver sauce. Reservations are required at least five days in advance at the restaurant at 816 W. Armitage Ave. Tel. (773) 248-6228.
Enjoy traditional American fare in a newly restored, 1905 firehouse at the Chicago Firehouse Restaurant, 1401 S. Michigan Ave. Tel. (312) 786-1401.
The Oak Street Beachstro on Oak Street Beach allows its diners to listen to the rhythmic waves of Lake Michigan as they eat gourmet salads, specialty sandwiches and entrees. Tel. (312) 915-4100.
One of the most easily accessible restaurants for NPE visitors, King Wah Restaurant is five minutes from McCormick Place at 2225 S. Wentworth Ave.
It has a wide-ranging menu of 100 entree selections. Tel. (312) 842-1404.
Phoenix, at 2131 S. Archer Ave., offers a second floor view of the Loop skyline. Tel. (312) 328-0848.
Voted “Best Chinese Restaurant in the City” by Zagat Survey, praised by the Wall Street Journal and frequented by celebrities, Szechwan East, 340 E. Ohio St., has 120 menu items. Tel. (312) 255-9200.
The dessert saganaki, a flaming cheese dish, was invented at The Parthenon Restaurant during the late 1960s. It is located at 314 S. Halstead St. Tel. (312) 726-2407.
Five minutes from the Loop at 130 S. Halsted St. is the Pegasus Restaurant and Taverna. The contemporary Greek restaurant also serves steaks and pastas. Tel. (312) 226-3377.
Come to Harry Caray's and you might just sit in the same seat as the famed Cubs announcer who frequented this restaurant at 33 W. Kinzie St. Tel. (312) 828-0966.
RoSal's Italian Kitchen, 1154 W. Taylor St., specializes in Sicilian cuisine and invoking memories of “the old neighborhood.” Tel. (312) 243-2357.
Traditional Tuscan fare and a woodburning pizza oven can be found at Tutto Orsi, 324 S. Ravine Ave. Tel. (312) 421-3636.
Located in the heart of Old Town, the Adobo Grill, 1610 N. Wells St., offers more than 50 different tequilas. Tel. (312) 266-7999.
Salpicon has received a number of awards and accolades from such places as the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Zagat Survey and I>Chicago Magazine. The restaurant at 1252 N. Wells St. serves authentic and contemporary Mexican cuisine. Tel. (312) 988-7811.
In addition to its Mexican menu, Uncle Julio's Hacienda, 855 W. North Ave., serves a variety of other dishes including ribs and Maine lobster. Tel. (312) 266-4222.
A trip to Chicago would not be complete without sampling some of the city's world-famous deep dish pizzas. That can be done at The Art of Pizza, which the Chicago-Tribune voted as having the best deep dish in the city in 2001. Located at 3033 N. Ashland Ave., it also offers thin crust pizza and sandwiches. Tel. (773) 327-5600.
More deep-dish fare can be sampled at The Original Gino's East, 633 N. Wells St., which is celebrating its 30th year in the pizza-crazy town. Tel. (312) 988-4200.
Celebrating its 70th birthday in 2003, the Cape Cod Room, 140 E. Walton Place, serves its seafood against the backdrop of a nautical decor at the Drake Hotel. Tel. (312) 787-2200.
In addition to the fresh seafood, frog, fowl and prime steaks also dot the menu at Hugo's Frog Bar, 1024 N. Rush St. Live blues and jazz on its piano begins at 5 p.m. Tel. (312) 640-0999.
Shaw's Crab House, 21 E. Hubbard St., is really two restaurants in one. The Blue Crab Lounge is a raw oyster bar featuring clams, crabs and lobster while the main room is done in the style of a New England seafood house. Tel. (312) 527-2722.
Specializing in a 24-ounce porterhouse cut, Morton's, The Steakhouse has been in Chicago for 25 years. Reservations are recommended at this restaurant at 1050 N. State St. Tel. (312) 266-4820.