So, here are my recommendations. I will preface by saying that these are places I love and have eaten at, so I can recommend them personally. There are probably a million places, because Chicago is definitely known for food!!!!!
Cabs from McCormick Place to any of these places (except for Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba, which is further away) will take 10-15 minutes and cost around $10, I would think.
Park Grill – right on Michigan Ave in Millenium Park under the Bean. One of Chicago’s best….. you may need a reservation, however.
Captial Grill It’s near Northwestern Memorial Hospital, right downtown just east of Michigan Ave in what is called “Streeterville”.
I am also a fan of Devon, which is seafood. It’s in the “Gold Coast”, which is another landmark. And you are not too far away from the John Hancock building and Water Tower place.
Now, if you want less “touristy” places and more neighborhood-y faves…. I would definitely do Cafe Ba-Ba-ReeBa. It’s in Lincoln Park, right on Halstead and is tapas ….. the bacon wrapped dates and sangria are must-haves.
And finally…. pizza. You MUST have some while in Chicago because we are famous for our deep dish. Pizza preference (and choice of baseball team) is what sets you apart in Chicago and you can make enemies depending on where you are and how you answer!!!!! I, myself, am a Lou Malnati’s girl. But I come from a Giordano’s family….. which renders me an outcast. Everyone loves Gino’s East and it was the original so you can’t generally go wrong with that choice. It’s also right by Northwestern in Streeterville and easy to get to right off Michigan Ave.
Last – head to Sugar Bliss (right across the street from the Macy’s downtown) at some point for cupcakes…. you can purchase a shot of frosting while you wait. I prefer the mini-cupcakes because I find it so incredibly hard to choose between flavors!!!!!!
I think these next 2 are dinner only…. but you can check and see if they are open for lunch.
I don’t know if you were a Top Chef fan…. but hometown girl Stephanie Izard won season 4 and then opened Girl and the Goat. It is AMAZING. Last time I went I had to make reservations several weeks in advance, but you might get lucky…. depending on time you want to eat and how many in your party. This is also in South Loop (actually in the meatpacking area…. by where Oprah filmed her show) which is pretty cool.
I LOOOOOVE Zed451. It’s a Brazillian steakhouse, so be ready to E.A.T. If the weather is nice they have a fabulous rooftop deck, which is a thing Chicago is known for.
Google these and let me know if you want me to think of more….. because now I am hungry so I will probably be thinking of great places to eat for days!!!!!!!