We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Trip Report 9/25-9/29 - Wonderful Visit

San Antonio, Texas
Level Contributor
569 posts
16 reviews
Save Topic
Trip Report 9/25-9/29 - Wonderful Visit

Hi everyone - we just returned from 4 great days in the Windy City and I'd like to share some of the highlights and hopefully help future travelers. Thank you to everyone who posted great tips and advice - it came in handy! I'll post below. Thanks.

San Antonio, Texas
Level Contributor
569 posts
16 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Trip Report 9/25-9/29 - Wonderful Visit

Warning... I get wordy and love details... just saying...

We arrived at 2pm on Saturday and were instantly greeted by the much cooler weather. When we left TX it was almost 90 degrees so arriving to temps in the 50's was a shocker. For me it was cold and I knew what I had packed wasn't going to cut it so shopping was definitely going to happen sooner than later.

Grabbed a shuttle to the hotel. We reserved through Priceline and were able to reserve the Millennium Knickerbocker Hotel for $169 a night. In hindsight, I think that was a decent bid but we could have had it for less. The shuttle cost $32 one way for two people. I know we could have used the CTA system but it was our first time visiting and I didn't know how we'd maneuver with all of our bags. Arrived at the hotel and was able to check in right away. We were given a room on the 9th floor. Nicely appointed room, very modern. The shower was great with a "rain" shower head and the bed was super comfortable. The bathroom is very small and the room is small too however, being a historic property, they really work well with the space limitations.

I had researched a few places to eat and after reading several posts we decided on Lou Malnati's for deep dish pizza. Closest one to the MK is on N. Wells about 2 miles away and was about a $7 cab ride. We asked our concierge for directions to get there and we were given a free dessert voucher. He said most hotels have free dessert/appetizer vouchers for several of the local places to eat.

Lou Malnati's was awesome! Now, I know there are lots of opinions on the "best" pizza and I really can't compare, or shouldn't because up until now my experience was limited to Pizza Hut, but Lou's had a great taste and the ingredients were very fresh. We arrived around 6pm and there was already a 1 hour wait. However, once you put your name on the list for a table, you're encouraged to pre-order as it takes about 30 - 45 minutes for their pizzas. We were seated after close to the hour wait. I should mention the pizza sizes. They have individual, small, medium and large and I will say now that those "labels" are totally misleading. We are not large folks, but we love to eat. I had insisted we get two personal sized pizzas and was quickly convinced that wouldn't be enough... You know how we all have that inner orchestra that plays the Jaws music when we're making a decision we know we shouldn't?? Well my Jaws music was ignored and well, I should've listened... We ordered two small pizzas, the Lou and a pepperoni with add-ons. As we waited to be seated we kept watching the waiters pass by with pans of all sizes and I increasingly became worried. Then to make it worse, there were these awesome salads that kept passing by also and I knew I wanted one. We got seated and ordered the "medium" Malnati salad - super good and not small. And then here come the small pizzas... we both just laughed, as people looked at us like we were nuts - and we were - we just laughed at the sheer ridiculousness of what we had before us... on top of that we had the free dessert coming. There was NO WAY we were going to finish what we had ordered. The small pizza has about 5 to 6 good-sized slices to it and each slice is about 1-2 inches thick... wonderful taste and just plain good - but way, way too much for two people. The free dessert was a 4 inch chocolate chip cookie with 3 scoops of vanilla ice cream topped with whipped cream... also very good. It was a great first meal in Chicago and although I left never wanting to see another pizza anything again - we did end our trip with a return visit :-)

We wanted to see the fireworks at Navy Pier and read they were only happening on Saturday night. Not really knowing how far it was from Malnati's we decided to walk as much (of the food off) as we could and if it got to be too far we'd take a cab. We ended up walking the entire way there which took about 30 minutes. It was very cold but a great way to see some of the city. I will say that we never once felt unsafe. I know a lot of people ask about walking at night in downtown areas so just wanted to put that out there.

We arrived to the NP in time to secure a spot near the water and catch the fireworks. They were great to see and even better was the view of the skyline from the Pier. It's really breathtaking - so many buildings and just really beautiful. The Pier is a nice place for families mostly. The Children's Museum is there and seems the majority of attractions are geared toward families with younger kids. At night there are some restaurants/bars that seem to attract an older crowd.

Day two to follow...

chicago
Level Contributor
8,689 posts
24 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Trip Report 9/25-9/29 - Wonderful Visit

Just wondering, why would you get two pizzas for two people ?

San Luis Obispo...
Level Contributor
84 posts
6 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Trip Report 9/25-9/29 - Wonderful Visit

Because they were "personal" sized pizzas?? Seriously, that's all you can comment on?

gina34, thank you so much for your report. I am really looking forward to the rest as we'll be in Chicago for four days soon.

chicago
Level Contributor
8,689 posts
24 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Trip Report 9/25-9/29 - Wonderful Visit

toucans if you read the post, she ordered two small pizzas and im just curious why someone would order two smalls instead of a medium with half one style and the other half another style, it was just a question, no reason to be snotty toucans

pgo
Chicago
Destination Expert
for Chicago
Level Contributor
7,274 posts
16 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Trip Report 9/25-9/29 - Wonderful Visit

I agree that a wonderful narrative was diminished by pointless commentary. Thanks for a great post, gina!

Traverse City...
Level Contributor
3,765 posts
92 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Trip Report 9/25-9/29 - Wonderful Visit

Well...You have to admit most of the post was about pizza. So I have another question, sort of related, esp since you were so taken with those pizzas.. Your avatar says you're from NYC, as does your personal info - but you talk about how much warmer it was in TX. So with the weather and the PPPP (Personal Pan Pizza Preference)...just curious.

Richmond, Kentucky
Level Contributor
60 posts
27 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Trip Report 9/25-9/29 - Wonderful Visit

Maybe one person was allergic to something so they had to get two pizzas...just a thought :)

I'm looking forward to hearing the details on the rest of your trip too. I will be going to Chicago for the first time this weekend, staying for 4 days, and was interested in seeing how much you did in four days :)

Chicago, Illinois
Destination Expert
for Train Travel
Level Contributor
16,707 posts
118 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Trip Report 9/25-9/29 - Wonderful Visit

I just don't get the "Chicago Pizza" thing. But I'm not a tourist. We should have warned you that deep dish pizza is twice the food as a thin crust. Always order the smaller size and a cold, crisp salad. We have to remember to warn posters about that. At least you weren't looking for the remains of Al Capone. Yes the Knickerbocker is an old hotel but the Millennium Chain operates such properties and usually treats their clientele well. I'm glad to hear that the concierge was helpful. The recurring problem that I find on these older hotels is that they put their smaller rooms on Priceline or hotels.com. Sometimes you can get a larger room at the same price by calling the hotel directly. The Airport van is a good savings for one person but starts to get in the taxi fare range at 2 persons. Yes, the view from Navy Pier back to the City is a great perspective. What else happened on your trip? Did you enjoy the city? You might want to change your profile to Texas instead of NYC. If Chicago's weather was unexpected then you aren't from NYC which gets our weather two days after it leaves here.

9. Re: Trip Report 9/25-9/29 - Wonderful Visit

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 05 April 2011, 06:16