Chicon: A Local's Restaurant Guide for Worldcon 2012 in Chicago

If you're attending this year's Chicon 7 (Worldcon 2012) convention in Chicago, you'll probably be looking for some good places to grab a bite to eat. I live really close to the conference hotel (Hyatt Regency Chicago), so I put together this guide to share some of my favorite places in the area -- many of which are too new to be listed in any other visitor guides. Also, I believe they're all open seven days a week, which is a big plus with Chicon taking place during a holiday weekend.

Grocery and food court:

Mariano's Fresh Market (Groceries, breakfast, lunch and dinner)
333 East Benton Place (To get there, walk a half-block east from the Hyatt and head south on Columbus Drive. When you see the Radisson Blu/Aqua/CVS building, take the stairs behind it towards the park area. Mariano's is located in the Village Market Center complex at the south end of the park.)
Mariano's has an enormous grocery and wine/beer/liquor selection, a full food court upstairs (sushi, gelato, hot food, pizza, you name it), and outdoor seating. The prices are also extremely reasonable for the city.


Eggy's Diner (Breakfast and lunch)
333 East Benton Place (See directions for Mariano's)
A modern interpretation of the classic diner, with a full selection of breakfast and lunch items and friendly staff.

Wildberry Cafe (Breakfast and lunch)
130 East Randolph Street (About two blocks south of the Hyatt, on Randolph just west of Stetson)
A large restaurant serving breakfast and lunch. They can accommodate large groups, and will take reservations or call ahead seating (depending on the day of the week) for groups of six or more.


Giordano's (Lunch and dinner)
130 East Randolph Street (About one block south of the Hyatt, on Lake Street just west of Stetson)
Pizza restaurant offering both thin-crust and deep-dish pizza. Family-friendly, but can have a long wait during peak dining hours.

Fine dining:

Maison Brasserie (Lunch and dinner)
333 East Benton Place (See directions for Mariano's)
Wonderful French restaurant with very reasonable prices for fine dining in the city.

III Forks (Dinner)
333 East Benton Place (See directions for Mariano's)
Classic steakhouse that also offers chicken and seafood.

Coffee and desserts:

Toni Patisserie (Breakfast and lunch)
65 East Washington Street (about five blocks southwest of the Hyatt)
Arguably the best bakery in the city, with incredible cookies, pastries, and cakes, as well as breakfast and lunch selections.

Caffe RoM (Breakfast and lunch)
400 East South Water Street (See directions for Mariano's, but make a left after you head down the stairs into the park)
Italian coffee bar that specializes in gelato, pannini, and more.


Graham Crackers Comics
77 East Madison Street (about five blocks southwest of the Hyatt)
Comic book store with a big selection of new comics, books, and back issues.

If you have any questions or would like a recommendation for another category, feel free to contact me on Twitter.